Al Qaeda is covertly active in 12 Afghan provinces: UN monitors

  • Date of Publication : 25/07/2020 at 12:38 GMT
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The total number of Pakistani terrorists in Afghanistan is estimated at between 6,000 and 6,500, independent UN sanctions monitors said in a new report.

Those fighters pose a threat to both countries, and most of them are Tehreek Taliban Pakistan(TTP), the monitors said in a report to the UN Security Council.

The report also said that al Qaeda is covertly active in 12 Afghan provinces and its leader Aiman al-Zawahiri remains based in the country. The total number of its fighters is estimated at between 400 and 600.

According to the report, al Qaeda leadership maintains close contact with the Haqqani Network. In February this year, al-Zawahiri met with Yahya Haqqani,the primary Haqqani Network contact with Al-Qaida since mid-2009, to discuss ongoing cooperation.

The report also said that al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) operates under the Taliban umbrella from Nimruz, Helmand and Kandahar provinces.

The group reportedly has between 150 and 200 members from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Pakistan, according to the report.

“The current leader of AQIS is Osama Mahmood… who succeeded the late Asim Umar. AQIS is reportedly planning retaliation operations in the region to avenge the death of its former leader,” it said.

On ISIL-K, the report said that it has 2,200 members in Afghanistan, who are led by Matiullah Kamahwal.

According to some Member States, ISIL-K is seeking to pursue “a global agenda” by implementing the ISIL core’s leadership approach, which considers Afghan territory a base for spreading terrorist influence across the wider region, the report said.

“Although in territorial retreat, ISIL-K remains capable of carrying out high-profile attacks in various parts of the country, including Kabul,” the report said. “It also aims to attract Taliban fighters who oppose the agreement with the United States. In case of further military pressure on ISIL-K in Kunar, the group is expected to retreat to Badakhshan and other northern provinces.”

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