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AQAP official calls on rival factions in Syria to unite against West

October 1, 2014
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Nasser bin Ali al Ansi, an AQAP leader, is featured in a new video calling on rival jihadists in Iraq and Syria to unite against their common enemies. Al Ansi says the jihadists should form a "coalition" to strike America.

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Al Qaeda leader claims key operative in so-called 'Khorasan group' was killed

September 30, 2014
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A senior al Qaeda leader known as Sanafi al Nasr has tweeted that Muhsin al Fadhli was killed in the bombing raids in Syria last week. Both Nasr and al Fadhli are part of the so-called "Khorasan group." Al Fadhli may have been killed, but his death has not been confirmed. And there are sound reasons to treat Nasr's tweets with skepticism.

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Islamic State photos detail rout of Iraqi Army at Camp Saqlawiya

September 30, 2014
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The Islamic State seized or destroyed at least one M1 Abrams tank, four M113 armored personnel carriers, 15 Iraqi Army Humvees, a BMP infantry fighting vehicle, and other trucks.

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US adds Harakat-ul-Mujahideen's emir to terrorism list

September 30, 2014
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Fazle-ur-Rahman Khalil, Harakat-ul-Mujahideen's founder and leader, signed Osama bin Laden's infamous 1998 fatwa that declared war on the US and Israel. HUM was added to the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations 18 years ago.

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Islamic State ambushes Iraqi military column near Ramadi

September 30, 2014
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The Islamic State was able to destroy an Iraqi armored column near Ramadi in Anbar province, as well as take over an Iraqi police checkpoint.

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Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent claims attacks on Pakistani ships were more audacious than reported

September 29, 2014
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Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), the newest branch of al Qaeda's international network, has released a nine-page statement giving its version of the attacks on two Pakistani frigates on Sept. 6. AQIS claims that all of the operatives, except one, were "serving officers in the Pakistani Navy."

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Al Nusrah Front leader says Americans and Europeans will pay the 'tax' of war

September 29, 2014
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Abu Muhammad al Julani seeks to undermine public support for airstrikes in Syria by arguing that citizens in the West, and not just their rulers, will pay the price for the war. Julani also discusses Al Nusrah's fight against Hezbollah and urges jihadists not to join the West in the fight against the Islamic State.

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US killed 2 'Arabs' in first drone strike in South Waziristan in more than a year

September 28, 2014
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The US has not launched a drone strike in South Waziristan since mid-April 2013.

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US drone strike kills 2 AQAP fighters in Al Jawf

September 27, 2014
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The strike, the second in two days, took place in a northern province where top al Qaeda leaders have been targeted and killed in the past.

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Al Qaeda official warns against Islamic State in new speech

September 27, 2014
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A senior al Qaeda official known as Abu Dujana al Basha urges jihadists not to join the Islamic State, a former branch of al Qaeda that was disowned by al Qaeda's senior leaders in February.

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2 AQAP commanders reported killed in Shabwa drone strike

September 27, 2014
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Arabic media reports claim that two al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leaders were killed in a US drone strike in Shabwa province yesterday. One was reported to have been "rehabilitated."

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Al Nusrah Front trainer suspected of plotting against 2004 NATO summit killed in US airstrikes

September 26, 2014
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One of the first reported casualties of the US-led bombing campaign earlier this week was an Al Nusrah Front commander known as Abu Yusuf al Turki. He had been training al Qaeda snipers in Syria. He was previously suspected of plotting to attack the 2004 NATO summit in Turkey.

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Misunderstanding al Qaeda

September 26, 2014
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The threat posed by al Qaeda remains today. The "Khorasan group" is merely al Qaeda in Syria.

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Treasury designations target al Qaeda's international fundraising and facilitation network

September 25, 2014
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The Treasury Department targeted six al Qaeda financiers and facilitators yesterday. Their work spans the globe, covering more than 10 nations from the Middle East to Southeast Asia.

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US launches 2nd drone strike in Shabwa in 2 weeks

September 25, 2014
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US drones targeted AQAP fighters in Yemen's southern Shabwa province for the second time in since Sept. 11.

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US drone strike in North Waziristan kills Uzbeks, 'foreign nationals'

September 25, 2014
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"There is no need for such strikes," Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, condemning the attack "as a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity."

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Threat Matrix

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Islamic State advances near Kobane

October 1   The two-week-old offensive is reaching closer to the Kurdish city of Kobane in northern Syria. Comments (0)


AQAP Twitter-warrior killed in latest US drone strike in Yemen

September 29   Abd al Aziz al Omari helped run Twitter accounts that are critical of the US drone program in Yemen. Comments (1)


AQAP steps up attacks against army, Houthis

September 29   Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula carried out four attacks in the last 24 hours across various Yemeni provinces. Comments (0)


AQAP rocket strike targets US embassy in Sana'a

September 28   Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula launched a rocket attack on the US embassy in Sana'a yesterday, claiming that it was retribution for a US drone strike the previous day. Comments (0)


Airstrikes in Syria continue to focus on Islamic State, not al Qaeda

September 27   Al Qaeda and its allies in Syria were struck by US warplanes on the first day, but have not been targeted since. Comments (3)


Islamic State assaults Baiji oil refinery

September 26   The Islamic State has begun another assault on the highly contested oil refinery in northern Iraq. Comments (5)


AQAP executes Yemeni intelligence director

September 26   Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula executed a government intelligence director and four of his associates in the central Yemeni province of al Dale' on yesterday. Comments (0)


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Today In...


October 1, 2014:

Prime Minister Erdogan said Turkey will fight the Islamic State "and all other terrorist organizations in the region." Turkey is planning to establish safe havens inside northern Syria to protect areas controlled by the Free Syrian Army and the Islamic Front. The government is also asking Parliamentary approval for deployment of Turkish troops abroad and allowing foreign troop deployments on Turkish territory. Deputy Prime Minister Arınç claimed that the Islamic State is advancing on the Turkish enclave around the tomb of Suleyman Shah in northern Syria. Turkey added Ansar al Sharia Tunisia and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, along with 14 UN-designated terrorists, to its list of people and entities associated with al Qaeda. Police arrested three alleged Islamic State sympathizers at Istanbul University. New NATO head Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed NATO's commitment to protect Turkey.


A man was killed and three people were wounded in clashes that erupted after Benghazi residents attacked an Ansar al Sharia checkpoint. At least 13 people have been killed in three days of clashes between the Awlad Suleiman and Qaddadfa tribes in Sebha. Fighting in Derna between militants from the Ansar al Sharia-linked Abu Slim Martyrs Brigade and the Islamic State-linked Council of Islamic Youth killed 12 people last week; unknown assailants also killed a female security officer in the city.


Justice Minister Louh said Algerian authorities have identified the suspects who beheaded French tourist Hervé Gourdel on Sept. 24 in the Djurdjura Mountains. Gourdel was kidnapped on Sept. 21 by Jund al-Khalifa fi Ard al-Jazayer ("Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria"), a newly emerged terror group led by Abdelmalek El Gouri a.k.a. Khaled Abou Souleiman, a former AQIM commander who has sworn allegiance to the Islamic State. Some 2,000 soldiers have been deployed to the area to search for Gourdel's body and to arrest the terrorist suspects; Louh said the investigation is continuing.


President Aquino said the Philippines will refuse "impossible or unclear" UN missions, after the UN refused Philippine peacekeeping troops' requests for more weapons to fight off al Qaeda militants in the Golan area along the Syrian border and ordered the Philippine troops to surrender to secure the release of kidnapped Fijian peacekeepers. Military and intelligence sources said that wanted terrorist Zulkifli bin Abdul Hir a.k.a. Marwan, a Malaysian, is among those actively recruiting for the Islamic State in Mindanao, and that he is joined by Jemaah Islamiyah members Mawiyah, Quaim, and Abu Saad, and a Saudi named Abdurahman. Officials said they are having trouble arresting Moro National Liberation Front chairman Nur Misuari, who is wanted for crimes in September 2013 that killed over 200 people, as he is surrounded by armed followers in Sulu. The military is thinking of trying to rescue two German hostages held by an Abu Sayyaf splinter group.


Police have arrested UK citizen Samiun Rahman a.k.a. Ibn Hamdan, who arrived in Bangladesh in February to recruit fighters from Bangladesh and Myanmar for the Islamic State and for the Al Nusrah Front. Hamdan had fought in Syria in late 2013 and had also gone to Mauritania and Morocco. His arrest followed the arrest of two of his recruits. Police said Hamdan "also had a mission to open branches in Bangladesh and Myanmar as per al Qaeda supremo Ayman al Zawahiri's recent announcement on the launching of al Qaeda in Indian subcontinent." Five university students who are members of the Islami Chhatra Shibir were suspended for injuring at least 15 teachers by bomb-throwing on Sept. 10. An Islamist bloc threatened a daylong government shutdown if Minister Abdul Latif Siddique is not arrested for making comments in New York that hurt Muslim religious sentiments.


September 30, 2014:

In the biggest day yet in the air campaign against the Islamic State, the US and the UK jointly launched 24 strikes against the group in Iraq and Syria, bringing the totals so far to 233 in Iraq and at least 62 in Syria. The US signed an agreement with the new Afghan government to allow 9,800 US troops to remain in Afghanistan until 2015 to train and advise Afghan security forces; some of the US troops will also conduct counterterrorism missions. NATO signed an agreement permitting up to 3,000 NATO troops to remain in Afghanistan along with the US troops. The State Department tried to define the term "Khorasan group"; the group is simply al Qaeda. The US added Harakat-ul-Mujahideen leader Fazle-ur-Rahman Khalil to its terrorist lists, as well as two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives and two businesses linked to LeT.


The US and Afghanistan signed the Bilateral Security Agreement, which allows the US to base troops in the country after the end of this year. The Taliban denied claims by the Afghan military that 45 jihadists were killed during recent fighting in Sangin in Helmand province. Security forces captured a Taliban shadow district governor in Baghlan. The US killed four Taliban fighters in airstrikes in Khost.


The Islamic State destroyed an Iraqi armored column and took control of a police station in Albu Aytha north of Ramadi. The US military launched 11 airstrikes against the Islamic State near the Mosul Dam, Fallujah, and northwest of Baghdad. The Islamic State killed eight people in bombings in Babil and eight more in Karbala. The military claimed it killed a senior Islamic State leader in Jurf al Sakhar.


The Islamic State has seized 325 Kurdish villages around Ayn al Arab. The Islamic State beheaded four YPG fighters, three of whom were female, and displayed their heads in Jarabulus. The leader of Kurdish PYD forces called for weapons for Kurdish fighters outgunned by the Islamic State in Kobani. Turkey claimed that the Islamic State is advancing on the tiny Turkish territory around the tomb of Suleyman Shah in Aleppo. The Islamic State has reportedly freed 70 of 153 Kurdish schoolchildren kidnapped by ISIS in northern Syria in May. The vice commander of the al Ummah Army was assassinated and its commander's guard was wounded in separate attacks in Reef Dimashq. The Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front clashed with regime forces in Damascus.


At least five people were killed in clashes between the Islamist Libya Dawn forces and the Libyan national army in Tripoli. A retired security officer was murdered in Benghazi, where 30 people were assassinated last week. An Operation Dignity commander said the Islamic State is controlling Ansar al Sharia, the Revolutionary Council in Benghazi, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, and accused Tripoli's mayor of bringing in foreign fighters with the help of Turkey, Qatar, and Sudan; the commander alleged that convoys of fighters from Yemen are coming into the Libya via Sudan. A prominent writer who had been kidnapped by Islamists was released. Militants in Ajdabiya are holding 30 Egyptian drivers and their trucks hostage, demanding the release of a Libyan on trial in Egypt for smuggling weapons between Egypt and Libya. Grand Mufti Ghariani ordered an end to the UN-sponsored dialogue between the Parliament and the rival Islamist government headed by Omar al Hassi.


Interior Minister Cazeneuve said there are about 1,000 French jihadists who have traveled to Syria and Iraq or plan to go this year, an increase of 74 percent. The Interior Ministry also recently said that 180 of the 930 French nationals who have traveled to Syria or Iraq for jihad have left. Authorities are reportedly monitoring Salim Benghalem, a French national suspected of serving as an Islamic State executioner in Syria; he was recently added to the US' list of global terrorists.


September 29, 2014:

Eight members of a Taliban suicide assault team and eight Afghans were killed during an attack on a district center in Paktia. A suicide bomber killed four policemen and three civilians in Kabul. The Taliban killed five policemen during fighting in Jawzjan province. President Ashraf Ghani will sign a security pact with the US that will allow 10,000 troops to stay in country up until the end of 2016.


September 28, 2014:

A US drone strike killed two "Arabs" and two Taliban fighters in the first drone strike in South Waziristan in one and a half years. The Pakistani government condemned the strike. Seven people were killed in a bombing at a refugee camp in Hangu.

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