The State Department revealed today that ‘Abd al Rahman al Maghrebi, a senior al Qaeda leader who heads the group’s propaganda arm and has served as its “general manager,” is based in Iran. Maghrebi and four others based in Iran were designated as terrorists.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced yesterday that Cholo Abdi Abdullah, a 30-year-old Kenyan national, has been charged with plotting a 9/11-style attack inside the U.S. Abdullah allegedly served as an “operative” for Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has named Abu Ubaidah Yusef al-Annabi as its new emir. His predecessor, Abdelmalek Droukdel, was killed in a French counterterrorism operation in Mali earlier this year.
The New York Times and other press outlets have confirmed that Abu Muhammad al-Masri, al Qaeda’s deputy emir, was killed in an Israeli operation in Tehran on Aug. 7. His death was originally reported on an al-Qaeda-linked social media account.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency claims that the terrorist who carried out an attack in Vienna, Austria yesterday was a “soldier of the caliphate.” Amaq identifies him as Abu Dujana al-Albani. He was imprisoned in 2019 after he attempted to join the Islamic State in Syria, but was released early.
The U.S. has confirmed that Husam Abd-al-Ra’uf, a senior al Qaeda leader, was killed in Ghazni province earlier this month. The head of the National Counterterrorism Center touts his death as a “major setback” for al Qaeda and one of its “strategic losses,” but that is doubtful.
Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) claims that Husam Abd-al-Ra’uf, a senior al Qaeda leader, was killed in Ghazni province. FDD’s Long War Journal has not confirmed his death and the NDS provided conflicting details throughout the day.
The U.S. government has designated Ahmed Luqman Talib as a terrorist, saying he uses his gemstone business to help move people and money for al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda has released a video message featuring Ayman al Zawahiri, who criticizes Al Jazeera at length. Although the video was released on the anniversary of the 9/11 hijackings, it was likely timed to coincide with the normalization of relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The Pakistani Taliban announced today that two splinter factions, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) and Hizb-ul-Ahrar (HuA), have rejoined the organization.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a prison assault in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad. The facility reportedly holds about 1,500 inmates. It’s not clear how many were freed.
During an online conference last week, CENTCOM commander Gen. McKenzie questioned the Taliban’s commitment to its supposed counterterrorism assurances. He pointed to al Qaeda’s presence in eastern Afghanistan and claimed Ayman al Zawahiri is there. In response, the Taliban falsely claimed that al Qaeda hasn’t been present in Afghanistan since the days of the Islamic Emirate.
Jihadists on social media say that two al Qaeda figures, Abu al Qassam and Bilal al Sanaani, were killed in a drone strike in Idlib. Their deaths haven’t been confirmed. Abu al Qassam was one of Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s closest comrades and an important al Qaeda figure in Idlib.
French and American officials say the emir of AQIM, Abdelmalek Droukdel (a.k.a. Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud), was killed in a counterterrorism operation in northern Mali on June 3. The U.S. military supported the French-led operation.
According to a new report by a UN monitoring team, the Taliban “regularly consulted with Al Qaeda during negotiations with the United States and offered guarantees that it would honor their historical ties.” The analysis contains numerous allegations of ongoing collusion between the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
According to a new report by the Lead Inspector General for Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, U.S. officials have assessed that the Taliban is “reluctant to publicly break with al Qaeda,” while Pakistan continues to harbor senior Taliban leaders, including the Haqqanis. The report confirms that the Taliban went on the offensive following the Feb. 29 withdrawal agreement with the U.S.
The FBI and DOJ announced today that Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani had “significant ties” to AQAP and had been planning a terrorist attack for years. Alshamrani carried out the Dec. 6, 2019 shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, killing three U.S. sailors and wounding eight other Americans.
In late April, the Islamic State’s Yemen “province” released a video attacking al-Qaeda’s ideological credentials. The video is the latest piece of propaganda in the Islamic State’s campaign against its jihadist rival.
According to UNAMA, civilian casualties decreased during the first quarter of the year, as compared to similar timeframes in previous years. However, there was a “disturbing increase in violence” in Afghanistan following the U.S. agreement with the Taliban on Feb. 29. And the Taliban is the prime culprit with respect to civilian casualties.
German prosecutors announced last week that four alleged ISIS members were arrested and charged with planning attacks against U.S. military facilities. The four are from Tajikistan, a Central Asian country ISIS has long targeted for its recruiting efforts.
The Islamic State’s Khorasan arm claims its terrorist, Abu Khalid al-Hindi, carried out an assault on a Sikh temple in Kabul earlier today. Despite suffering setbacks in eastern Afghanistan, the group has conducted several attacks in the Afghan capital this year.
Last week, AQAP released an audio message form its new emir, Khalid Batarfi. In it, Batarfi renews his allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri on behalf of AQAP. He also praises the Taliban and Shabaab.
Al-Qaeda’s general command has released a three-page statement celebrating the U.S.-Taliban withdrawal agreement as a “victory” for the Taliban. Al-Qaeda calls on Afghans and the mujahideen to bolster the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Al Qaeda’s branch in West Africa, Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin, has released a statement saying it is willing to meet with the Malian government — but only after French and allied forces withdraw from the area.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for yesterday’s assault on a memorial service held in honor of Abdul Ali Mazari, a Hazara political leader killed in 1995. The group’s Khorasan arm assaulted the same memorial rally last year.
The author is a designated terrorist closely allied with al Qaeda. That’s not mentioned. Neither is al Qaeda.
The White House has confirmed that AQAP’s leader, Qasim al-Rimi, was killed in a counterterrorism operation. Rimi served as a “deputy” to Ayman al-Zawahiri, meaning that he was likely part of al-Qaeda’s global management team.
The Pakistani Taliban announced today that its leading ideologue, Khalid Haqqani, has been killed alongside one of his colleagues. Haqqani was a key jihadist thinker and author for the group.
The Islamic State claims that the stabbings on Streatham High Road in south London yesterday were the work of its fighter. Sudesh Amman has been identified as the assailant. He was jailed on terror-related charges, but recently freed.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has released a video claiming “full responsibility” for the Dec. 2019 shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola. The video features images of the shooter, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani (Al-Shamrani) and his will, but doesn’t explain how he was known to AQAP beforehand.