Monthly Archives: June 2016

Al Qaeda and allies gain more ground in Aleppo province

The Jaysh al Fateh alliance captured three more villages in the southern countryside of Aleppo during an offensive that began on June 17. The jihadist-led coalition has made steady gains in Aleppo province since May, further demonstrating al Qaeda’s prowess in guerrilla warfare.

Possible 9/11 hijacking recruit transferred from Guantanamo to Montenegro

The Department of Defense announced the transfer of Abdel Malik Ahmed Abdel Wahab Al Rahabi to the Government of Montenegro. Joint Task Force Guantanamo, President Obama’s Guantanamo Review Task Force, and a Periodic Review Board all previously deemed Rahabi too dangerous to transfer. A PRB cited his “possible” role in an aborted part of the 9/11 plot, but reversed its decision and eventually approved him for transfer.

Islamic State claims 3 Russian soldiers killed in Syria

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency claims that three Russian soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in Syria. The claim could not be immediately verified. In recent days, the Russian-Syrian-Iranian axis has suffered setbacks along the same road where the Russians were allegedly killed. [Update: A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman subsequently denied Amaq’s claim.]

Orlando terrorist swore allegiance to Islamic State’s Abu Bakr al Baghdadi

Omar Mateen mentioned his allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi at least twice during a 911 call the night of his attack on a LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida. He also discussed his allegiance to Baghdadi during a call with the Orlando Police Department’s Crisis Negotiation team and may have posted his fealty on Facebook as well. The Islamic State specifically instructs followers to swear allegiance before dying.

Targeting leaders won’t deter Taliban’s ‘jihad,’ group says

“History shows that such befallings have never weakened this Movement, but more often than not, has only strengthened their resolve,” the Taliban said in the wake of the US drone strike that killed its previous emir. The West has “failed to understand the psychology of the Taliban” and its desire for martyrdom.

Hezbollah issued veiled warning hours prior to Beirut bank bombing

Two hours before an attack on the headquarters of Banque du Liban et d’Outre-Mer in Beirut, Hezbollah hinted at an attack from “Lahad’s Banking Army,” warning against Lebanon’s Central Bank to back down from their application of U.S. financial sanctions or face potential violence. Sunday’s attack was a first volley, with greater bloodshed possible.

IRGC officer college mourns comrade killed in Syria

The IRGC’s officer college yesterday held a funeral ceremony for a comrade killed during an “advisory mission” in Syria. The college’s chief commander acknowledged last month that college officers rotate to Syrian combat zones. Addressing the funeral ceremony, the college’s top political commissar stressed the importance of the wars in Syria and Iraq, and also announced willingness to “defend the oppressed Muslims of Nigeria.”

Turkistan Islamic Party leader criticizes the Islamic State’s ‘illegitimate’ caliphate

The Turkistan Islamic Party released an audio message from its leader, Abdul Haq, on May 30. The message is the latest indication that Abdul Haq survived a US drone strike in 2010. The man identified as Haq blasts the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), which swore allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in 2015. Haq claims the IMU has “disappeared” since.

Libyan forces seize key points from the Islamic State around Sirte

The Islamic State is losing ground around Sirte, Libya, which is the so-called “caliphate’s” capital in North Africa. Al Bunyan Al Marsoos military operations room, which draws fighters from Misrata, and other forces have been closing in on Sirte since late May. However, the current status of the fighting is murky.