US designates TTP, AQIS leaders as global terrorists

With the concerns over the developments in Afghanistan mounting, the US on Thursday designated the AQIS and the TTP as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.

The move against AQIS (al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent) and the TTP (Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan) comes amid growing concerns over the recent developments in Afghanistan and the South Asian countries, as the US vowing action the terrorist organisations.

The designations are “part of our relentless efforts to ensure that terrorists do not use Afghanistan as a platform for international terrorism,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

“We will continue to use all relevant tools to uphold our commitment to see to it that international terrorists are not able to operate with impunity in Afghanistan,” he added.

Among the targeted terrorists, four are from AQIS, a regional branch of the jihadist network, including its self-styled “emir” Osama Mehmood.

The United States also designated the TTP number two, Mufti Hazrat Deroji also known as Qari Amjad, whose 15-year campaign of violence has stepped up since the Taliban seized control in neighboring Afghanistan last year.

US officials say Deroji has overseen operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one of two border areas that have borne the brunt of violent attacks.

“As a result of these actions, all property and interests in property of those designated yesterday that are subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and all U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them,” the US Treasury said in a statement.

President Joe Biden withdrew US troops from Afghanistan after two decades, saying that no more could be achieved and that the United States could fight militants without boots on the ground.

The United States on July 31 fired two missiles that killed Al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who had moved into Kabul.

It accused the Taliban of violating assurances it would not offer sanctuary to Al-Qaeda — the initial trigger for the invasion after the September 11, 2001 attacks — although the Taliban separately have been at odds with the even more extreme Islamic State group.

The founder of AQIS, Asim Umar, was killed in a September 2019 raid in Afghanistan’s Helmand province jointly conducted by US forces and the then government.

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