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U.S. designates Al Qaeda, Pakistani Taliban leaders based in Afghanistan


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FDD's Long War Journal

Bill Roggio

December 2, 2022

The U.S. Department of State added three senior Al Qaeda leaders and the deputy emir of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan to its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists on Dec. 1. State said the designations are “part of our relentless efforts to ensure that terrorists do not use Afghanistan as a platform for international terrorism.”

State designated Osama Mehmood, the emir of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS); Atif Yahya Ghouri, the AQIS deputy emir; Muhammad Maruf, the top recruiter for AQIS; and Qari Amjad (who is better known as Mufti Muzahim), the deputy leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (TTP).

“The United States is committed to using its full set of counterterrorism tools to counter the threat posed by terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, including al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP),” State’s press release claim. It’s a bold statement because since the U.S. left Afghanistan in Aug. 2021, the U.S. has launched only one counterterrorism strike against Al Qaeda and allied terror groups that are based in Afghanistan.

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