The Taliban released Mark Frerichs, an American veteran who has been held hostage since early 2020, in exchange for Haji Bashir Noorzai, a convicted Taliban drug kingpin who was serving a life sentence for smuggling heroin into the United States.
In the first iteration of Long War Journal’s expanding coverage, Bill is joined by John Hardie, deputy director of FDD’s Russia Program, to examine the current state of Russia’s war in Ukraine. They unpack and analyze the latest information, from tactical and theater-level to strategic.
Bill is joined again by Edmund Fitton-Brown and Caleb Weiss to take a look at the current global footprint of the Islamic State.
FDD’s Long War Journal confirmed the authenticity of a photograph of senior Al Qaeda leaders Saif al Adel, Abu Muhammad al Masri, and Abu Abu al Khayr al Masri in Tehran, Iran, circa 2015. Saif al Adel may be the next leader of Al Qaeda.
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.