(New York, NY) – Since being driven out of Kabul in 2001, jihadist insurgents of the Taliban have continued to operate as a lethal military force in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. As the U.S. continues to draw down military personnel from Afghanistan, the government of President Ashraf Ghani is responding to an increased intensity of Taliban attacks while simultaneously pursuing peace talks with the group.
The Counter Extremism Project's (CEP) new resource details the origins, leadership, tactics and violent history of the Taliban, which swept into power in 1996 and became the willing hosts to Osama bin Laden and the planners of the September 11 attacks.
The Taliban embrace Salafism, an austere and radical interpretation of Islam and ruled under strict sharia law, closing all girls’ schools, banning sporting events and most forms of entertainment, from music to poetry to kite flying.
The Taliban’s wing in Pakistan has repeatedly attacked the Pakistani government and civilians, including the October 2012 shooting of 15-year-old girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai and the December 2014 massacre of 132 children at an army-run school in Peshawar.
The Taliban fund their operations from opium production, foreign donations, illegal gem mining, lumber trade, kidnapping and extortion. In 2014, the Taliban were estimated to have more than 60,000 fighters.
For requests for interviews, please contact CEP at [email protected].