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).
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.
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.
Zawahiri lives. The Taliban-Al Qaeda alliance remains strong. The leaders of Al Qaeda’s branches in North and East Africa have assumed roles in Al Qaeda’s line of succession.
This policy both limits the effectiveness of anti-Taliban resistance and reduces the U.S. military and intelligence communities’ ability to monitor and strike Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and other regional and global terror groups based in Afghanistan.
The Taliban has made this false statement for decades, even prior to 9/11. And yet foreign terror groups continue to operate in Afghanistan to this day.