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Man behind Taliban-Al Qaeda nexus: Osama's former bodyguard returns to Afghanistan, out of hiding after a decade

Author: Abhishek Bhalla
Publication: Indiatoday.in
Date: September 2, 2021
URL:        https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/man-behind-taliban-alqaeda-nexus-osama-bodyguard-in-afghanistan-out-of-hiding-after-decade-1848143-2021-09-01

Believed to be the bodyguard of former Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US forces in Pakistan's Abbottabad in 2011, Amin-Ul-Haq has reportedly returned to Afghanistan. Haq is considered to be a link between Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Amin-Ul-Haq, who coordinated security for Osama bin Laden, according to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and is now said to be a key figure for the Taliban, had been in hiding for a decade. He had not been under public glare since his release from a Pakistani jail in 2011 where he spent three years.

Haq has reportedly returned to Afghanistan. A video, purportedly of Haq reaching his hometown in the Nangrahar province of Afghanistan, has gone viral, indicating that Al Qaeda might have a free run under Taliban rule.
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BILAL SARWARY @bsarwary

Dr. Amin-ul-Haq, a major al-Qaeda player in Afghanistan, Osama Bin Laden security in charge in Tora Bora, returns to his native Nangarhar province after it fell to the Taliban. Dr. Amin became close to OBL in the 80s when he worked with Abdullah Azzam in Maktaba Akhidmat.

Aug 30, 2021

As Osama's security chief, he was in-charge of the 'Black Guards', a group that worked as his personal bodyguards.

Currently being a link between al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Amin-Ul-Haq is also said to be working behind the scenes as part of negotiations with the US on behalf of the Taliban for the release of Taliban prisoners.

Links in Pakistan

Haq was arrested in 2008 in Pakistan but managed to get released in 2011. It is not clear whether he had been living in Pakistan or travelling between the neighbouring Nangrahar province in Afghanistan through the porous border.

Some reports have suggested that he was taken into custody in an operation led by Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

Born in 1960 in Afghanistan's Nangrahar, Haq was a doctor by profession. He also worked as a doctor in Pakistan in his younger days.

Nangrahar is also the place where ISIS-Khorasan Province or Islamic State-KP functions from.

Khorasan is a large historical region, mainly comprising areas lying in northeastern Iran, northern Afghanistan and southern Turkmenistan.

It is believed that Haq played a pivotal role in Osama's escape from the Tora Bora caves in Afghanistan in 2001.

In 2007, he was also injured during the US operation in Nangrahar but was successful in escaping by crossing the border and reaching Pakistan.

Several al-Qaeda members have been aiding the Taliban and Haq doesn't seem to be alone. Many of them found shelter along the borders and are also travelling between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

UN Listing

Haq also faced UN sanctions and was listed for his terror activities and links with Al Qaeda on January 25, 2001.

A UN webpage identifies him as being associated with Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban for "participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of, supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to or otherwise supporting acts or activities."

 
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