Monthly Archives: November 2015

Deputy emir of ‘moderate’ Taliban faction oversaw ‘massacre of thousands of Shiites’

Mullah Abdul Manan Niazi, the deputy leader of the so-called “High Council of Afghanistan Islamic Emirate,” was accused by Human Rights Watch of inciting and supporting the murder of thousands of Afghans, mostly from the minority Shiite Hazara sect, after the Taliban seized Mazar-i-Sharif in August 1998. He also sheltered Khairullah Said Wali Khairkhwa, one of five dangerous al Qaeda-linked Taliban leaders who were exchanged for US soldier Bowe Bergdahl.

Al Nusrah Front raids villages controlled by rebel group in Homs province

Al Nusrah Front has accused the Shuhadaa Al Baydhaa brigade in the northern part of Homs province of secretly serving Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s Islamic State. The brigade denies this allegation. Al Nusrah raided villages under Shuhadaa Al Baydhaa’s control and claims to have captured “spoils.” The move may be intended to secure a supply route for Al Nusrah into Homs.

Islamic State video congratulates Sinai ‘province’ for downing Russian airliner

The Islamic State’s Aleppo “province” has released a video congratulating its brothers in the Sinai “province” for downing a Russian airliner on October 31. The video is at least the fourth time that the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the crash. The group has not provided evidence proving its culpability thus far, but Western officials say it is increasingly likely.

Russian airstrikes target Islamic State in multiple locations throughout Syria

Russian airstrikes targeted the Islamic State throughout Syria this past week. The self-declared “caliphate” released dozens of propaganda photos claiming that the Russians damaged bridges and buildings in Raqqa, and killed civilians in a marketplace in Al Bukamal. Civilian casualties have been confirmed by other sources. Meanwhile, Western officials say it is increasingly likely that the Islamic State’s co-called Sinai “province” downed a Russian airliner in the Sinai on October 31.

Al Qaeda front group claims success in key Syrian town

Jund al Aqsa, an al Qaeda front group, claims to have seized all or parts of Morek, a key town that sits on a major highway connecting Aleppo and Hama. In October, Jund al Aqsa broke with the Jaysh al Fateh coalition, which was co-founded by Al Nusrah Front, but the organization remains loyal to al Qaeda.

Senior IRGC officers killed during fighting in Syria

A brigadier general and a colonel from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) were killed while fighting jihadists and rebels. Nine other IRGC members, including two lower-level officers, were also killed in Syria over the past three weeks.

Conflicting claims still surround Russian airliner crash

The Islamic State’s so-called Sinai “province” has issued at least three official claims of responsibility in the downing of a Russian airliner. The group has not explained how it allegedly brought down the jet, however. Egyptian officials dismiss the claims as “propaganda.” America’s top intelligence official has said a terrorist attack is “unlikely,” but possible.

Al Qaeda confirms death of ‘Khorasan’ military emir

“People such as these you do not hear a sound from them, they work in silence and leave in silence,” a prominent jihadist said of Sufyan al Maghribi, al Qaeda’s former military emir for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Maghribi was also a frequent contributor to Vanguards of Khorasan, al Qaeda’s magazine, under the nom de guerre Abu Isam al Andalusi.