Abdulqadr Mumin, the leader of the small cadre of Islamic State fighters in the East African nation, defected from Shabaab late last year. He is said to kidnap and indoctrinate young Somali boys to bolster his ranks.
The Islamic State issued a “martyrdom” statement today for Abu Muhammad al Adnani, who was one of the group’s top leaders and spokesman. The Defense Department subsequently confirmed that Adnani was targeted in an airstrike, but added that his status was still being assessed. The Pentagon described Adnani as the “principal architect” of the Islamic State’s “external operations,” meaning the part of the organization devoted to planning attacks in the West and elsewhere abroad.
Abu Dher al Barmi, the former mufti of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan who defected in 2014, apologized for joining the Islamic State and encouraged others who joined the organization to leave it for other jihadist groups.
Jaysh al Tahrir, a group that has received several US TOW anti-tank missiles in the past, fought with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Aleppo. The SDF is the main anti-Islamic State fighting force for the United States and has received considerable support from the West.
The US military continues to extol Afghan security forces as they continue to lose ground to the Taliban. In the last 24 hours, the district of Jani Khel in Paktia fell to the Taliban.
Above all, it was a message: a reminder of Ankara’s determination to limit US cooperation with the Kurds, Washington’s most effective partner against the Islamic State in Syria.
The US government has released an unclassified summary of Abu Zubaydah’s career. Some claim that Abu Zubaydah wasn’t really an al Qaeda member when he was detained in March 2002, but the newly released file alleges that he worked closely with multiple senior al Qaeda operatives and possibly had foreknowledge of the terror group’s three most successful attacks between August 1998 and September 2001.