Al Qaeda

Osama bin Laden’s files: AQIM commander recommended training Boko Haram’s members

A letter recovered in Osama bin Laden's compound reveals that a senior AQIM commander recommended that his group train Boko Haram's forces. Other official sources confirm that AQIM did provide the training and also groomed part of Boko Haram's leadership. However, one of the Boko Haram leaders identified in the letter later cofounded a splinter group known as Ansaru, which rejects Boko Haram's policies. Ansaru has been supported by AQIM. Read more >

Al Qaeda criticizes American raid in Yemen

The seventh issue of Al Qaeda's Al Nafir Bulletin, which was released earlier today, denounced the recent American counterterrorism raid in Yemen. The group's statement portrayed the operation as an assault on all Muslims and threatened President Donald Trump, saying "the flame of jihad has ignited and reached all over the world." Read more >

Pro-Al Qaeda ideologue criticizes joint bombings by Russia and Turkey in Syria

In a statement released last week, Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi, an influential jihadi ideologue aligned with al Qaeda, criticized Turkey's cooperation with Russia against the Islamic State. Maqdisi warned jihadists and Islamists in Syria to rethink their decision to work with Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, which has captured significant territory from the so-called caliphate in northern Syria. Read more >

Guantanamo detainee selected for aborted 9/11 hijacking transferred to Oman

Mohammed Al Ansi was one of ten Guantanamo detainees transferred to Oman earlier this week. Ansi had been denied transfer as recently as March 2016. The US government found that he "participated in advanced combat training and may have met with al Qaeda external operations chief Khalid Shaykh Mohammed." Ansi may have been "considered for participation in a suicide attack or deployment in the West” as part of the 9/11 hijackings. Read more >

Pentagon: Airstrikes kill 20 or more al Qaeda fighters in northern Syria

The Pentagon is still assessing the results of airstrikes on Jan. 1 and Jan. 3 in northern Syria, but it is believed that 20 al Qaeda "militants" were killed in the bombings. The airstrikes are likely among the most significant carried out against al Qaeda in Syria since Sept. 2014. President Obama reportedly authorized a more robust air campaign against al Qaeda in Syria late last year, after the administration had previously defined down the threat. Read more >

Russia’s new favorite jihadis: The Taliban

Russia is openly advocating on behalf of the Taliban, arguing that the jihadist group should be considered a bulwark against the Islamic State's branch in Afghanistan. But the Taliban is a bigger threat to Afghan security than Abu Bakr al Baghdadi's men, the organization remains closely allied with al Qaeda and its own extremism should not be downplayed. Read more >

US Treasury continues to target AQAP’s financial network

The US Treasury Department announced the designations of two "key facilitators" for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) today. A charity that is really a "front organization" for AQAP and has collected funds from Gulf businessmen was also designated. Treasury has systematically targeted AQAP's support network throughout the year and today's announcement is part of a series of related moves. Read more >

Pentagon confirms death of senior al Qaeda leader in Afghanistan

The Pentagon confirmed today that Faruq al Qatani, a senior al Qaeda leader, was killed in an airstrike in Afghanistan on Oct. 23. Qatani was suspected of planning attacks against the US. He established safe havens for al Qaeda in Afghanistan several years ago and also worked with the Taliban in the insurgency against the Afghan government, US forces and their allies. Read more >

Pentagon: Al Qaeda veteran in Syria was planning attacks against the West

The Defense Department announced today that Haydar Kirkan, a veteran al Qaeda operative who was plotting against the West, was killed in an airstrike in Idlib, Syria on Oct. 17. Kirkan was one of several al Qaeda leaders targeted in Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen during the month of October. The Pentagon emphasized that the airstrikes demonstrate the "transregional nature" of al Qaeda. Read more >

Jihadists and other rebels launch new offensive in Aleppo

Al Qaeda's rebranded guerrilla army in Syria is fighting alongside other jihadists, Islamists and Free Syrian Army-branded rebels in an offensive intended to break the Assad regime's siege of Aleppo. Most of the participating groups belong to two coalitions: Jaysh al Fath ("Army of Conquest") and Fatah Halab ("Aleppo Conquest"). These same two alliances tried and failed to break the siege earlier this year. Read more >