Monthly Archives: January 2006

Joining al Qaeda, Declining al Qaeda

The fracturing of Iraq’s insurgency has gained the attention of the media of late, and this is becoming a source of concern in some jihadi circles. ABC News provides an analysis that mirrors one written by ThreatsWatch over a week ago. ABC News quotes Fawaz Gerges, a consultant; “the Sunnis are chasing the al Zarqawi […]

Operations and Negotiations in Iraq

The ‘maintenance’ phase of the Anbar Campaign proceeds as Iraqi Army units continue to take greater responsibility for security operations in Anbar province. Iraqi units are increasingly conducting independent operations in the region after joint Coalition and Iraqi operations over the fall placed a permanent presence in the towns and cities along the Western Euphrates […]

False Foreign Fighter Report

Great strides have been made to turn the native elements of the Iraqi insurgency against the al Qaeda wing of the insurgency. Insurgent groups in Anbar province and the city of Samarra have declared war against al Qaeda. But news the Karabilah tribe is summarly rounding up al Qaeda without a fight should be viewed […]

The Iraqi Insurgent Divide Widens

The residents of troubled Sunni city of Samarra, where the insurgency has maintained an active presence, have voiced its dismay ay al Qaeda’s brutal tactics. One week ago, a local resident tipped off Coalition forces on the whereabouts of an insurgent bomb-making cell. A joint Iraqi-Coalition raid netted seven suspects, including two of the city’s […]

The Pakistani Frontier

The airstrike on al Qaeda leadership in the town of Damadola has done more than just kill up to five senior al Qaeda commanders, including Abu Khabab, the chief of al Qaeda’s WMD program; it has shone a light on the largely hidden war occurring on the Afghan-Pakistani border, the pervasiveness of al Qaeda and […]

Iraqis vs. al Qaeda, Continued

Al-Qaeda’s situation in Anbar province and the embattled city of Ramadi has slowly worsened since the deadly suicide strikes against police recruits. The attack did not deter Sunnis in Ramadi from volunteering for the police, and provoked a backlash against al Qaeda’s gruesome tactics. Sunnis in Anbar, including in the cities of Samarra and Ramadi, […]

Bangladeshi Terrorist Commander Believed Captured in India

The nature of al Qaeda and its International Islamic Front is a fount of confusion for most observers of the War on Terror. Often, al Qaeda is seen as a small group of Arab terrorists confined to the Middle East, with the main base of operations in Afghanistan prior to the country’s invasion in the […]

Faultlines in Iraq’s Islamist Insurgency

The location of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al Qaeda in Iraq’s commander, and the state of the Islamist insurgency have been recent topics of conversation. Late last year, ThreatsWatch stated the focal point of the insurgency has shifted from Anbar province to the regions north of Baghdad. Today, Coalition forces believe Zarqawi is currently operating “in […]

Election Results; Iraqis Fight al Qaeda

The much anticipated results from the December 15th election are now available. Iraq the Model provides a full breakdown of the apportionment of seats in the new Iraqi parliament. The Shiite-dominated UIA has fallen ten votes short needed to independently form a government. They will now be required to reach out to an outside party […]

Two more al Qaeda Commanders believed killed in Damadola

Al Qaeda’s losses in Damadola may be even worse than thought last evening. Since the death of Abu Khabab al-Masri, Khalid Habib and Abd Rahman al-Maghribi were reported, two more al Qaeda commanders are believed to have been killed. Dan Darling provides a breakdown of the al Qaeda leaders thought to have been killed in […]

al Qaeda, Taliban Suicide Attacks Unpopular in Afghanistan

The Taliban and al Qaeda have renewed their suicide campaign in Afghanistan. The recent strike on al Qaeda leadership in Damadola is believed to have been the scene of a planning session to increase attacks in Afghanistan. The meeting was attended by senior Taliban and al Qaeda commanders, and al Qaeda lost three very senior […]

al Qaeda Commanders al-Magrabi and Habib killed in Damadola

The final results of from the airstrike in the Pakistani border town of Damadola are now known. In addition to Abu Khabab al-Masri, who was al Qaeda’s chief bomb maker, head of the WMD program, and former terror camp commander, two other al Qaeda commanders were killed in the strike. ABC News confirms that Khalid […]

Abu Khabab al-Masri Killed in Pakistan Strike

The strike on the compound in Damadola, Pakistan, where Ayman al-Zawahiri. al Qaeda’s number two in Command, was believed to be attending a dinner to celebrate a Mulslim holiday, has netted at least one high-level al Qaeda operative. Pakistani intelligence has confirmed that Abu Khabab al-Masri, al Qaeda’s chief bomb maker and chemical weapons expert. […]

Counterinsurgency Operations in Anbar

Since Coalition and Iraqi forces conducted Operations River Gate, Iron Fist and Steel Curtain on the western stretch of the Euphrates River Valley, the insurgency has been largely quiet in the region. The fruits of the year-long Anbar Campaign have allowed the joint Coalition and Iraqi forces to shift from overt offensive search & destroy […]

Hunting Zawahiri and al Qaeda on the Border

Four days after the strike in the Pakistani border village of Damadola in the province of Bajaur, the status of Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s second in command, remains unknown. Zawahiri was purportedly invited to a dinner celebration for the Muslim holiday of Eid, but it is likely he sent senior aides to attend the dinner. […]

Security Incidents in Iraq

al Qaeda in Iraq has issued a statement claiming to “have set up an umbrella body to coordinate their fight against U.S.-led forces and the Iraqi government.” Notably excluded from this body of insurgent groups are Ansar al-Sunnah and the Iraq Islamic Army. A look at the reported security incidents in Iraq from the past […]

Zawahiri, and al Qaeda’s Future Plans

The fate of Ayman al-Zawahiri is still unknown after an airstrike in the Pakistani town of Damadola, near the Afghan border in the province of Bajaur. An Al-Arabiya source close to al Qaeda states Zawahiri is still alive, and Pakistani intelligence sources claim he escaped the attack. American intelligence officials are still eager to see […]

al Qaeda Attacked: Zawahiri Dead?

Unconfirmed reports from Pakistani and U.S. intelligence sources indicate a CIA airstrike was carried out against a compound in Pakistan which contained Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s number two in command, and four other unnamed senior al Qaeda leaders. Eighteen people are believed to have been killed in the strike. According to Reuters, “A Pakistani intelligence […]

The Iraqi Police and Continuing Operations

In the immediate wake of the double suicide attack on the police recruiting station in Ramadi, which claimed over eighty lives and injured over seventy, the Sunni police candidates lined back up to volunteer while the carnage was still fresh. The police continue to be a main target of al Qaeda’s intimidation campaign, as a […]

al Qaeda vs. the Iraqi Insurgency

Fighting between al Qaeda and elements of the insurgency, and al Qaeda and tribal groups, has been occurring i n Iraq for some time. Reports have been trickling in for well over a year in incidences of resentment, infighting and outright open warfare between the groups. In the Qaim region of Western Iraq, along the […]

A Look Ahead: Fighting the Insurgency in Iraq

The future fight in Iraq requires constant maintenance on all three fronts: political, military and economic. Yesterday, the White House issued a document titled Progress and the Work Ahead in Iraq. The fact sheet provides a clear, concise and honest look at the challenges in all three arenas for the year ahead. This document can […]

The Waziristan Problem

A recent upsurge in violence in Pakistan’s tribal regions (or Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province) is a cause for great concern for the United States and her allies in the War on Terror. In the past, Pakistani forces conducted several offensives in the region, with mixed results. The tribal area of […]

al Qaeda Attacks the Iraqi Police

al Qaeda has pulled off yet another successful attack on Iraq’s security forces. Two suicide bombers disguised as senior police officers penetrated the security in an Interior Ministry compound in east Baghdad. Reuters reports the bombers would have entered the actual Interior Ministry building but not for the cautious eyes of Iraqi policemen; “Once inside […]

The Easy Way

The Washington Post has printed corrections to the article Bloggers, Money Now Weapons in Information War – U.S. Recruits Advocates to the Front, Pays Iraqi TV Stations for Coverage: A Dec. 26 article misstated the accreditation of Web journalist Bill Roggio when he was embedded with U.S. Marines in Iraq. He was accredited by the […]

Blowback from the Ramadi Attack

The city of Ramadi is the last bastion of the insurgency and al Qaeda in Anbar province. Yesterday’s deadly attack on prospective police recruits waiting outside the recruiting center may go a long way to erode that support. The Washington Post reports “at least 80 Sunni Arabs were killed and 61 wounded” by the suicide […]

al Qaeda Counteroffensive

al Qaeda and the insurgency began the New Year with an anemic offensive of thirteen car bombs in Baghdad and northern Iraq which resulted in only twenty casualties, no deaths. The past two days have seen a dramatically increased level of effectiveness in the employment of suicide bombers and attacks on infrastructure. Over 160 Iraqis […]

Ramadi Operations Continue

Coalition and Iraqi forces continue to plug away against the insurgency in Ramadi. The latest operation, Spider Web, was directed at the Jazerra region north of Ramadi, and was designed to clear the region and establish a “permanent overwatch, in the form of a combat outpost and tactical strong points.” The operation was conducted by […]

Global War, Global Enemy

In the current environment of politicizing the War on Terror, it is often lost that the fight against al Qaeda and its global allies of the International Islamic Front far exceeds the scope of operations in Afghanistan or Iraq. The presentation on the major al Qaeda attacks worldwide reinforces the global nature of the fight, […]

A Failed Offensive

The insurgency kicked off the New Year with a coordinated suicide/roadside bomb offensive in Baghdad and northern Iraq. Thirteen bombs total were detonated; nine bombs in Baghdad alone over the span of three hours; two in Kirkuk; one in Tikrit; and one in Muqdadiyah. The targets were Iraqi Security Forces and U.S. Soldiers. Will the […]