After three years in a Pakistani prison and a decade in hiding, Dr. Amin-Ul-Haq, the former chief of security to Osama Bin Laden during his time in Afghanistan has returned and is now serving as a key figure in the Taliban. Haq is a battle-hardened terrorist and was according to FDD’s Long War Journal, the Al-Qaeda commander in charge of Bin Laden’s Black Guard and led the terrorist forces in the battle of Tora Bora. The first major battle of the Afghanistan War saw the dissolution of the Taliban and represented a tactical victory for the US, but an overall strategic failure due to the skills of Dr. Haq, Osama bin Laden was able to escape to his Abottabad complex in northern Pakistan and key elements of Al-Qaeda were able to operate across the border between the two countries for decades before their eventual defeat. Amin-Ul-Haq’s resurfacing could indicate a post-war resurgence of Al-Qaeda.
A Possible Al-Qaeda Resurgence Led By A Hardened Terrorist
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. pic.twitter.com/IXbZeJ0nZE
— BILAL SARWARY (@bsarwary) August 30, 2021
The Journal described Dr. Haq’s career as an Al-Qaeda commander,
“Al Haq began his career as a jihadist as a member of the Hizb-i Islami Khalis (HIK), a faction of the Hizb-i-Islami group that was founded by Maulvi Mohammed Yunis Khalis, who was instrumental in welcoming Osama bin Laden to Afghanistan after Al Qaeda was ejected from Sudan in 1996.
As leader of the Black Guard, al Haq accompanied Osama bin Laden during the 2001 battle at Tora Bora in Nangarhar province. Al Haq helped the Al Qaeda emir and other senior al Qaeda leaders escape the U.S. and Afghan militia assault on the cave complex and flee to Pakistan.
During renewed fighting at Tora Bora in the summer of 2007, which was led by Anwarul Haq Mujahid, the eldest son of Khalis, al Haq was reportedly wounded and fled across the border into Pakistan’s Kurram tribal agency. A large Taliban and Al Qaeda force, which is said to have included Arabs, Chechens, and Uzbeks, battled with Afghan and U.S. forces, raising speculation that bin Laden was in the area.”
Reports from other sources like IndiaToday helped fill in some more of the blanks. Haq was arrested in 2008 after fleeing Afghanistan with Arab, Chechen, and Uzbek elements of Al Qaeda’s forces across the porous border into the Pakistani tribal lands along the Hindu Kush crossing back and forth into Nangarhar province from time to time. The Indian news outlet went on to report that “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 traveling between Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
These new circumstances, given the rise of the Taliban, suggest that many of the major players are back on the field and the future could see a renewed surge of terrorist activity in Afghanistan from many of the very same radical Islamists who plotted the September 11th attacks.