Time for another conveniently timed "AQ splitting from the Taliban" piece

Although the war in Afghanistan began as a response to al-Qaeda terrorism, there are perhaps fewer than 100 members of the group left in the country, according to a senior U.S. military intelligence official in Kabul who spoke on the condition of anonymity…

Yet officials and observers here differ over whether the inversion of the groups’ traditional power dynamic has led to better or worse relations. Indeed, it may be bringing al-Qaeda closer to certain Taliban factions — most notably, forces loyal to former Taliban cabinet minister Jalaluddin Haqqani — and driving it apart from others, including leader Mohammad Omar’s Pakistan-based group. The shifting alliances, analysts say, could have significant bearing on where the U.S. military chooses to focus its firepower…

In a February interview with al-Samoud magazine, Taliban political committee leader Agha Jan Mutassim praised the Saudi Arabian government, called for Muslim unity and said the Taliban “respects all different Islamic schools and branches without any discrimination” in Afghanistan.

Such positions may put Omar’s Taliban at odds with al-Qaeda’s extremist Sunni agenda of overthrowing what it sees as corrupt Muslim governments and targeting Shiites. Analysts said that Omar, who leads a council of Taliban commanders based in or around the Pakistani city of Quetta, wants such countries as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government if it regains power and that he has little interest in fomenting war elsewhere.