Jaish, Lashkar maintain training camps in Afghanistan, says UN report

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Pakistan-based militant groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, led by 26/11 Mumbai militant attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, maintain their training camps in some provinces of Afghanistan and some of them are directly under the Taliban control, quoting UN report PTI reported.

The 13th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team cites a UN Member State as saying that Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a Deobandi group ideologically closer to the Taliban “maintains eight training camps in Nangarhar, three of which are directly under Taliban control.”

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti, in his capacity as Chair of the Taliban Sanctions Committee, also known as the 1988 Sanctions Committee, transmitted the report to be “brought to the attention of the members of the Security Council and issued as a document of the Council.”

The report said that Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Deobandi group led by Masood Azhar, is ideologically closer to the Taliban. Qari Ramazan is the newly appointed head of JeM in Afghanistan.

It added that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is described in the previous Monitoring Team reports as having provided finance and training expertise to Taliban operations.

“Within Afghanistan, according to one Member State, it is led by Mawlawi Yousuf,” the report said, adding that in October 2021, according to one Member State, another LeT leader, Mawlawi Assadullah, met with Taliban Deputy Interior Minister Noor Jalil.

The same Member State reported that in January 2022, a Taliban delegation visited a training camp used by LeT in the Haska Mena district of Nangarhar.

“The group was said to maintain three camps in Kunar and Nangarhar. Previous LeT members have included Aslam Farooqi and Ejaz Ahmad Ahangar (a.k.a. Abu Usman al-Kashmiri), both of whom joined ISIL-K,” the report said.

Another Member State said that there was no evidence of the presence of JeM and LeT in the region as a consequence of effective security operations targeting them, according to the report.

The 13th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the Taliban Sanctions Committee is the first report since the August 15 takeover of Kabul by the Taliban.

It notes that the period between then and April 2022 has seen the Taliban consolidate control over Afghanistan, appointing 41 United Nations-sanctioned individuals to the Cabinet and other senior-level positions in their de facto administration.

They have favoured loyalty and seniority over competence, and their decision-making has been opaque and inconsistent.

The report further said that the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) constitutes the largest component of foreign militant fighters in Afghanistan, with their number estimated to be several thousand.

Other groups include the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Jamaat Ansarullah and the LeT, with each numbering in the few hundreds.

It said the TTP, led by Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, has “arguably benefitted” most of all the foreign extremist groups in Afghanistan from the Taliban takeover.

It has conducted numerous attacks and operations in Pakistan.

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