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The Taliban and Global Jihad

10 September 2021

Over the last month, many have expressed concerns that - despite pledges from the Taliban to prevent Afghanistan being used for terrorist activity - a Taliban-run government will inevitably increase the risk of the country becoming a safe haven for Islamist militants to recruit, train, and plot reprisal attacks on the Western forces that occupied the country for 20 years. The cautious consensus amongst the international community is that the Taliban’s desire for recognition as a legitimate government overrides any desire to ‘get back’ at the powerful Western forces that largely withdrew before the Taliban were in a strong enough position to topple the fragile Afghan government. It is widely accepted that if the US were given reason to intervene in Afghanistan again, the Taliban neither have the numbers or the resources to stay in power. Therefore, it is in the group’s interests to honour their promise and contain al-Qaeda and other associated militant groups, such as the Haqqani Network. What we have seen so far, following the fall of Kabul, have been deadly attacks either carried out, or inspired by, Islamic State (IS) – a group the Taliban has been fighting for many years.

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