Monthly Archives: July 2016




Analysis: Al Nusrah Front rebrands itself as Jabhat Fath Al Sham

Abu Muhammad al Julani announced that Al Nusrah Front has been rebranded as Jabhat Fath Al Sham. Many have read into Julani’s statement as a formal disassociation with al Qaeda. But Julani didn’t actually say that, as his language was intentionally ambiguous. While sitting next to a longtime al Qaeda veteran from Egypt, Julani did not explicitly say that his group has broken from al Qaeda.




Terrorists in Normandy swore allegiance to Baghdadi before attacking church

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency released a video purportedly showing the two terrorists responsible for yesterday’s assault on a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France. One of the two, identified as Abu Jalil al Hanafi, swears allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi on behalf of himself and his comrade. The Islamic State has also released a profile of Mohammad Daleel, the jihadist who blew himself up in Ansbach, Germany on July 24. The biography indicates that Daleel was a veteran of the jihad in Syria.



Attacks in France and Germany claimed by Islamic State propaganda arm

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has claimed responsibility for two attacks in Europe. One of them occurred on July 24 in Ansbach, Germany, when a terrorist blew himself up outside of a music festival. The other occurred at a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France this morning. Both “operations” were carried out “in response to calls to target nations in the coalition fighting the Islamic State,” Amaq said.



Presence of French special forces in Libya sets off controversy

A helicopter carrying three French soldiers crashed near Benghazi, Libya on July 17, killing the Frenchmen and their Libyan counterparts on board. A new jihadist front called the Benghazi Defense Brigades quickly claimed credit, saying its fighters downed the helo with a shoulder-fired missile. French President Hollande said it was an “accident.” Either way, jihadists and Islamists are now rattling their sabres at France.




Treasury designates 3 senior al Qaeda members in Iran

The US Treasury Department designated three al Qaeda terrorists today. All three of them are based inside Iran. One of them has served as al Qaeda’s “Military Commission Chief” and was identified in Osama bin Laden’s files as part of a “new generation” of leaders.



Teenager who terrorized German train appears in Islamic State video

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for yesterday’s attack on a train in the German city of W├╝rzburg. Several people were wounded in the assault. Amaq News Agency, a propaganda arm of the so-called “caliphate”, released a video allegedly showing the attacker, a teenager identified as “Muhammad Riyad.” In the video, Riyad calls on all Muslims to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.



Islamic State claims its ‘soldier’ carried out Bastille Day attack in Nice, France

The Islamic State’s propaganda arms have claimed responsibility for the July 14 attack in Nice, France, saying that a “soldier” of the so-called caliphate carried out a “unique operation.” The statements do not include any details about the terrorist that aren’t already widely known. Counterterrorism officials are still investigating the terrorist’s possible ties.







Ex-Gitmo detainee, Islamic State’s leader in Chechnya designated by State Department

The State Department has added a former Guantanamo detainee, Ayrat Nasimovich Vakhitov, to the US government’s list of designated terrorists. According to press reports, Vakhitov was recently arrested in connection with the terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport. Also designated today is Aslan Avgazarovich Byutukaev, who leads the Islamic State’s forces in Chechnya.


Iraqi forces retake Q-West airbase south of Mosul

The Iraqi military’s takeover of Qayyarah Airfiled West, or Q-West, coincided with US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s visit to Iraq and the announcement that an additional 560 US troops will be deployed to aid in the Mosul offensive.


Pakistan: Friend or Foe in the Fight Against Terrorism?

Bill Roggio testifies before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, as well as the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. The hearing is titled, “Pakistan: Friend or Foe in the Fight Against Terrorism?”




Osama bin Laden’s son says al Qaeda has grown despite 15 years of war

Al Qaeda has released a new audio message from Hamza bin Laden, Osama’s son and heir. The message was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group. Hamza argues that the number of “mujahideen” has grown dramatically around the globe despite the decade and a half of war that began on Sept. 11, 2001. Hamza also threatens revenge for his father’s death.


Russian helicopter downed by the Islamic State near Palmyra, Syria

Russia initially denied that a helicopter was downed east of Palmyra, Syria. After the Islamic State posted a video of the attack, the Russians conceded that two pilots were killed when the chopper was struck by Islamic State terrorists. Russian propaganda has blamed an American-made TOW missile for bringing down the helicopter, but the video seems to show anti-aircraft fire hitting the tail rotor of the chopper.