Menu
Share
 
Switch to Desktop Site

After bin Laden: Why the Taliban won't sever ties with Al Qaeda

Maintaining official ties with Al Qaeda provides the Taliban with important credibility among international jihadist groups, as well as access to military training and Arab funding.

Image

An Afghan policeman is seen alert at a check post, as his colleagues check cars for escaped Taliban insurgents in Kandahar, Afghanistan on April 26.

Allauddin Khan/AP

About these ads

Over the past several days, there has been much speculation among pundits that the killing of Osama bin Laden could provide an opportunity for the Taliban to join peace talks.

The close personal relationship between Mr. bin Laden and the Taliban’s leader Mullah Mohammed Omar was seen as one of the central reasons for the group’s continuing support of Al Qaeda. Now that bin Laden is dead, some commentators speculate that the Taliban may be willing to renounce Al Qaeda, a key condition for peace talks.

But even without bin Laden, that remains highly unlikely. Maintaining official ties with Al Qaeda provides the Taliban with important credibility among jihadist groups in addition to access to training and Arab funding.

“If the Taliban stays with Al Qaeda there are a lot of incentives,” says Sami Yousafzai, an independent analyst in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. “If they say 'OK, we’re not going to support Al Qaeda,' that might have an impact on their financial sources from the Middle East.”

During the past few years, many Arabs opposed to the West have come to see Afghans, especially Pashtuns as like-minded allies.

Next

Page:   1   |   2


Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

Loading...