The US government has designated Myrna Mabanza, an Islamic State facilitator based in the Philippines, as a terrorist. The Treasury Department identifies Mabanza as a woman in her mid-20s who has worked with some of the Islamic State’s most senior personnel in Southeast Asia and has also served as an “intermediary” to jihadists in Syria.
Two suicide bombers killed dozens inside the Afghan capital today. The first targeted a checkpoint near an Afghan intelligence building, while the second struck journalists and others who rushed to the scene. Reporters Without Borders says it “was the deadliest attack on the media since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.”
In a lengthy audio message released on Apr. 22, Islamic State spokesman Abu-al-Hasan al-Muhajir claims that the US is retreating from Iraq and Syria. He argues that his group is in a better condition than when the US withdrew its forces from Iraq in 2011. He advises the Islamic State’s members that they should prepare for the war against the Russians and Iranians, who are filling the void left by the Americans.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a voter registration office in Kabul, Afghanistan earlier today. It is the latest in a string of attacks carried out by the group inside the Afghan capital. More than 50 people were killed and over 100 others wounded, according to initial casualty reports.
The Islamic State’s propagandists continue to take aim at rival jihadists, including al Qaeda and Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS). A recent Islamic State video calls upon HTS fighters to defect to the so-called caliphate’s cause.
The US-led coalition said in a statement that “much work remains to defeat” Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s organization in Iraq and Syria. The statement is at odds with the White House’s view that ISIS has been “almost completely destroyed.”
The White House declared on Apr. 4 that the “military mission to eradicate ISIS in Syria is coming to a rapid end, with ISIS being almost completely destroyed.” But ISIS continues to operate in several areas of Syria, as well as in Iraq, which wasn’t even mentioned in the White House’s statement.
In his latest message, Hamza bin Laden warns that Shiites are expanding throughout the Middle East and claims that the Saudi government is incapable of stopping them. Hamza calls upon Muslims to support the jihadists in Yemen. He also criticizes the relationship between the Saudis and the US.