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.
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.
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.
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.
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.