The deadly attack on a paramilitary training center in Pakistan has been claimed by Taliban, calling it a revenge for bin Laden, and warning that further such attacks are yet to come. The twin suicide blast killed more than 80 recruits who had just finished their training period.
Friday has been a bloody day for the recent history of Af-Pak region since the fall of Taliban, and rise of militants. There have been bomb blasts and suicide attacks across both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Friday, despite being a sacred day in Islamic tradition, has been a favorite choice for the suicide bombers of Taliban and Al-Qaeda to blow themselves up and go straight to paradise, as they are made to believe.
Friday's attack is first of its kind after the death of Osama bin Laden. And with the Taliban statement saying that they would continue such attacks for his revenge, there is terror yet to come. Al-Qaeda affiliated groups in both countries Afghanistan and Pakistan have been warning of revenge attacks. In Afghanistan, we have already seen the episode in Kandahar, when the city was besieged by suicide bombers and fighters for almost 3 days, when security forces were unable to control the situation. Frontline fighters have vowed to avenge bin Laden's death. It's very likely that they are planning major attacks in Afghanistan, as that of the one in Friday in Pakistan.
Since last year, there has been a group of activist Western journalists who are trying to prove that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda have no relationship, and it was all between Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden. The common myth being promoted is that the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan is a local movement for limited goals within Afghanistan. But the fact is that, Taliban have never fought for power or rule, otherwise they would have easily handed over bin Laden to the US and saved their rule in 2001. The driving force for their fighters and leadership is the Salafi Jihadi ideology. And there is no local or global difference of goals in such Jihad. It all depends on Taliban's capability. If they have the means and resources to reach and carry out a major attack in the West, Taliban will certainly do.
There are Taliban groups who have direct operational links with Al-Qaeda commanders. These relations go far beyond ideological bond. There is operational, tactical and strategic links. Afghan intelligence, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) spokesman has said Osama was an important player behind the intensifying insurgency in Afghanistan.
But there are some people who still live in denial and don't pay attention to the bloody fact that Taliban is more than just a bunch of "angry people". They are Jihadis with ideological roots, and we need to take them in that perspective.