The State Department has designated Emrah Erdogan as a terrorist, describing him as a member of both al Qaeda and Shabaab, al Qaeda’s official branch in East Africa.
Abu Muhammad al Julani will appear at a press conference “soon,” according to Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. The timing of his appearance was likely influenced by the Syrian opposition’s meeting in Saudi Arabia this week. Al Nusrah is not represented at the gathering.
Khanashin district in Helmand province was a Taliban haven long before the district center fell earlier today. The Taliban now controls 37 districts in Afghanistan and contests another 39.
A Taliban suicide assault team killed more than 30 people in an attack on Kandahar International Airport in southern Afghanistan that lasted for more than a day before Afghan forces backed by the US military could regain control.
Fighters loyal to Mullah Mansour battled followers from Mullah Rasul’s splinter Taliban faction in Shindand in Herat province. Shindand is a stronghold of Rasul.
An American who fought for Shabaab in Somalia has reportedly surrendered to African Union forces. He turned himself in after swearing allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State. Shabaab’s leaders, who remain loyal to al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, have been purging defectors.
The two leaders were identified as Abdirahman Sandhere from Shabaab, al Qaeda official branch in Somalia, and Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al Zubaydi, from the Islamic State’s province in Libya.
The photo shows two young jihadists before undertaking the attack that left more than 20 people dead in Mali’s capital late last month.
In a new audio message, Taliban emir Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour denies that he was killed in a shootout in Pakistan. Afghan officials and other sources recently said that the Taliban leader was slain by a rival commander. But Mansour dismisses these reports as mere “propaganda.”
The Islamic State’s Al Bayan “news” bulletin describes the San Bernardino terrorists as “soldiers” of the “caliphate” in English, but as “supporters” in Arabic. The group has not claimed that the shooters received any operational direction or assistance. Federal authorities are still investigating that possibility.
The ‘Amaq News Agency, which is affiliated with the Islamic State, issued a statement saying the San Bernardino shootings were the work of the jihadist group’s “supporters.” However, the message is not an official claim of responsibility and didn’t include any details that were not already available in the Western press.
Tashfeen Malik, one of the two San Bernardino shooters, reportedly swore allegiance to the Islamic State’s Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as the attack got underway. This is consistent with what the Islamic State tells its followers to do and other terrorists have done the same in the past.
At least 75 women and girls have carried out suicide attacks in northwest Nigeria, northern Cameroon, and southwestern Chad since the beginning of June 2014.
The Taliban released two statements denying that Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour was injured or killed in a firefight. But the Taliban also hid Mullah Omar’s death, so its denial cannot be accepted at face value.
Al Qaeda’s official branch in Yemen took control of Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan, and Jaar. The two towns were previously under al Qaeda control between May 2011 and the summer of 2012.
Al Qaeda has released a new speech by Ayman al Zawahiri, who asks Allah to reward the “brothers in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” (AQAP) for helping “to complete” the January 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris.
The Taliban claimed that 338 security personnel and government officials defected to the jihadist group in the district of Waygal, which is in the embattled northeastern province of Nuristan.