The Taliban

The Taliban were founded in 1994 in order to impose a puritanical Islamic order on Afghanistan. A 2018 estimate by Afghan and U.S. officials gauged that the Taliban included at least 60,000 fighters.These numbers have allowed the Taliban to remain a credible fighting force with the ability to win and hold territory. According to an October 2018 report, the Taliban controlled more territory in Afghanistan than it had since 2001, up to 45% of the country. The Taliban have operated as an insurgent force, attempting to expel NATO forces from Afghanistan and defeat the democratically elected Afghan government. As Western forces have begun to withdraw from the country in recent years and government authority has weakened, Taliban forces have filled the vacuum.


Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada

Supreme leader of the Taliban

Sirajuddin Haqqani

Reported deputy emir; head of the Quetta Shura; interior minister of the Taliban government

Operational commander

Zabiullah Mujahid

Spokesman and propagandist

Maulana Fazlullah

Emir of Tehrik e-Taliban Pakistan (deceased)

Mullah Mansour

Former emir (deceased)

Jalaluddin Haqqani

Founder of the Haqqani network (deceased)

News and Blogs

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

The current stage demands that we exhaust the enemy until it whines and moans due to economic and military bleeding. It is in this context that the operations outside the theatre in which the enemy expects us to strike, operations on enemy soil and beyond enemy lines becomes evident.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, Leader of al-Qaeda Sept. 11, 2021
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