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Al-Qaeda

He's back: Al-Qaida's Leader Resurfaces in a Video Message

After an unprecedented 11 months of silence, Ayman al-Zawahri, the emir of al-Qaida, this week issued a video message proclaiming his loyalty to the new head of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor. The almost 10-minute long message dramatically reaffirms the alliance between al-Qaida and the Taliban, a setback for efforts to bring the Taliban into a political process.

Al-Qaeda

Where in the world is al-Qaida's leader?

The emir of al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahri, has not made any public statements since September 2014. His now 11-month long absence is unprecedented. Next month will be a key test for Zawahri: the anniversary of 9/11—a milestone he has spoken out on for years.

Al-Zawahri was chosen by Osama bin Laden to be his successor. A veteran of 35 years of terrorist plotting, the Egyptian has legitimacy and experience. But he has a lot of other baggage too. He is a poor speaker, prone to ideological fights, and lacks bin Laden's charisma.

Homeland Security

CIA Releases Declassified Documents Related to 9/11

The Central Intelligence Agency has released five newly declassified documents. The release states that each document related to a 2005 Office of Inspector General (OIG) report examing the Agency's accountability regarding the previous findings and conclusions from an inquiry into intelligence community activities before and after the attacks of September 11th.

South Asia

The War in Afghanistan is Over, says the President. Not, Says the Justice Department

Yesterday, President Barack Obama delivered remarks before a Memorial Day service at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia, in which he celebrated the day as the first Memorial Day since the end of the war in Afghanistan.

For many of us, this Memorial Day is especially meaningful; it is the first since our war in Afghanistan came to an end.

Al-Qaeda

ODNI Releases Trove of Documents Discovered in Osama bin Laden Raid

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence today released a new set of documents recovered during the raid of Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011.

The release contains two sections: 1) a list of non-classified, English-language material found in and around the compound; and 2) a selection of now-declassified documents.

Al-Qaeda

The Foreign Policy Essay: Where is Al Qaeda Leader Ayman al-Zawahiri?

Editor’s Note: After 9/11 Ayman al-Zawahiri became the face of Al Qaeda, giving speeches and sending out videos to guide the now-scattered jihadist flock. And of course after Bin Ladin’s death Zawahiri's stature rose even further. Yet as my Brookings colleague Bruce Riedel points out, Zawahiri has gone silent in recent months despite the turbulence all around him.

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Al-Qaeda

Hersh's Account of the Bin Laden Raid is Journalistic Malpractice

When a journalist writes a tell-all story about a classified operation, and he suspects the story will catalyze anti-American anger, provide fuel for terrorist groups, and cause severe friction with foreign governments, the act of publication is morally fraught. When the story is based on obscenely thin sourcing and careens into conspiracy theories, the decision to publish becomes indefensible. Seymour Hersh has had a long and distinguished history as one of America’s finest investigative journalists. In recent years, he has gone a bit kooky.

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