It would not be wrong to say that the United States and Saudi Arabia are the air force of the al Qaeda in Yemen. The sagging morales of the al Qaeda have been lifted in this war at Yemen and the Saudis can clearly be blamed for selective strikes.
Last week a statement by the Taliban claimed that the al Qaeda had completely vanished from Afghanistan. Did this mark the end of the ambitious al Qaeda in the Sub-Continent project headed by Asim Umar? [Yemen crisis: Saudis just helped an al Qaeda resurgence]
Has the al Qaeda completely vanished from Afghanistan or will we get to see a resurgence like we did in Yemen? A document prepared by the Research and Analysis Wing indicates that the al Qaeda threat is not over and there are several efforts being made by the ISI in particular to ensure that the group is back in business. [18 civilians killed in Saudi-led airstrike in Yemen]
Will al Qaeda bank on strikes by the US?
The Americans have clearly not stepped out of Afghanistan completely. As per the talks between the leaders of the two nations, the US will stand by and help. This would mean if they find that the situation is getting bloody they are most likely to carry out aerial strikes with the help of Pakistan.
It would be interesting to see if the aerial strikes target al Qaeda and Taliban bases. The enemy is clear for the US and Pakistan. They would look to target the ISIS known as the Al-Khorasan in Afghanistan and the Tehrik-e-Taliban which they have termed as the bad Taliban.
Indian Intelligence agencies say that the US and Pakistan are more likely to target the "bad" Taliban and the Al-Khorasan. The explanation is simple. These groups are not proxies of the ISI. In the case of the ‘Good" Taliban and the al Qaeda, the ISI has no problems as they will act in accordance with the Pakistan spy agency.
If aerial strikes are launched on Al-Khorasan and Tehrik-e-Taliban bases, it would see the resurgence of the al Qaeda and the Taliban. They have been having trouble battling the newer forces on the ground. Most of their soldiers have joined the ranks of the ISIS and TT in the past couple of days.
Hence a couple of air strikes on the TT and ISIS bases would do a world of good for the AQ and the Taliban. A clear repeat of what we are getting to see in Yemen.
Funding through the Falah-e-Insaniyat
The Falah-e-Insaniyat is just another name for the Jamaat-ud-Dawa. It has spread its tentacles far and wide and under the garb of relief work collects funds for terrorist activities.
The note by the Research and Analysis Wing clearly points towards the activities of the FeI and states that a large amount is being collected to up the morale of the al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The latest fund collection drives which have been launched in the wake of disasters could well be a ploy to raise money for terror activities by the FeI, the R&AW note also points out.
The FeI which is just another extension of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba has been notorious in the past as well. They have dedicated boxes in Muslim dominated countries and under the garb of humanity they end up collecting funds for terror related activities.
Here comes Lakhvi
Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi who is more popularly known as the Imam of all Jihadis has been given some additional responsibility by the ISI. While this person belongs to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, he in reality is an ISI agent in terrorist's clothes.
The ISI in a meeting that was held last week with Lakhvi had spoken about the Afghanistan crisis and how the battle to hold ground was going out of control. He was told about how Afghanistan should not end up becoming another Iraq or Syria and in this regard it is important to rise the morale of the al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Lakhvi is the right choice for the job. Terrorists do not those who do an administrative job like Ayman Al-Zawahiri or an Asim Umar. They prefer a man who knows the battle field and can hold a gun in their hand. One of the biggest set backs for the al Qaeda was the death of their 313 Brigade commander Ilyas Kashmiri. He was a foot soldier and commanded a lot of respect.
The same can be said in the case of Lakhvi as well. He is the most respected person in the Lashkar as he is ready to go into the battle field and hold up a gun and fight.
The ISI feels that Lakhvi being sent to Afghanistan as a motivational speaker could lift the al Qaeda and the Taliban. The R&AW note also points towards this development and the Prime Ministers Office has been briefed about this development.