Archive for the ‘Taliban’ Category

The Islamic State’s June 29 declaration of a caliphate has yet to win mass support among the global jihadi community but it has succeeded in provoking an embattled al-Qaeda leadership to respond—in unforeseen fashion. Rather than immediately denouncing the Islamic State’s new “caliphate” as one would have expected, al-Qaeda has responded in kind: that is, […]

Many authors have tried to fill in the gaps in the historical account of how al-Qa’ida’s central leadership came to reside in Jalalabad for part of 1996, with mixed results. Yunus Khalis has become a fixture in these narratives largely because he was the best known person that Bin Laden interacted with in the summer […]

NYU Report on AQ and Taliban

Posted: 8th February 2011 by Thomas Hegghammer in Afghanistan, AQ Central, Taliban

NYU’s Center on International Cooperation has just published a new report by Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn on Taliban-al-Qaida relations and implications for US policy. Few people are better informed than Alex and Felix about this topic. How many Western civilians do you know who has spent the past few years living in Qandahar?

New Report Profiling the Taliban

Posted: 23rd April 2010 by Thomas Hegghammer in Afghanistan, Taliban

Anne Stenersen has written a new FFI report on the organizational structure and ideology of the Taliban. The report is based on field research, analysis of online Taliban propaganda and a thorough review of the secondary literature. This is essential reading for anyone working Afghanistan. One of her conclusions caught my eye: “For the time […]

Did the Quetta Shura Break With al-Qaida?

Posted: 22nd March 2010 by Anne Stenersen in Afghanistan, AQ Central, Taliban

Mustafa Hamid, aka Abu’l-Walid al-Masri, published a blog piece a little while ago which discussed the arrest of Mullah Baradir. It’s fascinating reading, especially the first part which deals with the historical role of Mullah Baradir in the Taliban insurgency. It’s already been covered in part by Leah Farrall. I thought I’d add some comment […]

The Taliban, the UN and al-Qaida

Posted: 30th October 2009 by Anne Stenersen in Afghanistan, AQ Leadership, Taliban

(Editor’s note: Anne tried to post a comment on Vahid Brown’s landmark post on Al-Qaida-Taliban relations. Given that she is one of the world’s foremost experts on this issue, there was no way I was going to let her remarks “disappear” into the comments section. So here they are. Her text begins with a response […]

Mullah Omar’s Afghan Taliban and al-Qa’ida’s senior leaders have been issuing some very mixed messages of late, and the online jihadi community is in an uproar, with some calling these developments “the beginning of the end of relations” between the two movements.  Beginning with a statement from Mullah Omar in September, the Afghan Taliban’s Quetta-based […]

(Editor’s note: I am delighted to introduce our next guest blogger, Vahid Brown from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Vahid is a linguist and historian with deep knowledge of the history of al-Qaida and the jihadi movement. He is the author of Cracks in the Foundation and the co-author of several well-known CTC […]