News Daesh claims gun attack killing six in Afghan mosque

London: Terrorist groups in Afghanistan are regrouping in the wake of the Western evacuation from the country and will strike on US and European soil, the leader of an anti-Taliban movement has warned.

The exiled leader of Afghanistan’s National Resistance Front, Ahmad Massoud, said a terror attack in the US or Europe is “not about a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” The Independent reported.

Massoud said circumstances in the country and the wider region resemble the pre-9/11 landscape, with terror training camps opening across Afghanistan.

Ali Maisam Naziry, the NRF’s head of foreign relations, said of the resurgent groups: “The attacks in Russia, Iran and Brussels, and the neutralised attack in Germany, are examples of how fast they are moving to threaten global security.”

He added that since the Taliban’s return to power in 2021, Afghanistan has witnessed a “massive influx” of foreign terrorist fighters who belong to the more than 20 militant networks operating in the country, including Al-Qaeda, Daesh-Khorasan and the Haqqani Network.

Massoud warned that the West’s commitment to Ukraine and Israel is serving as a distraction, emboldening the Taliban in the process.

Afghanistan is “no longer a priority” for the Biden administration in the US, he told The Independent last year.

Nathan Sales, a former US ambassador-at-large and coordinator for counterterrorism, said last year: “The continued partnership between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda is perhaps best seen in the fact that after the US withdrawal, Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri resurfaced in Afghanistan, living in a safe house associated with the Haqqani Network, a Taliban faction that maintains close ties to Al-Qaeda and is itself a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

“The key takeaway is that the Taliban felt emboldened to welcome Al-Qaeda’s leader back to Kabul, and Al-Qaeda’s leader felt it was safe enough there to accept the offer.”

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