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U.N. Report: Al-Qaeda resurgence happening in Afghanistan under Taliban

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A United Nations (U.N.) Security Council released a report over the weekend which revealed a resurgence of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group in Afghanistan has occurred under the Taliban. Not only has there been a resurgence but the establishment of eight additional training camps and five madrasas, Islamic education institutions have also emerged across the country.

According to the report, Al-Qaeda training facilities are now in Ghazni, Laghman, Parwan, and Uruzgan provinces. Additionally, it outlined locations utilized by Al-Qaeda for the transit of its members to and from neighboring Iran. The report also highlighted the creation of a fresh storage facility for weapons in the Panjshir Valley, north of the capital city, Kabul. Facilities for suicide bombers have also been established within Kunar Province.

“The group maintains safe houses to facilitate the movement between Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran in the provinces of Herat, Farah, and Helmand, with additional safe house locations in Kabul,” the Security Council’s report read.

Silvia Boltuc, managing director and founder of Special Eurasia, a geopolitical and business intelligence platform, said that there has “been a notable escalation in terrorist attacks, from roadside and suicide bombs to rocket and mortar fire, direct fire, kidnappings, and violent crimes.”

Boltuc mentioned that the Islamic State Khorasan Province, a local offshoot of the radical Islamic State (ISL) organization, has participated in persistent conflicts aimed at ethnic minority communities and governmental institutions. Additionally, various extremist factions like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and its splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar have been operational within the nation.

Foreign Desk News notes that following the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban have reinstated strict Sharia Islamic law against the Afghan people, undoing many of the rights Afghan women once had and punishing Afghan civilians who helped American forces following the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

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education

Harvard suspends Palestine Solidarity Committee for failing to abide by school policies

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Harvard College has finally suspended, albeit temporarily, its Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) on Wednesday for the remainder of the semester and students will face expulsion if they continue to operate.

The PSC was an organizer of a protest with more than 200 people on Friday at Harvard Yard. The demonstration featured speeches from members of the PSC, the African and African American Resistance Organization, Law Students for a Free Palestine, and the unofficial Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions caucus of Harvard’s graduate-student union.

The college sent an email informing the PSC of suspension and cited the Friday protest as failing to abide by school policies:

“The organization will not be recognized and will not have access to university benefits and services during this time, including but not limited to use of campus space and appropriate use of the Harvard name,” reads an email from Harvard College, reviewed by the student-run publication The Harvard Crimson. “If the organization continues to operate and commits additional violations during this suspension, the organization risks permanent expulsion, as provided in the Resource Guide.”

“For the past 6 months, PSC has faced unprecedented repression — doxxing, racist harassment, and targeted administrative crackdowns — as we’ve protested the ongoing genocide in Gaza,” the student group said in a statement announcing its suspension.

The Harvard Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine released a statement condemning the college’s decision and calling for the undergraduate group to be reinstated. 

“For the past 7 months our students have been subjected to an escalating campaign of harassment, intimidation, and racist hate speech, and targeted by some of the University’s wealthiest and most powerful donors and politicians,” the faculty and staff group said in a statement. “The university has summarily disposed of academic freedom and constitutionally protected freedoms of dissent in an effort to silence students for speaking out against apartheid, occupation and genocide.”

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