Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #khorasan

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Current state of the #Taliban

Taliban has consolidated control over #Afghanistan, per @UN report released on Friday

41 UN sanctioned individuals are in the cabinet & sr level positions
#Taliban "have favored loyalty & seniority over competence, & their decision-making has been opaque & inconsistent" per @UN report

"Various Taliban factions are maneuvering for advantage, with the #Haqqani Network the most successful & influential among them"
Some fissures may be emerging within the #Taliban

"The pro-Pashtun bias evident in the composition of the de facto authorities & poor treatment of #Tajik & #Uzbek Taliban runs the risk of provoking defections from those quarters" per @UN member state intel
Read 16 tweets
ICYMI: Intelligence shows "The relationship between the #Taliban & #alQaida remains close, w/the latter [alQaida] celebrating the former’s success & renewing its pledge of allegiance" per report from @UN Sanctions Monitoring Team released Friday
Intelligence from @UN members "suggest that #alQaida has a safe haven under the #Taliban & increased freedom of action" per report "[AQ leader] Ayman al-Zawahiri has issued more frequent recorded messages since August, & there is now proof of life for him as recently as Feb 2022"
#alQaida-#Taliban relationship "underscored by the presence, both in #Afghanistan & the region, of alQaida core leadership & affiliated groups, such as alQaida in the Indian Subcontinent (#AQIS)" per @UN report
Read 43 tweets
NEW: @DoD_IG report on US-#Afghanistan raises questions about Washington's "over-the-horizon" #counterterrorism strategy

Need for US planes/drones to fly long distances, loss of human intelligence "has significantly reduced the DoD’s
capacity to track terrorist targets"
"As of the end of the quarter [March 31], the DoD had not conducted any strikes on terrorist targets in #Afghanistan since its withdrawal last year" per @DoD_IG acting IG Sean O'Donnell

re: #ISIS #alQaida
#ISIS-#Khorasan estimated to have 2,000 members operating in #Afghanistan, per @DoD_IG citing @DefenseIntel

That's about half of estimates shared by the @UN in February
Read 15 tweets
Happening now: Senate Armed Services Committee Worldwide Threats hearing...

Testimony from @ODNIgov Dir Avril Haines & @DefenseIntel Dir Lt Gen Scott Berrier
SASC Chairman @SenJackReed on US intelligence sharing in #Russia-#Ukraine war:

"Intelligence officials are understandably cautious about revealing hard-won insights on adversaries, but this strategy has proven highly effective..."
"...This is a great example of competing effectively in the information domain, and I hope we will continue to make use of this kind of creative tradecraft" per @SenJackReed
Read 53 tweets
NEW: US @DeptofDefense confirms an estimated $7.12 billion worth of military equipment provided to the Afghan security forces prior to their collapse "remains in Afghanistan in varying states of repair"

Total of $18.6 billion had been provided to Afghan forces from 2005-2021
"It is important to remember that the $7.12 billion figure cited in the Department’s recent report to Congress corresponds to ANDSF equipment & not US military equipment used by our forces" per @DeptofDefense spox Army Major Rob Lodewick in statement
"Nearly all equipment used by US military forces in #Afghanistan was either retrograded or destroyed prior to our withdrawal" per @DeptofDefense's Maj. Lodewick in statement
Read 10 tweets
HAPPENING NOW: @CENTCOM Cmdr Gen Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie & @USAfricaCommand Cmdr Gen Stephen Townsend testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee

Chairman @SenJackReed opens up talking abt #Iran missile strike in #Irbil #Iraq...
Intro remarks from ranking member @JimInhofe

"#Iran is the foremost threat" in the @CENTCOM region, he says

"Our partners increasingly doubt America's resolve" he adds, blaming what he calls "Pres. Biden's misguided policies"
"The threat posed by #Iran is graver than ever" @CENTCOM's Gen Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie warns in his opening remarks

"#Russia's invasion of #Ukraine moreover has violently demonstrated its willful disregard for int'l norms just have we have seen thru Russia's actions in #Syria
Read 58 tweets
Breaking: House Intel Committee posts @ODNIgov's 2022 Annual Threat Assessment, aka the Worldwide Threat Assessment

"#Beijing, #Moscow, #Tehran, & #Pyongyang have demonstrated the capability & intent to advance their interests at the expense of the #UnitedStates & its allies"
"#China increasingly is a near-peer competitor, challenging the #UnitedStates in multiple arenas—especially economically, militarily & technologically—& is pushing to change global norms & potentially threatening its neighbors" per @ODNIgov report
"#Russia is pushing back against #Washington where it can—locally & globally—employing techniques up to & including the use of force" per @ODNIgov report, compiled w/info available up to January
Read 67 tweets
NEW: #alQaida "maintained a low profile in #Afghanistan...likely at the behest of #Taliban leaders attempting to establish legitimacy with the int'l community" per acting @DoD_IG Sean O'Donnell in new report
Per @CENTCOM, @DefenseIntel "#Taliban has not permitted al-Qaeda members to play a significant role in its so-called “interim government” & will likely
aim to prevent #alQaida attacks on the United States as it attempts to gain international legitimacy" says @DoD_IG report
.@CENTCOM "said that the #Taliban very likely will allow #alQaida elements in #Afghanistan to maintain a low profile within the country to preserve legacy relationships & avoid upsetting the most militant Islamic elements within the Taliban" per @DoD_IG report
Read 8 tweets
NEW: Growing concerns abt #ISIS-#Khorasan

Just releases @UN intel report finds ISIS' affiliate in #Afghanistan may have doubled in size since US left & now has close to 4,000 fighters

In August, @CENTCOM said there were at least 2,000 hardcore ISIS-K
Per @UN report, up to half of #ISIS-#Khorasan could be #foreignfighters

ISIS-K also now "controls limited territory in eastern #Afghanistan...capable of conducting high-profile & complex attacks"
#ISIS-#Khorasan also getting money from ISIS core, per @UN member state intel - possibly in the low hundreds of thousands of dollars

"The ISIL core is assessed to have allocated in excess of $500,000 for the support of ISIL-K"
Read 4 tweets
Happening NOW: @CENTCOM Cmdr Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie briefs on the investigation into the August 26, 2021 #ISIS-#Khorasan bombing at Abbey Gate, Hamid Karzai International Airport that killed 13 US servicemembers & at least 170 Afghans Image
"The investigation found that a single, explosive device killed at least 170 Afghan civilians & 13 U.S. servicemembers by explosively directing ball bearings through a packed crowd and into our men & women at Abbey gate" per @CENTCOM's McKenzie
"The investigation found no definitive proof that anyone was ever hit or killed by gunfire, either U.S. or Afghan" per @CENTCOM's McKenzie, citing more than 100 sworn witnesses
Read 17 tweets
NEW: Latest @SIGARHQ report finds overall violence in #Afghanistan is down since US forces left BUT...

"significant violence persists, including mass-casualty attacks by the #IslamicState-#Khorasan (#ISIS-K); civilian disturbances from abusive Taliban forces and others" Image
.@SIGARHQ reports calls #ISIS-#Khorasan the "current greatest security threat" to the #Taliban

ISIS-K attacks killed at least 90 ppl from October-December 2021 in #Kabul #Kundiz #Kandahar
#ISIS-#Khorasan attracting new members

"A violent organization with a significant bankroll, IS-K often appears as the last & most extreme option for disaffected individuals or groups" per @SIGARHQ
Read 6 tweets
NEW: "While we have significantly degraded the terrorist threat w/the last 20 years of sustained pressure, we still face a potent challenge" @DeptofDefense Deputy Asst Sec for Special Operations &Combating Terrorism Milancy Harris tells House lawmakers
"The terrorist threat to the US homeland from externally directed attacks is at its lowest since 9/11" per @DeptofDefense's Harris

"But we still face a number of terrorists groups committed to targeting US interests & personnel abroad"
Today's terror groups are agile, creative & "remain ideologically influential enough to motivate generations of new ppl to join them or to conduct attacks on their behalf" per @DeptofDefense's Harris
Read 24 tweets
HAPPENING NOW: From Sept 1 - Oct 25, "The US gvt has directly facilitated the departure of 240 US citizens & 157 lawful permanent residents, as well as others who have come out on out charters" @DOD_Policy Undersecretary Colin Kahl tells Senate Armed Services Committee
"We are examining & learning from the past..." per @DOD_Policy "...reckoning w/the uncomfortable truth that despite decades & billions of dollars of US investment, the #Afghan military evaporated in the face of the #Taliban assault"
US-#Afghanistan-counterterrorism: "We are actively setting the conditions to ensure we remain situationally aware & are postured to mitigate & neutralize developing terrorist threats & streams" @thejointstaff's LtGen James Mingus tells SASC
Read 40 tweets
Heads of Russian soldiers brought as a gift to the Emir of Bukhara by Vasili Vereshchaguin, 1872.

#Khorasan Image
Some people are "losing their heads" (pun intended) over this tweet, so let me clear something: beheading your enemy was a quite widespread practice not only in Central Asia but in many other places until a century ago. Russians did the same to their enemies.
There are countless pictures of Spanish soldiers with beheaded Moroccan prisoners (not going to share their pics, just Google it). In France there is literally a museum with the heads of beheaded Algerians. So do not get ahead of yourselves, guys.…
Read 3 tweets
NEW: @DeptofDefense says US military flights back in the air, headed to #Kabul #Afghanistan

Another 1,000 US troops are expected to be there by the end of the day, bringing total to 3,500
"It's not a perfect process" per @PentagonPresSec on planning for evacuations at #Kabul airport

"You have to adjust in real time"
@PentagonPresSec says much of the planning & recent tabletop exercises for #Kabul airport did pay off

@DeptofDefense saw it as "a distinct possibility" #Taliban could overrrun the country & Kabul, he says, but that capitulation of so many #Afghan forces was surprising
Read 7 tweets
NEW: Just released @UN report warns of "heightened threats emerging" from #ISIS #alQaida affiliated groups worldwide

"This is especially true in parts of West and East #Africa" per the report, based on member state intelligence
In West/East #Africa, affiliates of #ISIS #alQaida "can boast gains in supporters and territory under threat, as well as growing capabilities in fundraising & weapons, for example, in the use of drones" per the @UN report
#ISIS in #Syria "has evolved into an entrenched insurgency, exploiting weaknesses in local security to find safe havens & targeting forces engaged in counter-ISIL operations" per the @UN report
Read 55 tweets
Happening now: @CENTCOM Commander Gen Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, @USAfricaCommand Commander Gen Stephen Townsend & @DeptofDefense Acting UnderSec Amanda Dory testify at the House Armed Services Committee
"In #Afghanistan, our mission has been preventing terrorist groups from using the country to threaten the interests & security of the UnitedStates, our allies & partners" acting Deputy UnderSec Dory tells lawmakers "After 2 decades...we have accomplished that mission"
"We are focused on working closely w/the Afghan gvt & our @NATO allies to responsibly conclude Operation resolute Support in #Afghanistan" per @CENTCOM Commander Gen McKenzie "This is my main effort, at present"
Read 53 tweets
#Kanishka I was, the greatest, and certainly the most famous, of the #Kushan kings.
He is known, from the combined testimony of the literary, epigraphic, and numismatic sources, to have ruled over an extensive dominion extending from Bihar in the east to #Khorasan
in the west, and from #Khotan in the north to, perhaps, #Konkan in the south.
The dates and findspots of some of the inscriptions of #Kanishka I are interesting:
#Kosam inscription dated year 2,
#Sarnath inscription dated year 3,
#Mathur¹ inscription dated year 4,
#Suivihar inscription dated year 11, and
#Manikiala inscription dated year 18.
Read 16 tweets
#ISIS in trouble in #Afghanistan?

@DefenseIntel tells @DoD_IG that ISIS-#Khorasan attempt to recruit new members, "leaving it unable to generate the necessary support to increase its presence in Afghanistan" according to the latest IG report
In June, an @UN report said member states estimates had #ISIS-#Khorasan down to about 2,200 members
Slightly earlier estimates year from @DefenseIntel - cited by previous @DoD_IG reporting - indicated #ISIS-#Khorasan could have as few as 300 fighters left or as many as 2,500
Read 3 tweets
#ISIS-#Khorasan - "too soon to discount it as a threat" per latest @UN report

"Although in territorial retreat, #ISIL-K remains capable of carrying out high-profile attacks... It also aims to attract #Taliban fighters who oppose the agreement with the United States"
Intelligence from @UN member states estimates #ISIS-K has about 2,200 fighters, led by Matiullah Kamahwal, Abdul Tahir & Syrian national Abu Said Mohammad al-Khorasani

2 other senior ISIS leaders - Abu Qutaibah & Abu Hajar al-Iraqi - also recently arrived from the Middle East
#ISIS-K has maintained contact with new overall ISIL leader, al-Mawla, although the #ISIL core is no longer assessed to play a key role in the internal decision-making of ISIL-K" per @UN report
Read 5 tweets
Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC) - US, #SaudiArabia #Bahrain #Kuwait #Oman #Qatar #UAE - sanctions 3 entities and 1 individual for supporting #ISIS in #Iraq & #Syria, and an #Afghanistan organization for supporting #ISIS-#Khorasan
Per @USTreasury, sanctions target "money services businesses" al Haram Exchange, Tawasul Company & al-Khalidi Exchange for "transferring funds to support #Syria-based #ISIS fighters and ... hundreds of thousands of dollars of liquidity to ISIS leadership"
Sanctions also levied against #ISIS senior financial facilitator Abd-al-Rahman

Per US, al-Rahman has "significant influence within the terrorist group ... responsibility for external ISIS transfers"
Read 5 tweets
NEW: @UN report on #Taliban casts doubt on ability of US-Taliban agreement to succeed

"There are divisions within the group [Taliban], which make compromise with its adversaries difficult, and its messaging remains hard-line" per UN Sanctions Monitoring Team
#Taliban "also appears well prepared for the 2020 fighting season and raising the tempo of its attacks on #Afghan government targets" per the @UN report
New @UN report sees problems due to #Taliban drug trafficking

"The scale of the problem remains huge and has been further complicated by a boom in methamphetamine production and trafficking" per report
Read 33 tweets
BREAKING: #ISIS issues new message to followers - says Allah sent #COVID19 as a punishment for #Daesh's enemies, per @JihadoScope's @einfal Image
Per @hxhassan, the message is delivered by new #ISIS spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurashi

#ISIS spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurashi last spoke on January 27, mocking the #Iraq|i government and boasting f the terror group's staying power

Read 14 tweets
NEW: @DoD_IG report on US-#Afghanistan raises concern about #Taliban, citing violence from January-March
"The United States & Taliban agreed to a 1-week reduction in violence prior to the signing of the agreement but Taliban violence during the quarter overall was high"
"While the #Taliban reduced attacks against US & coalition forces, it continued to attack the #Afghan National Defense & Security Forces, particularly after the signing of the agreement" per acting @DoD_IG Sean O'Donnell
Also, as w/recent @SIGARHQ report, @DoD_IG not given data on enemy initiated attacks, "which is normally discussed in Lead IG reports" per O'Donnell

@DeptofDefense said info "sensitive as it was part of ongoing interagency deliberations over whether the #Taliban is complying"
Read 16 tweets

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