The State Department has amended the terrorist designation for Al Nusrah Front to include the “alias” Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS). State’s announcement indicates that the US government still considers HTS to be part of al Qaeda’s network, despite the jihadists’ vitriolic disputes over its formation. State didn’t explain its reasoning behind the move.
The US military initially assessed that an attack on Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior in Kabul yesterday wasn’t the work of the Islamic State, but instead the Taliban’s Haqqani Network. However, the Islamic State’s so-called Khorasan province quickly claimed responsibility for the operation. And today, the group released a photo purportedly showing the 10-man (or adolescent) team responsible.
According to a State Department report published this week, the Taliban continues “to assassinate and threaten religious leaders with death for preaching messages contrary to” its “interpretation of Islam or its political agenda.” As part of its widespread assassination campaign, Taliban gunmen have been killing “imams and other religious officials throughout the country.”
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has issued a short statement claiming that the assailant who conducted the attack in Liège, Belgium yesterday was one of the group’s soldiers. Amaq did not provide any descriptive information about the attacker, whom authorities have identified as a criminal on temporary leave from prison.
A team of jihadists assaulted Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior in Kabul earlier today. It is the latest in a string of attacks inside the Afghan capital this year. Both the Taliban and the Islamic State’s Khorasan “province” are able to hit targets inside the city.
The security situation in the south continues to deteriorate. An Afghan official admitted security forces abandoned the governor’s compound and police headquarters in Chora district. The Taliban claims it overran all 17 security outposts and controls the district center.
The Taliban claimed it killed more than 100 Afghan soldiers, policemen, and tribal fighters, while one Afghan official admitted 17 soldiers were killed and 21 more were wounded.
On May 23, Al-Badr Media Foundation announced its presence online, saying it will work to serve the interests of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its supporters in several ways. AQAP remains under pressure and its media output has been degraded by a US-led campaign. Al-Badr is AQAP’s latest attempt to improve the group’s security measures and boost fighter morale.
On Wednesday, US forces conducted an airstrike 15 miles southwest of the Somali capital Mogadishu against al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa.
The arrests come a month after another Islamic State member was arrested in Mogadishu. Additionally, the Islamic State also claimed another assassination inside the country yesterday.
The Taliban denied that a command center was hit and claimed two civilian homes were destroyed in the strike.
As US, European, and Afghan officials cling to the idea that the Taliban will negotiate a peace settlement to end the war in Afghanistan, a recent string of news articles would lead you to believe that the Taliban is actually willing to reach a compromise. However, these stories are highly misleading and give false hope […]
Two regional combatant commands acknowledged reports of civilian casualties in recent operations.
The US military has conducted 27 counterterrorism strikes in Yemen in 2018, but has only provided complete information on two. One of the strikes hit an AQAP training camp in Hadramout.
The foreign fighters include one Canadian and three French-speaking militants. The latter bunch likely belong to Omar Diaby’s Firqatul Ghuraba, a French jihadist outfit in Syria.
Security in Ghazni province has deteriorated rapidly over the past year. Of Ghazni’s 19 districts, the Taliban control five and contest nine more, according to information compiled by FDD’s Long War Journal. The provincial capital is threatened by the Taliban.
Dana White also denied the Taliban has the initiative and touted the fact that all six Afghan Army corps are now on the offensive as a sign of success. Except all six army corps have been on the offensive since last fall, and security has continued to deteriorate.
The Ministry of Defense identified six of the seven provincial centers that are threatened by the Taliban as Farah City, Faizabad in Badakhshan, Tarin Kot in Uruzgan, Kunduz City, Maimana in Faryab, and Pul-i-Khumri in Baghlan. The seventh city is likely Ghazni City or Lashkar Gah.
The Taliban appears to maintain the initiative throughout Afghanistan, while the Afghan military is forced to react to Taliban offensives, such as the latest incursion into Farah City.
Months after killing four US Special Forces soldiers, the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara has been designated as a terrorist group by the US government. Its leader, Abu Walid al Sahrawi, was also designated today.
Taliban claimed it took control of two districts, one in Badghis province and another in Ghazni. The Taliban has overrun five districts since it announced the beginning of its 2018 offensive.
Hazrat Abbas served as a leader for both al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent and the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. AQIS was formed to unite disparate jihadist factions to fight under the banner of the Afghan Taliban.
Video evidence emerging from the city shows Taliban fighters patrolling areas of the city, seizing weapons, and in control of government buildings.
The assault on Farah City should put to rest claims by the US military that the Taliban is desperate and losing ground in Afghanistan. Farah has been under threat for months.
At least nine people were killed and more than 30 more were wounded in the latest attack by the Islamic State’s branch in Afghanistan.
Al Qaeda has released a message from its leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, that is timed to coincide with the Trump administration’s relocation of the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Zawahiri notes that the decision caused a “big uproar,” but he reminds listeners that Tel Aviv is also supposedly Muslim land. He calls for jihad to uproot the entire international system led by the US and the UN.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has released a video purportedly showing the young man who attacked several people with a knife in Paris yesterday. FDD’s Long War Journal cannot independently verify that the person shown was responsible for the knife attacks. However, the footage is similar to previous videos released by Amaq after a series of small-scale attacks in Europe since mid-2016.
According to authorities, an ISIS-linked family carried out suicide bombings at three churches in the Indonesian city of Surabaya earlier today. The bombings came just days after other ISIS-affiliated militants conducted a prison riot south of Jakarta. ISIS has long targeted Christians, among many others. The group previously ruled that suicide attacks aimed at churches were an acceptable way to attain “closeness to Allah.”
Since late April, Shabaab has released a series of videos emphasizing its place in al Qaeda’s global network. Two of the videos were recorded by the group’s emir, Abu Ubaydah Ahmad Umar, a normally reclusive figure. Abu Ubaydah refers to the Taliban’s emir as the “Commander of the Faithful” and Ayman al Zawahiri as the “father-emir” while addressing the mujahideen in Syria and Yemen.
Two busy markets in southern Somalia were targeted by deadly explosions this week, which left at least 14 people dead and many others wounded.