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 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.
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.
US and Afghan forces have been attempting to clear the Islamic State’s so-called Khorasan province from Achin and several other districts in eastern Afghanistan for nearly two years.
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.
The policy debate concerning Syria must reflect on-the-ground realities. The war is a complex, multi-sided affair with no easy solutions.