Author Archives: Caleb Weiss

Caleb Weiss is an editor of FDD's Long War Journal and a senior analyst at the Bridgeway Foundation, where he focuses on the spread of the Islamic State in Central Africa.
Mogadishu prison

Jihadis mount prison mutinies across Africa

Over the last few days, jihadis have mounted two attacks inside prisons in Somalia and Niger. While the mutiny inside the Nigerien prison was successful, the Somali prison assault appears to have been thwarted. Nonetheless, both incidents highlight the lingering threat of jihadi prison breaks on the continent and the importance jihadist groups put on such operations.

Makkawi reward poster

Jihadi archives: Islamic State’s eulogy of Sudanese jihadist Mohamad Makkawi Ibrahim

In May 2016, the Islamic State (IS) issued a eulogy for the infamous Sudanese jihadist Mohamad Makkawi Ibrahim through its weekly Al-Naba newsletter. The eulogy flew under the radar at the time but offers an interesting look into the career of one of the Islamic State’s first so-called “martyrs” in Somalia. It also provides an early chronicle of the Islamic State’s history in the Horn of Africa.

Jihadi History: Al-Qaeda’s failed mobilization efforts in Central African Republic

In early 2014, as Muslim civilians were being massacred in Central African Republic as part of a cycle of violence between Muslim and Christian militias, al-Qaeda went on a full-court press in an attempt to foster any jihadist movement to take up arms in the country. These attempts, however, largely fell on deaf ears. As such, this offers a unique glimpse into when, and potentially how, jihadist mobilization attempts fail.

American, French hostages freed in the Sahel

Jeff Woodke, who spent over six years captive in the Sahel, and Olivier Dubois, who spent almost two years as a hostage, were finally freed from the clutches of al-Qaeda’s men in the Sahel. The United States has denied paying a ransom.