US, Afghan allies' efforts to exploit Taliban- Al-Qaeda fissures working

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Washington, Jan 27(ANI): The Obama administration and its Afghan allies' initiatives to exploit the fissures between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda seems to have worked out, as new details have emerged about the tense relationship between the two networks.

US had started the bid to weaken the two forces that led troops to invade Afghanistan eight years ago and expand their presence.

"We are trying to exploit the natural tensions that exist between Al-Qaeda and those under Mullah Omar," The Christian Science Monitor quoted a senior foreign intelligence officer in Afghanistan, as having said in 2008.

The ideological and personality differences between the two networks have long been understood.

The Taliban is an indigenous movement composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, who are generally focused on power in their home base in Afghanistan and across the border in Pakistan.

While, Al-Qaeda's leadership is almost entirely Arab, and its members believe they are fighting a global struggle for the supremacy and security of Islam, where Afghanistan is just one of many battle fronts.

Now, with the Afghan surge ordered by US President Barack Obama underway, those sorts of efforts are likely to be redoubled in the coming months.

New data points, such as a recent translation of a memoir by a former ally of both Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar, could indicate differences to exploit.

Vahid Brown, a researcher at Combating Terrorism Center, has translated and analysed a detailed account of an episode that demonstrates that tension and reveals just how reluctant bin Laden was to work with Omar.

In the latest issue of the Center's newsletter, the CTC Sentinel, Brown mentions about the story of how bin Laden refused to give an oath of allegiance to Omar, despite the Taliban leader's hospitality to Al Qaeda.

"It's long been known that that period was one of strife between the two movements, and I thought this particular detail (about the oath) was emblematic of that," Brown said. (ANI)

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