Haji Mali Khan was a top Haqqani Network and Taliban leader when he was detained by the U.S. in 2011. He was freed in 2019 in exchange for a U.S. and an Australian professor who were kidnapped in Kabul in 2016.
With increased muscle, backing and resources, the TTP – which sent thousands of fighters into Afghanistan to help the Afghan Taliban conquer the country over the summer – can now refocus its efforts on its insurgency in order to overthrow the Pakistani state.
Mullah Sangeen Zadran, a senior Taliban and Haqqani Network leader, was intricately linked to Al Qaeda. he viewed the two groups as inseparable “brothers.” The U.S. killed Sangeen and an Al Qaeda bomb maker in a drone strike in Pakistan in 2013.
The TTP claimed yesterday’s suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, saying the “martyrdom-seeking” operation targeted Pakistani officials.
Mohammad Hanif was involved in the 2002 assassination attempt on Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and the suicide attack on the U.S. Consulate in Karachi that same year. He was killed in Farah province. But the Taliban somehow continues to maintain that Al Qaeda isn’t in Afghanistan.
The U.S. government, military, and intelligence services have provided inaccurate assessments of Al Qaeda’s strength in Afghanistan for more than a decade. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continued that tradition by recent regurgitating that Al Qaeda has fewer than 200 fighters in the country. This estimate, like previous ones, should not be trusted.
Hosts Bill Roggio and Tom Joscelyn discuss what al Qaeda looks like in 2020.
Muft Noor Wali Mehsud’s Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, which remains allied with Al Qaeda, has stepped up small scale operations against Pakistani security forces in both North and South Waziristan over the past several months.