Al Qaeda

AQIM claims Tuareg youth killed in US airstrike

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has released a statement claiming that the victims of an American airstrike on Nov. 29 "were a group of Tuareg youth" and not members of the organization. US Africa Command previously said that 11 AQIM "terrorists" were killed and three vehicles destroyed in the "precision airstrike near Al Uwaynat, Libya." Read more >

Al Qaeda tries to capitalize on Saudi controversy

Al Qaeda's As Sahab has released an essay blasting Saudi Arabia's relationship with the US. The essay's author, identified as Sheikh Awab Bin Hasan al Hasni, portrays America as a declining power and touts the resurrection of the Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. AQAP also finally released the 58th issue of Al Masra newsletter, which focuses on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Read more >

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 >