DECEMBER 9, 2022
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"U.S. Intelligence: Al Qaeda Unlikely to Revive in Afghanistan, but ISIS Threat Remains"

"U.S. Intelligence: Al Qaeda Unlikely to Revive in Afghanistan, but ISIS Threat Remains"

Recent U.S. intelligence assessments bring a glimmer of optimism regarding the terrorist landscape in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Senior U.S. officials have revealed that it is "unlikely" for al Qaeda to experience a resurgence in these regions, and the Taliban's counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan have reportedly diminished the presence of the Islamic State.

These assessments, shared during a briefing with reporters, present a positive outlook on the overall terrorist threat in Afghanistan. This assessment is noteworthy, considering the U.S. military's withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.

Despite the challenges posed by the chaotic withdrawal, the Biden administration has emphasized its commitment to maintaining "over the horizon" capabilities to monitor and address terrorism threats emanating from South Asia. However, there are concerns within the U.S. government about the ability to effectively track ISIS, especially as intelligence resources have shifted focus towards China and Russia, potentially leaving gaps in monitoring ISIS activities in Syria and other ungoverned areas.

ISIS-Khorasan, the Afghan affiliate of ISIS, continues to carry out attacks on high-profile targets within Afghanistan. These attacks, which have caused casualties among civilians, are part of an effort to undermine the Taliban's rule and erode public confidence in its ability to provide security.

ISIS-K was responsible for the Abbey Gate bombing in 2021, which resulted in the deaths of 13 U.S. servicemembers, marking a tragic milestone in America's longest war. Recent reports indicate that between late 2022 and early 2023, the group targeted foreign embassies, hotels with Chinese business representatives, and an air force compound.

While acknowledging the threat posed by ISIS-K, U.S. officials distinguish it from the al Qaeda threat of 9/11, describing it as a "fundamentally different kind of threat."

The officials also note that intelligence suggests ISIS-K has faced increasing pressure from the Taliban, leading to the departure of many key leaders from Afghanistan in recent months. Some members involved in media, facilitation, and recruitment for external operations are reportedly relocating to neighboring countries to evade Taliban counterterrorism efforts.

Meanwhile, al Qaeda's threat level, according to officials, is at its lowest point in decades.

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On this day

On This Day

On this day, 2004, the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, under the control of American forces, was attacked without clear reason, leading to the death of 22 detainees. During the American invasion of Iraq, military personnel and CIA forces committed numerous human rights violations against detainees, including physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape, and murder. 

في مثل هذا اليوم من عام 2004، تعرضت السجن المشهور أبو غريب، تحت سيطرة القوات الأمريكية، لهجوم دون سبب واضح، مما أدى إلى مقتل 22 معتقلاً. خلال الغزو الأمريكي للعراق، ارتكب الشخصيات العسكرية وقوات وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية العديد من انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان ضد المعتقلين، بما في ذلك الإيذاء الجسدي والجنسي، والتعذيب، والاغتصاب، والقتل. 

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