As shadow governor for Kunduz, Salam has succeeded in making the province one of the most unstable in all of Afghanistan. His forces overran the provincial capital in 2015 and then again in 2016.
The Afghan Ministry of Defense claimed the helicopter made an emergency landing due to a technical issue. In the past, the Afghan military has been less than forthcoming about attacks on its aviation assets and has even attempted to cover up the loss of its helicopters.
A former Guantanamo detainee known as Jamal al Harith (formerly Ronald Fiddler) launched a suicide attack with a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) south of Mosul earlier this week. He is at least the second former Guantanamo detainee to launch a suicide attack in or around Mosul on behalf of the Islamic State and its predecessor organization.
The Imam Bukhari Jamaat and the Islamic Jihad Union have claimed attacks in eastern and northern Afghanistan. Members of these two groups are also known to have operated in Syria.
The Taliban claims it now controls four of Kandahar’s 18 districts, and that others are contested. Shorabak was the location of an al Qaeda camp that was described by a US general in 2015 as “probably the largest training camp-type facility that we have seen in 14 years of war.”
Qari Saifullah Akhtar’s waged jihad for four decades. He has been directly linked to Osama bin Laden and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate.
The Islamic State’s Khorasan province claimed credit for today’s suicide bombing at a Sufi shrine in Sindh province, Pakistan that killed at least 70 people and wounded scores more.
A Uighur commander known as Abu Omar al Turkistani was killed in a US drone strike in Syria on Jan. 1. According to a jihadi biography posted online, he had a lengthy career fighting alongside al Qaeda-linked forces. He purportedly participated in the Battle of Tora Bora in late 2001.