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Ayman al Zawahiri is alive; Taliban and Al Qaeda “remain close,” UN reports


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ayman-al-zawahiri-is-alive-taliban-and-al-qaeda-remain-close-un-reports.php
FDD Long War Journal

Bill Roggio

July 19, 2022

Ayman al Zawahiri, the head of Al Qaeda who served as Osama bin Laden’d deputy on 9/11, “is confirmed to be alive” and is “communicating freely,” according to a report from the United Nations’ Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team. Additionally, the UN said the Taliban-Al Qaeda alliance remains strong, as reported by FDD’s Long War Journal, and the leaders of Al Qaeda’s branches in North and East Africa have assumed roles in Al Qaeda’s line of succession.

While it is not news that Zawahiri is alive, well, and communicating comfortably, some terrorism analysts previously claimed Zawahiri was dead as recently as Nov. 2020. While not explicitly stated, Zawahiri is likely operating inside Afghanistan.

(Snip)

The presence of Mebrak and Diriye in the chain of succession should come as no surprise. Al Qaeda began diversifying its leadership and giving key leadership roles to its branch leaders as the U.S. stepped up its targeted killing of top Al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan beginning in the mid-2000s. For instance, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula emir Nasir al Wuhayshi served as Al Qaeda’s general manager before he was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2015. Nasser bin Ali al Ansi, another key AQAP leader, served as Al Qaeda’s deputy general manager before he was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2015. And Mebrak’s predecessor, Abdelmalek Droukdel, was Al Qaeda’s third in command before he was killed in a French raid in Mali in 2020.

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has been a boon for Al Qaeda and other allied terror groups. Afghanistan is now in the Taliban’s full control, and Al Qaeda has enjoyed the same spoils the group had before 9/11: safe haven, and with that the ability to regroup, rest and train its fighters, while they plot and plan to execute attacks against the West.

 

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Gosh, who  could have possibly seen this  coming?

How Quickly They Forget

 
How quickly can the politics around Afghanistan change? Here's a section on the RNC's website in June; click it now and you get a 404 error. (Rest of page was about Kosovo/Israel-Arab deals.) https://gop.com/president-trum
 

How quickly can the politics around Afghanistan change? Here's a section on the RNC's website in June; click it now and you get a 404 error. (Rest of page was about Kosovo/Israel-Arab deals.) https://gop.com/president-trump-is-bringing-peace-to-the-middle-east-rsr/

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4:26 PM · Aug 15, 2021

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  • 2 weeks later...

Aug 4, 2022 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.

That the leader of Al Qaeda was killed in Kabul "comprehensively disproves" Taliban claims that Al Qaeda has no presence inside of Afghanistan. On the contrary, it proves that the group's top leadership uses the country as a safe haven.

They talk about what's next for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and for its affiliates around the world as well as Zawahiri's possible successor.

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  • 1 month later...

Sep 13, 2022 Bill is joined again by Edmund Fitton-Brown and Caleb Weiss to take a look at the current global footprint of the Islamic State.

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