Since July 2018, the UN Security Council has published at least four reports documenting al Qaeda’s close and longstanding relationship with the Taliban.
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.
Asim Umar, a senior al Qaeda official, has released a statement praising the Taliban’s “victory” in Afghanistan over the US. He also criticizes ISIS for dividing the jihadists’ ranks, praying that Allah ends the “fitnah.”
Ayman al-Zawahiri has released a eulogy for Jalaluddin Haqqani, a key figure in the Taliban-al Qaeda axis. The Taliban announced Haqqani’s death last year. Zawahiri offers his condolences to the Taliban and its overall leader, the “Emir of the Faithful,” Hibatallah Akhundzada.
Al Qaeda has released a new video emphasizing its unity with the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The video features a joint Taliban-al Qaeda ambush on an Afghan army convoy in Paktika province.
The head of the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), Abdul Haq al-Turkistani, has called on jihadist “scholars” to do more to address the plight of Uighurs. Al-Turkistani addresses his message to Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhunzada, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and a number of al Qaeda ideologues.
President Trump’s decision to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan will have consequences. The Taliban and al Qaeda will declare victory, while the US will find it harder to hunt terrorists throughout the region.
The Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Taliban and Pakistani military have all honored Maulana Sami ul-Haq, a influential and radical cleric who was stabbed to death. Haq’s madrassa has been a breeding ground for the Taliban and other jihadist groups in the region.