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NYT Held By The Taliban

18 October 2009 No Comment

New York Times David Rohde, held hostage by the Taliban for 7 Months and 10 days, recounts his harrowing experience. His kidnapping was kept secret during his entire captivity.

Over those months, I came to a simple realization. After seven years of reporting in the region, I did not fully understand how extreme many of the Taliban had become. Before the kidnapping, I viewed the organization as a form of “Al Qaeda lite,” a religiously motivated movement primarily focused on controlling Afghanistan.

Living side by side with the Haqqanis’ followers, I learned that the goal of the hard-line Taliban was far more ambitious. Contact with foreign militants in the tribal areas appeared to have deeply affected many young Taliban fighters. They wanted to create a fundamentalist Islamic emirate with Al Qaeda that spanned the Muslim world.

I had written about the ties between Pakistan’s intelligence services and the Taliban while covering the region for The New York Times. I knew Pakistan turned a blind eye to many of their activities. But I was astonished by what I encountered firsthand: a Taliban mini-state that flourished openly and with impunity.

Full article.

Part II: Inside the Islamic Emirate
Part III: ‘You Have Atomic Bombs, but We Have Suicide Bombers.’
Part IV: A Drone Strike and Dwindling Hope
Part V: A Rope and a Prayer