The US-led coalition announced today that Abu al Umarayn and “several” other Islamic State leaders were killed in recent airstrikes in Syria. Umarayn was purportedly involved in the 2014 murder of Peter Kassig, a former US Army Ranger who was working as a humanitarian worker in Syria.
Mullah Manan was responsible for Taliban successes in Helmand that has left every district to be controlled or contested by the group. However the Taliban has been adept at replacing key leaders who have been killed or died of natural causes.
Al Qaeda’s As Sahab has released an essay blasting Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the US. The essay’s author, identified as Sheikh Awab Bin Hasan al Hasni, portrays America as a declining power and touts the resurrection of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. AQAP also finally released the 58th issue of Al Masra newsletter, which focuses on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
The US military has launched six airstrikes in the central Somali province of Mudug since Nov. 19, killing at least 55 Shabaab fighters.
The Taliban yet again belittled the Afghan government as a “powerless and foreign imposed” regime that is unworthy of sitting down at a negotiating table. Additionally, the Taliban noted that it is “fighting and negotiating with the American invaders for the success of Jihad.
President Ghani wants the Taliban to accept democracy, participate in the government, and break ties with terrorist groups. The Taliban has repeatedly refused to adhere to these demands. Additionally, Ghani called for negotiations that are first driven by Afghans, which is the opposite of what is actually occurring today.
The US says that Sgt. Jasso was “was likely accidentally shot” by partner Afghan forces during a “close-quarter battle” with “multiple barricaded al Qaeda shooters” in Nimroz province on Nov. 24. Nimroz is a remote area of Afghanistan and al Qaeda’s presence there confirms, once again, that the group is operating throughout the country.
Ghazni remains a hotbed of Taliban activity in southeastern Afghanistan, and the US military has been forced to deploy units there to prevent its collapse.
ISWA continues to defy announcements by the Nigerian government of its defeat.
The US military’s official estimate of the number of fighters in the Taliban’s ranks needs to be at least doubled given the level and intensity of fighting in Afghanistan, as well as the number of Taliban casualties claimed by the Afghan security forces.
The US-led coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) counterattacked the Islamic State in eastern Syria yesterday. The jihadists launched a large-scale offensive in Deir Ezzor province on Nov. 23, assaulting SDF positions along two axes.
The US military is clearly targeting Shabaab in Mudug province. There have been five strikes there in the past four days and 50 Shabaab fighters are reported to have been killed in the attacks.
The US State Department has designated Hajji ‘Abd al-Nasir, a senior Islamic State official, as a terrorist. The US government says al-Nasri has served in “several leadership positions,” including as the group’s military emir in Syria and the “chair” of the Islamic State’s delegated committee.
The pattern of the strikes, which took place in central Somalia, indicates that al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa either has an established base in the area, or that it was massing its fighters for a large scale attack.
A new report by David Andrew Weinberg, ADL’s Washington Director for International Affairs, documents the intolerant language of all kinds still found in Saudi Arabia’s government-published textbooks for schoolchildren.
The Taliban confirmed that it met with a high-level delegation of US officials in Qatar, and quashed news reports that the group wanted the Afghan government to postpone the April 2019 presidential elections and establish an interim government.
In October, a new military operations room, named “Incite the Believers,” began attacking Assad regime positions in a number of locations. The joint venture is comprised of at least three groups: “Guardians of Religion,” Ansar al-Din and Ansar al-Islam.
The Taliban is more than happy to negotiate the terms of US withdrawal — but if and only if an accord is reached on its terms. Because if a so-called peace agreement can be reached, you can be sure it will be one that will not benefit the Afghan people, the US, or the region.
The Islamic State warns Shabaab that it will respond to the group’s campaign targeting Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s loyalists in Somalia. Shabaab has been executing and arresting defectors who join the Islamic State since 2015. But the al Qaeda branch has stepped up its anti-Islamic State operations again in recent weeks.
Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio, Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Donati, and FDD founder and president Clifford D. May discuss the dire situation in Afghanistan, how we got here, where we are going, and negotiations with the Taliban.
Monday’s suicide bombing in Gao was the first claimed suicide bombing of JNIM since July.
The US-led coalition and Iraqi forces recently hunted down senior Islamic State personnel responsible for “overseeing operations conducted within Salah ad Din, Kirkuk, Ninewah and northern Anbar provinces.” The Islamic State claims that is men are especially prolific in these same areas. Over a six-week period from Sept. 27 to Nov. 7, the Islamic State claimed a total of 313 operations in Iraq, with more than 100 occurring in Kirkuk province.
While the Treasury designation focuses on the four Iraqis’ links to Hezbollah, which is described as “a terrorist proxy for the Iranian regime that seeks to undermine Iraqi sovereignty and destabilize the Middle East,” it practically ignores the fact that one of them is the Secretary General of the Imam Ali Battalions, or Kata’ib Imam Ali, a key component of the Popular Mobilization Forces, an official military arm of the Iraqi state that reports directly to the prime minister.
Another company of the elite Special Forces commandos was overrun, this time in the once impenetrable district of Jaghuri in Ghazni province. Afghan forces are being besieged by the Taliban on a daily basis.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is the name of the Taliban’s government before the US deposed it after the Sept. 11, 2001 attack by al Qaeda. The Taliban insists that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan be restored and recognized as the true representatives of the Afghan people.
Much like other assaults on popular hotels, restaurants, or various targets inside Mogadishu, Shabaab was quick to claim credit for the operation on social media.
The Islamic State claims that one of its “fighters” carried out a stabbing attack in Melbourne, Australia earlier today. One person was killed and two others wounded in the terrorist’s assault. The attacker used the same crude methods employed in previous small-scale Islamic State attacks.
The Taliban said that the Moscow conference serves as a propaganda and diplomatic coup for the group, as it has sought international legitimacy for its cause. It reitered that it refuses to negotiate with the Afghan government and is seeking the withdrawal of US forces.
The United States has conducted 36 strikes in Yemen in 2018, roughly a quarter of last year’s record high of 131 strikes.
All but three of the border policemen manning the outpost were either killed or captured, according to reports. The base in Farah is just the latest to fall to the Taliban.