Analysis & Commentary


1st June 2016 - Quoted by Edwin Mora - Breitbart

Reports: Iran, Taliban Pulled Closer by Fight Against Islamic State in Afghanistan

Thomas Joscelyn

The “covert” relationship between Sunni Taliban jihadists in Afghanistan and Shiite state-sponsor of terrorism Iran has endured as a “marriage of convenience” for over a decade, primarily due to their mutual disdain towards the United States, according to various reports.

31st May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda branches eulogize Taliban leader Mullah Mansour

Thomas Joscelyn

Three of al Qaeda’s official branches have jointly published a eulogy for Mullah Mansour, the Taliban leader who was killed in an American drone strike on May 21. The statement of condolences is signed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and...

29th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Analysis: Iran has supported the Taliban’s insurgency since late 2001

Thomas Joscelyn

On May 21, an American drone strike ended Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour’s reign as the Taliban’s leader. As The Wall Street Journal first reported, US intelligence officials tracked Mansour to Iran, where he was visiting his family, and then targeted his car as he crossed back over the...

27th May 2016 - Quoted by Michael Kugelman - Foreign Policy

What Was Mullah Mansour Doing in Iran?

Thomas Joscelyn

On May 21, after a drone strike obliterated a car and its two occupants in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, local officials discovered a Pakistani passport, miraculously intact, amid the smoldering wreckage and two bodies charred beyond recognition.

27th May 2016 - Quoted by Edwin Mora - Breitbart

Afghan Taliban Head Rejects Peace Talks In Disputed Audio

Afghan Taliban jihadists, under their recently appointed emir Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, have reportedly vowed to continue fighting, maintaining their previous leader’s position against peace negotiations.

26th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

US lists 2 Pakistani jihadist groups as global terror organizations

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

Both Jamaat ul Dawa al Quran (JDQ) and the Tariq Gidar Group (TGG) have now been sanctioned, meaning Americans “are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with” the jihadist organizations.

25th May 2016 - Quoted by Ankit Panda - The Diplomat

Taliban Announce New Leader After Mullah Mansour’s Death

Bill Roggio

Four days after the United States announced it had killed Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, the leader of the Taliban, the group has announced a new leader.

25th May 2016 - Quoted by Krishnadev Calamur - The Atlantic

Who Is the New Taliban Leader?

Bill Roggio

The Taliban’s new leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, is being described as a “hardline religious scholar” who issues most of the group’s fatwas, as well as “well-educated and respected,” with at least one regional expert saying his appointment “will not fully appease all factions...

25th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Taliban name Mullah Haibatullah as new emir

Bill Roggio

The Afghan Taliban appointed Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, the group’s top judicial officer, as its new emir after confirming Mullah Mansour was killed by the US. Siraj Haqqani, the Taliban’s military commander, remains one of the Taliban’s top two deputies, and Mullah Mohammad...

25th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Baluchistan province is a primary hub for Afghan Taliban

Bill Roggio

The American airstrike in Baluchistan, Pakistan that targeted and killed Taliban emir Mullah Mansour was unprecedented as the US military and CIA have not launched an attack in the province since the drone program began in 2004.

24th May 2016 - Sirius XM Canada

The Arlene Bynon Show

Bill Roggio

FDD senior fellow Bill Roggio discusses the future of the Taliban and drone strike that killed Mullah Mansour in Pakistan.

23rd May 2016 - WINA 98.9FM

The Schilling Show

Bill Roggio

FDD Senior Fellow Bill Roggio talks about Taliban leader Mullah Mansoor being killed.

23rd May 2016 - The Long War Journal

US confirms Mansour killed, vows no change in combat strategy

Bill Roggio

The White House confirmed the death of Taliban emir Mullah Mansour today, two days after the US said it targeted the group’s leader in an unprecedented airstrike in southwestern Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

23rd May 2016 - Quoted by Mushtaq Yusufzai, Fazul Rahim, and Jon Schuppe - NBC News

Who Will Lead Taliban Next? Four Contenders Emerge

Bill Roggio

As the Taliban collected the body of its slain leader on Monday, the insurgent group also began discussing his replacement, insiders say — a choice that could spark furious infighting and signal whether there's any chance of a negotiated peace in Afghanistan.

23rd May 2016 - Quoted by Kathy Gilsinan - The Atlantic

The Drone War Crosses Another Line

Bill Roggio

Following the death of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour in an American drone strike in Pakistan on Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry remarked that “Peace is what we want” in Afghanistan.

22nd May 2016 - Quoted by Missy Ryan, Tim Craig - The Washington Post

U.S. strikes top Taliban leader in Pakistan

The U.S. military launched a drone strike against Taliban leader Akhtar Mohammad Mansour on Saturday, the Pentagon said, dealing a potential blow to the group whose insurgent assaults pose a major obstacle to U.S. hopes for ending the war in Afghanistan.

21st May 2016 - Fox News

America’s News HQ

Mark Dubowitz

FDD Executive Director Mark Dubowitz weighs in on status of Taliban after alleged death of leader.

21st May 2016 - The Long War Journal

US targeted Taliban emir Mullah Mansour in unprecedented Pakistan drone strike

Bill Roggio

The US military said it targeted and possibly killed Taliban emir Mullah Mansour today in an “airstrike” in a remote area along the “Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.” Mansour’s status is unknown and the military said it is attempting to determine if he is dead or alive.

16th May 2016 - Syndicated

John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

FDD senior fellows Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn discuss the Taliban in Afghanistan.

16th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Taliban offensive in north stresses Afghan military

Bill Roggio

The Taliban has surrounded a number of Afghan troops in Baghlan near the provincial capital, putting pressure on Afghan troops which were already stretched thin fighting on four different fronts.

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