News / India

Al-Qaeda continues to operate out of Afghanistan with impunity

zeenews.india.com
5 min read
fairly difficult
After taking over Afghanistan, the Taliban have publicly stated that they have completely disassociated themselves from Al-Qaeda, but ground realities are starkly different as there have been sightings of foreigners or non-Afghan fighters in their ranks.
New Delhi: After taking over Afghanistan, the Taliban have publicly stated that they have completely disassociated themselves from Al-Qaeda, but ground realities are starkly different as there have been sightings of "foreigners" or non-Afghan fighters in their ranks. There is a very clear disconnect between the words of moderate Taliban spokespersons and the reality on the ground.

Al-Qaeda praised the Doha agreement as a great victory and celebrated the US withdrawal and the fall of Kabul. In addition to Al-Qaeda, the ISIS-K (ISIS's Afghanistan affiliate) also remains a potent threat, as it always found it difficult to win a major foothold in Afghanistan. With the Taliban's take over of the country and indirect benefits to Al-Qaeda, there is mounting pressure on ISIS-K to prove its relevance, which is reportedly forcing them to be more violent and destructive.

This is made clear by the deadly Kabul airport attack that took place on August 26. The devastating bomb attack so soon after the Taliban take over was just another reminder that even with the end of the civil war, Afghanistan remains fertile territory for jihadi terrorism.

There is a concern of the influx of foreign fighters from neighbouring countries like Pakistan will swell the ranks of jihadist organisations operating in Afghanistan.

Colin Clarke, author of "After the Caliphate: The Islamic State and the Future of the Terrorist Diaspora" while speaking to Time magazine stated that the current situation in Afghanistan is like a rising tide lifts all boat situation, adding "There's going to be an influx of jihadi, some are going to go to [Al-Qaeda], and some are going to go to ISIS-K."

Almost immediately following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban quickly overpowered the Afghan Security Forces and took over the entire country, and the world is coming to the realization that a ruthless, fundamentalist terrorist group has taken over an entire nation and is well on its way to forming the…
Manish Shukla
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