After nearly two decades of abysmal assessments from U.S. intelligence officials and policy makers on Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, the latest claims that the terror group is “at its historical nadir” should be taken with more than a grain of salt.
The Afghan people continue to suffer as the Taliban consolidates its power. Meanwhile, the Taliban’s support for Al Qaeda, the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, and a number of regional terror groups grows.
Bill is again joined by Generation Jihad regular Ambassador Edmund Fitton-Brown to discuss the latest report from the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team (which Edmund previously led). Released on July 25, 2023, the Team’s thirty-second report provides an update on al Qaeda and the Islamic State. Bill and Edmund unpack findings, discuss a few highlights, and also explain some points of disagreement.
The Afghan Taliban continues to claim that there are no foreign terror groups operating inside their country, despite all evidence to the contrary. The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan has an extensive footprint in Afghanistan.
AFRICOM has launched four airstrikes against Al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia this month as it continues to provide air support for the Somali National Army.
“I said Al Qaeda would not be there,” President Biden said about Afghanistan. “I said we’d get help from the Taliban… I was right.” Except Al Qaeda is indeed in Afghanistan and is receiving support from the Taliban.
The Afghan Taliban has vehemently objected to the lest UN report, as it punches gaping holes into the Taliban’s narrative that it does not shelter and support foreign terror groups. However, the presence of the TTP, Al Qaeda and a host of other terror groups in Afghanistan is undeniable.
Bill welcomes back to the show Generation Jihad regular Ambassador Edmund Fitton-Brown. Now a member of the Counter Extremism Project’s advisory board, Edmund previously served as the UK’s Ambassador to Yemen and later as the coordinator of the U.N. Security Council’s Sanctions Monitoring Team.
Edmund’s former team at the U.N. just released its latest report on Afghanistan which details (among other troubling issues) just how embedded al Qaeda is in Afghanistan’s Taliban government.
Bill and Edmund dissect the report’s findings.
Al Qaeda has established training camps in five Afghan provinces, as well as safe houses and a media center. The Taliban-Al Qaeda relationship is strong. Al Qaeda most certainly has not declined, nor has it been decimated or defeated.
Three prominent dual hatted Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders serve in key positions within the Taliban establishment, according to the United Nationals Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team. The Taliban is providing Al Qaeda with key support, including “welfare payments” and passports.
The Taliban has made this false statement for decades, even prior to 9/11. After al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri was killed in Kabul, Taliban promises like this should be dismissed out of hand. Foreign terror groups continue to operate in Afghanistan to this day.
FDD’s Long War Journal responds to the former ambassador’s assertion that assessments of Afghanistan once again becoming a terrorist safe haven are false.
Sami al-Uraydi, a Jordanian national and senior leader within al-Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has been designated.
Host Bill Roggio and (now official) co-host Caleb Weiss are joined by former coordinator of the UN Security Council Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring team Edmund Fitton-Brown to discuss findings in the latest UN report on the Islamic State and al Qaeda.
The U.S. captured al Qaeda key commander Abu Ikhlas al Masri in 2010. He was freed from Bagram prison after the Taliban takeover in 2021, and is thought to have reformed an Al Qaeda unit.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, claimed credit for the deadly attack. The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan denied involvement, while it and the Afghan Taliban cynically claimed it would never strike a mosque.
The U.S. military targeted Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa, in a pair of strikes in central Somalia over the past several days. The first attack took place on Jan. 20 near the town of Galcad in Somalia’s central region of Galguduud. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said it killed at least 30 Shabaab members […]
The U.S. has now placed a $10 million bounty on Maalim Ayman, the leader of Shabaab’s military wing in Kenya. Maalim Ayman now joins the ranks of other high-profile Sunni jihadis around the world demanding a similar price tag.
Another hotel siege perpetrated by Shabaab in Mogadishu was ended by Somali security forces almost twenty four hours after it began. The al Qaeda branch continues to lash out against civilians in response to military operations against it.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as well as al Qaeda’s general command, have issued communiques denouncing Qatar and the World Cup as a means to degrade the morals of the Arabian Peninsula. The Islamic State’s supporters have additionally issued their own infographics, calling for attacks on the games.
Nine individuals were designated by the U.S. Treasury Department while an additional five were also blacklisted by the U.S. State Department.
Mohammad Nabi Omari was one of the notorious “Gitmo Five” detainees who were freed in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl. His appointment highlights Sirajuddin’s consolidation of power in Afghanistan’s interior ministry.
The recent drone strike comes as the Somali National Army (SNA) mounts a large offensive against Shabaab in Somalia’s central Hiraan Region.
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.
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.
Shabaab’s recent hotel siege in Mogadishu, beginning on Friday and ending early Sunday, signals the severe challenges that remain in combating the al Qaeda branch.
Since resuming military activity inside Somalia earlier this year, the Biden Administration has ramped up the pace of airstrikes in the Horn of Africa country in recent weeks. Since June 3, the US has conducted at least six airstrikes against Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa.
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.