Al Qaeda

Peace with the Taliban will not be peaceful

The Taliban is more than happy to negotiate the terms of US withdrawal — but if and only if an accord is reached on its terms. Because if a so-called peace agreement can be reached, you can be sure it will be one that will not benefit the Afghan people, the US, or the region. Read more >

AQAP claims Saudi spy network targeted its leaders

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has released a new video that includes the testimony of several "spies" who have allegedly helped the Saudis and Americans hunt down the group's members. There are reasons to be skeptical of AQAP's claims, but the organization is clearly concerned that spies will do more damage to its hierarchy. Read more >

Taliban announces death of Jalaluddin Haqqani

Jalaluddin fought the Soviets, served as the Minister of Frontiers during the Taliban rule of Afghanistan from 1996-2001, was a member of the Taliban's Quetta Shura, or governing body, and father of Sirajuddin Haqqani, one of the Taliban's two deputy emirs and overall military commander. Read more >

Analysis: Losing a War

The Trump administration is desperately trying to negotiate with the Taliban's senior leadership. The Obama administration did as well, with the effort ending in a diplomatic fiasco. Read more >

Foreign fighters involved in assault on Ghazni, Afghan defense minister says

Al Qaeda has long operated in Ghazni province, the site of a large-scale Taliban offensive in recent days. In 2010, Osama bin Laden ordered his men to relocate from northern Pakistan into Ghazni and other Afghan provinces. Bin Laden's lieutenant also wrote in mid-2010 that al Qaeda had "very strong military activity" in at least eight Afghan provinces, including Ghazni. More recently, American and Afghan forces have targeted al Qaeda operatives in the province. Read more >

US Counterterrorism strikes: Tempo remains high in Somalia and Yemen, transparency improves

In 2017, LWJ reported unprecedented levels of airstrikes in Somalia and Yemen. Thus far in 2018, the United States has sustained its high strike tempo in Somalia and improved transparency on its air campaign in Yemen. Strikes in Pakistan have leveled off, however press restrictions make tracking operations there difficult. In Libya, the U.S. has targeted jihadists sparingly. Read more >

Afghan forces suffer heavy casualties in Kunduz

The Red Unit, the Taliban's version of special forces that operates throughout Afghanistan and is often at the tip of the spear of assaults on district centers, military bases and outposts, is said to have initiated the fighting in Dasht-i-Archi district. At least 30 Afghan soldiers were killed during the assault. Read more >

Analysis: The Turkistan Islamic Party’s jihad in Syria

The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) in Afghanistan and Syria has long operated as part of the Taliban-al Qaeda axis. Earlier this year, however, the TIP's Syrian branch sided with Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) during its battles with other rebel groups. This infighting and related events have complicated the picture with respect to the TIP in Syria. One TIP-affiliated outlet claimed earlier this year that the group's senior management had sent new leadership from Afghanistan to Syria. Read more >

Jihadists try to rally opposition in southern Syria

Hay'at Tahrir al Sham (HTS) and its jihadist rivals in the "Guardians of Religion" organization have called on all Muslims to resist the Assad regime's new offensive in southern Syria. However, severe infighting has limited the jihadists' ability to launch sustained operations against the Assad regime and its allies. Read more >

Emir of Pakistani Taliban thought killed in US airstrike

The Afghan Ministry of Defense claims Mullah Fazlullah was killed in a US airstrike in Kunar on June 13. His death has not been confirmed by the US or the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. Fazlullah's death, if confirmed, may not be as impactful as US, Pakistani, and Afghan officials would like to believe. Read more >

State Department amends terror designation for Al Nusrah Front

The State Department has amended the terrorist designation for Al Nusrah Front to include the "alias" Hay'at Tahrir al Sham (HTS). State's announcement indicates that the US government still considers HTS to be part of al Qaeda's network, despite the jihadists' vitriolic disputes over its formation. State didn't explain its reasoning behind the move. Read more >

As US relocates embassy to Jerusalem, al Qaeda leader condemns international system

Al Qaeda has released a message from its leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, that is timed to coincide with the Trump administration's relocation of the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Zawahiri notes that the decision caused a "big uproar," but he reminds listeners that Tel Aviv is also supposedly Muslim land. He calls for jihad to uproot the entire international system led by the US and the UN. Read more >

State urges Taliban yet again to ‘run for office’

US officials should stop debasing themselves by issuing facile calls for peace. The Taliban has no intention of joining a political process and as it has stated numerous times, its goals are the expulsion of US and foreign forces, the overthrow of the Afghan government, the re-establishment of the of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the imposition of its harsh brand of Sharia. Read more >