New UN report claims Al-Qaeda continues cooperating closely with LeT, Haqqani Network

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NEW YORK: The United Nations, in its latest report has claimed that terror outfit Al Qaeda continues to cooperate closely with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Haqqani Network.

The 24th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team was submitted to the UN Security Council al Qaeda Sanctions Committee this month.

It says that Al-Qaeda’s members which according to the report is Pakistan-based, continue to function routinely as military and religious instructors for the Taliban.

“Al-Qaeda considers Afghanistan a continuing safe haven for its leadership, relying on its long-standing and strong relationship with the Taliban leadership. Under Taliban patronage, Al-Qaeda is keen to strengthen its presence in Badakhshan Province, in particular in the Shighnan area bordering Tajikistan, as well as in Barmal, in Paktika Province,” said the report.

It further added that Al-Qaeda remains resilient, although the health of longevity of its leader, Aiman Muhammed Rabi al-Zawahari, and how the succession will work are in doubt.

“Groups aligned with Al-Qaeda are stronger than their ISIL counterparts in Idlib, Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen, Somalia and much of West Africa. The largest concentrations of active foreign terrorist fighters are in Idlib and Afghanistan, the majority of whom are aligned with Al-Qaeda,” said UN report.

It added, “ISIL, however, remains much stronger than Al-Qaeda in terms of finances, media profile and current combat experience and terrorist expertise and remains the more immediate threat to global security”.

The report also mentioned about the most striking international developments during the period under review including the growing ambition and reach of terrorist groups in the Sahel and West Africa, where fighters aligned with Al-Qaeda and ISIL collaborate to undermine fragile national jurisdictions.

“The number of regional States threatened with contagion from insurgencies in the Sahel and Nigeria has increased. The ability of local authorities to cope with terrorist challenges in Afghanistan, Libya and Somalia remains limited,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka show the continuing appeal of ISIL propaganda and the risk that indigenous cells may incubate in unexpected locations and generate a significant terrorist capability.

It said, “These and other ISIL attacks on places of worship, alongside the attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, of March 2019, offer a troubling narrative of escalating interfaith conflict”. (ANI)