Pak-based terror groups JeM, LeT maintain training camps in Afghanistan: UN report
United Nations: Pakistan-based terror groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, led by 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, maintain their training camps in some provinces of Afghanistan and some of them are directly under the Taliban's control, according to a UN report.
The 13th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team cites a UN Member State as saying that Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a Deobandi group ideologically closer to the Taliban maintains eight training camps in Nangarhar, three of which are directly under Taliban control.
India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti, in his capacity as Chair of the Taliban Sanctions Committee, also known as the 1988 Sanctions Committee, transmitted the report to be "brought to the attention of the members of the Security Council and issued as a document of the Council."
The report said that Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Deobandi group led by Masood Azhar, is ideologically closer to the Taliban. Qari Ramazan is the newly appointed head of JeM in Afghanistan.
It added that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is described in the previous Monitoring Team reports as having provided finance and training expertise to Taliban operations.
Within Afghanistan, according to one Member State, it is led by Mawlawi Yousuf, the report said, adding that in October 2021, according to one Member State, another LeT leader, Mawlawi Assadullah, met with Taliban Deputy Interior Minister Noor Jalil.
The same Member State reported that in January 2022, a Taliban delegation visited a training camp used by LeT in the Haska Mena district of Nangarhar.
"The group was said to maintain three camps in Kunar and Nangarhar. Previous LeT members have included Aslam Farooqi and Ejaz Ahmad Ahangar (a.k.a. Abu Usman al-Kashmiri), both of whom joined ISIL-K, the report said.
Another Member State said that there was no evidence of the presence of JeM and LeT in the region as a consequence of effective security operations targeting them, according to the report.
The 13th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the Taliban Sanctions Committee is the first report since the August 15 takeover of Kabul by the Taliban.
It notes that the period between then and April 2022 has seen the Taliban consolidate control over Afghanistan, appointing 41 United Nations-sanctioned individuals to the Cabinet and other senior-level positions in their de facto administration. They have favoured loyalty and seniority over competence, and their decision-making has been opaque and inconsistent.
The report further said that the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) constitutes the largest component of foreign terrorist fighters in Afghanistan, with their number estimated to be several thousand.
Meanwhile report also mentions that the change in the name of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) magazine "suggests a refocusing" of the terror group from Afghanistan to Kashmir, a UN report has said.
The 13th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team submitted pursuant to resolution 2611 (2021) concerning the Taliban and other associated individuals and entities constituting a threat to the peace stability and security of Afghanistan was released on Saturday.
The report said that being subordinate to the Al-Qaeda core, the AQIS is maintaining a low profile in Afghanistan, where the majority of its fighters are located. AQIS is reported to have 180 to 400 fighters, with estimates by member states inclining toward the lower figure.
"Fighters included nationals from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Pakistan and were located in Ghazni, Helmand, Kandahar, Nimruz, Paktika and Zabul Provinces.
It also added that AQIS capabilities are assessed as "still weakened from losses as a result of the October 2015 joint United States-Afghan raid in Kandahar's Shorabak district. AQIS has also been forced by financial constraints to adopting a less aggressive posture.
It also added that AQIS capabilities are assessed as “still weakened from losses as a result of the October 2015 joint United States-Afghan raid in Kandahar’s Shorabak district. AQIS has also been forced by financial constraints to adopt a less aggressive posture.
As with Al-Qaeda core, new circumstances in Afghanistan may allow the group to reorganise itself. The 2020 name change of the AQIS magazine from Nawa-i Afghan Jihad to Nawa-e-Gazwah-e-Hind suggests a refocusing of AQIS from Afghanistan to Kashmir. The magazine reminded its readers that al-Zawahiri had called for jihad in Kashmir following the Da’esh Sri Lanka attacks of April 2019, the report said, nine months after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August last year.