Quraishi is a veteran Afghan journalist. Late last summer, while reporting a story for FRONTLINE, he put out word that he would like to interview one of the new Taliban commanders leading a growing insurgency in the country's northern provinces. It would be the first in a series of contacts that would eventually yield him extraordinary access into an insurgent cell with longtime ties to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted on Feb. 1, 2010.
"I was in Afghanistan for another film for FRONTLINE and at the end of that, while I was in Kunduz, in northern Afghanistan, a guy approached me and said, "You are one of my favorite reporters" -- he was watching me on TV -- and he said: "Would you like to have interview or a comment from Taliban? I have a connection with one of their commanders and if you want, I could arrange something. Give me your telephone number."
And after, when I got to Kabul, I received a call from the same guy. He said that one of the commanders is ready to talk. ..."