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The main Afghan resistance group, the National Resistance Front (NRF), has a message for the Biden administration: do not ignore terrorist threats coming from Afghanistan. The group noted that a mistake was made by the Clinton administration before the September 11 terrorist attacks.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, the NFR’s head of external relations, Ali Maisam Nazary, said now is the time to act.
“Our message to the Biden administration is not to make the same mistake the Clinton administration (made) when it ignored the threat of terrorism in the mid and late 1990s and led to 9/11. The White House must act quickly and take a proactive approach to counterterrorism by allowing democratic and counterterrorism forces like the NRF to liberate Afghanistan,” he said.
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The warning comes as the Taliban faces a new low-intensity campaign in the north from rebels, who in recent weeks have launched attacks against its fighters.
It is known that the fighting season in Afghanistan begins in the spring and usually lasts until October. In previous years, this was when the Taliban and their allies carried out attacks on US forces and the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
The current fighting is largely in the north of the country and is led by the NRF in the Panjshir Valley, a rugged and mountainous anti-Taliban resistance stronghold north of Kabul where the Taliban consolidated control last September. .
The NRF, led by Ahmad Massoud, is considered the most formidable Afghan resistance unit fighting the Taliban, and its leader has pledged to continue the fight even after the loss of its rear base in the Panjshir Valley. Massoud’s father, Ahmad Shah Massoud, was a prominent mujahideen rebel who fought the Soviets in the 1980s and was assassinated by al-Qaeda operatives just two days before the September 11 attacks.
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The NRF has extensive knowledge of the difficult terrain in Afghanistan and, like the Taliban insurgency against US forces, will employ asymmetric tactics against the best-equipped Taliban.
Even though overthrowing the Taliban is highly unlikely, especially without an outside sponsor, that doesn’t mean the NRF won’t cause problems for the Taliban. NRF spokesman Sibghattullah Ahmadi said in a tweet earlier this month that the Taliban launched an attack on the Shaba base and lost eight fighters to NRF forces.
Ali Maisam Nazary said the NRF was leading the fight against the Taliban during the spring fighting season.
“There was an NRF offensive in Panjshir, Baghlan, Takhar and Badakhshan provinces and even with reinforcements, the Taliban faced casualties inflicted by the NRF, including prominent commanders over the past 10 days and the fighting continues,” Nazary told Fox News. Digital.
He added: “It shows us their weaknesses, and their supposed strength from the remaining American equipment was useless.”
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He also claimed that the Taliban are committing war crimes and increasing attacks on civilians in a desperate attempt to regain control of restive provinces.
Taliban officials initially denied the fighting but were later forced to admit it when photos of their dead began to spread across the internet and social media. Fox News Digital has not independently confirmed the photo below provided by the National Resistance Front. The photo is said to show Taliban casualties from recent fighting between the two sides.
WARNING: THE IMAGE BELOW MAY BE DISTURBING
Resistance to the Taliban has not only come from the NRF, but includes other lesser-known armed groups that share the common goal of dislodging the Taliban from power. Beyond their desire for a Taliban-free Afghanistan, there is very little cooperation or coordination between the disparate groups, which hampers their ability to seriously challenge the Taliban.
Most analysts and observers do not view the National Resistance Front or other armed groups as an existential threat to the Taliban’s hold on power. External support is a key ingredient to sustaining a successful insurgent campaign and so far the NRF has no major external support.
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“For the NRF to pose a real strategic threat to the Taliban, they will need to secure stronger external support, for the provision of weapons, shelter and training. But neighboring states are still more concerned about a destabilized Afghanistan than by helping to overthrow the Taliban, so there is only moderate support for the NRF overseas,” noted Roger Baker, director of the Stratfor Center for Applied Geopolitics at RANE.
Nor does there appear to be an appetite from the Biden administration or Congress to fund the anti-Taliban resistance. While the Biden administration continues to honor the Withdrawal Agreement reached under the Trump administration, analysts believe it has no interest in funding the nascent anti-Taliban insurgency.
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Observers warn that a large US investment in the NRF would likely further destabilize Afghanistan and could worsen the already dire humanitarian crisis. While the Taliban are likely to remain in power, it is clear that their new government is struggling to pacify the whole country.
The Islamic State’s Afghan branch, known as the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), also poses a threat to Afghanistan’s stability. Unlike most resistance groups that want a free and democratic Afghanistan, ISIS-K is committed to an uncompromising goal of creating a transnational Islamic caliphate and views the Taliban as apostates to negotiate with the United States.
ISIS recently claimed responsibility for a series of terror attacks in Mazar-i-Sharif and Kunduz in late April, killing at least 20 people. A United Nations report in February estimated that ISIS’s strength in Afghanistan nearly doubled, from 2,200 operatives to nearly 4,000.