Back among the living

MIA Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri sends proof of life: Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has pledged allegiance to the new Afghan Taliban chief in an audio message posted online. The pledge to Mullah Akhtar Mansour was issued by al-Qaeda’s media arm al-Sahab and was Zawahiri’s first message since September last year. The chances that Zawahiri was… Continue reading Back among the living

Meet the new Taliban boss (?), Akhtar Mansur

So the Taliban officially acknowledged that Mullah Omar is, in fact, no longer among the living, though one wonders how long they’ve been trying to Weekend at Bernies this whole thing, if the reports that he died two years ago are accurate. He’s reportedly been replaced (though again, when he was actually replaced is an… Continue reading Meet the new Taliban boss (?), Akhtar Mansur

That’s a hell of a “belated condolences” card

Apparently Mullah Omar is dead, or maybe it would be more appropriate to say that “he has been dead.” For a while now: Taliban leader Mullah Omar died two years ago in Pakistan, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s security services says. Abdul Hassib Seddiqi told the BBC’s Afghan Service that Mullah Omar had died of health… Continue reading That’s a hell of a “belated condolences” card

Does Hallmark make a “sorry to hear you’ve been dead for a while now” card?

Apparently Mullah Omar is dead, or maybe it would be more appropriate to say that “he has been dead.” For a while now: Taliban leader Mullah Omar died two years ago in Pakistan, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s security services says. Abdul Hassib Seddiqi told the BBC’s Afghan Service that Mullah Omar had died of health… Continue reading Does Hallmark make a “sorry to hear you’ve been dead for a while now” card?

The place to start working with Iran

With the nuclear deal in pocket, it’s understandable that people are talking about the future of the US-Iran relationship. It’s especially understandable when Iranian and US interests in the Middle East overlap on so many issues: ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the stability of the Iraqi government in general, dealing with Syria’s civil war, Hezbollah-Israel,… Continue reading The place to start working with Iran

The new Caliphate is really outstripping the old one

Depending on how you count this kind of thing, the OG caliphate kicked off either in 632, when Muhammad died, or in 750, when the Abbasid dynasty took the office from its previous owners, the Umayyads. But it wasn’t until 909, when the Shiʿa Fatimid dynasty declared its own caliphate in the city of Qayrawan… Continue reading The new Caliphate is really outstripping the old one