The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency released a short message claiming that the terrorist responsible for attacking the Strasbourg Christmas market was a “soldier” of the so-called caliphate. The message was disseminated online hours after Chérif Chekatt, who has been identified as the assailant, was shot dead by French police. Thus far, the Islamic State hasn’t provided any corroborating details.
In the past 24 hours, the Islamic State has conducted more than one suicide bombing against US-backed forces in Hajin, Syria. One Islamic State “martyr” blew himself up near the Hajin hospital, which became the scene of intense fighting earlier this week.
In a new audio message, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s emir, Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud, tries to capitalize on popular discontent in France. He fuses populist economic arguments with his jihadist ideology to critique France’s intervention in Africa.
The Department of Justice announced yesterday that Damon M. Joseph, a 21-year-old man from Ohio, has been arrested and charged with planning an attack on one or two synagogues in Toledo. According to court documents, Joseph praised the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in late October. He was allegedly inspired by both the Islamic State and Anwar al-Awlaki.
Nashir News Agency, which disseminates content on behalf of the Islamic State, reposted an oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The statement reaffirming the jihadis’ fealty to Baghdadi comes in the middle of a crackdown by Telegram, which has suspended dozens of Nashir accounts since the beginning of the month. The bay’ah statement is not new, as it has been circulated in the past.
A Taliban video eulogy for Jalaluddin Haqqani includes praise from three jihadists based in the UK and Syria: Hani al-Sibai, Dr. Abdullah al-Muhaysini and Sheikh Muslih al-Ulyani. Sibai is a well-known, pro-al Qaeda ideologue living in the UK. Muhaysini is a US-designated terrorist. Both Muhaysini and Ulyani operate in Syria.
The US-led coalition, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), says it was forced to strike a hospital in Hajin, Syria because it was being used by Islamic State fighters. US-backed forces have been battling the Islamic State for control of Hajin for weeks.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has released a statement claiming that the victims of an American airstrike on Nov. 29 “were a group of Tuareg youth” and not members of the organization. US Africa Command previously said that 11 AQIM “terrorists” were killed and three vehicles destroyed in the “precision airstrike near Al Uwaynat, Libya.”