Afghanistan becoming a new haven for terrorist driven out of Pakistan

Wall Street Journal:
Arab and Central Asian Islamist militants have moved into Afghanistan after a military offensive by Islamabad largely eliminated havens in Pakistan’s tribal areas, Afghan officials and local residents say, posing a potential new threat to the country’s already tenuous security.

At least 400 families affiliated with militant groups—including members of al Qaeda and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan—crossed into Afghanistan in December and now live in the homes of locals in lawless parts of the country, Afghan officials say.

Afghan officials say these fighters aren’t engaging in combat, but their arrival comes as a robust Taliban insurgency confronts the government in Kabul. Islamic State, which occupies swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, has also sought a foothold here.

Haji Abdul Azizi, a tribal elder from Helmand’s district of Sangin, said he hosted a family of Arabic speakers for a night last week who said they were loyal to Islamic State.

“They were six men, seven women and two children,” he said. “They were speaking Arabic and two of them also understood Pashto. They came in two [four-wheel drive] cars.”

The women of the group were armed and took turns keeping watch on each other during the night, Mr. Azizi said. The new arrivals in Sangin were trying to enforce an austere brand of Islam that clashed with local traditions, he added.

“They are against shrines,” Mr. Azizi said. “They are removing flags from the shrines and preventing people from going there.”

Afghan officials said foreign militants traveling with families have settled in provinces including Ghazni in the east, Zabul in the south and Farah in the west. The largest known settlements are in Zabul’s districts of Day Chupan and Khak-e Afghan, areas that are largely under Taliban control. Officials and residents say some 150 families, which include Arabic speakers and people of Central Asian appearance, are currently living there.

“They are al Qaeda, and some of them are armed,” said Ghullam Jilani Farahi, a top security official in Zabul.

A tribal elder from Day Chupan said the militants and their families are living in houses that were previously empty, and that they were receiving protection and support from local Taliban commanders.
There is more.

A US retreat before destroying this influx of terrorist will only mean bad things for Afghanistan and potentially for the world.  It looks like it will be worse than it was before the US went in looking for bin Laden.  The conditions on the ground in Afghanistan do not support President Obama's policy of retreat.


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