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Articles on Al-Qaida

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Taliban fighters investigate inside a Shiite mosque after a suicide bomb attack in Kunduz on October 8, 2021. AFP

How jihadism could thrive under the Taliban in Afghanistan

The Taliban say they won’t allow jihadi groups to flourish under their rule. But there is good reason to believe that al-Qaida, IS and other regional groups will benefit from the takeover.
Mauritanian soldiers stand guard near the border with Mali in the fight against jihadists in Africa’s Sahel region. Photo by Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images

Mapping the contours of Jihadist groups in the Sahel

Jihadi groups take advantage of endemic poverty, inequality, high unemployment levels, illiteracy, ethnic divisions, and poor governance to spread their campaign of violence in the Sahel region.
In 2014, the Islamic State group could draw crowds of supporters, like these in Mosul, Iraq. But actual fighting recruits have been harder to come by. AP Photo

Al-Qaida, Islamic State group struggle for recruits

A second plot was planned on 9/11, but there were too few terrorists to carry it off. Twenty years later, al-Qaida and its offshoot the Islamic State group still have trouble attracting recruits.
On Aug. 16, 2021, thousands of Afghans trapped by the sudden Taliban takeover rushed the Kabul airport tarmac. AP Photo/Shekib Rahmani

Afghanistan only the latest US war to be driven by deceit and delusion

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the US Afghanistan pullout is not a repeat of failures in other recent wars. “This is not Saigon,” he said. A seasoned foreign policy expert disagrees.
Personnel were evacuated from the U.S. embassy in Kabul on Aug. 15, 2021, as Taliban insurgents broke through the capital city’s defensive line. AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

Afghan government collapses, Taliban seize control: 5 essential reads

The Taliban ‘expect a complete handover of power.’ Experts explain who the Taliban are, what life is like under their rule and how the US may bear responsibility for Afghanistan’s collapse.
In early 2021, some Taliban fighters surrendered their weapons to support peace talks with the Afghan government. Today the Islamic extremist group is battling government forces to control the country. Xinhua/Emran Waak via Getty Images

Afghanistan after the US withdrawal: The Taliban speak more moderately but their extremist rule hasn’t evolved in 20 years

Two decades have passed since the US invasion of Afghanistan toppled the Taliban’s Islamic extremist regime. Despite efforts to update its image, the group still holds hard-line views.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, center, greets Gen. Scott Miller, the former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, upon Miller’s July 14, 2021, return to the U.S. at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The US withdraws from Afghanistan after 20 years of war: 4 questions about this historic moment

A scholar and practitioner of foreign policy and national security offers personal and professional perspectives on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
U.S. special operations troops are a crucial element of the fight against terrorism. AP Photo/Wally Santana

In the terrorism fight, Trump has continued a key Obama policy

Sending specially trained operatives into hostile territories dates back to Colonial days. In the past decade, special operations forces have become central to America’s counterterrorism efforts.
Yemen’s al-Qaida branch, called al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, is the most dangerous and sophisticated offshoot of the terror group Osama bin Laden founded in Afghanistan in 1988. AP Photo/Hani Mohammed

Al-Qaida is stronger today than it was on 9/11

Bin Laden’s extremist group had less than a hundred members in September 2001. Today it’s a transnational terror organization with 40,000 fighters across the Middle East, Africa and beyond.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka bombings – a clear signal the group is reforming in other parts of the world after its defeat in Syria and Iraq. M.A. Pushpa Kumara/EPA

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka terror attack. Here’s what that means

The deadly Sri Lanka attacks show a return to the coordinated, sophisticated strikes employed by al-Qaeda in the 2000s, focusing on soft targets with vulnerable institutions.

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