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Al-Qaida and Taliban ties still a concern

April 29, 2012 at 11:32 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 29 (UPI) -- Officials say documents found in the house where Osama bin Laden was killed show the close ties between the Taliban and al-Qaida.

The documents found show correspondence between bin Laden, his deputy at the time, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Taliban Commander Mullah Mohammad Omar, concerning operations against NATO forces, the Afghan government and targets in Pakistan. A Washington source familiar with the documents told The Guardian they show a "very considerable degree of ideological convergence."

Analysts have been debating whether or not the Taliban could be persuaded to renounce terrorism, or if they will once more offer safe haven to militants such as al-Qaida. There are only about 100 al-Qaida members left in Afghanistan, Western intelligence officials estimate.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have agreed some kind of political agreement with the Taliban is the key to a stable, peaceful Afghanistan after the total withdrawal of U.S. troops by 2014.

"Questions and issues come up," the source said. "They don't see eye to eye on everything but it's clear they understand they have an interest in cooperating. Of those engaged in the conversation, two are still alive today and there is no reason to believe that either has substantially changed his views in the last year."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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