In a mosque on the outskirts of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, a preacher crowed to assembled men and boys: The Taliban, with their primitive guns, brought foreign forces to their knees, he said, and the Afghan government is next.
"America with her rich and modern weaponry knelt down to us mujahedeen. So how will you defy us?" shouted the preacher on a sunny Friday in late October. He only permitted NPR to use his family name, Mazloum, and requested the mosque's name and its precise location remain anonymous, so it would not be targeted by Afghan government forces.