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Al Qaeda leader Aiman al-Zawahiri may be in border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan: UN report

A big a part of the Al-Qaeda management resides within the Afghanistan and Pakistan border area, together with the group’s elusive chief Aiman al-Zawahiri, who might be alive however too frail to be featured in propaganda, in accordance with a United Nations report.

The report, issued on Friday, mentioned that enormous numbers of Al-Qaeda fighters and different overseas extremist parts aligned with the Taliban are positioned in varied components of Afghanistan.

Member states reported {that a} vital a part of Al-Qaeda management stays based mostly within the border area of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the place the core is joined by and works carefully with Al-Qaeda within the Indian Subcontinent, the twelfth report of the Analytical Help and Sanctions Monitoring Workforce mentioned.

Al Qaeda chief Aiman Muhammed Rabi al-Zawahiri, is believed to be positioned someplace within the border area of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Earlier reviews of his demise as a consequence of unwell well being haven’t been confirmed.

“One member state reviews that he’s in all probability alive however too frail to be featured in propaganda, the report mentioned, with out figuring out the nation.

It mentioned Al-Qaeda’s technique within the close to time period is assessed as sustaining its conventional secure haven in Afghanistan for the Al-Qaeda core management.

The Monitoring Workforce famous assessments which have instructed a longer-term Al-Qaeda core technique of “strategic persistence for a time frame earlier than it might search to plan assaults in opposition to worldwide targets once more.

This situation is untested in opposition to acknowledged Taliban commitments to ban such actions.

Al-Qaeda, together with Al-Qaeda within the Indian Subcontinent, is reported to quantity within the vary of a number of dozen to 500 individuals.

Al-Qaeda core’s membership is of non-Afghan origin, consisting primarily of nationals from North Africa and the Center East.

Member states assess that formal communication between senior Al-Qaeda and Taliban officers is presently rare, one member state reported that there’s common communication between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda on points associated to the peace course of.

The report mentioned Al-Qaeda within the Indian Subcontinent operates beneath the Taliban umbrella from Kandahar, Helmand (notably Baramcha) and Nimruz Provinces.

The group reportedly consists of primarily Afghan and Pakistani nationals, but additionally people from Bangladesh, India and Myanmar.

It mentioned the present chief of Al-Qaeda within the Indian Subcontinent is Osama Mahmood, who just isn’t listed, and succeeded the late Asim Umar.

The group is reported to be such an natural’ or important a part of the insurgency that it might be tough, if not unattainable, to separate it from its Taliban allies. A number of member states characterised this relationship by noting that the spouse of the previous chief of Al-Qaeda within the Indian Subcontinent, Asim Umar, was amongst 5,000 Taliban prisoners freed by the Afghan Authorities in 2020 as a part of the Doha settlement, it mentioned.

The report added that Al-Qaeda continued to endure attrition through the interval beneath assessment – between Could 2020 and April 2021 – with numerous senior figures killed, usually alongside Taliban associates whereas co-located with them.

The first element of the Taliban in coping with Al-Qaeda is the Haqqani Community. Ties between the 2 teams stay shut, based mostly on ideological alignment, relationships cast by way of frequent wrestle and intermarriage, the report mentioned.

It added that the Taliban has begun to tighten its management over Al-Qaeda by gathering data on overseas terrorist fighters and registering and proscribing them.

Nevertheless, it has not made any concessions on this regard that it couldn’t simply and shortly reverse, and it’s unattainable to evaluate with confidence that the Taliban will dwell as much as its dedication to suppress any future worldwide menace emanating from Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Al-Qaida and like-minded militants proceed to have fun developments in Afghanistan as a victory for the Taliban’s trigger and thus for international radicalism.

In Could 2020, Al-Qaeda within the Indian Subcontinent launched an Eid al-Fitr audio message by which it portrayed the Doha settlement for instance of divine victory and reward for pursuing jihad.

Whereas each organisations are anticipated to keep up a posture of distance and discretion for so long as such is required for the achievement of Taliban goals, Al-Qaeda nonetheless stands to profit from renewed credibility on the again of Taliban features.

“Will probably be necessary for the worldwide neighborhood to watch any signal of Afghanistan once more changing into a vacation spot for extremists with each regional and worldwide agendas,” it mentioned.

Regionally, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan (ISIL-Ok) technique is coordinated by the Al-Sadiq workplace, which covers the Khorasan area of Central and South Asia (together with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Central Asian republics).

Whereas rare, ISIL-Ok nonetheless maintains communications with ISIL core, however funding help to the Khorasan department from the core is believed to have successfully dried up, it mentioned.

Since June 2020, ISIL-Ok has had an bold new chief, Shahab al-Muhajir, who just isn’t listed, and it stays energetic and harmful, notably whether it is in a position, by positioning itself as the only pure rejectionist group in Afghanistan, to recruit disaffected Taliban and different militants to swell its ranks.

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