Who is Sirajuddin Haqqani?

Sirajuddin Haqqani (سِراج الدّين حقاني) is a deputy leader of the Taliban, acting interior minister of the Afghan state since August of 2021, and a U.S. designated global terrorist with a $10 million bounty on his head. Notorious for his jihadi zeal and strong ties to al-Qaeda and Pakistani intelligence, Sirajuddin also heads the Haqqani Network, a militant group founded by his father that was the most lethal faction within the Taliban umbrella during the post-9/11 insurgency.

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Who is Abdul Ghani Baradar?

Abdul Ghani Baradar (عبدالغني برادر), also known as Mullah Baradar, is a co-founder of the Taliban who has served as acting first deputy prime minister of the Afghan state since the movement seized Kabul in August of 2021. He played a lead role in negotiating the withdrawal agreement with U.S. officials in Doha which brought an end to the 20-year presence of foreign forces on Afghan soil. He has been characterized as wearing a wide-range of hats and faces over the years, tops amongst them being capable military commander, “cunning” tribal consensus-builder, and “sophisticated” diplomat.

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Who is Hibatullah Akhundzada?

Hibatullah Akhundzada (هبت الله اخندزاده)has been the supreme leader of the Taliban since 2016 and Afghanistan’s head of state since August of 2021, when the radical Islamic movement seized Kabul after a 20-year insurgency and the withdrawal of U.S.-led international forces. Akhundzada was elected as the Taliban’s third leader after his predecessor, Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, was assassinated in a U.S. drone strike in May of 2016.

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The Origins of The Taliban

Taliban Flag

This essay focuses on the Taliban’s political, social, tribal, religious, and ideological roots and address developments in terms of these origins – especially the movement’s initial rise to power and first ruling era.

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