Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Afghan Taliban: Mullah Mansour’s battle to be leader

< 1 min

BBC, 23 September 2015

In an analysis of the structure of the Taleban movement after the change of leadership, AAN’s Borhan Osman is quoted among other Taleban experts on the military commission, the Quetta shura and the ways of communication in the movement:

Borhan Osman of the respected Afghanistan Analysts Network, AAN, says the military commission is the most important, running the insurgency.

“The head of the military commission is a person equivalent to a defence minister in a country.”

On the ground the insurgency is run by a network of regional commanders and shadow governors in the different provinces of Afghanistan, Mr Osman says. […]

Borhan Osman says field commanders and shadow governors will use electronic methods too [in addition to written messages].

“While the provincial governor may not be himself talking to one of his commanders, one of his aides might do it, using all this code language, maybe talking on the phone and also increasingly now on walkie-talkies when they are close by in the same area.”

Some of the names used for the Taliban leadership council, such as the “Quetta Shura” suggest a firm base in a specific location, but Borhan Osman says such terms are misleading.

“It’s a name for a mechanism rather than for a headquarters,” he says. “They meet at the home of one of the members or supporters. The next day they meet in another town.”