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.
The State Department announced today that it has designated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), al Qaeda’s branch in Mali and West Africa, as a terrorist organization. JNIM and its leader, Iyad Ghali, are openly loyal to al Qaeda and the Taliban’s emir.
A small Turkish-speaking jihadist faction known as Fursan al-Iman took part in a joint raid against the Assad regime in Latakia province on July 10. Yesterday, it posted a picture of an Assad loyalist who was captured during the operation. It appears from the group’s social media pages that Fursan al-Iman has been operating in and around the Jabal al-Turkman region since January 2018.
Jihadists and Islamists in Syria have denounced the US government’s decision to designate Katibat Imam al Bukhari (KIB) as a terrorist organization. The KIB’s own statement on the designation includes misleading claims and some of those defending the group have their own al Qaeda links.
US Africa Command confirmed today that US forces took part “in an advisory capacity” in a Somali-led raid on an “indoctrination center” operated by Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa. Five people, some of whom were “under the age of 18,” were killed in the Jan. 18 operation. 30 other “male children” were freed.
On Dec. 25, the Islamic State released a video promoting its fighters in Somalia and inciting attacks in the West. The group’s propagandists referred to the cadre as the Islamic State’s Somali “province.”
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has released its first video from the fighting in the southern Philippine city of Marawi. Jihadists loyal to the so-called caliphate launched their offensive in Marawi more than a week ago.
The Islamic State has officially recognized a loyalty oath sworn by Abu Walid al Sahrawi, a jihadist based in West Africa. Sahrawi first swore his fealty to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in May 2015. It is not clear why it took so long for the so-called caliphate to recognize him as one of its representatives.