Harakat Sawa’id Misr (HASM) and Liwa al-Thawra are Islamist groups are suspected of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The two groups have targeted Egyptian police, military forces, and government officials.
The State Department’s announcement that it was going after as-Sabirin, an Iranian-backed splinter faction in Gaza, shows the administration is serious about cutting Iran’s ties to its regional proxies.
Sources claim the offensive killed between 60-80 Taliban fighters, but with other reports suggesting the Taliban quickly retook the targeted territory, it appears the offensive is in line with past short-term strategies that fail to fully deny the Taliban strategic footholds in the region.
The district control data shows that the Taliban continues to slowly wrest control of Afghan districts from the government. SIGAR is still not authorized to released key information on district and population control as well as the Afghan security forces.
The estimate has tripled from 20,000 a few years ago. However, one US official somehow remains “hopeful many fighters are not ideological and will eventually lay down their arms,” despite the fact that the Taliban has demonstrated a commitment to the fight for over 16 years.
SIGAR countered with evidence that shows how Resolute Support marked elements of the draft report that it did not want disclosed as “not releasable to the public,” and followed up with the US military on the classifications.
The DoD would not be suppressing information on Taliban district and population control as well as key metrics on the Afghan security forces if the fight was going well.
The video acts as a proof-of-life video for Gloria Narvaez, a Colombian nun kidnapped in southern Mali last year. She was last seen in a video released in July 2017.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency quickly claimed responsibility for an assault near the Marshal Fahim National Defense University in Kabul, Afghanistan earlier today. It is the third major attack inside the Afghan capital in the past eight days. The previous two were carried out by the Taliban.
A Taliban suicide bomber struck the old interior ministry building in Kabul, Afghanistan earlier today. He reportedly drove an ambulance packed with explosives. It was the second major Taliban attack inside the city in one week.
In a newly-released audio message, Ayman al Zawahiri blames Islamist parties in Tunisia and Egypt for the failure of the Arab uprisings to deliver sharia-based governance.
The designation of Taliban leaders on the Peshawar Shura highlights the continuity of the Taliban-al Qaeda relationship in Afghanistan and Pakistan that has endured more than 16 years of war against the US and its allies.
The Security Force Assist Brigade (SFAB) will be responsible for developing partner nation militaries, an area in which the United States has struggled in the past.
The US Treasury Department designated six Taliban-Haqqani figures as terrorists today. Treasury’s identifying information locates five of the six — including three senior Taliban finance officials and the deputy leader of the group’s military commission — inside Pakistan. At least two of the newly-sanctioned men have ties to al Qaeda.
Uighur jihadist group in Syria, Katibat al Ghuraba al Turkistan, has created a Palestinian sub-unit to accommodate its Palestinian and Arab members.
The video does not make clear where the ambush took place, but Katibat Imam al Bukhari has advertised its role fighting in the northern Afghan province of Faryab in the past.
Ahead of Iraq’s May parliamentary elections, Iranian-backed militias this month announced a coalition called al-Fatah al Mubin (Manifest Victory). It is led by Hadi al Ameri, the chief of the Badr Organization and current parliamentarian with close ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – Qods Force chief Qassem Soleimani called him a “living martyr” last year.
US Africa Command confirmed today that US forces took part “in an advisory capacity” in a Somali-led raid on an “indoctrination center” operated by Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa. Five people, some of whom were “under the age of 18,” were killed in the Jan. 18 operation. 30 other “male children” were freed.
The attack forced the charity to temporarily shut down its offices across the country.
The Pakistan government often criticizes US airstrikes that kill members of the Afghan Taliban, including Haqqani Network leaders.
The State Department designated two Islamic State members, Siddhartha Dhar and Abdelatif Gaini, as terrorists. Dhar “is believed to be the masked leader who appeared in a January 2016 ISIS” execution video.
The State Department has added Khalid Batarfi, an al Qaeda veteran and senior al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader, to the US government’s list of specially designated global terrorists. Batarfi threatened the US and Jews in a video released by AQAP just yesterday.
Afghan forces will be on the offensive in the coming year, but have significant challenges ahead.
The Taliban quickly claimed credit for an assault on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan. The jihadists’ siege lasted more than half a day before it was finally ended by Afghan security forces.
Ibrahim al Qosi, a former Guantanamo detainee, is one of three senior AQAP leaders featured in a video released this week titled, “Secrets, its Dangers and the Departure of the Best of Us.” The video is focused on the US drone campaign and the jihadists’ lapses in security.
The operation occurred approximately 50 kilometers northwest of Kismayo, the site of another recent airstrike.
While Katibat al Ghuraba al Turkistan (KGT) appears to be small, it is yet another group in northwestern Syria containing ethnic Uighurs.
The US is seeking the extradition of Christian Ganczarski from France, where he has been imprisoned since 2003. A French court convicted Ganczarski on terror-related charges for his role in the Apr. 11, 2002 suicide bombing at a synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia. The bomber called Ganczarski beforehand to receive his “blessing.” A newly-released indictment focuses on Ganczarski’s other ties to al Qaeda, including a plot targeting American interests in Australia.
The last five US counterterrorism strikes have all taken place inside Pakistan’s Kurram tribal agency. The Afghan Taliban, including the Haqqani Network, is known to operate inside Kurram and use it as a base to attack Afghanistan.
In a conversation with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, the Pakistani military claimed CENTCOM commander General Joseph Votel said the idea that the Taliban uses Pakistan as a safe haven is “undermining … Pakistan’s contributions in war against terrorism” in Washington.