Washington [US], April 30 (ANI): As the United States' "war on terror" enters a new phase as President Joe Biden has begun withdrawing all US forces from Afghanistan, al-Qaeda has claimed that its war with America is far from over.
In an exclusive interview with CNN conducted through intermediaries, an al-Qaeda official said that "war against the US will be continuing on all other fronts unless they are expelled from the rest of the Islamic world".
Terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank, editor-in-chief of West Point's CTC Sentinel, who reviewed al Qaeda's answers, says it is possible "they feel buoyed by the Biden administration's decision to pull out troops from Afghanistan, but they may also be seeking to deflect attention from the many recent losses."
The al-Qaeda's statement comes as the coming weekend marks the 10th anniversary since Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, was killed by US special-operations forces.
The terror group said that it is planning a comeback after US forces leave Afghanistan by partnering with the Taliban once again.
"Thanks to Afghans for the protection of comrades-in-arms, many such jihadi fronts have been successfully operating in different parts of the Islamic world for a long time," al-Qaeda's spokesperson told CNN.
The US and Taliban had signed a historic agreement in February 2020 where the Afghan Taliban in which the group promised to cut the ties with al Qaeda that caused the US to invade Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks.
The group's reply towards Biden's move to pull out troops from Afghanistan suggests that the Taliban is being less than honest with Biden's administration and that the US troop drawdown could be based on a sham.
"This confirms what the UN has been saying that, 'the Taliban regularly consulted' with al Qaeda during its negotiations with the United States while guaranteeing that they 'would honor their historical ties' with the terrorist group," said Peter Bergen, CNN terrorism expert.
Al Qaeda's current leader, the less charismatic Ayman al-Zawahiri, lives a near virtual existence and is heard from only in rare propaganda releases. However, the group still sees itself as a lead for other jihadists.
In a reply to CNN about its role in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the group claims to have "masterminded" the 2009 attack killing seven CIA operatives at their base near Khowst in Afghanistan, with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as its 'junior partner'.
"Now the organization of Pakistani Taliban and their leadership not only moving forward in the light of Sharia but also making better decisions based on past experiences and recent successes have been made possible by the same unity and adherence to Sharia and Wisdom," it said.
"The United States is not a problem for our Afghan brothers, but due to the sacrifices in the Afghan war, the Americans are now defeated. Whether Republicans or Democrats -- both have made final decision to pull out from the Afghan war," the terror group further mentioned.
White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Thursday that the US has begun pulling out its troops from Afghanistan.
"A drawdown is underway," Jean-Pierre said. "Last week, Secretary of Defense approved the request from US Central Command for the temporary deployment of additional military assets into the Centcom AOR [area of responsibility] in order to support a safe and deliberate withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan."
Biden announced earlier this month the decision to withdraw troops from the country starting on that May 1 deadline, with the aim of completely withdrawing from Afghanistan by September 11, which would mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that sparked the war in Afghanistan, the longest conflict in American history.
Earlier this year, Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry said that despite the Taliban's claim that it seeks to maintain peace in the country, the terror outfit still maintains close ties to the terrorist outfit Pakistani Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. (ANI)