On August 22, the Taliban’s spokesperson in Qatar, Mohammad Naeem, gave an interview to Al Hadath, a Saudi Arabia state news channel. Among other things, Naeem denied the presence of al-Qaida in Afghanistan and said the Afghan Taliban had no ties with the terror group.
Naeem said the Taliban’s Doha agreement providing for the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan states that the Taliban will not allow any extremist group to use Afghanistan for military activities. He flatly declared that al-Qaida does not exist anymore in Afghanistan.
“Al-Qaida is not present in Afghanistan, and the Taliban have no relation to [al-Qaida],” he said.
That is likely false.
Although al-Qaida’s capabilities have been impaired, remnants are reported to remain in Afghanistan and are threatening enough to prompt concern from the United States.