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New Audio Message Suggests Closer al Qaida-Taliban Alliance

Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri appears to have pledged the group’s loyalty to the new leader of the Afghan Taliban, a move that could strengthen both terror organizations as they fend off challenges from Islamic State. "We pledge our allegiance ... [to the] commander of the faithful, Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour, may God protect him,” said Zawahiri during a 10-minute recording that surfaced on the Internet Thursday. U.S. counterterrorism officials are still studying the...

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