Islamic State

Ohio man pleads guilty to terror charges after posting Islamic State hit list

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. Read more >

State Department designates 2 Canadian citizens for joining jihadist groups

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. Read more >

Islamic State claims church bombings in Egypt

The Islamic State has claimed credit for bombings at two Coptic churches in the Egyptian cities of Tanta and Alexandria earlier today. The attacks killed dozens of people and wounded approximately 100 others. The so-called caliphate has a history of targeting Christians in Iraq, Egypt and Libya. Read more >

How a US citizen became a key player in the Islamic State’s rivalry with al Qaeda

The eighth edition of the Islamic State's Rumiyah magazine features a cover story on Ahmad Abousamra, who was added to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist List in 2013. Abousamra was the "chief editor" of Dabiq, the Islamic State's English-language magazine, and also one of al Qaeda's fiercest rhetorical opponents. He described al Qaeda's leaders and pro-al Qaeda ideologues as the "Jews of Jihad." Read more >

Islamic State propagandist was ‘brainwashing’ children, US military says

The US military announced today that a senior Islamic State propagandist, Ibrahim al-Ansari, was killed in an airstrike in Al-Qaim, Iraq on Mar. 25. Al-Ansari "was a leader in producing and disseminating propaganda to direct, encourage and instruct terror attacks, as well as to recruit foreign terrorist fighters," a US military spokesman said. Al-Ansari also "promoted terror attacks against US and Turkish citizens" and was responsible for "the brainwashing of young children to perpetuate ISIS's brutal message." Read more >

Islamic State uses improvised weapons of war in Mosul, Iraq

The Islamic State's Ninawa province has released a video highlighting its use of improvised weapons of war in the battle for Mosul, Iraq. The weapons include: vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) with armor attached, modified drones, and a remote-controlled rocket launcher. Children or young adolescents used as "martyrdom" bombers are also featured in the propaganda production. Read more >

Pro-Al Qaeda ideologue criticizes joint bombings by Russia and Turkey in Syria

In a statement released last week, Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi, an influential jihadi ideologue aligned with al Qaeda, criticized Turkey's cooperation with Russia against the Islamic State. Maqdisi warned jihadists and Islamists in Syria to rethink their decision to work with Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, which has captured significant territory from the so-called caliphate in northern Syria. Read more >

Attack on Berlin Christmas market claimed by Islamic State

The Islamic State's Amaq News Agency has released a short statement claiming responsibility for the assault on a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany yesterday. Twelve people were killed and dozens more injured when a lorry was rammed into the market. Two attacks in Germany earlier this year were "remote-controlled" by the group's digital operatives. Read more >

Jihadis celebrate capture of Russian base in Palmyra, Syria

The Islamic State's Amaq News Agency claims that 352 men from the Syrian Army and allied Shiite militias were killed during four days of fighting in and around Palmyra. In addition, the group claims to have recovered a significant amount of "spoils," namely tanks and various weapons. A video recorded inside a base formerly used by Russians documents some of this war booty. Read more >

Islamic State assaults Syrian regime forces in Homs province

The Islamic State launched an assault on Syrian regime positions in the Homs province earlier today. The so-called caliphate's propaganda arm and other outlets report that Syrian government forces suffered dozens of casualties. Bashar al Assad's men and their allies recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra in March. The two sides have repeatedly clashed in Homs, including near Palmyra, since then. Read more >

Pentagon: Islamic State has lost its safe haven in Sirte, Libya

The Pentagon announced today that the Islamic State no longer controls any part of Sirte, Libya. The ground campaign to liberate the city began more than six months ago and the US has launched 495 airstrikes in support of the operation. The Islamic State's "governor" in Libya vows to fight on, saying that his men have spread out across the country. Read more >

British captive John Cantlie appears in new propaganda video from Mosul

The Islamic State's Amaq News Agency has released a new video featuring John Cantlie, who discusses the destruction of four of the five bridges in Mosul. The US-led coalition destroyed or damaged the bridges in November at the request of the Iraqi government in order to interrupt the flow of suicide bombers driving vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs). Read more >

North Carolina man pleads guilty to conspiring with Islamic State recruiter

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. Read more >