Author Archives: Thomas Joscelyn

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

US-led coalition targets Islamic State’s oil and gas network

Combined Joint Force Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) announced today that four members of the Islamic State’s illicit gas and oil network were killed during “operations” on May 26. They were targeted in the Middle Euphrates River Valley. Separately, CJTF-OIR’s local partners seized and destroyed $1.4 million dollars worth of drugs from the so-called caliphate in southern Syria.



Suicide bomber strikes religious conference in Kabul

A suicide bomber struck a meeting of the Afghan Ulema Council (AUC) in Kabul earlier today. The Taliban’s spokesman denied that his group had any connection to the attack. However, the Islamic State claimed responsibility via its Amaq News Agency, which released two short messages on the “martyrdom” operation.


State Department amends terror designation for Al Nusrah Front

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.


Islamic State releases photo of 10-man team responsible for Kabul raid

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.


Taliban and Islamic State target religious opponents in Afghanistan

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.”


Islamic State claims its soldier killed 3 in Liège, Belgium

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.


Jihadists attack Afghan interior ministry in Kabul

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.