al-Qaida leaders are in seven different provinces, indicating a high level of growth since the U.S. invasion in 2001, Commander of all U.S. forces in Afghanistan Army Gen. John Nicholson admitted to reporters yesterday.
Al-Qaida operations have increased throughout Afghanistan since the end of U.S. combat missions in 2014. The U.S. assisted an Afghan-led operation in 2015 that destroyed the largest al-Qaida training camp seen in the history of the Afghan war. U.S.-backed Afghan forces raided another al-Qaida training base Sept. 19. The base was well stocked with weapons, suicide vests, and fake identification, "The US government and the military has downplayed al Qaeda’s presence for more than six years, despite evidence that al Qaeda has remained entrenched in Afghanistan some 15 years after the 9/11 attacks,"
Islamic State have regained control of most of the militant group's former strongholds in the country, their goal is to establish their caliphate, the Khorasan province, with Jalalabad as the capital and Nangarhar as their initial caliphate