Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the evolving militant landscape in Afghanistan

The relationship between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda is a complex one, and the future of Afghanistan following the recent killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri could be determined by the leverage the Taliban has over Al-Qaeda.

The relationship between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda is more complex than often assumed. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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The killing of Al-Qaeda's leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, by the United States has disrupted the chain of command in the militant movement and raised questions over its future.

As the movement does not have an established form of succession and few natural leaders around which its fighters could coalesce, there are likely to be internal debates over whether to choose someone who has been closely associated with Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri or opt for a new charismatic figure.

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