Monday, September 19, 2005

Re-Training the Taliban in Iraq

Unholy Allies
The Taliban haven't quit, and some are getting help and inspiration from Iraq.
By Sami Yousafzai and Ron Moreau

...Daud and other Taliban leaders tell NEWSWEEK that the Afghan conflict is entering a new phase, with help from Iraq. According to them, Osama bin Laden has opened an underground railroad to and from jihadist training camps in the Sunni Triangle. Self-described graduates of the program say they've come home to Afghanistan with more-effective killing techniques and renewed enthusiasm for the war against the West. Daud says he's been communicating a "new momentum and spirit" to the 300 fighters under his command...

This is an extraordinary story by Newsweek's veteran correspondent Ron Moreau and our superb Afghan reporter, Sami Yousafzai. It reflects concerns that have been building since before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that it could be used as a "school" for Al Qaeda killers. Now the Taliban seem to be taking graduate courses there. Fortunately, the latest round of elections in Afghanistan went off relatively peacefully this weekend, and the administration will say that's a defeat for the Taliban, whatever they might have picked up in Iraq. Perhaps. But we should remember the specific tactics the Afghans are gleaning from the suicidal terrorists in Baghdad and Anbar are not meant to target voters, they're mainly meant to target soldiers, including and especially Americans. -- CD

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