Pentagon Continues to Underestimate Al Qaeda, Downplay Ties to Taliban | RealClearDefense
The relationship between al-Qaeda and the Taliban “remains firm” nearly 17 years after the U.S. declared war on the two terrorist groups. The so-called Islamic State, al-Qaeda and now the Taliban are radical jihadist groups focused on ridding the world from the threat, as they. Taliban Unmasked: Afghan Taliban's Continued Symbiotic Relationship with al Qaeda and International Terrorism. Tamim Asey. At a recent.
It is at times argued that there were little or no connections between Afghan Taliban regime and their guests: The talks remained inconclusive and subject to harsh criticism. On the other hand the connections and rapport between Al-Qaeda and its former host Afghan Taliban regime appeared to be as clear as sun in the sky.
After moving in to Afghanistan intwo years earlier than the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, the Al-Qaeda Amir Osama bin Laden was in a miserable state of affair. He had no place to take refuge, and his own country Saudi Arabia had revoked his nationality.
The Relationship Between al-Qaeda and the Taliban
He was a stateless person, yet he found in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan a hospitable environment and a freedom that he neither had in his own country or in Sudan, the country where he was earlier living. The Taliban were nothing but just another armed militia in Afghanistan during post-Soviet withdrawal war, among scores of Afghan Mujahedeen groups. They came into prominence after they started receiving support emanating from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and then they did wonders in a short span of time.
Same was the case of Al-Qaeda, which was, without having a safe haven, just another terrorist group with some sympathizers in the Arab world. It would be better to say that it was during the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan that not only Al-Qaeda but a plethora of South Asian and Central Asian terrorist organizations nurtured in Afghanistan and found a safe and aloof base in that country. In the Philippines, Abu Sayaf Group ran a wave of terror and hundreds were killed by the hands of that radical Islamist militia.
Indonesia and Malaysia also got into trouble because of the activities of Jammah Islamiyah and Chinese Muslim majority province Xinxiang had the same effects. Pakistan became the favorite transit route of all the Islamist terror networks across the world.
It was easier to first move to Pakistan after committing an act of terrorism and later fleeing into Afghanistan. Even Islamist networks of countries like Bangladesh and Maldives found in Afghanistan a safe corridor. By late s it had become clear to intelligence communities fighting Islamist terrorism that the only place left for violent Islamists was none other but Afghanistan. Despite being a neighbor and supporter of Afghan Taliban regime, Pakistan had also become the worst victim of their policies of harboring worldwide Islamist networks.
The country's own Talibinization process had taken its roots. Taliban-inspired local Islamist groups started to threaten the secular environment of university campuses and infiltrated into other governmental organizations. The ethnic-Pashtun dominated areas of Pakistan were the first to feel the heat from Afghanistan; then the big cities of Karachi and Lahore where Taliban-inspired jihadi groups quickly penetrated and started to terrorize the populace.
At the same time Pakistan was losing the most because of the proximity and relations with Taliban regime. Already a poor and indebted country the government was not at all in a position to provide even basic necessities of life to its citizens.
A rapidly swelling youth bulge with nothing much to offer, but to see Taliban as the only means to provide justice and good governance. The Taliban way of providing quick justice and relief to populace was becoming popular amongst poverty-ridden areas of cities and villages.
U.N.: Al-Qaeda-Taliban Relationship in Afghanistan 'Remains Firm' | Breitbart
Because of Saudi money and assistance, the Taliban were also able to launch a propaganda campaign in Pakistan for inflating their ranks. Al-Qaeda was also getting its due share in shape of Pakistani recruits. The organization had taken the role what Bin Laden always desire: The Al-Qaeda-Taliban connection could be analyzed on their following modes of cooperation: Training camps in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan were established by Bin Laden and his network for providing foot soldiers against Taliban enemies in times of need especially whenever they opened a front against the Northern Alliance in their military endeavors in the north.
The Al-Qaeda-run training camps supplied Arabs, Pakistani, Uzbeks and other nationalities' militants to Taliban especially during their second offensive at Mazar-e-Shariff as the first offensives turned out to be a fiasco for Taliban and had lost thousands of their best soldiers.
In times of financial crunch, Bin Laden also provided financial assistance to Taliban which was quite valuable for them. Gathering support for Taliban regime amongst Arab sympathizers of Al-Qaeda was another milestone achieved by Al-Qaeda and that strengthened their alliance.
Arab sympathizers started to send millions of dollars of alms money to Taliban regime also in the form of weapons and equipment ranging from four by four vehicles to small arms. Zakat money charity poured into Afghanistan from Arab states, only because of the personal contacts of Bin Laden in Arab and Middle Eastern states.
It is believed that the impetus behind destruction of Buddha statues in Bamiyan province in July was also initiated by the Taliban on the advice of Bin Laden. Taliban refused to listen to Pakistani authorities when they showed them their concerns. Punjabis, Arabs, Uzbeks, Uighurs and others. Today, one third of the battlefield manpower of Taliban consist of foreign fighters who fight under the command and rank of Taliban across Afghanistan. Why call them merely an insurgency and provide them political cover while sugarcoating their actions and intentions two decades later?
How have we come to calling this terror group an insurgency fighting for an internal cause? The truth is that the Taliban have neither changed in nature nor in objectives. It is still serving as an umbrella organization and incubator of various terrorist groups. It has not shown, neither in word nor in action, that it has denounced Al Qaeda and cut its ties with all terrorist organizations.
Any other portrayal of this group is pure myth and a political convenience. While the approach and organization of the two groups may be different but essentially the Taliban movement share the same religious ideology and world view as IS. ISKP is a mixture of disenchanted Taliban and various jihadi groups members with a flavor of various regional intelligence projects.
The Taliban, to date, lack a coherent anti-Daesh campaign whereas Afghan forces have killed at least three ISKP emirs, and dozens of its deputies and mid-ranking commanders. In fact — the Taliban have pooled resources and joined hands with ISKP in certain parts of Afghanistan - especially in the north and north eastern parts of the country to fight Afghan forces.
The Taliban and Regional Terrorist Groups The Taliban movement continues to serve as an umbrella organization for regional terrorist groups from Pakistan i.
- The Al-Qaeda-Afghan Taliban Connections
- U.N.: Al-Qaeda-Taliban Relationship in Afghanistan ‘Remains Firm’
These groups bring critical skill set and resources to the Taliban leadership and battlefield that includes explosive making, effective command and control - and above all - extortion through organized crime. One third of the strength of Taliban fighters on various battlefields are foreign fighters from a mixture of these groups.
Pentagon Continues to Underestimate Al Qaeda, Downplay Ties to Taliban
This was the case when the Taliban regime was in power in the s and they used these groups in battles against the former recognized government of Afghanistan led by former President Burhannuddin Rabbani. Today, Pakistani, Arab, Central Asian, Russia and Chinese terrorist groups who are fighting in Afghanistan provide critical skill sets, i.
On the contrary, the foreign fighters are merely transit fighters, many of whom will jump at the first opportunity of waging jihad and attacking targets in their countries of origin, except for Pakistani fighters who are almost state-sanctioned. The Cost of the Taliban Returning to Power Taliban have not yet demonstrated, in word or action, that they have cut ties with Al Qaeda; no longer serve as an umbrella and incubator to regional and global terrorist organizations and will not serve as another Hezbollah type proxy group to Russia and Iran.
Therefore, any effort of legitimization of this group as an indigenous insurgent group with no agenda beyond Afghan borders is an exercise in futility because their return to power would embolden their terrorist allies and reinforce their conservative Islamic view of the world. This essentially means we are back to ground-zero and that the sacrifices of US, NATO and Afghans in blood and national-treasure were in vein.