A former Guantanamo detainee named Hamed Abderrahaman Ahmed was arrested on Feb. 23 in Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in North Africa, for allegedly running a jihadist recruiting cell for the Islamic State. Spanish authorities also claim that he and others were willing to carry out a terrorist attack on Spanish soil. According to a leaked Joint Task Force Guantanamo threat assessment, Ahmed traveled through Iran to Afghanistan to receive training in al Qaeda’s camps in 2001.
The presence of Taliban prisons in Helmand highlights the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Helmand, where Afghan forces are losing ground to the jihadist group.
The Philippines continue to face residual threats from jihadist groups, including several who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
All of the entities targeted by Saudi Arabia also stand accused by the U.S. of bolstering Hezbollah’s military influence, including in areas that could be used against Saudi Arabia or Saudi proxies in places such as Syria or Yemen.
The suicide assault was likely executed by the Abu Musab al Zarqawi Martyrdom Battalion. Shabaab routinely targets hotels in the Somali capital.
“The government itself, the military has been very cooperative and very engaged in the fight against terrorism,” Secretary of State John Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, despite Pakistan’s continuing support of the Taliban and other jihadist groups.
The Islamic State promotes it capabilities as it continues to fight an uphill battle to gain supporters in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the main Taliban factions and al Qaeda still have the upper hand.
Shabaab’s leader in Kenya warns jihadists will turn the country’s flag red with “the blood that we will spill in Kenya.”