World frets again about Afghan militant havens Muslim groups around the world have welcomed the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, issuing a global warning that Afghanistan could once again be a safe haven for jihadists, inspired by its success.
World frets again about Afghan militant havensThe Taliban have said they will not allow Afghanistan to be used to launch attacks on other countries.
But experts say al-Qaeda, whose attack on the United States invaded Washington in 2001, is still linked to other militant groups, including neighboring Pakistan.
One of the Taliban’s top leaders is Shirajudin Haqqani, the leader of the radical Haqqani network. The United States has nominated him as a global terrorist and provided $ 5 million for the information that led to his arrest.
Asfandia Mir, a South Asian security scientist at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, said:
“Major jihadist forces in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa are paying attention … (and) the al-Qaeda ecosystem sees the Taliban’s return as its victory.”
In addition to al-Qaeda, the Taliban were congratulated by al-Shabaab of Somalia and Hamas and Islamic Jihad by the Palestinian group.
Yemeni’s Shiite Muslim group Houthi, which opposes the United States and other Western countries, said events in Afghanistan had shown that foreign “occupation” had certainly failed.
The Pakistani Taliban, which are not part of the Afghan group, pledged confidence, saying that when the Afghan Taliban recently took over the country, hundreds of its members were released from prison.
World leaders are skeptical of the Taliban’s moderate public statement since the seizure of power, but some diplomatic officials in charge of the talks said the group had international endorsement and said it was seeking development aid.
Zabihulla Mujahid, a spokesman for the group, promised at a news conference in Kabul on Tuesday that Afghanistan would not be used to launch an attack on a foreign country.
“I want to ensure that no one can harm the United States and the international community … we do not allow anyone to use our territory,” he said. “We don’t want internal or external enemies.”
Independent UN experts told the Security Council last month that al-Qaeda was present in at least 15 of Afghanistan’s 34 states.
Experts also said the Islamic State has expanded its presence in several states, including Kabul, to form cells in which fighters sleep.
The Islamic State is against the Taliban. However, some analysts and officials have warned that militant groups could reap the benefits of the turmoil and drop hard-line Taliban militants when the movement comes under control.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterress has urged the Security Council to “use all free tools to limit the threat of global terrorism in Afghanistan”.
The Security Council emphasized the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan in order to prevent threats or attacks from other countries.
A spokesman for Downing Street, meeting with US President Joe Biden, said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We will not lose the profits we have made in Afghanistan over the past two decades and we will be exposed to new terrorist threats. He stressed the importance of protection.”
Two sources familiar with the issue said that during a recent meeting, China expressed concern about the anti-China group of the Islamic Movement in East Tourism (ETIM) with the Taliban.
“They have approached the ETIM issue every time we are called,” a Taliban source told Reuters, persuading China not to allow the attack.
The US government points out that ETIM no longer exists as an official organization, but is a broad label used by China to oppress various Muslim ethnic groups, including Uighurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. China denies all allegations of abuse.
Risk to Pakistan
According to some officials and analysts, the most specific risk is for Pakistan, Afghanistan’s neighbor.
“The first simple test of their commitment (against their promise) is TTP,” said Mir of Stanford University, referring to the Taliban in Pakistan.
“Located in eastern Afghanistan … TTP is stepping up violence against Pakistan and appears to be preparing for a major campaign.”
The TTP announced that 780 members, including former Deputy Commander Maulvi Faqir Muhammad, had been released from prisons in Afghanistan and went to a so-called base in eastern Afghanistan.
The Taliban’s representative in Afghanistan did not respond immediately to requests for comments on the release of the detainees.
Hundreds of people were killed at the culmination of the Pakistani Taliban attack. In 2014, the Peshawar school was attacked once, killing more than 140 people, most of them children.
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