In its latest report, the UN Security Council (UNSC) said that the son of slain terrorist Osama Bin Laden visited Afghanistan in October for “meetings” with the Taliban. Officials in the current government do not approve of the report.
The UN’s analytical support and sanctions monitoring team stated that foreign terrorist groups ranging from al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) enjoy greater freedom in Afghanistan than any other time in recent years. Osama bin Laden’s son reportedly visited Afghanistan in October to meet new government officials.
The new government has done nothing to curb the activities of foreign terrorists, the report said. It is also said that there is no indication that measures have been taken to limit the activities of foreign terrorists in war-torn Afghanistan.
A member state has reported that Abdullah, the son of al-Qaeda’s founder, visited Afghanistan in October. The report stated that Aiman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al-Qaeda, is in poor health. However, there have been reports of his death before.
An aide to the slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden also reportedly returned to Afghanistan in late August. He is said to be a resident of Nangarhar province.
The UN’s analytical support and sanctions monitoring team reported that al-Qaeda’s branch in the Indian subcontinent, led by Osama Mahmoud and his deputy Atif Ghori, has fought against former Afghanistan’s government in Ghazni, Helmand, Kandahar, Nimroz, Paktika, and Zabul provinces.
Al-Qaeda’s forces in the Indian subcontinent are estimated at between 200 and 400, with most of them from Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Pakistan.
“However, Al-Qaeda has maintained a strategic silence on the Taliban, most probably in an effort not to compromise the Taliban’s aim of gaining international legitimacy.”
The UN Security Council expresses concern that the Islamic State in Khurasan Province (ISKP) has risen from earlier estimates of 2,200 to nearly 4,000, following the release of several thousand prisoners. A member state has predicted that half of the ISKP fighters are comprised of foreign nationals.
“Although ISKP controls limited territory in eastern Afghanistan and is capable of conducting high-profile and complex attacks, such as the bombing of Kabul airport,” the report said. The attack killed 170 Afghan civilians and 13 Americans.
The Taliban-led government in Afghanistan has spoken of putting up a serious fight against ISKP. The report added that “Member States estimated that, if Afghanistan descends into chaos, some Afghan and foreign extremists may shift allegiances to ISKP, which continues to be led by Sanaullah Ghafari (alias Shahab alMuhajir), an Afghan national.”
The report also mentions that the members of Central Asian terror groups are now experiencing greater freedom of movement in the country. The Central Asian embassies based in Kabul had “observed with concern that the leaders of these groups had traveled freely to Afghanistan.”
The report concluded that the Taliban has acted against the anti-China Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), also known as Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM).
The UN’s analytical support and sanctions monitoring team provided such reports every two years as part of efforts to impose sanctions on al-Qaeda and ISIS.
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Source: Hasht-e Subh Daily