Despite the Taliban’s promise to break ties with al-Qaida, the group remains “firmly present” in Afghanistan. This was announced to the BBC today, Oct. 29, by UN spokesman Edmund Fitton-Brown, coordinator of the Taliban, IS, and al-Qaida watchdog team (groups banned in Russia).
According to Fitton-Brown, there is regular communication between two groups despite the agreement between the USA and the Taliban signed in February in Doha.
“The Taliban have regular and high-level contacts with al-Qaeda and assure them that they will respect their historical ties,” Fitton Brown said. – Al-Qaeda is closely associated with the Taliban, they conduct many joint military and training activities, and that hasn’t changed since the agreement with the United States.
Although al-Qaida’s strength and capabilities have diminished significantly over the past decade, its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is still based in Afghanistan along with a number of other senior figures in the group, the BBC said. At the same time, al-Qaida remains “resilient” and “dangerous,” a UN spokesman said.
Fitton Brown also told the BBC that the Taliban require some Pakistani militants in Afghanistan to “register” with them and abide by a code of conduct that prohibits attacks in other countries. It is not yet clear whether this agreement applies to al-Qaeda or whether it was a step toward preventing the international terrorist threat from militants from Afghanistan.
In this regard, it is unclear, the BBC points out, whether Washington believes the Taliban are fully committed to al-Qaida because information on the subject is still classified. Ambassador Nathan Sales, the U.S. Department of State’s counterterrorism coordinator, told the BBC:
“We expect the Taliban to meet their commitments … to end all ties with terrorist organizations in Afghanistan. We intend to continue to monitor the situation very closely to ensure actions are consistent with words.
On the other hand, former Taliban commander Rahmatullah Andar, now a representative of the Afghan government’s National Security Council, warned the BBC about the threat of a revival of al-Qaida and other international terrorist groups:
“Americans may think things will work out after the agreement they signed with the Taliban. But you will see that it is not.
Fitton Brown also warned that if the inter-Afghan talks in Doha fail (and that is exactly what is going on – EADaily), al-Qaeda and the Islamic state may continue to use “ungoverned territory” in Afghanistan.
“Both of these groups are openly expressing their desire to support the international threat,” he said.