Al Qaeda Boss Zawahiri Pledges Allegiance to New Taliban Leader

In the wake of the death of Mullah Omar – former Taliban leader – and Jalaluddin Haqqani – founder of the Haqqani network – and the continuing strength of the ‘Islamic State’, the leader of al-Qaeda Central has declared his allegiance to the Taliban.

This is not a particularly surprising revelation as Bin Laden and al-Qaeda supported the Taliban under Mullah Omar’s leadership as the one true Emirate. What is interesting is the fact that he explicitly does not recognise the ISIS as having established a legitimate caliphate. Will this cause a further rupture in the al-Qaeda ranks? ISIS began as al-Qaeda in Iraq under Abu Musab al-Zarqawi after all.

The new leader of the Taliban, Mullah Mansour, according to Elias Groll’s article, is from the Pakistani Taliban, which empowers them. The Pakistani Taliban are an illegitimate offshoot considered by the United States to be a terrorist organisation, while the Afghan Taliban are not. What does this mean for US-Pakistan relations? Will the Taliban become more extreme?

Click here to view video of al-Zawahiri swearing bay’ah Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, leader of the Afghan Taliban.

Click here: Al Qaeda Boss Zawahiri Pledges Allegiance to New Taliban Leader to view Elias Groll’s article in Foreign Policy.

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