Summary: a meeting shrouded in secrecy may move the Taliban away from their fanatical repression of women and girls.
Sitting at number six in the top ten countdown is Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula: down but not out with Elisabeth Kendall. Her conversation with William Law was podcast on 17 September, 2021. Dr Kendall is a Senior Research Fellow in Arabic and Islamic Studies at Oxford University’s Pembroke College and an expert on Yemen and on Jihadist movements. In October she takes up her appointment as Mistress of Girton College, Cambridge.
Summary: ISIS has lost its caliphate but remains a potent force, using mobile guerrilla tactics and a highly sophisticated smuggling and extortion network to finance its ongoing insurgency.
Summary: as President Biden seeks to turn Putin into a global pariah, he has let slip another target, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is increasingly gaining international approval and acceptance despite his ruthless suppression of Saudis at home and attacks on critics abroad.
Summary: when Qatar’s emir visits the White House 31 January he and President Biden will have pressing matters to address including LNG exports to Europe as worries mount that Russia’s Putin may turn off the gas taps.
Summary: after years of promising, and failing, to remove vicious antisemitism and other hateful material from school curriculum, the Saudis are finally scoring good grades ridding texts of intolerance, ignorance and prejudice.
Summary: few outside Afghanistan know the Taliban as well as Prince Turki Al Faisal and at his recent book launch he called for both caution in dealing with them and compassion for the Afghan people they once again rule over.
Summary: the murder of a female intelligence officer has brought fragile Somalia to the brink of state collapse.
Summary: while the Gulf states watch with nervous apprehension as President Biden tries to revive the nuclear deal, China is shattering the sanctions and giving Iran an economic lifeline that could wreck hopes for a renewed JCPOA.
Summary: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, though seriously degraded by US drone strikes, remains a constant threat and one emboldened by the Taliban victory in Afghanistan.