Headline shamelessly stolen;
NY Times Reporter, Held Captive by The Taliban, Gets Hit With a Giant Cluebat (bold theirs)
"New York Times reporter discovers that they aren't actually the moderate nationalists that his own paper may have led him to believe they were. "7 Months, 10 Days in Captivity," by David Rohde in the New York Times, October 17 (thanks to Sounder):
Over those months, I came to a simple realization. After seven years of reporting in the region, I did not fully understand how extreme many of the Taliban had become. Before the kidnapping, I viewed the organization as a form of "Al Qaeda lite," a religiously motivated movement primarily focused on controlling Afghanistan.
Living side by side with the Haqqanis' followers, I learned that the goal of the hard-line Taliban was far more ambitious. Contact with foreign militants in the tribal areas appeared to have deeply affected many young Taliban fighters. They wanted to create a fundamentalist Islamic emirate with Al Qaeda that spanned the Muslim world.