Foreign Policy Blogs

Bin Laden, al Qaeda and Its Future on "Frontline"

The documentary program “Frontline” aired a comprehensive set of documentaries on the occasion of Osama bin Laden’s capture and death.  It is an excellent collection, a much better resource for this throbbing, restless time than most newspapers and broadcast journalism outlets.

Bin Laden, al Qaeda and Its Future on "Frontline"(Though the broadcast is not yet available in its entirety, please find an excerpt that aired on the PBS Newshour as well as links to eye opening, thought provoking online exclusives that attach to that documentary here. Consider for instance, a near tell-all interview with former Afghan intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh, that you’ll find here.)

The strongest story within the multi-narrative piece cobbled together with great finesse is the story of journalist Najibullah Quraishi’s stay behind the lines with an al Qaeda commander and troops, as they train, bargain and wind themselves up for their promised renewed fight with the U.S. and NATO troops.  We already know that al Qaeda has always been in a testy relationship with the Taliban; yet they happily join forces to confront the U.S and NATO presence in Afghanistan.  At war al Qaeda are friends of the Taliban, even if they are often uneasy political allies.

However, al Qaeda and its members swear fealty to Osama bin Laden.  Not to some principle, not to some country or concept-bin Laden, sur tout. With his death-al Qaeda will cast that fact as martyrdom-what of al Qaeda, now, in the near future and in time to come; what will turn up of what we now know as al Qaeda?  This, especially as the much noted Arab Spring draws energy from the youth of countries in the wider Middle East, energy that al Qaeda had professed and hoped to monopolize.

 

Author

Faheem Haider

Faheem Haider is a political analyst, writer and artist. He holds advanced research degrees in political economy, political theory and the political economy of development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and New York University. He also studied political psychology at Columbia University. During long stints away from his beloved Washington Square Park, he studied peace and conflict resolution and French history and European politics at the American University in Washington DC and the University of Paris, respectively.

Faheem has research expertise in democratic theory and the political economy of democracy in South Asia. In whatever time he has to spare, Faheem paints, writes, and edits his own blog on the photographic image and its relationship to the political narrative of fascist, liberal and progressivist art.

That work and associated writing can be found at the following link: http://blackandwhiteandthings.wordpress.com

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