The Pakistani Taliban announced today that two splinter factions, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) and Hizb-ul-Ahrar (HuA), have rejoined the organization.
ISIS orchestrated an assault on the main prison in Jalalabad earlier this month. Afghan officials immediately accused the Taliban of planning the attack.
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.
The Pakistani Taliban announced today that its leading ideologue, Khalid Haqqani, has been killed alongside one of his colleagues. Haqqani was a key jihadist thinker and author for the group.
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.
The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings this month, one in Balochistan and the other in Swat. At least 11 Pakistani soldiers were killed in the attack in Swat. The jihadists controlled Swat from 2007 to 2009, when Pakistani forces removed them from power. The group has claimed at least 5 “martyrdom” operations thus far in 2018, after claiming 11 in all of 2017.
The State Department’s newly released Country Reports on Terrorism says that Pakistan “did not take substantial action against the Afghan Taliban,” including the Haqqani Network, in 2016. The Taliban’s leadership has long had a presence in Pakistan.
An American soldier was killed while fighting the Islamic State’s jihadists in eastern Afghanistan. While the Wilayah Khorasan (or Khorasan province) has suffered significant losses since early 2016, it still maintains a significant operational capacity and can mount high-profile attacks.