Al qaeda

Biden’s victories look a lot like defeats

Joe Biden’s week did not get off to a good start. When running for office in 2020 he repeatedly boasted that he was going to ‘shut down the virus’, not the country. And then in the space of a few days last week it looked as if he had managed to achieve his promise, just the opposite way around. The President appears to have shut down the economy while suffering from the virus. Despite being endlessly vaccinated, the President recently tested positive for Covid. And then last week he tested positive again. So he had a double dose. At the same time America had a double dose of something else:

Hubris, blunders and lies characterised the war in Afghanistan from the start

And so the reckoning begins. As frantic Afghans wrestle with the agonising, life-and-death choice between staying in Kabul and risking execution by the Taliban or running the gauntlet of checkpoints around the airport in search of freedom overseas, it’s noises off in the West. Pundits and policy- makers pontificate, grizzled generals rue another foreign adventure ending in defeat and the media provide a live stream of grief and anguish. ‘I’m terrified,’ an Afghan friend and former colleague in the Ghani government WhatsApped me as Kabul fell. The Taliban had already killed two of his close colleagues and were searching for him. ‘I need to get out. Now it is time

Al Qaeda and Iran’s chilling new alliance

What does the world’s foremost Shia power and the most notorious Sunni terror group have in common? Given that the two great branches of Islam rarely see eye to eye, the layman would be forgiven for thinking that the answer is ‘not much’.  It isn’t just the layman who has concluded that Iran and Al Qaeda are oil and water either. When reporting on the assassination of an Al Qaeda chief in Tehran last year, the New York Times remarked: ‘That he had been living in Iran was surprising, given that Iran and al-Qaeda are bitter enemies.’ Surprising to the New York Times, perhaps. But not surprising to the intelligence