The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a school in the Afghan capital yesterday. The so-called caliphate’s jihadists regularly target Shiite civilians in its “suicide and complex attacks.”
According to a new report published by the United Nations, al Qaeda’s “alliance with the Taliban and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan remains firm,” as al Qaeda and the Taliban are “closely allied.” Some of the UN’s Member States consider al Qaeda’s global network to be a bigger long-term threat than the Islamic State.
A report by the United Nations includes new details concerning the dispute between Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and al Qaeda’s senior leaders, including the role played by two veteran operatives living in Iran. The UN’s member states say that HTS is still in “contact” with al Qaeda’s leadership despite their heated disagreements, and that al Qaeda has even reinforced HTS with “military and explosives experts” sent from Afghanistan.
On Aug. 8, the State Department announced that it had increased its reward for information concerning the whereabouts of two veteran al Qaeda leaders: Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah and Saif al-Adel. Although State didn’t explain the move, there is evidence that the two al Qaeda managers were operating inside Iran as of 2017.
Al Qaeda has long operated in Ghazni province, the site of a large-scale Taliban offensive in recent days. In 2010, Osama bin Laden ordered his men to relocate from northern Pakistan into Ghazni and other Afghan provinces. Bin Laden’s lieutenant also wrote in mid-2010 that al Qaeda had “very strong military activity” in at least eight Afghan provinces, including Ghazni. More recently, American and Afghan forces have targeted al Qaeda operatives in the province.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a military checkpoint in the Philippines earlier today. The bomber was identified as a foreign fighter known as Abu Kathir al-Maghrebi.
The US Treasury and State Departments designated three members of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba as terrorists today. One of them was captured in Iraq in 2004 and held for a decade before he was transferred to Pakistan and released. Another has raised funds to send to Syria.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has released a short video allegedly showing five young jihadists swearing allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before they attacked cyclists in Tajikistan. The video is similar to a number of others released after small-scale attacks since mid-2016.