The Afghan Taliban’s stunning success in defeating the American superpower has emboldened the Pakistani Taliban.

In Pakistan’s rugged tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan, a quiet and persistent warning is circulating: The Taliban are returning, AP reports.

Pakistan’s own Taliban movement, which had in years past waged a violent campaign against the Islamabad government, has been emboldened by the return to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

They seem to be preparing to retake control of the tribal regions that they lost nearly seven years ago in a major operation by Pakistan’s military. Pakistani Taliban are already increasing their influence. Local contractors report Taliban-imposed surcharges on every contract and the killing of those who defy them.

Pakistan’s Taliban, known as the Tehrik-e-Taliban or TTP, is a separate organization from Afghanistan’s Taliban, though they share much of the same hardline ideology and are allied. The TTP arose in the early 2000s and launched a campaign of bombings and other attacks, vowing to bring down the Pakistani government and seizing control in many tribal areas. The military crackdown of the 2010s managed to repress it.

“The Afghan Taliban’s stunning success in defeating the American superpower has emboldened the Pakistani Taliban. They now seem to believe they too can wage a successful jihad against the Pakistani ‘infidel’ state and have returned to insurgency mode,” said Brian Glyn Williams, Islamic history professor at the University of Massachusetts, who has written extensively on jihad movements.

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