The Taliban appointed former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir as a deputy minister of defense, while Ibrahim Sadr, who has worked closely with Iran in the past, was named a deputy minister of the interior for security.
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 Taliban has announced the “interim” leadership of its newly restored Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. FDD’s Lpng War Journal profiles 22 of these figures, many of whom were sanctioned by the U.N. in 2001, are designated terrorists, or are former Guantanamo detainees. Multiple Taliban leaders have worked with al Qaeda.
The mountainous fortress province of Panjshir fell only seven days after the Taliban launched its assault. The Taliban is now in complete control of the country, and is set to declare its Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
The Taliban launched attacks on three mountain passes that lead to Panjshir province, the last bastion of resistance in Afghanistan. The National Resistance Front repelled the assault.
Al Qaeda’s central media arm, As Sahab, released a two-page statement praising the Taliban’s “historic victory” in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda fought alongside the Taliban to resurrect its Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
The video of Dr. Amin al Haq is evidence that Al Qaeda commanders now feel secure enough to appear publicly in a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
While the Panjshir resistance’s odds remain long, it stands a chance to not only divert and disrupt Taliban operations but create a groundswell of interest that could lead to a larger campaign with more sustainable momentum.