Previously these groups were believed to share a common aim of driving international forces from Afghanistan, but were not thought to co-operate on missions.
Lieutenant Colonel John Dorrian, spokesman for the Nato-led military coalition in Afghanistan, said there was growing evidence of a "nexus" between the groups. "There's a symbiotic relationship between the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network as well as al-Qaeda. If they have someone with expertise in, for example, weapons or manufacturing [explosive devices], it's common for them to share that knowledge," he told The Daily Telegraph.
Earlier this month, the White House published a review of the war in Afghanistan which said the US was on track to begin withdrawing forces in 2011 following a surge of 30,000 troops. Commanders with the Nato-led force in Afghanistan said the insurgents' new tactics reflected an attempt to wrest the initiative from American and allied forces.
"They have been forced to co-operate due to the effect our collective efforts have had on them," Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Seiber, a spokesman for American and coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan, told The New York Times. (The Telegraph)