Pakistani security forces have detained the wife of Al-Qaeda chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and two other family members of the groups 'martyrs' for nearly a year, according to a statement released by the insurgent group on Friday.
Al-Qaeda claimed that "treacherous Pakistani forces" captured the family members including Al-Zawahri's wife a year ago as they left Waziristan, a former Taliban base bordering Afghanistan due to airstrikes, reported Associated Press.
"We ... hold Pakistan's government and its treacherous army and their American masters responsible for their criminal acts," the statement said.
The current leader of Al-Qaeda, al-Zawahri is an Egyptian who took over the group's leadership after US military forces killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan's Abbottabad region in 2011.
While Pakistan has not commented on the statement, Zawahiri is said to be hiding in the country.
Al-Qaeda's statement came a day after US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper confirmed the death of 9/11 mastermind's son, Hamza bin Laden.
The US official confirmation comes weeks after it was reported that he was killed during the last two years in an operation that involved the United States. Hamza who is believed, to be 30 years old, may have been killed before the US announced a $1 million bounty on him in February 2019.
According to the documents found in the Abottabad house, Bin Laden was preparing Hamza to replace him as the terror outfit's leader. Later on, Hamza was assumed to have donned the role of a deputy to the Alqaeda's current chief, Al-Zawahiri.
The United Nations Security Council reported that the deteriorating health of Al-Zawahiri has raised doubts about the global terrorist organisation's succession.
Pakistan's war on terror
Pakistan has often been accused of supporting terrorists in Afghanistan including the Al-Qaeda. Yesterday, the terror watchdog Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) Asia Pacific Group placed Pakistan in its "enhanced expedited follow-up list".
The list, which is believed to be similar to be blacklisted, APG found the country non-complaint to 32 of the 40 parameters on money-laundering and terror financing.
The announcement came a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan said that 40 different militant groups were operating in Pakistan when the country joined US war on terror after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
"We were fighting the US war on terror. Pakistan has nothing to do with 9/11. Al-Qaeda was in Afghanistan. There were no militant Taliban in Pakistan. But we joined the US war. Unfortunately, when things went wrong, where I blame my government, we did not tell the US exactly the truth on the ground," the Pakistani PM said as quoted by news agency PTI.
However, India has accused Pakistan of its state-sponsor of promoting cross-border terrorism in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region.
Earlier this month, Indian intelligence reports stated Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has given terrorist group, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) full permission for conducting suicide bomb attacks in the valley and cause as many casualties as they can, without worrying about "collateral damage".
US President Donald Trump in the middle of negotiating peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and the Afghan government.
The US government have stated that the withdrawal of US troops in a bid to end the 19-year war will be done over a period of time to ensure political stability and avoid security resurgence of Taliban's state control in the region.