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.

Islamic State offensive against Assad regime cuts city of Deir Ezzor in two

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a new offensive by the Islamic State has effectively cut the city of Deir Ezzor in two. The Islamic State has battled forces loyal to the Assad regime in and around Deir Ezzor since mid-2014. The jihadis’ latest assault has exacerbated the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the city.



US bombs 2 Islamic State camps south of Sirte, Libya

The US bombed two Islamic State camps 28 miles southwest of Sirte, Libya last night. The camps were located in a remote desert location, but were part of the jihadists’ plan to mount a comeback in the more populated areas of Libya. The Islamic State lost control of Sirte late last year.


Guantanamo detainee selected for aborted 9/11 hijacking transferred to Oman

Mohammed Al Ansi was one of ten Guantanamo detainees transferred to Oman earlier this week. Ansi had been denied transfer as recently as March 2016. The US government found that he “participated in advanced combat training and may have met with al Qaeda external operations chief Khalid Shaykh Mohammed.” Ansi may have been “considered for participation in a suicide attack or deployment in the West” as part of the 9/11 hijackings.




Pentagon: Airstrikes kill 20 or more al Qaeda fighters in northern Syria

The Pentagon is still assessing the results of airstrikes on Jan. 1 and Jan. 3 in northern Syria, but it is believed that 20 al Qaeda “militants” were killed in the bombings. The airstrikes are likely among the most significant carried out against al Qaeda in Syria since Sept. 2014. President Obama reportedly authorized a more robust air campaign against al Qaeda in Syria late last year, after the administration had previously defined down the threat.


Osama bin Laden’s son designated as a terrorist by State Department

The State Department announced today that Osama bin Laden’s son, Hamza, has been added to the US government’s list of designated terrorists. Al Qaeda has released several messages from Hamza since Aug. 2015. He has threatened the West, said that all Muslims should support the jihad in Syria, and called for the Saudi government to be overthrown.