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News i Agency – Emirati publication claims; Return of bin Laden’s senior adviser to Afghanistan

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According to News i Agency’s International Group, an Emirati-language English-language publication claimed on Monday that a senior aide to al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden had returned to the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar two weeks after the Taliban took control.

Video by Emirati Magazine «نشنالIt has been confirmed that Amin al-Haq, Osama bin Laden’s senior aide, is enthusiastically welcomed by fans in a car as he passes a checkpoint. Al-Haq, 61, was a key figure in al-Qaeda in the 1990s and served as bin Laden’s security chief when he hid in the Toura Bora Mountains near the Pakistani border after the 2001 US-led invasion.

He was arrested in Pakistan in 2008 but released in 2011. He was said to have served on a commission for the release of detained militants before the Taliban took control of Kabul.

Al-Haq was also a prominent member of Hezb-e-Islami, which was founded in Afghanistan in 1970 to fight communism and the People’s Democratic Socialist Party of Afghanistan.

Al-Haq was known as a symbolic figure among extremists who supported al-Qaeda, said Michael Smith, a terrorism analyst and expert on extremist groups.

“Al-Qaeda’s deliberate return to Afghanistan by al-Haq to show the group’s strength and durability means that it can survive a global war with enemies with more resources and superior technology,” Smith told the National.

He said the current events reinforce why it has been so difficult to portray the Taliban as a terrorist organization in the long-term strategic interests of the United States, all NATO allies, as well as many governments in the Middle East and South Asia.

According to the website, experts have warned that the fall of the Afghan government means a resurgence of al-Qaeda, which claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

“Even before the capture of Kabul on August 15, there was never any separation between the Taliban and al-Qaeda,” said Abdul Sayed, an independent expert on extremism, politics and security in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

“Both are close and have a deeper cordial relationship than before 9/11,” he added. They fully support each other. The Taliban leadership has always said that they have not made any commitment in political negotiations with the United States that al-Qaeda or any other group or individual is not allowed to operate in Afghanistan. “The Taliban only guaranteed that al-Qaeda would not use Afghan territory against the United States and its allies. Al-Qaeda will form the strategic depth of the Taliban government in the future.”

According to the National, al-Qaeda’s core has been very weak since the US-led invasion and bin Laden’s assassination in 2011, but the terrorist group has formed cells in several areas, mainly in Africa, South Asia and the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Qaeda is currently led by Egypt’s Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is accused by the United States of bombing US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

News i / p



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