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An al-Qaeda-Taliban Fissure

From Radio Free Europe:

Afghanistan: Al-Qaeda Bloggers' Sparring With Taliban Could Signal Key Differences

Islamic extremists who regularly post messages to a pro-Al-Qaeda website in Egypt are accusing Afghanistan's Taliban of straying from the path of global jihad. Prominent Taliban have responded by lashing back with criticism of their own.

The development suggests a rift is emerging between the Taliban leadership and religious extremists in the Arab world -- including the Al-Qaeda network that the Taliban had hosted in Afghanistan while it planned the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.

Such a break could affect Afghan government efforts to convince Taliban fighters to lay down their weapons and peacefully resolve their differences with officials, which could in turn influence whether non-Afghan Al-Qaeda fighters continue to be welcomed among the Taliban.

It is not a new fissure, as the Pashtun Taliban have always had their theological differences with bin Laden's largely Arab al-Qaeda. But it is a fissure that appears to be rising to the surface once again after being largely pushed aside by unifying conflict with America and others.

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