The One-Eyed Mystic of the Taliban

Taliban can through metaphor make us understand certain power structures.

It was a message from beyond the grave. On July 29th the Afghan government confirmed claims by Pakistani intelligence officials that the mysterious leader had in fact died in Pakistan in April 2013. For two years the insurgency chose to keep this quiet. It put out twice-yearly messages in the name of the former village mullah who claimed to speak with the authority of “Amir ul Momineen”, or commander of the faithful. In 2014 even Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor as leader of al-Qaeda, pledged allegiance (perhaps unwittingly) to a dead man.

About Emil Hjort

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