According to the DIA, the Taliban has “maintained close ties with al Qaeda” and is “very likely preparing for large-scale offensives against population centers and Afghan government installations.” The DIA’s assessment directly contradicts claims made by Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation.
The Taliban’s demand of the release of the wife of slain Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent leader Asim Umar is curious, as the group maintains that Al Qaeda does not have a presence in Afghanistan.
According to a newly released UN monitoring team report, al-Qaeda’s relations with the Taliban “continue to be close and mutually beneficial.” The relationship has continued despite al-Qaeda’s reported concerns over the Taliban’s talks with the U.S.
Afghan officials have identified several AQIS members who were killed during a controversial raid in Musa Qala, Helmand earlier this week. They have also posted images purportedly documenting the weaponry, explosives and cash seized at the jihadists’ compound.
U.S. and Afghan officials say they targeted al Qaeda members in Musa Qala, a Taliban-controlled district in the southern Helmand province. Reports indicate that dozens of civilians perished during the clash that ensued.
An AQIS Member known as Abdul Haseeb al-Kashmiri was recently killed in Ghazni, according to jihadists online. His death was reported on a Telegram channel that supports Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, an al Qaeda-linked group in Kashmir.