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.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency quickly claimed credit yesterday for a shooting in the Russian city of Khabarovsk that left at least one FSB officer dead. However, the Russian government claims that “information” about the gunman “points to his being a member of a neo-Nazi group.”
The US military announced today that Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, a “close associate” of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi who facilitated the New Year’s Eve attack in Istanbul, Turkey, was killed during a special forces raid in Syria on Apr. 6.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has claimed responsibility for today’s attack in the Champs-Élysées shopping area of Paris. Europe has been struck at least four times in recent weeks, but the Islamic State has only taken credit for two of the attacks.
The Department of Justice announced yesterday that a 24 year-old Ohio man, Terrence J. McNeil, has pleaded guilty to terrorism charges. Prosecutors charged McNeil with soliciting the murders of American servicemen after he republished an Islamic State “hit list” online. The list was first compiled by Junaid Hussain, an Islamic State operative who was subsequently killed in a drone strike in Raqqa, Syria.
Islamic State gunmen shot and killed at least one Egyptian policeman near the Saint Catherine’s Monastery in the southern Sinai late yesterday. Several others were reportedly wounded. The group’s Sinai “province” is waging a low-grade insurgency against the Egyptian government and claims to have executed scores of attacks this year.
On Mar. 30, the US Treasury Department designated Bahrun Naim as a terrorist. Naim is one of the most prolific planners of the Islamic State’s so-called “remote-controlled” attacks. Most of his plots have been thwarted by counterterrorism officials, but he has a broad network of supporters in Indonesia.
The State Department announced yesterday that two Canadian citizens have been added to the US government’s list designated terrorists. Tarek Sakr has been “linked” to al Qaeda’s “affiliate” in Syria and Farah Mohamed Shirdon is a member of the Islamic State. According to press reports, jihadists associated with Sakr are suspected of playing a role in the kidnappings of two Americans in Syria.