Author Archives: Thomas Joscelyn

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

Analysis: UK investigating possible ‘network’ behind Manchester attack

International authorities are investigating the possibility that a “network” assisted Salman Abedi in the Manchester Arena bombing earlier this week. The investigation stretches from the UK to Libya, where Abedi’s younger brother and father have been detained. His brother, Hashim, has allegedly admitted prior knowledge of the plot and that the siblings were Islamic State members.



Shabaab spokesman calls on Kenyan jihadists to form an ‘army’

In a newly released video, Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mahmoud Rage addresses graduates of a training camp for foreign fighters. “Many” of the graduates are from Kenya and, Rage says, they should form an “army that will conquer Kenya so that we may return to our families and relatives in a state of honor and glory.”


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.”


Kenyan soldier held hostage since Jan. 2016 appears in Shabaab video

Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, has released a video of a Kenyan soldier who was captured during a Jan. 15, 2016 raid on an AMISOM base in El Adde. The UN found that approximately 150 Kenyan soldiers were killed in the attack and another 11 were taken hostage. The jihadists’ attack in El Adde was “the largest military defeat in Kenyan history,” according to the UN.



The US Intelligence Community’s newest assessment of the jihadist threat

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) presented its written “Worldwide Threat Assessment” to the Senate last week. The analysis confirms that the Islamic State is capable of sustaining insurgencies in both Iraq and Syria, Afghan security continues to “deteriorate,” and al Qaeda remains a threat in several parts of the globe.