On January 19, the Pentagon released its new National Defense Strategy, which prioritizes “inter-state strategic competition” from China and Russia over “terrorism.” In many ways, the strategy makes sense. However, the threat from ISIS and al Qaeda has not been eliminated. The jihadists are fighting around the globe, everywhere from West Africa to Southeast Asia.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for a shooting at a church in Kizlyar, a town in Dagestan, earlier today. Russian officials have confirmed that at least five people were killed and four more wounded.
In the early hours of Feb. 10, a day before the 39th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran, an Iranian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) entered Israeli airspace from Syria.
The US Treasury Department has further exposed the Islamic State’s international network by designating three facilitators as terrorists. The men have operated in the Philippines, Somalia, Turkey and elsewhere. One of them operates a business in Turkey that has acquired drone components for the so-called caliphate.
The US Treasury Department designated three jihadist facilitators who work for Sheikh Aminullah, a key al Qaeda and Taliban facilitator based in Peshawar, Pakistan. All three have allegedly facilitated Aminullah’s travels to the Gulf, where he has presumably raised funds. Two of the newly-sanctioned jihadists have been tied to operations in Afghanistan.
The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings this month, one in Balochistan and the other in Swat. At least 11 Pakistani soldiers were killed in the attack in Swat. The jihadists controlled Swat from 2007 to 2009, when Pakistani forces removed them from power. The group has claimed at least 5 “martyrdom” operations thus far in 2018, after claiming 11 in all of 2017.
Hay’at Tahrir al Sham has released two videos and a short statement claiming that its men downed a Russian warplane. The Russian defense ministry confirmed that the jet was lost after it was struck by a “a portable anti-aircraft missile system.”
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency quickly claimed responsibility for an assault near the Marshal Fahim National Defense University in Kabul, Afghanistan earlier today. It is the third major attack inside the Afghan capital in the past eight days. The previous two were carried out by the Taliban.