In a newly-released audio message, Ayman al Zawahiri blames Islamist parties in Tunisia and Egypt for the failure of the Arab uprisings to deliver sharia-based governance.
The US Treasury Department designated six Taliban-Haqqani figures as terrorists today. Treasury’s identifying information locates five of the six — including three senior Taliban finance officials and the deputy leader of the group’s military commission — inside Pakistan. At least two of the newly-sanctioned men have ties to al Qaeda.
The State Department designated two Islamic State members, Siddhartha Dhar and Abdelatif Gaini, as terrorists. Dhar “is believed to be the masked leader who appeared in a January 2016 ISIS” execution video.
The State Department has added Khalid Batarfi, an al Qaeda veteran and senior al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader, to the US government’s list of specially designated global terrorists. Batarfi threatened the US and Jews in a video released by AQAP just yesterday.
The Taliban quickly claimed credit for an assault on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan. The jihadists’ siege lasted more than half a day before it was finally ended by Afghan security forces.
Ibrahim al Qosi, a former Guantanamo detainee, is one of three senior AQAP leaders featured in a video released this week titled, “Secrets, its Dangers and the Departure of the Best of Us.” The video is focused on the US drone campaign and the jihadists’ lapses in security.
The US is seeking the extradition of Christian Ganczarski from France, where he has been imprisoned since 2003. A French court convicted Ganczarski on terror-related charges for his role in the Apr. 11, 2002 suicide bombing at a synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia. The bomber called Ganczarski beforehand to receive his “blessing.” A newly-released indictment focuses on Ganczarski’s other ties to al Qaeda, including a plot targeting American interests in Australia.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an attack outside of a Coptic Church in a southern suburb of Cairo earlier today. The assault is one in a series of operations targeting Coptic Christians in Egypt since 2016.