for 17 years, three successive presidents have told the American public that above all else, Afghanistan must never again provide “safe haven” to terrorist groups seeking to harm the United States and its interests.
The American Newspaper recently wrote in an article that for 17 years, three successive presidents have told the American public that above all else, Afghanistan must never again provide “safe haven” to terrorist groups seeking to harm the United States and its interests.
The Institute for the Study of War released a report in November flatly stating that Afghanistan is “a safe haven for terrorist plots against the U.S. homeland.”
According to New York Times, last week, the Islamic State in Khorasan Meanwhile released a video promoting Jawzjan Province in Afghanistan’s north and Nangarhar Province in the east as the next spot for Islamic extremists to establish a caliphate.
Titled “The Land of Allah Is Vast,” the 25-minute video bragged about the strength of the Islamic State contingent that has taken safe haven in Tora Bora and Wazir Tanki regions in Nangarhar Province that are both close to Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan. It also mocked President Trump for using the so-called mother of all bombs, the largest conventional bomb in the American arsenal, in an unsuccessful effort last April to clear Islamic State fighters from a cave complex in nearby Achin district.
“From the mountains of Tora Bora, we send the glad tidings to the caliph of the Muslims, of the return of the caliphate to this area that was swarming with immigrants and supporters who fought for the caliphate to be established,” a narrator intoned in the video, posted by the Washington-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors terrorist organizations.
Sweeping footage from the video showed militants training, fighting, eating and praying in remote Afghan areas.
On the other hand, residents in Jawzjan Province reported in November that Islamic State extremists from France, Sudan, Chechnya, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan were recruiting fighters and training child suicide bombers.
This comes as the American military officials confirmed that the Islamic State, as well as the Taliban, has now established training camps in Jawzjan Province.
The Islamic State, a successor to Al Qaeda in Iraq, has joined a battle for turf and power among about 20 terrorist groups in Afghanistan, many of them with designs on the West. Together, they make up the highest concentration of extremist groups worldwide among 98 that have been designated as terrorist organizations by the United States or the United Nations, according to Gen. John W. Nicholson, the commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Many experts say that General Nicholson’s data may be conflated. Yet no one questions that the number of terrorist groups in Afghanistan has increased sharply in recent years — despite the 17-year presence of American troops.
Yet, Afghan troops have urged American commanders to simply drop more bombs instead of launching ground battles.
“They said: ‘You dropped the MOAB. Why don’t you just drop another MOAB?’” Major Anderson recalled in an interview at Gamberi in August.