A raid that killed Husam Abd al-Rauf last year provided new evidence about Al Qaeda
New details of a raid that killed an Al Qaeda leader show that the terror group continues to enjoy the protection of the Taliban in violation of a peace deal with the US last year, raising fears that the terror group is attacking America could resume.
Al Qaeda is about 18 months away from launching attacks on the West, CNN claimed in a report Friday that cites anonymous Afghan officials who are nervous about the withdrawal of US troops.
US forces have now been stationed in Afghanistan for two decades, with more than 20,500 injured and 2,312 dead, after invading the country to search for the mastermind of 9/11, Osama bin Laden.
Last month, President Joe Biden said the remaining US forces would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the 2001 Al Qaeda attacks on the US.
“We cannot continue the cycle of expanding or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, pending a different outcome,” Biden said at the time.
Afghan police forces are patrolling an anti-Taliban operation in the Andar district of Ghazni province in an archive photo. Biden has promised to finally withdraw US forces after two decades
A map shows the situation on the ground in Afghanistan earlier this year. The Taliban still control a wide patchwork of territory across the country
But now Afghan officials are concerned and are calling for an extension of US support, as they have evidence that Al Qaeda still operates a global network under the protection of the Taliban.
Evidence comes from a small, published raid by Afghan special forces that found a leading Al Qaeda propagandist on the FBI’s Most Wanted List.
The October raid on Kunsaf, a village in the Andar district of Ghazni province, some 145 miles southwest of Kabul, killed Husam Abd al-Rauf, also known by the nom de guerre Abu Muhsin al -Masri.
Al-Rauf, a leading Al-Qaeda propagandist, spewed audio and video into the terror group’s media outlets and accused the US and Britain of being racist.
He also scolded Donald Trump, calling him “the liar in the evil White House who claims he will withdraw their troops from Afghanistan after the mission has ended.”
Afghan officials told CNN that al-Rauf, an Egyptian citizen, had been hiding in Afghanistan after leaving Pakistan in 2014 and communicating with Al Qaeda cells in other countries.
Messages found on his computer after the raid showed encrypted communication with Al Qaeda cells in Syria and Pakistan, an official said.
He was in contact with other key al-Qaeda members around the world. He had a number of operational programs, ”said the senior Afghan intelligence officer.
“His compound was very well protected by the Taliban,” the official added.
The Taliban, a Sunni fundamentalist group ruling under an extreme interpretation of Islamic law, continues to control a wide patchwork of territory in Afghanistan after two decades of struggle.
Although the Taliban is focused on territorial control and shows little interest in launching attacks on other countries, the group has long provided a safe haven for Al Qaeda – a scheme that Afghan officials claim continues today.
It would be in violation of a peace agreement that the Taliban signed with the US last year, under the Trump administration, pledging ‘the use of Afghanistan’s land by any group or individual against the security of the United States and its allies’ to prevent. ‘
A senior Afghan intelligence official told CNN that the Taliban’s promise of peace to the Trump administration was “ like a joke between themselves. They knew this will not happen. ‘
Then last February in Doha, Qatar, US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met with Taliban political affairs leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to sign a peace deal.
Earlier this week, Afghan police officers patrolled Herat. They will be on the Afghan government’s front line after the US withdraws its troops
Al-Rauf apparently believed that the withdrawal of US troops could soon return Afghanistan to its pre-9/11 status as a safe haven for Al Qaeda.
In messages on his computer, he boasted to his terror colleagues that Afghanistan would soon become a new terror center, a senior Afghan official told CNN.
The senior intelligence officer said he had no evidence at this time to suggest that Al Qaeda was planning operations outside Afghanistan.
“But they are entering a new place of reorganization and then making missions on a larger scale,” he said.
Federal prosecutors in New York’s Southern District filed an arrest warrant against al-Rauf in December 2018, accusing him of supporting a foreign terrorist organization and being part of a conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens.
The FBI placed him on the agency’s “ Most Wanted Terrorists ” list, which now includes 25 others.
The Afghan elite security forces show their skills on Wednesday during a training in Herat, Afghanistan. About 2,500 US and 7,000 NATO troops will complete their final withdrawal from Afghanistan in early September 2021
A crack squad of Afghan security forces shows off their gear during a training run this week. They will face the Taliban in September without US military support.
The red-haired al-Rauf, probably born in 1958, was an Egyptian national. A biography published by Al-Qaeda said he joined the mujah service fighters who fought the Soviet Union in 1986.
He had been Al-Qaeda media chief for many years and had spoken statements and written articles in support of the militant group.
After years of silence after acknowledging the death of Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, al-Rauf emerged again in 2018 in an audio statement mocking Trump and those who preceded him the White House.
“I call him” Donald T-Rambo “who tries to copy the famous American fictional character” Rambo, “who was able to liberate all of Afghanistan from the Soviet Union with just a Kalashnikov,” said al-Rauf. the SITE Intelligence Group.