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AQIS claims plot to strike US warships was executed by Pakistani Navy officers

September 17, 2014
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The spokesman for al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent said that all of those who participated in the attempted hijacking of the PNS Zulfiqar were active duty naval officers.

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Al Qaeda branches urge jihadist unity against US

September 16, 2014
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AQAP and AQIM have issued a joint statement encouraging the jihadists in Syria to unite in the face of the American-led opposition. However, the statement should not be read as an indication that they are breaking ranks from al Qaeda. The two groups also offer their condolences for the Ahrar al Sham leaders who were killed earlier this month.

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Al Qaeda operations chief, propagandist reported killed in airstrikes

September 16, 2014
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Influential jihadists said that Sufyan al Maghribi, a Moroccan who served as al Qaeda's military chief in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Umar al Talib, a propagandist who narrated videos for As Sahab, have been killed in airstrikes.

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Caucasus Emirate eulogizes slain Ahrar al Sham leaders

September 15, 2014
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The al Qaeda-linked Caucasus Emirate joins the Al Nusrah Front and other jihadist groups in offering condolences to Ahrar al Sham.

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2 al Qaeda commanders reported killed in US airstrike in eastern Afghanistan

September 14, 2014
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The pair of al Qaeda commanders are said to be members of the Badr Mansoor Group, which was described in one of Osama bin Laden's documents as an al Qaeda "company."

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Islamic State beheads British citizen, threatens another

September 13, 2014
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The Islamic State released a video of the beheading of David Cawthorne Haines, a British citizen who was kidnapped while providing security for an aid group in Syria's Idlib province in March 2013.

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Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent claims 2 attacks in Pakistan

September 13, 2014
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AQIS has claimed two attacks in Pakistan. On Sept. 2, the group assassinated a Pakistani officer. An AQIS spokesman claims that the group attempted to take over a docked Pakistani ship on Sept. 6 and fire missiles at American warships.

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Analysis: Al Nusrah Front explains decision to release UN peacekeepers

September 12, 2014
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The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda's official branch in Syria, explained its decision to release more than 40 UN peacekeepers in a video released earlier this week. The group disputes published reports saying that it demanded to be taken off the UN's list of designated terrorist organizations. And it says the hostages were freed in compliance with sharia law.

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US drone strike targets AQAP fighters in Shabwa

September 11, 2014
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Five AQAP fighters, including a Saudi and an individual who shares the nom de guerre of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's emir for Mahfad, are reported to have been killed in the first drone strike since mid-August.

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US strategy against Islamic State to mirror counterterrorism efforts in Yemen, Somalia

September 11, 2014
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Obama described the counterterrorism strategy in Yemen and Somalia as "one that we have successfully pursued ... for years." However, several years of cooperation with willing partners have yielded questionable results.

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Al Nusrah Front releases eulogy commemorating Ahrar al Sham leaders

September 10, 2014
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The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda's official branch in Syria, has released a statement honoring the Ahrar al Sham leaders killed in yesterday's explosion. Al Nusrah says they were among the "best" of men and leaders.

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US aided Hezbollah Brigades in breaking Islamic State siege of Iraqi town

September 10, 2014
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Hezbollah Brigades, which was listed by the US as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 2009, now controls access to Amerli.

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Al Qaeda members mourn Ahrar al Sham, Islamic Front leaders on Twitter

September 9, 2014
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Several influential al Qaeda members have used their Twitter feeds to mourn the slain leaders of Ahrar al Sham and the Islamic Front. The jihadists were killed in an explosion earlier today. One well-connected jihadist, who appears to be an al Qaeda media operative, claimed that the head of the Islamic Front had been in communication with Ayman al Zawahiri.

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Head of Islamic Front, other senior leaders killed in explosion

September 9, 2014
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The Islamic Front announced today that more than one dozen of its senior leaders were killed in a car bombing in Idlib. Among the slain leaders is Hassan Abboud, who was the leader of Ahrar al Sham and the head of the Islamic Front's political office. Abboud was especially close to Ayman al Zawahiri's representative in Syria.

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Al Nusrah Front releases English-language summary of monthly operations

September 8, 2014
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The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda's official branch in Syria, has released an English-language pamphlet highlighting its activities throughout the month of August. The publication focuses on the group's military operations, including targeting Assad's forces and Hezbollah fighters, as well as its social work.

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AQAP endorses new branch of terror network in the Indian subcontinent

September 8, 2014
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Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has congratulated its "brothers" in al Qaeda for creating a new branch in the Indian subcontinent. AQAP offers "special congratulations" to "our Sheikh and good Emir," Ayman al Zawahiri.

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US air campaign against Islamic State expands to southwestern Baghdad

September 16   The airstrike likely took place in northern Babil, the Islamic State's southern front. Comments (2)


4 ISAF soldiers killed in suicide, green-on-blue attacks

September 16   Three ISAF soldiers were killed in a suicide attack in Kabul, while another soldier was killed after an Afghan soldier opened fire on military trainers at a base in Farah province. Comments (2)


Al Qaeda official in Syria tweets in solidarity with Islamic State

September 15   Abu Sulayman al Muhajir, a member of the Al Nusrah Front's Sharia Committee, has now joined other al Qaeda members and branches in expressing solidarity with the Islamic State; but such expressions of support are not pledges of loyalty or allegiance. Comments (0)


Syrian Revolutionaries Front again supports al Qaeda and the Islamic Front in Quneitra

September 14   The Western-backed Syrian Revolutionaries Front continues to fight alongside Al Nusrah, the Islamic Front, and other Islamist groups in southern Syria. Comments (1)


On the CIA estimate of number of fighters in the Islamic State

September 13   It should come as no surprise that the CIA concludes that the Islamic State has upwards of 31,500 fighters. Comments (15)


'Moderate' Syrian Revolutionaries Front continues to support al Qaeda

September 12   President Obama's strategy for confronting the Islamic State in Syria depends on empowering moderate Syrian rebels to take over areas once they are liberated. The problem is, 'moderate' rebels untainted by links to Islamist groups such as al Qaeda's Al Nusrah Front seem to be nonexistent. Comments (4)


New leader of Ahrar al Sham previously led Free Syrian Army unit

September 11   The Islamic Front identified Sheikh Hashim al Sheikh, who is also known as Abu Jaber, as the new emir of al Qaeda-allied Ahrar al Sham. Comments (1)


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Today In...


September 18, 2014:

Over 800 police conducted raids across Sydney, with 25 search warrants, looking for suspects linked to an Islamic State beheading plot. At least three raids were also conducted in Brisbane. Fifteen people have been detained in Sydney, including Omarjan Azari, 22, and are thought to have been tasked by Australian IS operative Mohammad Ali Baryalei with filming the beheading of an Australian for use in IS propaganda. A warrant was issued last week for the arrest of Baryalei, an IS commander who has recruited at least 30 Australians and is thought to be in Syria. Police said they had been tracking the plot since May, and warned that the suspects were planning attacks in Australia. Raids in Brisbane were linked to arrests last week of two suspected Al Nusrah Front recruiters. Earlier this week men in a car with an Islamic State flag made death threats outside a Maronite Christian school in Sydney. Authorities shut down a Sydney money-transfer business suspected of funneling cash to terrorists, and seized passports of persons in Melbourne linked to jailed terrorist Abdul Nacer Benbrika.


September 17, 2014:

The military claimed it killed 11 Taliban fighters in North Waziristan and another 23 in Khyber; three soldiers were also killed. Police killed seven "militants" in Karachi. Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) claimed that Pakistani Navy officers were involved in the failed attempt to hijack a Pakistani warship and launch missiles at US Navy vessels in the Indian Ocean.


The US launched seven airstrikes against the Islamic State near Irbil, the Haditha Dam, and southwestern Baghdad. The Iraqi military claimed it killed 16 Islamic State fighters in northern Babil and a military commander and four aides near Mosul. The military also said it has launched clearing operations in Rawa and Anah. Prime Minister Abadi ruled out basing US troops in Iraq and questioned the exclusion of Iran from a coalition against the Islamic State.


A divided House of Representatives voted to authorize the training and arming of Syrian rebels. President Obama said the US will degrade and ultimately destroy the Islamic State by means of airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq and Syria, training and equipping "partners," including Iraqi troops, and by leading a broad coalition against the group; he vowed that he will not commit US troops to another ground war in Iraq. Vice President Biden said the decision to commit US ground troops in Iraq will depend on how the current strategy works. Joint chiefs chair General Dempsey said that 24 of the Iraqi Army's 50 brigades are not credible US partners. Calling the Islamic State a long-term threat to the US and Europe, Army chief of staff General Odierno said airstrikes alone will not root out extremists in Iraq, ground troops will also be needed, and that extremists cannot be permitted a safe haven in Syria. Mufid A. Elfgeeh, of Rochester, New York, was indicted for helping three men try to join ISIS in Syria and for planning to murder US troops who had returned from Iraq. The Islamic State released a video threatening retaliation against the US.


Security forces arrested nine imams and six other people in the second major operation in two months aimed at preventing Kosovans from traveling to Iraq and Syria for jihad. Most of the imams who were detained are said to be affiliated with the Islamic Community of Kosovo, and include a cleric from Pristina's Grand Mosque.


The Army claimed to have repelled another Boko Haram attack on Konduga in Borno state and killed several insurgents; three vehicles and an armored personnel carrier were captured, as well as weapons. A bomb went off and gunfire was heard at a teacher training college in Kano city; multiple casualties are feared. Gunmen described as suspected Fulani herders attacked three villages in Kaduna state, killing at least 32 villagers and burning down houses, after first ambushing an army patrol and killing a soldier and wounding several others. Last month the military quietly retired Maj. Gen. Abubakar Mohammed, the commanding officer in Maiduguri who was attacked by mutinous troops in May; 12 soldiers have been sentenced to death for the attack.


Security forces arrested five or six people in Lyon who are suspected of recruiting fighters for extremist groups in Syria and Iraq. Two of the suspects are minors, and one of the suspects is female and the sister of another suspect. The suspects allegedly focused on recruiting females for jihad. Another suspect is connected to the banned group Forsane Alizza, or Knights of Pride, which seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate in France. Interior Minister Cazeneuve said that 930 French citizens and foreign nationals in France are involved in Islamic extremism; among those, hundreds have joined the Islamic State in Syria and others are in France.


The government is said to be giving serious consideration to joining the military airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq. As part of an ongoing investigation, counterterrorism police raided a house in Cardiff and seized materials from it.


September 16, 2014:

Gen. Martin Dempsey, head of the Joint Chiefs, said the US troops in Iraq are working in a "combat advisory role" now but that if circumstances evolved he might recommend that they "provide close combat advising" or accompany particular missions. Lawmakers are considering measures for providing arms and training to Syrian rebels. Senior US officials warned that the US will retaliate if Syrian forces attack US aircraft launching strikes in Syria. Secretary of State Kerry said that although the US will not cooperate militarily with Iran in fighting the Islamic State, the US is willing to talk to Iran about the fight against the terrorist organization. NATO ally Turkey has refused US requests to join the coalition against the Islamic State. President Obama is sending 3,000 US troops to Africa to help combat the alarming spread of the Ebola virus.


The US has launched five airstrikes in southwestern Baghdad and Irbil against the Islamic State. The Iraqi military claimed it killed 16 Islamic State fighters near Bayji and launched an operation in Jurf al Sakhar. The Islamic State killed four Iraqis in mortar attacks in Dhuluiyah. General Dempsey said US ground troops could engage in fighting in Iraq.


Syria's UN envoy said the Al Nusrah Front has seized all of the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, and that Al Nusrah militants are using UN vehicles, weapons, uniforms, and fighting positions against civilians as well as Syrian forces; he accused Qatar, Israel, and Jordan of allowing Al Nusrah to use the safe zone as a base from which to attack and destabilize Syria. The UN said the recent advance of "armed groups" had forced it to withdraw from the area. Syrian warplanes targeted Al Nusrah and the Islamic Front in the Golan area of Quneitra. The Ajnad al Sham Islamic Union began targeting presidential, security, and military areas in Damascus. Al Nusrah and the Islamic Front fought regime forces in Damascus. Al Nusrah agreed to meet the Syrian Revolutionaries Front in court in Idlib after clashing with the SRF in Hafer Saja. The Islamic State shot down a Syrian fighter jet that was conducting airstrikes over Raqqah city, the first such downing of regime aircraft. The IS also clashed with Kurdish YPG forces in Aleppo, and released a member of Al Nusrah's sharia committee in Deir Izzour.


The Army killed "dozens" of Al Nusrah Front militants who were fleeing clashes with Syrian forces near the border in Qalamoun. Security forces arrested three Syrians accused of membership in an armed terrorist group in Baalbek. Army intelligence recently detained a Saudi commander of a 100-fighter Islamic State group after he arrived in Beirut from Turkey; security forces also arrested an IS field commander and his son in Tripoli. Tiring of negotiations with the government, Al Nusrah threatened to kill a captive Lebanese soldier, and released a kidnapped civilian in Arsal. The head of the Lebanese Forces party praised Lebanon's decision to join the US-led coalition against the Islamic State, but Hezbollah has denounced it.


Six policemen were killed and two more were wounded when their convoy hit a roadside bomb on the way from Rafah to el Arish. A court sentenced 17 Muslim Brotherhood members to prison terms of up to five years for rioting, but acquitted five students, including the nephew of former president Mohamed Morsi.

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