U.N. Report Claims Al-Qaeda Expansion in Afghanistan, Taliban Denies Allegations
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By The Smartencyclopedia Staff & Agencies

Recent findings from the United Nations Security Council reveal alarming details about the resurgence of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, leading to heightened concerns over the Taliban’s commitment to severing ties with the terror group. The report, compiled by a U.N. sanctions team assigned to monitor Al-Qaeda, states that the extremist organization has established eight new training camps and maintains safe houses across the country.

According to the report, the Taliban, since reclaiming control of Afghanistan in 2021, has been providing support and protection to Al-Qaeda, contradicting the terms outlined in the Doha agreement—an accord reached between the United States and the Taliban in 2020.

Al-Qaeda’s activities outlined in the report include the establishment of up to eight training camps, a weapons stockpile in the Panjshir Valley, five religious schools in the east and northeast indoctrinating children for combat, and control over safe houses in Kabul and Herat province. The findings underscore the persistent threat posed by Al-Qaeda in the region.

Taliban chief spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid swiftly dismissed the allegations, labeling them as “propaganda” and asserting that there is no association between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. He stated, “There is no one related to Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, nor does the Islamic Emirate allow anyone to use the territory of Afghanistan against others.”

However, the report highlights a discrepancy between the Taliban’s assurances to the United States and its actions on the ground. The Doha agreement included a commitment by the Taliban to sever ties with Al-Qaeda, a pledge that appears to have been unfulfilled.

In addition to concerns over Al-Qaeda, the U.N. report identifies a regional affiliate of the Islamic State as the “greatest threat within Afghanistan.” Furthermore, a Pakistani chapter of the Taliban is reported to be operating from Afghan territory, possibly with support from Al-Qaeda.

Taliban spokesperson Mujahid rejected the report, attributing it to a source that “stood by the occupation for their interests,” referencing the two-decade U.S.-led NATO occupation of Afghanistan.

Despite the Taliban’s denials, the U.N. report underscores the continued presence and threat of Al-Qaeda in the region. The group’s leader, Sayf al-Adl, is believed to be operating in Iran, prompting both the U.N. and the U.S. Justice Department to offer a $10 million reward for information on his whereabouts.

As Afghanistan grapples with the evolving security situation, the international community remains vigilant, urging the Taliban to uphold its commitments and address the growing threat posed by extremist groups within its borders.

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