Monitoring Desk: Terrorist training camps have been reestablished inside Afghanistan as camps are being run in Badghis, Helmand, Nangarhar, Nuristan, and Zabul, while training is being given from safe houses in Farah, Helmand, Herat, and Kabul.
The Diplomat in its article titled “Al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan: Information Blackhole and Strategic (Mis)communication” written by Shanthie Mariet D’Souza claims that U.S. intelligence and the U.N. assessments could contain some amount of truth, but the actual facts on the ground remain unknown unless concrete efforts are made to end the information vacuum.
Citing the recent report of the United Nations Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, which produces periodical reports “concerning the Taliban and other associated individuals and entities constituting a threat to peace, stability, and security of Afghanistan,” writer confirms that Afghanistan has again become playing-field for terrorists and symbiotic relationship between the Taliban and al-Qaida continues to help reestablish al-Qaida camps Kabul, Kandahar, Helmand, and Kunar provinces. The report also indicates that al-Qaida has around 400 fighters in Afghanistan, most of whom are in five new training camps being run in Badghis, Helmand, Nangarhar, Nuristan, and Zabul, and safe houses in Farah, Helmand, Herat, and Kabul. It also assesses that while al-Qaida could be lying low at the moment, it is indeed using Afghanistan “as an ideological and logistical hub to mobilize and recruit new fighters while covertly rebuilding its external operations capability.”
The UN report findings are based on the accounts of the “regional member states” like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. In addition, U.S. intelligence is analyzing the level of threat posed by al-Qaida purely from a U.S. perspective, regional states could be portraying an increased threat while trying to regain the much-diluted focus of the U.S. and the international community on Afghanistan.