Author Archives: Bill Roggio

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

Generation Jihad Ep. 190 — Partnering with terrorists to fight terrorists

The UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team has released its latest report on Afghanistan and the myriad of jihadist activity therein. To discuss, Bill is joined by former director of this team at the UN and longtime friend of the show Edmund Fitton-Brown. Edmund is now a senior advisor to the Counter Extremism Project and previously served as the UK’s ambassador to Yemen.

Al Qaeda infrastructure in Afghanistan map

Analysis: Al Qaeda expands its network of training camps in Afghanistan

The United Nations Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team reports that Al Qaeda is operating training camps in two new Afghan provinces: Kandahar and Takhar. The terrorist group now operates training camps in 12 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Additionally, the Monitoring Team notes that Al Qaeda “still uses Afghanistan as a permissive haven under the Taliban.”

Generation Jihad Ep. 186 — A conversation with Lieutenant General Sami Sadat

Bill and Will Selber are joined by Lieutenant General Sami Sadat who among many other roles served as deputy commander of the Afghan ground forces and later the deputy chief of staff of the Afghan National Army. Now, he leads the Afghan United Front. They discuss America’s role in giving the Taliban the upper-hand that ultimately led to the collapse of Kabul; the vital role of morale during war; just how established Al Qaeda is inside Afghanistan and whether the Taliban-Al Qaeda relationship got stronger after U.S. withdrawal; and more.

Generation Jihad Ep. 184 — PSA for Israel: take our weapons, not our advice

Bill and Wednesday co-host Will Selber explain why Israel is not fighting an insurgency in Gaza as they unpack (and dismantle) a recent Foreign Affairs article authored by David Petraeus et al: “Israel’s War of Regime Change Is Repeating America’s Mistakes: But Israel Can Still Learn From America’s Successes” — wait, what successes? Israel should learn from our mistakes by repeating our mistakes?

Generation Jihad Ep. 181 — Al Qaeda’s leader has a new rallying cry. We should listen.

The (still technically unofficial) leader of Al Qaeda, Saif al-Adel, wrote an article under a pseudonym calling for people around the world to flock to Afghanistan for training to conduct attacks against “the Zionists.” Clear efforts by Al Qaeda to capitalize on the conflict in Gaza — but is the threat credible? Does al Qaeda in Afghanistan even have the means? Yes and yes, say Bill and Will Selber, LWJ contributor and retired Middle East Foreign Area Officer. They discuss how we give an enemy time and space to innovate and then ignore their threats at our own peril.

U.S. offers $5 million reward for member of Al Qaeda’s top leadership council

Hamza al Ghamdi is a legacy Al Qaeda leader who fought alongside Osama bin Laden against the Soviets, led bin Laden’s bodyguard, organized terror attacks in Tajikistan in the 1990s, and fought at the battle of Tora Bora. He is currently a member of Al Qaeda’s shura, or executive leadership council. Ghamdi is likely based in Afghanistan or Iran.

Generation Jihad Ep. 175 — Afghanistan’s emerging resistance movement

The botched U.S. withdrawal in 2021 left behind a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan with al-Qaeda running training camps using abandoned American military equipment. Terrorism confined by the borders of Afghanistan until history repeats itself and it isn’t. Luckily, a major resistance movement is taking shape in Afghanistan and attempting to organize against the Taliban.

To learn about three groups that have emerged at the forefront Bill is joined by Will Selber, retired Middle East Foreign Area Officer with multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

They discuss who’s who in the resistance, which groups could be effective enough to take the fight to the Taliban (and which should sit it out), the work ahead and what they need for success — including unification.

Generation Jihad Ep. 169 — The Houthi Origin Story

Bill is joined by Long War Journal regular and long-time friend of the show, Edmund Fitton-Brown to talk about the Houthis. If you’re here, you’ve heard of them — but how much do you actually know about them? What is their relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran? Why are they in Yemen? Edmund previously served as the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Yemen, a role which required him to negotiate and spend a significant amount of time in close quarters with Houthi leaders. He details some of his interactions with them and how the experience shapes his understanding of the region today.

Generation Jihad Ep. 159 — Six months of war in Gaza and Hamas still ≠ ISIS

Bill is joined by LWJ’s Seth Frantzman just after the six-month mark of Israel’s defensive war in Gaza resulting from the October 7 attack by Hamas. They discuss Seth’s latest visit to border communities in Israel and whether there’s a realistic timeline for still-evacuated citizens to return, disturbing reports that Hamas has apparently lost track of which hostages are dead or alive, and Tehran’s possible response to Israel’s April 1 assassination of an IRGC-QF commander in Damascus as we enter day ~seven of bracing for an imminent Iranian attack against Israel within 24-48 hours.

Generation Jihad Ep. 141 — PSA: “Iran + Iran ≠ anything other than Iran”

This episode features the most special guest to join Generation Jihad in two years: Thomas Joscelyn.

Bill’s OG partner in crime is back on the show to discuss the newest variant of Disconnect-the-Dots Disease and its primary benefactor who also happens to be the arsonist behind the dumpster fire currently engulfing the Middle East — and the dangerous cost of American ambivalence.

Generation Jihad Ep. 129 — Measuring the prosperity of Operation Prosperity

Bill is joined by Friday co-host Behnam Ben Taleblu to check in on the U.S.-led coalition formed earlier this week in response to increased maritime aggression from the Iran-backed Houthis. Spoiler: France seems to already be backing out. They examine countries noticeably absent from the bloc, like Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia. They also ponder the strategic nature of Operation Prosperity Guardian — is it only defensive? How about going on the offensive to prevent Houthi attacks in the first place? Bill thinks he’s seen this movie before. It’s the one where they ignore the core of the issue.

Generation Jihad Ep. 128 — Operation Prosperity Guardian, the Houthis, and CDR Salamander

Bill is joined by CDR Salamander to discuss the coalition announced today by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin during his trip to the Middle East. The coalition — made up of the UK, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain in partnership with the US — was formed with the objective of “ensuring freedom of navigation in the Red Sea” following the recent uptick in Houthi aggression and attacks in the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden area. 

Generation Jihad Ep. 126 — “They don’t pass out candy in war.”

Bill is back with FDD Senior Fellow and Iran expert Behnam Ben Taleblu (now also a Generation Jihad co-host, you heard it here first) to unpack and contextualize this week’s headlines stemming from the Middle East.

They discuss the politics of diplomacy and analyze recent trips and statements made by key players like Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and President Biden himself; whether U.S. support for Israel is at a crossroads, and what message this could send to U.S. partners and allies (and enemies) around the world; an apparent U.S. intelligence leak estimating that 45% of Israeli munition used in Gaza has not been precision-guided; and more.

Generation Jihad Ep. 123 — The Afghanistan affliction

Bill is joined by Stu Velasco and Zach Popp of The Boardwalk Podcast (also hosted by Kyle Reynolds who couldn’t make it, shoutout Kyle Reynolds) to discuss the trials and tribulations of their time in service to the U.S. during the long war.