Sami Yousafzai

Stories by Sami Yousafzai

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    Too Radical for the Taliban

    A high-level fighter accuses his fellow militants of going soft—and engineers a schism that could have major consequences for Afghanistan.
    European Edition Version
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    Taliban Justice

    Frustrated by corrupt and plodding government courts, Afghans are turning to Islamic judges.
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    An unorthodox play for Afghan hearts and minds.
  • Afghan female rapper Susan Feroz at her house in Kabul.

    Ferocious Feroz

    Afghanistan’s first female rapper refuses to be silenced. 
By Sami Yousafzai and Ron Moreau
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    You Say 2012 Was Bad?

    More trouble than ever is brewing, not only in Afghanistan but across the border in Pakistan too. Even the Taliban are worried.
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    Friend or Foe in Afghanistan

    Why are so many Afghan soldiers turning their guns on the Americans? And can they be stopped?
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    America's Next Most Wanted

    A year after the Abbottabad raid, al Qaeda's mastermind is still loose. Bin Laden's death has only made the hunt harder.
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    Al Qaeda on the Ropes

    A young jihadist returns to his former unit on the Afghan border and finds only the desperate remnants of bin Laden’s once-dreaded organization.
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    How the Taliban Lost Its Swagger

    Disgusted by the insurgency’s relentless brutality, more than 1,000 fighters have walked away in recent months.
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    Pakistan Arrests Key Taliban Leader

    Appearing to answer U.S. calls for greater toughness against Taliban networks operating on their border, Pakistan this week arrested the son of feared insurgent leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani, according to Taliban and Pakistani government sources.
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    Iranians' Ties to Afghan Pols Run Deep

    'The New York Times' only scratched the surface in last week’s report that Iranian officials have delivered bags of cash worth millions of dollars to President Hamid Karzai’s chief of staff, Umar Daudzai. Karzai confirmed that story but dismissed concerns about corruption.
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    Is Ilyas Kashmiri the New Bin Laden?

    Ilyas Kashmiri, 46, has the experience, the connections, and a determination to attack the West—including the United States—that make him the most dangerous Qaeda operative to emerge in years.
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    Taliban Chiefs: No Peace Talks in Progress

    Senior Afghan Taliban chiefs flatly deny recent reports that insurgent leaders have sent secret peace feelers to Kabul. “How many times do we have to tell you there’s nothing going on?” asks a senior member of the ruling council, the Quetta Shura. The reports, he tells NEWSWEEK, are disinformation aimed at weakening Taliban resolve. “This is just very obvious propaganda,” he says, adding that no one of any importance has met with President Hamid Karzai’s representatives.
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    Another 'Jihadistan' in Afghan Province of Kunduz?

    Taliban sources in Afghanistan say jihadist allies from Central Asia have started heading home. Though the exodus is being encouraged by relentless American drone attacks against the fighters’ back bases in Pakistan’s tribal areas, it’s not necessarily good news.
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    Terrorists Appear to Be Planning a Big Attack

    Intelligence agencies have stepped up drone attacks in Waziristan, but the Taliban say they're still plotting a big attack on the West. Chatter from satellite terrorist networks in Iraq and Africa suggests they might be right.
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    How Afghans View the Quran Burnings

    Even before any Qurans have been torched, Islamic extremist leaders are fanning the flames of the controversy, taking advantage of a propaganda windfall. Afghan insurgent leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whom the U.S. has labeled as a terrorist, issued a statement this week saying the Quran burning is "part of the American war against Muslims."
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    Inside Al Qaeda

    Nine years after 9/11, Osama bin Laden’s network remains a shadowy, little-understood enemy. The truth, as revealed by one of its fighters, is both more and less troubling than we think.
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    Taliban Using Mosque Controversy to Recruit

    Taliban officials know it’s sacrilegious to hope a mosque will not be built, but that’s exactly what they’re wishing for: the success of the fiery campaign to block the proposed Islamic cultural center and prayer room near the site of the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan. “By preventing this mosque from being built, America is doing us a big favor,” Taliban operative Zabihullah tells NEWSWEEK. (Like many Afghans, he uses a single name.) “It’s providing us with more recruits, donations, and popular support.”
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    Afghans Gone Wild?

    Afghans are furious that their embassy in Washington threw a decadent, boozy Western party during Ramadan. Thing is, it didn’t. But swift and outraged reaction says volumes about the divisions in Afghan society.
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    Where Is the Taliban's Mullah Omar?

    No one’s heard from the Taliban leader in almost nine years. Now his absence is exposing dangerous fault lines within the insurgency.
  • Fazlullah, Widely Feared Mullah, Is Alive

    The Pakistani military’s most impressive accomplishment in the past two years was its major offensive into the Swat Valley that succeeded in driving out Islamist militants who had established control over one of the country’s favorite tourist destinations. The military became confident that it had all but decapitated the valley’s radical leadership. Now there is doubt.
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    Turmoil in Afghanistan's Taliban

    Dissension has broken out in the top ranks of Afghanistan’s Taliban. The group has muddled along without an operational head since February, when Mullah Mohammed Omar’s second in command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, was arrested in Karachi, Pakistan. (It was Baradar who directed the Taliban’s day-to-day affairs while the Taliban’s living symbol and spiritual leader, Mullah Omar, stayed safely hidden from the Americans.)
  • One Possible Source for Times Square Bomber's Funding: Dad

    One of the questions that continues to surround the investigation into the attempted Times Square car bombing: Where did suspect Faisal Shahzad get the financial resources to carry out the attack, including funds he used to travel back and forth to his native Pakistan for what he has told investigators was terrorist training in North Waziristan with the Pakistani Taliban, as well as money he used to buy a sophisticated rifle and the materials—including firecrackers, propane tanks, fertilizer, and a second-hand Nissan Pathfinder?
  • How Jihadist Recruiters Check for Spies

    Al Qaeda's friends and allies on the Afghan-Pakistani frontier have no shortage of recruits like Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square bomber. "With all this new technology, it's not difficult to recruit people in the West," says an Afghan Taliban planner and organizer who operates on both sides of the border. Over the past two years, he says, several jihadist Web sites linked to the Afghan Taliban have received hundreds of e-mails from aspiring jihadists in the West who "want to join us." According to him, the Haqqani network, a Taliban affiliate based in North Waziristan, has set up a special working group to screen the flood of messages from eager volunteers and the scores of hopeful recruits who simply arrive unannounced at the camps in the tribal badlands, offering their lives for the holy war. "It's hard to contact Al Qaeda," says the organizer, "But it's very easy...