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U.N. Report: Afghan government has placed al-Qaeda leaders in senior positions

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Taliban

A recent report released by the United Nations revealed three high-ranking officials within the Taliban regime are also leaders of al-Qaeda. The report comes after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) assigned an investigation group to find “the extent of the Taliban’s affiliations with al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations” reports Foreign Desk News.

The report concluded “that a troubling number of al-Qaeda members have acquired positions of influence within the Taliban’s security and administrative structures.”

The report identifies the following individuals:

Qari Baryal, the current governor of Kapisa province, as an individual who is on the U.S. most-wanted terrorist list. The U.S. military has claimed that Baryal is an al-Qaeda operative, who played a role in coordinating overall attack planning and execution in the Kabul region during the N.A.T.O. operation in Afghanistan.

Another terrorist mentioned in the report is Hafiz Muhammad Agha Hakeem, who is currently serving as the governor of Panjshir. The U.S. government has identified Hakeem as the leader of the “Kabul Network,” a collaborative force comprising Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters who orchestrated suicide bombings targeting N.A.T.O. forces.

Tajmir Jawad, the Deputy Director of Intelligence for the Taliban, is yet another high-ranking Taliban official with ties to al-Qaeda mentioned in the report. Jawad, a former field commander for the terrorist “Haqqani Network”, reportedly merged with the Taliban following the 2021 U.S. withdraw from the country.

The Taliban has rejected the U.N. findings, asserting that their regime has faithfully adhered to its commitments to prevent terrorists from operating within Afghanistan’s borders. They further asserted that there exists “no threat from the territory of Afghanistan to the region, neighbors, and countries of the world.”

 

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education

Columbia alumni are also anti-Israel, threaten to withhold $77 million in donations

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2,000 people claiming to be Columbia University alumni have signed a letter pledging to “withhold all financial, programmatic, and academic support” from the institution until it meets the demands of anti-Israel protesters. The result is $77 million in donations is at risk.

National Review reports that the letter, addressed to Columbia president Minouche Shafik and the school’s trustees, expresses support for the protesters who oppose the university’s “continued collaboration with the Israeli government’s ongoing genocidal violence against Palestinians.”

“The movement for Palestinian liberation, on campus and globally, is often led by Jewish people of many nations,” the letter says. “Weaponizing claims about antisemitism to silence student speech is based on faulty logic, harms Jewish students, and distracts from true antisemitism, including the attempts by a craven American right to tokenize, exploit, and appropriate Jewish trauma and resilience.”

There does not appear to be a process to verify that people who sign the letters are, in fact, Columbia alumni. It allows people to sign anonymously.

The letter condemns the “administration’s brutal repression of student speech and assembly,” specifically president Shafik’s decision to call in the New York Police Department Strategic Response Group on protesters. Hundreds of anti-Israel protesters were arrested at Columbia and at the City College of New York on April 30, including some who barricaded themselves inside a campus admissions building.

Signatories of the letter are pledging to withhold donations until the university meets 13 demands, including: that it divests from companies that “fund or profit from Israeli apartheid, genocide, and occupation of Palestine”; calls for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war; removes Shafik as president; bans the NYPD from campus; and drops charges against student activists, reverses disciplinary measures against them, and finances the healthcare for students who were “brutalized” by the police.

The website where the letter is shared claims that the signatories have previously provided over $67 million in financial contributions to Columbia, and that over $77 million in donations are now at risk.

The letter also claims that the university “failed to hold accountable the former Israeli soldiers who carried out a chemical attack on protesting students in January 2024.” That seems to be a reference to an incident involving anti-Israel protesters who told the student-run Columbia Spectator that during a demonstration earlier this year they were sprayed with “skunk,” a chemical developed by the Israeli Defense Forces.

While this letter is from supporters of the anti-Israel protesters, Columbia has also received pushback from opponents who say the school is allowing protesters to break the law, disrupt the educational environment, and harass Jewish students, adds National Review.

On Monday, 13 federal judges sent a letter to Columbia leaders saying they will no longer hire the school’s students as clerks due to their behavior and the school’s mismanagement of anti-Israel protests, writing that “Columbia has disqualified itself from educating the future leaders of our country.”

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a Columbia alumnus, said in April that he would withhold donations from the university due to the anti-Israel protests.

“I am deeply saddened at the virulent hate that continues to grow on campus and throughout our country,” Kraft said in a statement. “I am no longer confident that Columbia can protect its students and staff and I am not comfortable supporting the university until corrective action is taken.”

 

 

 

 

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