UN Says Thousands of Anti-Pakistan Militants in Afghanistan | World Defense

UN Says Thousands of Anti-Pakistan Militants in Afghanistan

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By The Associated Press

July 26, 2020

ISLAMABAD — A U.N. report says more than 6,000 Pakistani insurgents are hiding in Afghanistan, most belonging to the outlawed Pakistani Taliban group responsible for attacking Pakistani military and civilian targets.

The report released this week said the group, known as the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), has linked up with the Afghan-based affiliate of the Islamic State group. Some of TTP's members have even joined the IS affiliate, which has its headquarters in eastern Afghanistan.

The Afghan government did not respond Sunday to requests by The Associated Press for comment.

The report said IS in Afghanistan, known as IS in Khorasan province, has been hit hard by Afghan security forces as well as U.S. and NATO forces, and even on occasion by the Afghan Taliban. The report was prepared by the U.N. analytical and sanctions monitoring team, which tracks terrorist groups around the world.

The report estimated the membership of IS in Afghanistan at 2,200, and while its leadership has been depleted, IS still counts among its leaders a Syrian national Abu Said Mohammad al-Khorasani. The report also said the monitoring team had received information that two senior Islamic State commanders, Abu Qutaibah and Abu Hajar al-Iraqi, had recently arrived in Afghanistan from the Middle East.

“Although in territorial retreat, (the Islamic State) remains capable of carrying out high-profile attacks in various parts of the country, including Kabul. It also aims to attract Taliban fighters who oppose the agreement with the United States,” the report said, referring to a U.S. peace deal signed with the Taliban in February.

That deal was struck to allow the U.S. to end its 19-year involvement in Afghanistan, and calls on the Taliban to guarantee its territory will not be used by terrorist groups. The deal is also expected to guarantee the Taliban's all-out participation in the fight against IS.

The second and perhaps most critical part of the agreement calls for talks between the Taliban and Kabul's political leadership.

Late Saturday, the U.S. State Department issued a statement saying its peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was again shuttling through the region seeking to jump start those negotiations, which have been repeatedly postponed as both sides squabble over a prisoner release program.

The U.S.-backed deal calls for the Afghan government to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners and the Taliban to free 1,000 government and military personnel as a so-called good will gesture ahead of talks. Until now the government is refusing to release nearly 600 Taliban prisoners it calls high-profile criminals and has offered to free alternatives. The Taliban have refused.

“The parties are closer than ever to the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, the key next step to ending Afghanistan’s 40-year long war," said the U.S. State Department statement. “Although significant progress has been made on prisoner exchanges, the issue requires additional effort to fully resolve.”

The Taliban's political spokesman earlier this week said it was ready to hold talks with Kabul's political leaders after the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha at the end of the month, providing the prisoner release is completed.

A big worry for Pakistan is the presence in Afghanistan of militants, particularly linked to the TTP or Jamaat-ul-Ahrar or Lashkar-e-Islam, as well as those with the Baluchistan Liberation Army, which has taken responsibility for high-profile attacks this month in the southern Sindh province as well as in southwestern Baluchistan Province. Several Pakistan military personnel have been killed this month in southwestern Baluchistan province in battle with insurgents.

The TTP took responsibility for one of the most horrific attacks in Pakistan in 2014, when a Pakistani army school was attacked and 140 were killed. Most were students, and some were as young as 5.

“The total number of Pakistani foreign terrorist fighters in Afghanistan, posing a threat to both countries, is estimated at between 6,000 and 6,500, most of them with TTP," the report said.

UN Says Thousands of Anti-Pakistan Militants in Afghanistan
 

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‘Significant numbers’ of Islamic State terrorists in Karnataka, Kerala: UN Report
The 26th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team concerning ISIS, al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities said that the al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) operates under the Taliban umbrella from Nimruz, Helmand and Kandahar provinces of Afghanistan.

India Today

New Delhi | July 25, 2020 | UPDATED: July 26, 2020 12:50 IST

The group reportedly has between 150 and 200 members from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Pakistan, noted the UN report. (Photo: Reuters/Representational image)

Areport by the United Nations on terrorism has warned that there are “significant numbers” of Islamic State terrorists in Kerala and Karnataka. It also noted that the al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent terror group, which reportedly has between 150 and 200 militants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, is planning attacks in the region.

The al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) operates under the Taliban umbrella from Nimruz, Helmand and Kandahar provinces of Afghanistan, the 26th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team concerning ISIS, al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities states.

“The group reportedly has between 150 and 200 members from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Pakistan. 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.

According to the report, “One member state reported that the ISIL Indian affiliate (Hind Wilayah), which was announced on May 10, 2019, has between 180 and 200 members”.

It said that there are “significant numbers of ISIL operatives in Kerala and Karnataka states.”



In May last year, the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) terror group claimed to have established a new "province" in India, the first of its kind announcement that came after clashes between militants and security forces in Kashmir.

‘Significant numbers’ of Islamic State terrorists in Karnataka, Kerala: UN Report

The dreaded terror outfit, through its Amaq News Agency, had said that the Arabic name of the new branch is "Wilayah of Hind" (India Province).
A senior Jammu and Kashmir police officer had rejected the claim. Prevously, ISIS attacks in Kashmir were linked to its so-called Khorasan Province branch, which was set up in 2015 to cover "Afghanistan, Pakistan and nearby lands".
 

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Besides all the backdoor diplomacy, this wouldn't have been possible without all the narrative building IK has been aggressively pursuing since day one. It took India over a decade to build a narrative against us and for itself. Modi degraded it in 5 years, then IK smashed it to pieces in 2.
 
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