The US State Department announced today that Islamic State leaders Ahmad Alkhald and Abu Yahya al-Iraqi have been named specially designated global terrorists. Alkhald was the “explosives chief” for the “terrorist cell” that carried out Nov. 2015 assault in Paris and the Mar. 2016 Brussels bombings. Al-Iraqi “oversees ISIS security in Iraq and Syria.”
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency claims that the attack in Barcelona, Spain today was carried out by the group’s “soldiers.” The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a string of operations in which terrorists drove a van or truck into a crowd.
The 17th edition of AQAP’s Inspire magazine provides a how-to guide for building a train derailment device. Al Qaeda has plotted against trains in the West in the past.
Australian authorities say they broke up an especially “sophisticated” Islamic State plot in late July. The so-called caliphate wanted to bring down an airliner using an improvised explosive device (IED). The Islamic State even shipped the IED components to the suspects in Australia. The accused men were also allegedly experimenting with a bomb intended to disperse hydrogen sulfide.
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) says that 12 Ugandan soldiers were killed in an ambush by Shabaab yesterday. The al Qaeda branch claims the casualties were much higher and a local official told the press that 24 bodies were carried away from the scene.
The Islamic State’s Wilayah Khorasan attacked the Iraqi embassy in Kabul earlier today. Nearly 16 years after the US invaded Afghanistan, civilian and official facilities in the country’s capital are regularly assaulted. Both the Taliban and Wilayah Khorasan have launched complex operations in Kabul on multiple occasions this year.
The US military identified seven senior Islamic State propagandists and facilitators killed in coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria this year. One of them, Rayaan Meshaal, founded Amaq News Agency, one of the group’s most important propaganda arms.
“Since at least 2009,” the State Department says in a recently released report, “Iran has allowed AQ [al Qaeda] facilitators to operate a core facilitation pipeline through the country, enabling AQ to move funds and fighters to South Asia and Syria.”