Eleven years after the U.S. killed al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden, a U.S. drone strike killed his successor — the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks — Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was in Kabul, Afghanistan. Under al-Zawahiri’s leadership, the core al-Qaida group was unable to conduct any successful attacks on the West. But he preserved the terrorist group’s strategic relationship with the Taliban and al-Qaida affiliates in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula grew in potency. In this episode of “The Latest,” USIP’s Asfandyar Mir discusses how al-Qaida evolved under al-Zawahiri, who could take the helm of the group, and what this means for U.S. counterterrorism policy.

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Want more accountability for the Taliban? Give more money for human rights monitoring.

Want more accountability for the Taliban? Give more money for human rights monitoring.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

By: Belquis Ahmadi;  Scott Worden

Ahead of the U.N. General Assembly last week, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Afghanistan Richard Bennett released his first report grading the Taliban’s treatment of Afghans’ rights. It was an F. In the past year, the Taliban have engaged in a full-scale assault on Afghan’s human rights, denying women access to public life, dismantling human rights institutions, corrupting independent judicial processes, and engaging in extralegal measures to maintain control or to exact revenge for opposition to their rule. That is one of the main reasons — along with their continued support of al-Qaida and a refusal to form a more inclusive government — that Afghanistan has no representation at the U.N.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Human RightsJustice, Security & Rule of Law

U.S. to Move Afghanistan’s Frozen Central Bank Reserves to New Swiss Fund

U.S. to Move Afghanistan’s Frozen Central Bank Reserves to New Swiss Fund

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

By: William Byrd, Ph.D.

For almost seven months, Afghan central bank reserves frozen by the United States and set aside to somehow help the Afghan people, have sat, immobilized. Now those funds — $3.5 billion — are at long last on the move. On September 14, the U.S. and Swiss governments unveiled the “Fund for the Afghan People” as a Geneva-based foundation with its account at the Bank for International Settlements. The Fund will preserve, protect and selectively disburse this money. With this major policy step accomplished, new questions arise: What do these developments mean, what are realistic expectations for the reserves, and what needs to happen next?

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Economics

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