The Pakistani Taliban announced today that two splinter factions, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) and Hizb-ul-Ahrar (HuA), have rejoined the organization.
According to a recently released report by a UN Security Council monitoring team, the Taliban is the “primary partner for all foreign terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan,” including al Qaeda. The only exception is the Islamic State, which opposes the Taliban.
Omar Khalid Khurasani, who was reported to have died on Oct. 19 after a US drone strike, is alive. However, he confirmed the death of Khalifa Umar Mansour, the group’s military leader who was killed in a US airstrike back in Afghanistan in July 2016.
Omar Khalid al Khurasani was closely allied with al Qaeda and its emir, Ayman al Zawahiri. In the past Khurasani has called for the imposition of sharia law, the establishment of a global caliphate, and the seizure of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. He was killed in a drone strike in Paktia province.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar said that Ehsanullan Ehsan was captured on Mar. 7 by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate along with three others and subsequently turned over to the Pakistani military. The group’s claim contradicts the Pakistani military’s version of events. Earlier this week, Pakistani officials said Ehsan had voluntarily turned himself in.
The Islamic State’s Khorasan province claimed credit for today’s suicide bombing at a Sufi shrine in Sindh province, Pakistan that killed at least 70 people and wounded scores more.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed that attack, which killed at least 10 people and wounded scores more, under Operation Ghazi. The operation targets all factions of the Pakistani state.
The video, from Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a powerful faction of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, highlights the training of suicide bombers and an assault on a Pakistani military base that took place last November.