- Al-Qaida’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was featured in a video released on Thursday August 13th 2015.
- In the video, al-Zawahiri pledged allegiance to the new head of the Taliban Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour.
Analysis and Background
In the video, Ayman al-Zawahiri promises to support jihad until every part of occupied Muslim land is free.
Both the Al Qaeda and Taliban are distinct terrorist groups of extremist Muslims who misinterpret the tenets of Islam to further a violent agenda.
The Al Qaida’s is a global militant Islamist organization founded by Osama bin Laden, while the Taliban is an Islamic political movement in Afghanistan founded by Mullah Mohammed Omar.
Both terrorist groups have carried out deadly attacks against civilians in the past. A total of six Al Qaeda attacks have been carried out, four against America. These include a bomb attack in Aden, Yemen in 1992, an attack on the World Trade Center in New York, and then in the late 1990s in the US Embassy in East Africa which killed 300 people. The most devastating attack was on the World Trade Center, New York on September 11, 2001.
On its part, the Taliban according to the United Nations were responsible for 75% of Afghan civilian casualties in 2010, 80% in 2011, and 80% in 2012.
Friendly Terrorist Groups
The two terrorist groups have a lot in common that analysts have labeled them friendly in advancing their operations. Al Qaeda in the past has supported the Taliban with fighters from Arab countries and Central Asia.
Both groups are extremist Muslims who misinterpret their religious doctrines to violently advance their agenda. Al Qaeda believes in the concept of offensive jihad, which is armed warfare to advance Islam.
Al Qaeda’s allegiance to the Taliban will probably lend Mullah Mansour greater credibility as he battles for the support of his rivals. Mullah Mansour has been battling opposition from rivals including his predecessor’s family.
The unity will also be stronger deeming the Islamic State (ISIS) less significant. Al Qaeda has in the past until now disassociated itself from activities of ISIS.