Afghanistan: The Taliban Almost Certainly Continues Alliance with Al Qaeda after Agreement for U.S. Withdrawal
▪ We assess that the Taliban almost certainly is continuing its alliance with Al Qaeda
▪ We assess that this alliance means almost certainly that the United States cannot trust the Taliban to constrain Al Qaeda to not threaten the United States and its global interests
We assess that the Taliban almost certainly is continuing its alliance with Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda and the Taliban have a multi-decade history or mutual cooperation. Al Qaeda’s leadership have re-sworn loyalty to Mullah Akhunzada, the leader of the Taliban.
• The second in command of the Taliban, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is a very close associate of Ayman al Zawihiri, the leader of Al Qaeda. Haqqani is taking an increasingly central role in the organization and may be the group’s de facto leader at this point.
• Al Qaeda training camps continue to operate in areas of Afghanistan under Talban control.
• The Taliban leadership continues to extol Al Qaeda in its propaganda.
We assess that this alliance means almost certainly that the United States cannot trust the Taliban to constrain Al Qaeda to not threaten the United States and its global interests.
This brief was prepared by Karl Kaltenthaler
 Bill Roggio “Taliban secured release of wife of senior AQIS leader” The Long War Journal https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/09/taliban-secured-release-of-wife-of-senior-aqis-leader.php 11 September 2020
 Lynne O’Donnel and Marwais Khan“Leader of Afghan Taliban Said to Be Gravely Ill with the Coronavirus” Foreign Policy https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/06/01/afghan-taliban-coronavirus-pandemic-akhunzada/
1 June 2020
 United Nations. “Eleventh report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team submitted pursuant to resolution 2501 (2019) concerning the Taliban and other associated individuals and entities constituting a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan” https://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2020/images/06/01/n2011060.pdf 27 May 2020 27 May 2020
 Saurav Sarkar “The Taliban and al-Qaeda: Enduring Partnership or Liability?” The Diplomat. 16 https://thediplomat.com/2020/06/the-taliban-and-al-qaeda-enduring-partnership-or-liability/ June 2020
 “U.S. Report: ISIS and Al Qaeda Threats in 2019” Wilson Center. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/us-report-isis-and-al-qaeda-threats-2019 30 June 2020
 Bill Roggio Taliban again denies Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan The Long War Journal
7 July 2020
“Taliban, Al Qaeda Retain Ties Despite U.S.-Taliban Deal, U.N. Monitors Say” Reuters. https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2020-06-01/taliban-al-qaeda-retain-ties-despite-us-taliban-deal-un-monitors-say 1 June 2020
 Catherine Putz “ UN Report: Taliban Maintains Ties to Al-Qaeda” The Diplomat https://thediplomat.com/2020/06/un-report-taliban-maintains-ties-to-al-qaida/
2 June 2020
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