Key Points

Heumann added that “The Iranian quest for weapons of mass destruction has so far not attracted the attention in the West that it would have deserved for the explosive revelations. Even though the [Iranian] attacks on the Saudi oil facilities show that Iran’s martial ambitions are to be taken seriously.”

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Afghan government photos from the raid in Musa Qala, Helmand:

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Over the years, the Taliban has used the terms “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” the name of its brutal regime from 1996 to 2001, and “Islamic government” interchangeably. In the same 2016 statement, the Taliban said that it “will strive to build our beloved nation on the basis of Islamic law.” In the next statement, it described “the Emirate” as “the true representative of our people.”

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Four reports submitted to the United Nations Security Council since last year have documented the ongoing alliance between al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The monitoring team that authored these reports has stated: Al-Qaeda is “closely allied” with the Taliban, and the group’s “alliance with the Taliban and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan remains firm”; al-Qaeda’s relationship with the Taliban is “long-standing” and “strong”; al-Qaeda “has grown stronger operating under the Taliban umbrella across Afghanistan and is more active than in recent years”; the Taliban is the “primary partner for all foreign terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, with the exception of” the Islamic State’s Khorasan branch; al-Qaeda “members continue to function routinely as military and religious instructors for the Taliban”; and al-Qaeda “considers Afghanistan a continuing safe haven for its leadership, relying on its long-standing and strong relationship with the Taliban leadership.”

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On May 24, 2018, Task Force-Southwest, which operates under U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, conducted a “ground-based rocket artillery strike using the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, against a command and control node for high-level Taliban leaders in” Musa Qala.

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Events

EVENT: Shatter the Nations: ISIS and the War for the Caliphate

October 21, 2019 | 12:00

Projects