Long War Journal & Threat Matrix

Taliban attacks meeting attended by General Miller, kills Kandahar police chief

General Miller, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was present at the meeting but was not wounded. The the governor of Kandahar and the head of the province's National Directorate of Security were among those killed. The assassination of Raziq is a major blow to the Afghan government. He was arguably the most powerful player in the Afghan south and a stalwart ally of the US, and he may not be easily replaced. Read more →

IRGC appoints new chief for construction arm

Saeed Mohammad is the first IRGC-KAA commander who does not have a military background, who also falls in line with a trend of appointments of younger managers at top positions in the IRGC, unlike the current commanders whose formative years were in combat during the Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988. Read more →

Analysis: Jihadists in Syria react to Sochi agreement

Hay'at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), the most powerful jihadist organization in Idlib province, has finally issued a statement addressing the agreement reached between Turkey and Russia last month. HTS vows to continue waging jihad, and warns that it doesn't trust Russia's "intentions," but does not directly repudiate the Sochi accord. Read more →

Taliban confirms meeting with US delegation in Doha

The Taliban says its representatives met with an American delegation in Doha on Oct. 12. The group says that members of the "Political Office" of the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" stressed that the "presence of foreign forces" is "the greatest obstacle obstructing true peace and solving problems." The Taliban's overall leader previously blessed "direct dialogue" with the Americans, so long as the talks focused on an American withdrawal. Read more →

Taliban calls for attacks to disrupt Afghan elections

The US wants the Taliban to lay down its arms and recognize the legitimacy of the Afghan government. The State Department has even encouraged the group to "turn their bullets and bombs into ballots" and "vote." But in a new statement, the Taliban again rejects Afghanistan's parliamentary elections, saying it is a "demand of our faith" that they be "prevented from taking place." Read more →

Islamic State spokesman touts attack in Ahvaz, Iran

In a newly released message, Islamic State spokesman Abul-Hasan Al-Muhajir boasts that his organization's men were able to carry out the Sept. 22 terrorist attack in Ahvaz, Iran. Al-Muhajir's message is intended to underscore the Islamic State's responsibility for the operation, as there were conflicting claims regarding the identity of the perpetrators. Read more →

Gunmen attack military parade in southwestern Iran

Gunmen attacked an Iranian military parade in Ahvaz earlier today. Initial reports say two dozen or more people were killed and dozens more wounded. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility. But media outlets say another group, the Patriotic Arab Democratic Movement in Ahwaz, has as well. Read more →

Pakistan continues to harbor Taliban, including al Qaeda-linked Haqqanis

According to a new report by the State Department, the Afghan Taliban and its Haqqani Network are still "operating in Pakistan-based safe havens and threatening U.S. and Afghan forces in Afghanistan." Pakistan has assisted the US in counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda. However, by refusing to move against the Taliban, including the Haqqanis, Pakistan is harboring al Qaeda's most important allies in the region. Read more →

AQAP claims Saudi spy network targeted its leaders

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has released a new video that includes the testimony of several "spies" who have allegedly helped the Saudis and Americans hunt down the group's members. There are reasons to be skeptical of AQAP's claims, but the organization is clearly concerned that spies will do more damage to its hierarchy. Read more →