Friend of the show LTG (Ret.) H.R. McMaster joins Bill once again to discuss America’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan one year ago. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary — including an ongoing close relationship with al Qaeda, the United States designated the Taliban as “partners in peace” and handed the terrorist group keys to a state apparatus. Afghanistan fell and became the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. But it didn’t have to.
One year after America’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, resistance to the Taliban’s brutal regime has organized in northern Afghanistan and is beginning to challenge the Taliban’s primacy. FDD’s Long War Journal is mapping the resistance activities.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, who at the time was the operational commander of the Haqqani Network, was joined by his brother Badruddin Haqqani, Qari Zakir, the Taliban’s chief of suicide bombers, Mullah Sangeen Zadran, a dangerous Haqqani leader, and Ghani Muhammad, an Al Qaeda-linked military commander based in Pakistan, in the video. They give a send off to the suicide assault team that attacked Forward Operating Base Fenty on Nov. 12, 2010.
Zakir’s appointment to lead the fight against the National Resistance Front (NRF) in Panjshir and the district of Andarab in the neighboring province of Baghlan is a clear indication that the NRF is challenging the Taliban’s primacy in central and northern Afghanistan. Zakir is a capable military commander.
Shabaab’s recent hotel siege in Mogadishu, beginning on Friday and ending early Sunday, signals the severe challenges that remain in combating the al Qaeda branch.
In this episode, Bill interviews John Batchelor, host of CBS Eye on the World with John Batchelor. Bill has been a regular on John’s radio show for more than a decade and considers him a mentor and friend. They discuss the Long War and how September 11, 2001 shaped both of their careers.
Since resuming military activity inside Somalia earlier this year, the Biden Administration has ramped up the pace of airstrikes in the Horn of Africa country in recent weeks. Since June 3, the US has conducted at least six airstrikes against Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa.
The raid also marks the first time that the Allied Democratic Forces, the local name for the Islamic State’s Central Africa Province, has struck inside Butembo city.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan leader Omar Khalid Khurasani, who is believed to have given sanctuary to Ayman al Zawahiri in the past, has called for global jihad, attacks on the US, and the establishment of the caliphate, and celebrated the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. He is reported to have been killed in a district in Afghansitan that has hosted an Al Qaeda training camp in the past.
Bill is joined again by Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at FDD, and by Joe Truzman, research analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal, to discuss the latest round of violence that emanated from the Gaza Strip this weekend and eventually resulted in an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire. They also unpack details about the terrorist group behind the escalation, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) — including where they get their weapons, training, and funding (spoiler alert: it’s Iran).
A ceasefire deal mediated by Egypt has been reached between Palestinian militant organizations and Israel.
Palestinian militants continued to fire rockets towards Israel as operation “Breaking Dawn” entered its second day.
In a targeted operation Friday afternoon, the IDF eliminated Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s northern commander, Taysir al-Jabari.
Edmund Fitton-Brown — outgoing coordinator of the UN Security Council Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring team and longtime friend of the show — joins Bill to discuss the killing of Al Qaeda emir Ayman Zawahiri, who died in a U.S. drone strike last Sunday.
A Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader in the West Bank behind the surge in militant activity was arrested in an Israeli security forces’ operation Monday night in Jenin.
Zawahiri’s death is being hailed as a counterterrorism success, but that masks the fact Afghanistan has become a safe haven for top Al Qaeda leaders.
In this episode, Bill flies solo and expands upon his recent article in FDD’s Long War Journal, “Ayman al Zawahiri is alive; Taliban and Al Qaeda ‘remain close,’ UN reports,” noting that reports today (August 1, 2022) of Zawahiri’s death inside of Afghanistan underscore the country’s role as a safe-haven for Al Qaeda.