Al Qaeda

Taliban assaults Afghan Army bases in Kandahar

Taliban fighters overran a large military base earlier this week, and launched attacks on other installations throughout the province. The fighting in Kandahar takes place as the Taliban remains on the offensive on several fronts throughout the country as part of Operation Mansouri. Read more >

Al Qaeda criticizes Saudi relations with West during President Trump’s visit

Al Qaeda released an audio message from Hamza bin Laden and a news bulletin during President Trump's recent visit to Saudi Arabia. Hamza does not mention the American delegation, but he does criticize the Saudi family's historical dealings with the British. The one-page newsletter specifically addresses Trump's visit and claims that a new center for combating extremism in Riyadh will really be used "to fight faith, purity, and commitment." Read more >

AQAP leader calls for ‘simple’ attacks in the West

In a short video released yesterday, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's (AQAP) leader, Qasim al Raymi, reiterated his group's call for "lone mujahid" attacks in the West. AQAP was an early innovator of the concept of "individual jihad," but has been eclipsed by its rivals in the Islamic State in recent years. Raymi is attempting to move AQAP back to the fore of the "lone mujahid" effort. Read more >

AQAP leader discusses complex war in Yemen

AQAP released a lengthy "dialogue" with its emir, Qasim al Raymi, on April 30. Raymi discusses the complex war inside Yemen, AQAP's desire to focus on the Houthis and his group's general approach to waging jihad. He also cites a text written by Ayman al Zawahiri to explain why AQAP cooperates with other Islamists inside Yemen. Read more >

Ayman al Zawahiri warns against ‘nationalist’ agenda in Syria

In a new audio message, Ayman al Zawahiri warns jihadists that they should avoid a strictly "nationalist" agenda in Syria. He also says the jihadists should focus on waging a "guerrilla" war inside Syria and not place too much emphasis on controlling territory at this time. Zawahiri's words are likely intended to influence some of the debates occurring within jihadist circles. Read more >

Pakistani Taliban faction claims spokesman was captured in Afghanistan

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar said that Ehsanullan Ehsan was captured on Mar. 7 by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate along with three others and subsequently turned over to the Pakistani military. The group's claim contradicts the Pakistani military's version of events. Earlier this week, Pakistani officials said Ehsan had voluntarily turned himself in. Read more >

Pakistani Taliban confirms senior al Qaeda commander killed in Afghanistan

The Pakistani Taliban confirmed today that Qari Muhammad Yasin, a senior al Qaeda military commander, was killed along with three of his "companions" in a US drone strike on Mar. 19. The airstrike was carried out in Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province. Yasin was a member of the Punjabi Taliban, which includes jihadists from various other Pakistani terrorist organizations who are aligned with al Qaeda. Read more >

Analysis: Al Qaeda groups reorganize in West Africa

On Mar. 2, a new al Qaeda joint venture in West Africa was announced. The "Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims" is led by Ansar Dine's Iyad Ag Ghaly and is openly loyal to Ayman al Zawahiri. It brings together four groups that were already part of al Qaeda's international network. Read more >

Former Guantanamo detainee killed in US air campaign in Yemen

The Pentagon announced today that a former Guantanamo detainee, Yasir al Silmi, was killed in a bombing on Mar. 2 in Yemen. Joint Task Force Guantanamo identified al Silmi, also known as Muhammad Yasir Ahmed Taher, as a "high" risk and warned that he would "engage in extremist activities upon release." He was transferred to Yemen on Dec. 19, 2009. Read more >

Al Qaeda eulogizes Egyptian leader killed in Idlib, Syria

Al Qaeda has released a eulogy for Abu al Khayr al Masri, who was killed in a US airstrike in Idlib, Syria in late February. The eulogy emphasizes his close relationship with Osama bin Laden and his role as al Qaeda's "representative" in meetings with the Taliban. Once in Syria, Masri was "honored" to oversee "combat operations" in the insurgents' "management and planning rooms." Read more >