The designations of Al-Muhammadia Students and LeT leaders Muhammad Sarwar and Shahid Mahmood highlight LeT’s role in international terrorism and its adeptness in using front organizations to skirt international sanctions.
CJTFOIR has launched 76 strikes in and around Raqqah since Dec. 20. For comparison, the US launched 23 airstrikes against the Islamic State in and around Mosul during the same time period.
The US has now launched 37 airstrikes against AQAP in 2016, the largest yearly total since 2012 (41 strikes).
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has released a video of Anis Amri swearing allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Amri is suspected of driving a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin on Dec. 19. Twelve people were killed and dozens more injured in the attack. Amaq has released several videos similar to Amri’s this year.
In the past, the Taliban has assassinated key political and military leaders in an attempt to destabilize districts and provinces coveted by the group.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has released a short statement claiming responsibility for the assault on a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany yesterday. Twelve people were killed and dozens more injured when a lorry was rammed into the market. Two attacks in Germany earlier this year were “remote-controlled” by the group’s digital operatives.
The US military announced the deaths of Bilal al Utabyi, al Qaeda’s deputy leader for eastern Afghanistan, and Wahid al-Junabi, a senior al Qaeda explosives expert. Both were killed on Oct. 23 in the airstrike that also killed Faruq al Qahtani, al Qaeda emir for eastern Afghanistan.
Photos have emerged of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force, in Aleppo, Syria. Forces allied with the Syrian government declared victory this past week.
Sham al Islam, a group founded by former Moroccan detainees at Guantanamo Bay, has merged with a local Syrian faction in order to “unify the ranks” and to “protect the jihad” in Syria.
The establishment of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) is an extension of Iran’s plan to export the revolution, which keeps war against Sunni extremists from reaching the country’s borders, a senior adviser to the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force argues.
The US military said it destroyed 14 tanks “and other equipment” that was captured by the Islamic State after it overran the Syrian city of Palmyra and the nearby Tiyas Military Airfield.
State has upped the reward for Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as the Islamic State has been under significant pressure in Iraq. The $25 million reward puts Baghdadi on par with Ayman al Zawahiri, the emir of al Qaeda.
The coordinated assault blamed on jihadists has left nearly a dozen Burkinabe soldiers dead.
As the Islamic State has taken the ancient city of Palmyra and battle rages on in the outskirts for T4 military air base, two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officers have been announced killed in Palmyra. IRGC-backed Fatemiyoun Division have fought in the area, augmenting Syrian forces backed by Russian air power.
The US has killed or captured approximately 250 al Qaeda and al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent leaders and members in Afghanistan in 2016. US officials have downplayed the extent of al Qaeda’s presence in the country for years. After the raids this year, US intelligence should prepare a fresh assessment.
The Pentagon announced today that three members of the Islamic State’s external operations arm were killed in an airstrike in Raqqa, Syria on Dec. 4. All three worked for Boubaker Al-Hakim, a notorious French-Tunisian jihadi who was killed on Nov. 26. Hakim and his network had been plotting attacks against Western targets, according to Defense Department.
The Islamic State threatened further attacks in its “war on polytheism,” meaning against Christians and Jews, in Egypt and elsewhere. The group and its predecessor, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), have assaulted Coptic Christians in the past.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency claims that 352 men from the Syrian Army and allied Shiite militias were killed during four days of fighting in and around Palmyra. In addition, the group claims to have recovered a significant amount of “spoils,” namely tanks and various weapons. A video recorded inside a base formerly used by Russians documents some of this war booty.
The Defense Department has confirmed that Boubaker al-Hakim, a French-Tunisian Islamic State leader, was killed in Raqqa, Syria on Nov. 26. Al-Hakim had ties to Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, an al Qaeda-affiliated group, before defecting to the Islamic State’s cause. He admittedly assassinated one Tunisian politician in 2013 and knew the assailants responsible for a second slaying.
The Taliban bring another influential wayward commander back into the fold. Mullah Abdul Razaq Akhund served as the Taliban’s interior minister and chief of police in Kabul. He also served as a member of the Quetta Shura and was an adviser to Mullah Omar.
Women and girls continue to be utilized by the Islamic State West Africa (formerly known as Boko Haram). At least 123 suicide bombings involving females have been recorded in data compiled by FDD’s Long War Journal.
The Islamic State claims to have taken complete control over the city of Palmyra. Various reports indicated earlier in the day that the jihadists had been forced to withdraw from the city after heavy Russian airstrikes. Update: Amaq News Agency released a video of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s men inside Palmyra.
US Central Command released footage of a massive air raid that destroyed scores of Islamic State oil tankers near the Syrian city of Palmyra.
The Islamic State launched an offensive near the ancient city of Palmyra in Homs province on Dec. 8. The US-led coalition “destroyed a fleet” of 168 oil tanker trucks owned by the jihadists that same day. The Islamic State and the Syrian regime have repeatedly clashed in Homs province, especially at gas and oil fields that both sides seek to control.
The Afghan Special Police Force, a unit assigned to the Interior Ministry, captured an al Qaeda “financier” during a raid in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar on Dec. 8.
A new video from the Taliban features several images and clips of al Qaeda leaders, further demonstrating that the two remain firmly allied more than 15 years after the 9/11 hijackings.
Aleppo is on the verge of falling to the pro-Assad coalition. A diverse range of Syrian and foreign militias, backed by Russian airpower, have contributed to this success.
The Islamic State launched an assault on Syrian regime positions in the Homs province earlier today. The so-called caliphate’s propaganda arm and other outlets report that Syrian government forces suffered dozens of casualties. Bashar al Assad’s men and their allies recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra in March. The two sides have repeatedly clashed in Homs, including near Palmyra, since then.
According to CENTCOM, Islamic State fighters were using the Al Salem hospital complex as “a base of operations and command and control headquarters.”
The Pentagon announced today that the Islamic State no longer controls any part of Sirte, Libya. The ground campaign to liberate the city began more than six months ago and the US has launched 495 airstrikes in support of the operation. The Islamic State’s “governor” in Libya vows to fight on, saying that his men have spread out across the country.