According to a new report by the State Department, the Afghan Taliban and its Haqqani Network are still “operating in Pakistan-based safe havens and threatening U.S. and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.” Pakistan has assisted the US in counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda. However, by refusing to move against the Taliban, including the Haqqanis, Pakistan is harboring al Qaeda’s most important allies in the region.
AL Qaeda’s operatives are fighting in more countries around the world today than was the case on 9/11. And its leaders still want to target the United States and its interest and allies. The war they started is far from over.
Jalaluddin fought the Soviets, served as the Minister of Frontiers during the Taliban rule of Afghanistan from 1996-2001, was a member of the Taliban’s Quetta Shura, or governing body, and father of Sirajuddin Haqqani, one of the Taliban’s two deputy emirs and overall military commander.
At a Pentagon press conference, General Nicholson again gave a Pollyannish assessment of the state of Afghanistan. He claimed the peace process is working and the Taliban’s offensive is failing, and took credit for a Taliban victory over the Islamic State.
The raids in Helmand and Nangarhar indicate that al Qaeda’s leaders are not focused on its survival. Al Mesri was focused on manufacturing IEDs to support the Taliban’s insurgency in Helmand, while Rahmatullah and his cohorts were operating in Nangarhar’s provincial capital.
The US Treasury and State Departments designated three members of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba as terrorists today. One of them was captured in Iraq in 2004 and held for a decade before he was transferred to Pakistan and released. Another has raised funds to send to Syria.
In 2017, LWJ reported unprecedented levels of airstrikes in Somalia and Yemen. Thus far in 2018, the United States has sustained its high strike tempo in Somalia and improved transparency on its air campaign in Yemen. Strikes in Pakistan have leveled off, however press restrictions make tracking operations there difficult. In Libya, the U.S. has targeted jihadists sparingly.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a devastating suicide bombing at an election rally in Mastung, Baluchistan earlier today. More than 100 people were killed and dozens more wounded. The so-called caliphate has identified the bomber as Abu Bakr al-Pakistani and claims that a Pakistani intelligence official was among the victims.