The video is the culmination of the Islamic State’s build up of its propaganda and activity in the region.
A short clip has circulated on Arab Twitter accounts claiming to show an Iranian who was arrested in Fallujah, Iraq. [Update: the video is from 2005]
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.
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.
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.]
Last weekend, the Afghan Ministry of the Interior claimed that Mullah Mohammad Qasim and an undisclosed number of fighters were killed in an airstrike in the Aab Band district. A Taliban spokesman said Qasim is alive and well.
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.
“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.