Mina al-Lami heads the jihadist media monitoring team a BBC Monitoring. She’s a native Arabic speaker with 15 years of experience closely tracking the militant and media activities of jihadist groups and their use of online platforms and technology. Mina has written extensively on jihadist developments and messaging and regularly appears on TV, radio and at international events.
The Taliban’s return to power in August not only dominated news room discussions and international headlines, but gripped the jihadist community, most of whom saw it as a victory for jihad and a model to be emulated elsewhere. But jihadists aren’t one big happy family and from the outset questions and concerns were raised, particular by hardliners, about the Taliban’s pragmatic approach and whether or not jihadists could support it. Another key question that remains unanswered is the exact nature of the relationship between al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and whether jihadists will find a safe haven in today’s Afghanistan. Islamic State group (IS), the black sheep of the jihadist community, has further complicated matters by waging war against the Taliban and asking the awkward questions about the Afghan group’s political and diplomatic moves that other jihadists don’t dare to ask.ews.