The cliffs of Qumran in the Judean desert, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, have long been thought to have been occupied by some sort of Jewish sect, with which a number of the scrolls seem to be connected. For years the opinion prevailed that it was the dwelling place of the ascetic group known as the Essenes, but many scholars have contested that opinion, with one even arguing that no such sect ever existed. Drawing both on the scrolls themselves and manuscripts found in the Cairo Genizah, one researcher has come to a different conclusion. Rossella Tercatin explains:
Was the Mysterious Home of the Dead Sea Scrolls a Place for an Annual Gathering, Rather Than the Home of an Isolated Community?
Despite Opposition from the Taliban, Islamic State Is Thriving in Afghanistan
According to Taliban officials, Islamic State’s Afghanistan offshoot (known as the “Khorasan province,” or ISKP) has but a negligible presence. American diplomats, for their part, have claimed that the new jihadist government in Kabul can provide a bulwark against the group, which opposes what it sees as the Taliban’s relative religious moderation. But, Oved Lobel argues, the evidence supports neither interpretation: