The Unhappy Fate of Old Rhino Hate


One noon day

I was sitting at

my table

eating my meal


A bowl full of

moon and

star and little girl

heart vibrations


When from out of

no where ~ maybe

from behind a



There hobnobbed





An old rhino


a bad back

a bad liver


But with

the most superior


in the world


In his hand

was a

glass full of

black ink


In the ink

there were a

thousand bugs

all screaming


As they drowned





The old rhino


set this glass down

on my table


Next to my bowl


he said

“Eat it, kid”


My lip

quivered I’m sure

and my eyes

went round


As I peered

into this glass

then my bowl

then the glass again


I took a


look at this fat

old rhino


With a glint in

his eye

cold as the deepest

part of the ocean


He picked up

his glass

slammed it down

on my table


He said again

“Eat it, kid”

and the thousand

shrill little bugs


As they drowned

in the ink of

the glass

continued to scream





good background music


I tried to

ignore the old

beast and

his glass of ink


I continued to

eat from

my own bowl




and star

and little girl

heart vibrations


But this

this beast under the

noon sun

would not go away


Continued to say





And you know


the bugs

were screaming


Into the

cold gray ocean

in the old rhino’s



I looked again

tried a grin

gave my bowl a spin

said, “Try mine!”


He blushed purple

huffed & huffed

shook his head negatively

and repeated


As he pointed to his glass





I tried to


in his eye but

missed, hit


The horn on his head


and said

“No thanks”


He wiped the spittle

off his horn with

his tongue

gritted with a squint


“It doesn’t taste

very good

but it will keep

you alive”


Then he banged

his glass on my table

knocked my bowl

to the ground


Did a somersault

jumped up and down

began to

look too tough





“That’s enough”


Yours truly

grabbed the glass

drank the ink

all the bugs


That were screaming





Old Rhino smiled at me

as if we were now

the best of comrades

true and stout


I smiled too

pulled out a gun

aimed it at

his head


His smile faded fast

and boom


was dead.




Colt Python


Ministry of Defense Daily Report

Afghan Police


Ministry of Defense


Forty-five armed insurgents were killed in Sangin district of Helmand province. 

Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) launched a joint clearance operation to defeat insurgents and to bring peace and stability in areas of Sangin district of Helmand province.  As a result of this operation 45 armed insurgents were killed and dozens were wounded, some weapons and ammunition were confiscated.

It is to mention that in this operation the enemies suffered heavy casualties while ANSF did not receive any.

Afghan National Army and National Defense Forces are for the protection of people‘s lives and properties and for defeating and eradicating terror groups, will fight the enemies vigorously and are ready to give sacrifices for bringing lasting peace and stability to people.

While insurgents spare no efforts in killing of innocent civilians and causing atrocities and bloodshed.

We will respond to war with war, without forgetting the sacred duty of bringing peace.



Islamic State Advertises Training Camp

“Sheikh Jalaluddin”


by Bill Roggio & Caleb Weiss

The Long War Journal

November 19, 2015


The Islamic State’s small branch in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Wilayat Khorasan (Khorasan Province), advertised a training camp that is named after a former religious scholar who was killed by the US last month. While the location of the camp was not disclosed, it is likely in the eastern province of Nangarhar, where the Islamic State (ISIS) has established a presence.

The “Sheikh Jalaluddin training camp” is named after Khorasan Province’s former mufti, or senior religious and legal scholar, who was killed by the US in an airstrike in Nangarhar’s Mohmand Dara district on Oct. 13. Jalaluddin was a disciple of Fazeel-A-Tul Shaykh Abu Mohammed Ameen al Peshawari, an influential Taliban leader and al Qaeda facilitator who is also known as Sheikh Aminullah.

Jalaluddin’s death has not been officially announced by the Islamic State, but the group has typically named its camps for leaders and figures who have been killed in combat.

The photographs of the Sheikh Jalaluddin training camp, which were distributed on Twitter, claim to show a “graduating class” of Islamic State recruits. At least 40 fighters can be seen training in a wooded area. The instruction includes physical exercises and weapons training, including the use of a DSHK heavy machine gun.

In the last two months, the Islamic State has advertised three training facilities in Afghanistan, including the Sheikh Jalaluddin camp. Last month, the jihadist group showcased the “Sheikh Abu Omar al Baghdadi camp” and the “Sheikh Abu Musab al Zarqawi camp”, which are also likely in Nangarhar. The two camps are named after the former leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the founder al Qaeda in Iraq (the predecessor of the Islamic State), respectively. The images offered the first official visual evidence of Islamic State training camps in Afghanistan.

Other Islamic State camps in the region have also been reported in the area by unofficial channels. In August, photos emerged purporting to show the “Shahid Hakeemullah Mehsud camp,” which is named after the last leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan and is thought to be located somewhere in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Earlier this year, other images were published showing the “Ustad Yasir camp,” which was run by the Sa’ad bin Abi Waqas Front in Logar province in Afghanistan. The status of these two camps is unclear.

Much has been made of the Islamic State’s presence in Afghanistan by the Western media. The Islamic State, which is challenging al Qaeda for supremacy in the global jihad, is attempting to supplant the Taliban and al Qaeda in their strongholds in Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, it has largely been contained in Nangarhar after being defeated by the Taliban in Farah, Helmand, and other provinces. The Taliban and al Qaeda are far more potent in Afghanistan and Pakistan at this time, having overrun dozens of districts.



Al Qaeda Not Neutralized


by Bill Roggio & Thomas Joscelyn

The Long War Journal

November 20, 2015


Editor’s note: This article was originally published in The Weekly Standard


Secretary of State John Kerry believes that al Qaeda’s “top leadership” has been “neutralized” as “an effective force.” He made the claim while discussing the administration’s strategy, or lack thereof, for combating the Islamic State, which is al Qaeda’s jihadist rival. Kerry believes that the US. and its allies can finish off the Islamic State quicker than al Qaeda. There’s just one problem: It is not true that al Qaeda or its top leaders have been “neutralize[d].”

Dozens of senior al Qaeda terrorists, including of course Osama bin Laden, have been eliminated. But al Qaeda is not a simple top-down terrorist group that can be entirely vanquished by killing or detaining select key leaders. It is a paramilitary insurgency organization that is principally built for waging guerilla warfare. Terrorism is a part of what al Qaeda does, but not nearly all. And a key reason why al Qaeda has been able to regenerate its threat against us repeatedly over the past 14 years is that it uses its guerilla armies to groom new leaders and identify recruits for terrorist plots against the West.

The summary below shows what al Qaeda looks like today – it is far from being “neutralize[d].” Instead, al Qaeda and its regional branches are fighting in more countries today than ever. They are trying to build radical Islamic states, just like ISIS, which garners more attention but hasn’t, contrary to conventional wisdom, surpassed al Qaeda in many areas.

In Afghanistan, al Qaeda remains closely allied with the Taliban and is participating in the Taliban-led insurgency’s advances throughout the country. Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri has sworn allegiance to the Taliban’s new emir, Mullah Mansour, who publicly accepted Zawahiri’s oath of loyalty in August. Al Qaeda-affiliated fighters are playing a key role in the Taliban’s offensive, with the Taliban-al Qaeda axis overrunning approximately 40 of Afghanistan’s 398 districts this year alone. This is part of the reason that President Obama decided to leave a small contingent of American forces in Afghanistan past his term in office.

To give you a sense of what al Qaeda is really doing in Afghanistan, consider that U.S. forces led raids against two large training facilities in the country’s south in October. One of the camps was approximately 30 square miles in size. Gen. John F. Campbell, who oversees the war effort in Afghanistan, explained that the camp was run by al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and is “probably the largest training camp-type facility that we have seen in 14 years of war.”

Think about that: U.S. officials just discovered what is probably the largest al Qaeda camp since 2001. Al Qaeda hasn’t been neutralized in Afghanistan. In fact, numerous al Qaeda leaders have relocated into the country.

AQIS, which answers to Zawahiri, was established in September 2014 and is exporting terrorism throughout the region. The group has claimed attacks in Pakistan and Bangladesh. And al Qaeda is still allied with Pakistan’s many jihadist groups, which frequently carry out operations, especially in the northern part of the country.

In Syria, Al Nusrah Front, which is openly loyal to Zawahiri, is deeply enmeshed in the anti-Assad insurgency. It is such an effective fighting force that it disrupted the Pentagon’s $500 million train and equip program multiple times this year, leading the Obama administration to cancel it. Multiple senior al Qaeda leaders have relocated to Syria since 2011 and they are guiding Al Nusrah’s efforts. In addition, some of these leaders work for what is known as the “Khorasan Group,” which has been planning attacks against the West. In September 2014, the administration began targeting the Khorasan Group with airstrikes. Some top figures in this al Qaeda subunit have been taken out, but others have survived thus far. Even so, al Qaeda has thousands of fighters in Syria today. And Al Nusrah Front jointly leads a coalition known as Jaysh al Fath (“Army of Conquest”), which took substantial territory from Bashar al Assad’s regime earlier this year.

In Yemen, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operates a prolific insurgency and has gobbled up territory, particularly in the country’s south. The U.S. has killed several senior AQAP officials this year, but that hasn’t stopped the organization from taking advantage of the Houthis’ surge and the Gulf states’ intervention. The AQAP leaders who replaced those killed in U.S. drone strikes since January are al Qaeda veterans and answer to Zawahiri. AQAP has also threatened the U.S. on multiple occasions, including the attempted Christmas Day 2009 bombing and other plots.

Across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen, in Somalia, Shabaab remains one of the most prolific jihadist organizations on the planet. It, too, does not hide its fealty to Zawahiri. Thousands of Shabaab fighters battle African forces regularly and still control significant territory. Shabaab is most infamous these days for its high-profile massacres in Kenya, such as at the Westgate mall in 2013 and Garissa University College earlier this year. Shabaab has a long history of exporting terrorism throughout East Africa, where it is attempting to build a radical Islamic nation on behalf of al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and affiliated groups remain a potent force in North and West Africa. Groups such Ansar al Sharia, Ansar Dine and others all operate within AQIM’s orbit and are regularly engaged in heavy fighting against their opponents.

Al Murabitoon, led by Mohkthar Belmokhtar, is another al Qaeda group that operates in North and West Africa. Belmokhtar, a former AQIM commander, is a Zawahiri loyalist. His group has reportedly claimed responsibility for a hotel siege in Mali earlier today.

To this brief sketch we can add a number of al Qaeda-affiliated organizations around the globe. But the point is that al Qaeda has a guerilla army totaling tens of thousands of fighters across a large geographic expanse.

AQIS, AQAP, AQIM, Al Nusrah Front, Shabaab – these are al Qaeda’s regional branches. Each of them is fighting to implement al Qaeda-style sharia law in its designated region. All of them are part of Zawahiri’s organization. They have not been “neutralize[d].”

Al Qaeda realized long ago that this is a generational war, and the next generation of leaders are fighting in several countries today. The US government still doesn’t get it.


Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of The Long War Journal. Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for The Long War Journal.



Afghan Civilians Beheaded


by Mujib Mashal & Taimoor Shah

New York Times

November 10, 2015


KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan militants claiming loyalty to the Islamic State were found to have beheaded seven ethnic Hazara civilians who had been abducted in the southern Afghan province of Zabul, officials said on Monday, as infighting among Tabiban splinter factions intensified.

The Taliban had sent hundreds of extra fighters to the area to battle the Islamic State breakaways and another splinter group there, according to local and security officials. They said the bodies of the Hazaras were found on Saturday after the Taliban had pushed back the Islamic State militants and a group of allied former Taliban dissidents.

Although the Islamic State factions operating in Afghanistan have appeared to have few, if any, operational links with the main jihadist organization in Syria and Iraq, the groups’ increasing numbers and violence have further confused the country’s insurgent situation. Security officials say that a leadership crises within the main Afghan Taliban group over the past year added momentum and manpower to the Islamic State breakaways and gave birth to other splinter insurgent groups.

Rather than illustrating any major weakening of the Taliban, however, security officials say the splinter groups’ expansion has mostly raised the danger for Afghan civilians and pointed out the increased weakness of the Afghan government and its security forces. Even as the insurgent infighting has intensified, the main Taliban group has seized new territory from the government, particularly in the country’s north and south.

The beheaded Hazara hostages belonged to one of several groups of travelers captured by Islamic State militants more than a month ago and were being held in the Arghandab district in Zabul Province. After their bodies were discovered by the Taliban, local elders helped mediate their transfer to a hospital in government territory on Sunday, the officials said.

Two children were among the seven beheaded hostages, local officials said.

“Their throats had been cut with metal wire,” said Hajji Atta Jan, the head of the Zabul provincial council.

Afghanistan’s Hazara minority has long faced persecution, especially by the Taliban, and there has been an upswing in abductions and violence against them this year. At least 19 more Hazaras are thought to still be held by militants in Zabul, said Abdul Qayoum Sajjadi, a lawmaker who recently traveled to the province to try to broker the Hazaras’ release.

President Ashraf Ghani, describing the beheadings as “heartless killing of innocent individuals,” ordered his security officials to pursue the attackers. But it was clear that the order meant little on the ground; Afghan forces were nowhere in the vicinity of the district where the beheadings happened, officials said.

Family members of the victims, who were all from neighboring Ghazni Province and were abducted while they were traveling, said they planned to bring the bodies to Kabul to protest what they saw as the government’s lack of response to a problem that was becoming chronic.

Officials in Zabul Province said the local cell of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, had recently allied with another breakaway Taliban faction that is challenging the Taliban’s new supreme leader, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour.

Just last week, the breakaway Taliban faction formally announced in a gathering in Farah Province that it did not accept Mullah Mansour as the successor to Mullah Muhammad Omar, whose death two years ago was revealed in July.

The group said it was rallying around a new leader, Mullah Muhammad Rasool, a former member of the Taliban movement’s ruling council. His deputy, Mullah Mansour Dadullah, has been operating out of the Khak-e-Afghan district in Zabul.

“The reason we split from Mansour’s self-proclaimed kingdom was that he is the real murderer of Mullah Omar and some high-ranking Taliban during the 14 years of struggle,” Mullah Rasool said in a phone interview. His faction believes that Mullah Omar did not die a natural death, as the group announced, but was killed by Mullah Mansour. “We will bring Mansour before justice soon.”

In response, Mullah Mansour sent as many as 450 fighters to crush the dissident Mullah Dadullah as well as the Islamic State elements in Zabul, according to Afghan security officials and local officials.

“Fighting between Mullah Mansour and Mullah Dadullah is ongoing in three districts of Zabul,” said Hajji Momand Nasratyar, the district governor of Arghandab. “Mansour is beating Dadullah and I.S. very hard — around 86 of I.S. and Dadullah’s men have been killed, and 26 of Mansour’s.”

The Taliban were also reported to have killed several of the Islamic State militants said to be responsible for the beheadings, according to a local official, though that account could not be confirmed more broadly.

Hajji Atta Jan, the Zabul provincial council chief, said the offensive by Mullah Mansour’s fighters was so intense that by late Monday at least three Islamic State commanders, all of them ethnic Uzbeks, had surrendered and were asking their fighters to do the same. The condition the Uzbek commanders had agreed on with Mullah Mansour, according to Mr. Jan, was that they would not be handed over to Pakistan, where they had been based before Pakistani military operations pushed them into Afghan territory.

Despite Mullah Mansour’s swift action against dissent, the announcement of the breakaway faction seems to have rekindled doubts over his leadership that most thought had been quelled by his delivering the Taliban their biggest victory in 14 years, the capture of the northern city of Kunduz in September.

Still, the dissent has not deterred Taliban fighters from making deep inroads against the government in the south as well, where intense fighting has continued in Helmand Province. The Taliban have made gains in the districts of Nad Ali and Greshk, according to Muhammad Karim Attal, the head of the Helmand provincial council.

The Taliban have also overrun police and army bases in the Marja district, one of the centers of President Obama’s 2010 troop surge, and were closing in on the district governor’s compound. Airstrikes had to be called in on Saturday to break the siege of security forces there, officials said.


Mujib Mashal reported from Kabul, and Taimoor Shah from Kandahar, Afghanistan.