Author Archives: Thomas Joscelyn

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

Taliban falsely claims al Qaeda doesn’t exist in Afghanistan

During an online conference last week, CENTCOM commander Gen. McKenzie questioned the Taliban’s commitment to its supposed counterterrorism assurances. He pointed to al Qaeda’s presence in eastern Afghanistan and claimed Ayman al Zawahiri is there. In response, the Taliban falsely claimed that al Qaeda hasn’t been present in Afghanistan since the days of the Islamic Emirate.





Taliban ‘reluctant to publicly break with al Qaeda,’ Inspector General reports

According to a new report by the Lead Inspector General for Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, U.S. officials have assessed that the Taliban is “reluctant to publicly break with al Qaeda,” while Pakistan continues to harbor senior Taliban leaders, including the Haqqanis. The report confirms that the Taliban went on the offensive following the Feb. 29 withdrawal agreement with the U.S.


Pensacola shooter had ‘significant ties’ to AQAP, FBI finds

The FBI and DOJ announced today that Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani had “significant ties” to AQAP and had been planning a terrorist attack for years. Alshamrani carried out the Dec. 6, 2019 shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, killing three U.S. sailors and wounding eight other Americans.



UN finds ‘disturbing increase in violence’ following U.S.-Taliban deal

According to UNAMA, civilian casualties decreased during the first quarter of the year, as compared to similar timeframes in previous years. However, there was a “disturbing increase in violence” in Afghanistan following the U.S. agreement with the Taliban on Feb. 29. And the Taliban is the prime culprit with respect to civilian casualties.