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.
FDD’s Long War Journal reported earlier this month that the Turkistan Islamic Party released new images of its men fighting and training in Afghanistan. The Taliban, which is currently seeking to downplay the presence of foreign terrorist groups in Afghanistan, subsequently issued a statement claiming that the montage was “falsified.” That is a lie.
In his testimony to Congress in July 2016, Zalmay Khalilzad called for designating Pakistan a State Sponsor of Terrorism for its support of the Taliban, noted the enduring Taliban-al Qaeda alliance. Today he praises Pakistan for its desire for peace in Afghanistan and claims the Taliban will be an effective counterterrorism partner.