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.

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.)

Pakistani Taliban Boasts Creating Problems for Local Militants

By Sami Yousafzai and Ron Moreau The failed May 1 Times Square car bombing is rattling the Waziristan tribal badlands of Pakistan. Tribal chieftains and militant leaders are furious with Pakistani Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud and his deputy, master bomb maker Qari Hussain Mehsud, for making Internet videos boasting of responsibility for the attempt and promising more attacks soon. America's Predator drones have been working overtime ever since, killing and wounding dozens of suspected...

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,...

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...

Pakistan Taliban Source: Times Square Bombing Attempt Was 'Revenge Against America'

A top Afghan Taliban planner and organizer tells NEWSWEEK he wasn't surprised by the attempted car bombing in Times Square. "We were expecting this," says the source, who operates on both sides of the porous Afghanistan-Pakistan border. He says the Pakistani Taliban—formally known as the Tehrik-e-Taliban—was hellbent on revenge after the Predator drone attack that killed its leader, Baitullah Mehsud, last August and the more recent strikes that nearly killed Baitullah's successor,...

Nawa: The Taliban Model for Marja

American military efforts in the village of Nawa, in Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province, are often cited by leaders as a model of what a properly resourced counterinsurgency campaign can achieve. Last July a battalion of Marines swooped in, and although the village had been solidly under Taliban control, U.S. troops transformed the place. Deployed in a one-man-to-50-villagers ratio, they took off their body armor, patrolled on foot, drank endless cups of green tea with elders, and funded...

Yet Another Taliban Leader Captured

Yet another leader of the Afghan Taliban has reportedly been captured by authorities in Pakistan. Counterterrorism sources in the U.S. and Pakistan, requesting anonymity when discussing sensitive information, identified the latest Taliban chief to be arrested as Maulvi Abdul Kabir, described as a former regional governor during the days when the Taliban ran Afghanistan's government.

Exclusive: Another Taliban Leader Captured in Pakistan

Another leader of the Afghan Taliban has been captured by authorities in Pakistan working in partnership with U.S. intelligence officials. Taliban sources in the region and a counterterrorism officials in Washington have identified the detained insurgent leader as Mullah Abdul Salam, described as the Taliban movement's "shadow governor" of Afghanistan's Kunduz province. Taliban sources told NEWSWEEK's Sami Yousafzai that Salam was grabbed by Pakistani security forces in the city of Faisalabad...

The Taliban's Oral History of the Afghanistan War

During wars and after them, the real voice of the enemy is rarely heard. Propaganda is plentiful, as are prideful boasts—and the Taliban have certainly been quick studies at the modern art of information warfare. But the fears and ambitions of ordinary fighters are too often buried under statistics and theories propounded from thousands of miles away. That's been even more true in Iraq and Afghanistan, where reporters who might accurately convey the other side's perspective are at risk of...

Pakistan's Islamists Take A Step Too Far

Last week yet another militant victory in Pakistan had many fretting that the country's capital could also soon fall to the Taliban. After Islamists swept into the populous Buner district, just 60 miles northwest of Islamabad, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared it posed a "mortal threat" to the world, and Fazlur Rehman, a Pakistani parliamentarian, predicted that the Taliban would soon be perched on the hills overlooking the capital.But the rumors of Pakistan's demise have been...

Inside the Prison Escape

This month's spectacular prison escape in Kandahar began with a jailed guerrilla's phone conversation with the No. 2 leader of the Afghan insurgency, according to one of the roughly 350 Taliban fighters who broke out. Speaking to NEWSWEEK by phone from his home in eastern Afghanistan late last week, Taliban subcommander Mullah Khan Muhammad Akhund, 36, said more than 700 of the prison's approximately 1,000 inmates were allowed to have their own mobile phones. It was one of the few comforts at...

An Assault On Supplies

The Taliban may have discovered a worrisome new target: the main supply conduit for food, fuel and military equipment to U.S. forces in Afghanistan. While Pakistan rethinks its support for the war against Al Qaeda's allies in the region, the militants are focusing their raids on the highway that winds through the strategic Khyber Pass—and Taliban sources say they're getting ready to squeeze even harder. The most spectacular strike so far was on the night of March 23, when saboteurs blew up a...

Pakistan: Voting Amid Fear

After more than five years as a leading member of Pakistan's National Assembly, Maulana Fazlur Rehman had to run for re-election without daring to leave his house. Despite his dedication to Islamist causes, some militants want the rotund, orange-turbaned Rehman dead. Soon after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, security officials warned the deputy that he too was on the jihadists' hit list. That could scarcely have been news: a rocket attack last year just missed his home, striking his...

Signed and Delivered

Osama Bin Laden appears to be reasserting his influence among the Afghan and Pakistani tribal leaders upon whom he's depending for survival. Since December, the Qaeda chief has personally penned at least five brief letters, written in Arabic on white stationery, to the region's militant commanders. For the Taliban's Mullah Mansoor Dadullah, the latest correspondence is the second he's received this year from the "Sheik," as bin Laden is known among jihadis. The first was a letter of...

Al Qaeda's Newest Triggerman

Baitullah Mehsud is being blamed for most of the suicide bombings in Pakistan, including Benazir Bhutto's assassination. The rise of a militant leader.

Alone, Afraid, In the Company of Men Dreaming of Death

No journalist could turn down the offer: a face-to-face interview with would-be suicide bombers. A chance to learn how the insurgents recruit, train and deploy, to examine why the Taliban relies so heavily on this imprecise, indiscriminate tactic. The only problem was, I was scared that I wouldn't survive the meeting.Suicide bombings became the scourge of Afghanistan in 2007, as the Taliban, outnumbered and outgunned, turned to asymmetrical-warfare tactics to battle the 100,000 Coalition and...

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