The Taliban claims it now controls four of Kandahar’s 18 districts, and that others are contested. Shorabak was the location of an al Qaeda camp that was described by a US general in 2015 as “probably the largest training camp-type facility that we have seen in 14 years of war.”
Al Qaeda agitated for Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman’s release from a US prison for more than 20 years. Rahman, whose teachings had a significant influence on al Qaeda’s development, was convicted in 1995 of conspiring to attack several New York City landmarks.
Qari Saifullah Akhtar’s waged jihad for four decades. He has been directly linked to Osama bin Laden and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate.
This marks at least the second time a French fighter has been killed alongside the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria.
A letter recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound reveals that a senior AQIM commander recommended that his group train Boko Haram’s forces. Other official sources confirm that AQIM did provide the training and also groomed part of Boko Haram’s leadership. However, one of the Boko Haram leaders identified in the letter later cofounded a splinter group known as Ansaru, which rejects Boko Haram’s policies. Ansaru has been supported by AQIM.
The Islamic State’s Khorasan province claimed credit for today’s suicide bombing at a Sufi shrine in Sindh province, Pakistan that killed at least 70 people and wounded scores more.
A Uighur commander known as Abu Omar al Turkistani was killed in a US drone strike in Syria on Jan. 1. According to a jihadi biography posted online, he had a lengthy career fighting alongside al Qaeda-linked forces. He purportedly participated in the Battle of Tora Bora in late 2001.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed that attack, which killed at least 10 people and wounded scores more, under Operation Ghazi. The operation targets all factions of the Pakistani state.