The Pakistani Taliban confirmed today that Qari Muhammad Yasin, a senior al Qaeda military commander, was killed along with three of his “companions” in a US drone strike on Mar. 19. The airstrike was carried out in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktika province. Yasin was a member of the Punjabi Taliban, which includes jihadists from various other Pakistani terrorist organizations who are aligned with al Qaeda.
Earlier today, Pakistani Taliban spokesman Muhammad Khorasani denied reports that his group was going to join Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s Islamic State. Khorasani said that these reports are “false” and based on “lies.” There are multiple indications that al Qaeda helped reorganize the current Pakistani Taliban coalition this year.
The Pakistani Taliban has released a lengthy statement rejecting Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s claim to be the new caliph. The group praises Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, as well as deceased al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his successor, Ayman al Zawahiri.
The Islamic State claims it operates in multiple Afghan provinces, and runs a training camp in Farah.
The spokesman for al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has released a statement condemning the Pakistani Taliban’s attack on a Peshawar school earlier this week, calling it “un-Islamic.”
The Afghan Taliban has released a statement condemning the Pakistani Taliban’s attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar.
The spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban announced that he and five other leaders had defected to the Islamic State this week. The bulk of the organization had already broken off earlier this year.
Asim Umar, al Qaeda’s top sharia official in Pakistan, will be holding a Q&A session online in May. The appearance is being promoted on social media.