Prime News, International (Kabul), August 16:- Although the Taliban has been denying the presence of fighters from different foreign militant groups, the monitoring group of the UN has estimated about 8,000-10,000 militants mainly from Central Asia, the north Caucasus region of the Russian Federation and Xinjiang Uyghur region of China.
As far as terrorists from Pakistan are concerned, the number could be around 10,000 because thousands of militants from Pakistani-based terror organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Taliban Pakistan have heavily embedded with the Taliban.
According to UN reports, most of the fighters in Taliban ranks were asked to wear masks to hide their identities. Afghan intelligence sources have reported that they have seen foreign fighters in the ranks of the Taliban descending on new cruisers. Rahmatullah Nabil, Former Director of National Directorate of Security (NDS) shared a few pictures of these foreign militants.
“Taliban have taken territories in Northern #AFG specifically Badakhshan with the help of Al-Qaeda & ETIM fighters. Qari Faseehuddin has the support of foreign elements. Jaish ul Nasr brigade of Al-Qaeda & others are fully active. Haji Furqan is leading ETIM in the North,” he said in a series of posts.
“Remnants of IMU aligned with Taliban commanded by the son of Tahir Yaldshev are actively engaged in battle. ETIM was also instrumental in the first fall of Kunduz in 2015. Taliban rely on advisory & training role of foreign elements.The supplies are through Shah Salim pass. Haji Furqan is of the ETIM or commonly known as TIP,” Nabil said.
The rapid and lightning advancement of the Taliban in the last seven days is due to active support of the Pakistani army and ISI and these foreign militant groups, mainly with the support of Al-Qaida and allied groups, including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a Uyghur Muslim rebel group; Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP); and Central Asian militant outfits such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and Jamaat Ansarullah, militants outfit also known as the Tajik Taliban.
Despite repeated denial by the Taliban that they don’t have any foreigners in their rank, an UN Security Council report on July 21 noted that, “the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) consists of several hundred members, located primarily in Badakhshan and neighbouring Afghan provinces. A number of Member States identify this group as the Turkistan Islamic Party, which is a widely accepted alias of ETIM. Many Member States assess that it seeks to establish a Uighur state in Xinjiang, China, and towards that goal, facilitates the movement of fighters from Afghanistan to China”.
“The Taliban and Al-Qaeda remain closely aligned and show no indication of breaking ties,” the report says. This nexus continues despite the US-Taliban deal signed in 2020, which called for severing ties with the group. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).