Justin Nojan Sullivan has pleaded guilty to terrorism charges, including conspiring with Islamic State operative Junaid Hussain to plan “mass casualty shooting attacks on behalf” of the Islamic State. Hussain, who was killed in an airstrike last year, asked Sullivan to make a video of the attacks and Sullivan agreed. Hussain was one of the Islamic State’s key digital planners.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency claims that its “soldier” carried out the attack at Ohio State University yesterday. The wording is similar to that used after previous claims of responsibility for attacks in both Europe and the US.
Al Qaeda’s general command has released a statement commenting on the “martyrdom” of Faruq al Qahtani and others. They were killed in an American airstrike on Oct. 23 in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden’s files show that Qahtani was tasked with establishing new safe havens for al Qaeda in Afghanistan in 2010, if not earlier.
More than six months after a ground offensive was launched to dislodge the Islamic State from Sirte, Libya, the so-called caliphate’s fighters remain holed up inside a few blocks of the city. According to AFRICOM, approximately 200 jihadists are entrenched in their positions.
During a congressional hearing earlier today, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified that “violent extremism” — that is, jihadism — demands more intelligence collection and analysis now “than at any other point in history.”
The Pentagon says that more than 60 vehicle bombs have been destroyed in airstrikes since the battle for Mosul began in October. The Islamic State claims to have carried out 120 “martyrdom operations,” many utilizing vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), during this same timeframe. However, some of these claimed suicide bombings were likely neutralized before they could hit their intended targets.
Abd al-Basit al-Iraqi, the Islamic State’s emir of Middle East external networks, was killed in an airstrike in Raqqa, Syria on Nov. 12. Abd al-Basit was involved in plotting “against Americans, Turkish and European targets” in the Middle East, according to Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) Spokesman Colonel John Dorrian.
The US Treasury Department designated Dr. Abdallah Muhammad al Muhaysini and three other jihadists in Syria today. All four of them have worked for Al Nusrah Front, now known as Jabhat Fath al Sham (JFS), which is al Qaeda’s arm in Syria. Muhaysini claims to be an “independent” cleric, but Treasury says he is part of Al Nusrah’s “inner leadership circle.”