Taliban success in Afghanistan seen as increase for extremists

A number of days after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, a convoy of militants drove by means of town of Idlib in northwestern Syria in vehicles bearing the group’s white-and-black flags, honking horns and firing their weapons within the air.

The celebrations by an al-Qaida affiliate in a distant nook of war-torn Syria have been an expression of the triumph felt by radical Islamic teams from the Gaza Strip to Pakistan and West Africa who see America’s violence-marred exit from Afghanistan a possibility to reassert their presence.

For such teams, the chaotic US departure following the collapse of safety forces it had skilled for 20 years is a present, underlining their message that Washington ultimately abandons its allies, and that defeating highly effective armies is feasible with sufficient endurance.

“The success of the Taliban opens the way in which for radical teams to step up their recruitment operations globally. It’s a lot simpler for them now, and there’s extra receptivity,” stated Hassan Abu Haniyeh, an professional on Islamic militants based mostly in Amman, Jordan.

Regardless of the billions of {dollars} spent by the US and NATO over practically 20 years to construct up Afghan safety forces, the Taliban seized practically all of Afghanistan in simply over every week amid the US troop pullout. The fundamentalist group swept into Kabul on Aug. 15 after the federal government collapsed and embattled President Ashraf Ghani fled the nation.

Since then, tens of hundreds of individuals determined to flee a rustic ruled by the Taliban have been attempting to flee or have already got been evacuated in a mammoth Western airlift.

“The occasions unfolding in Afghanistan have given jihadi teams and U.S. adversaries motive to have a good time, and America’s allies within the area motive to really feel anxious,” stated Abu Haniyeh. “They now really feel that America would possibly drop
them sooner or later, identical because it did the federal government of Ashraf Ghani.”

There are issues that Afghanistan will as soon as once more change into a base for militants to plot in opposition to the West, very similar to the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults that triggered the U.S. invasion.

“That is the story that’s going to affect and affect jihadi fighters across the globe for the subsequent decade, the identical approach because the victory over the Soviets in Afghanistan within the ’80s impressed the jihadis all over the world throughout the entire Nineteen Nineties and even afterwards,” stated Elie Tenenbaum, director of safety research heart on the French Institute of Worldwide Relations.

In a twist, the Taliban victory additionally boosted the fortunes of their rivals in Afghanistan- an area department of the Islamic State community. On Thursday, the affiliate claimed accountability for the suicide assault that killed scores of individuals exterior Kabul’s airport, together with 13 US service members.

The Taliban now should deal with an emboldened IS, which is difficult their rule with militants which might be way more radical. The group’s ranks have been bolstered after the Taliban freed prisoners throughout an advance by means of Afghanistan.

An editorial within the Islamic State group’s publication final week derided the Taliban, accusing them of collaborating with the US.

“America really did it. They lastly raised a ‘Mullah Bradley’,” the editorial stated, utilizing a reputation it has coined for the Taliban in an obvious reference to the US combating car. The group additionally promised a brand new section in its “blessed jihad” in opposition to the West.

Analysts say the Taliban’s success and the US withdrawal galvanizes and provides a motivational increase to America’s adversaries and jihadi teams all over the world.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the chief of Lebanon’s Shiite militant group Hezbollah, stated in a speech Friday that what’s unfolding in Afghanistan “is a portrayal of America’s full defeat and the U.S. demise and failure within the area.”

In northern Syria, an announcement by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the al-Qaida affiliate there, stated the Taliban victory proved no occupation can final without end. The chief of the novel Palestinian Islamic Hamas motion, which guidelines the
Gaza Strip, congratulated the Taliban’s chief on the demise of the U.S. occupation.

In Pakistan, the chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad, Mohammad Azhur, used the group’s publication to cheer the Taliban victory, saying it’s going to encourage mujahedeen, or holy warriors, “the world over to proceed their battle for Islam.”
Amir Rana, govt director of the Islamabad-based Pakistan Institute of Peace Research, stated the occasions in Afghanistan might encourage hard-line Sunni teams who’re waging sectarian battles in opposition to Shiites. The anti-Shiite teams Lashkar-e-Janghvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan have championed the Taliban victory, elevating fears they may restart their lethal actions.

Heni Nsaibia, a senior Sahel researcher on the Armed Battle Location & Occasion Information Undertaking, stated the Taliban takeover could be a motivational increase for extremists in West Africa, exhibiting that endurance and perseverance can repay.

The largest hazard, in line with the analysts, is in unstable nations with a weak central authorities and a historical past of insurgency, comparable to Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya.

There are echoes of 2014, when the Islamic State group sprang from the chaos of conflicts in Iraq and Syria, seized a large stretch of territory straddling each nations, and declared a ‘caliphate’after US-trained Iraqi forces collapsed. Terrorist assaults in Europe and past adopted earlier than IS was defeated in 2017, however makes an attempt to regroup have been seen up to now two years, with new assaults in Iraq and Syria.

A report back to the UN Safety Council final week stated the risk to worldwide safety from the Islamic State group is rising, pointing to an “alarming” growth of its associates in Africa and its concentrate on a comeback in Syria and Iraq.

The report stated IS and different terrorist teams have taken benefit of |the disruption, grievances and improvement setbacks” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abu Haniyeh, the analyst in Amman, stated the perceived defeat of US forces in Afghanistan by a radical group is reverberating amongst annoyed people all over the world and may have widespread ramifications within the coming years.

“It provides hope for extremist teams the world over,” he stated.

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