Long War Journal & Threat Matrix

US announces rewards for 3 Islamic State leaders

On Aug. 21, the US State Department Rewards for Justice Program announced rewards of up to $5 million each for information concerning three wanted Islamic State leaders. The three jihadists are "legacy" members of the group and serve as a money man, a senior ideologue, and an explosives expert. Read more →

Islamic State wages desert-based insurgency in Iraq and Syria

According to a new report released by the Pentagon's inspector general, ISIS has devised a three-part "overarching strategy" for its "desert-based insurgency" in Iraq and Syria. The three parts are: "sahara" (desert), "sahwat" (meaning awakenings -- a derogatory reference to any Sunni Muslims who oppose the group), and "sawlat" ("hit-and-run operations"). Read more →

Taliban suicide bomber strikes police HQ in Kabul

The bombing, which leveled a police station and killed and wounded scores of people, is the latest in a series of terror attacks in the capital. The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation continues to claim the Taliban can be an "effective counterterrorism partner"despite the Taliban's repeated use of terror tactics. Read more →

Taliban threatens Panjshir province

While the common narrative among US military and diplomatic officials is that the Taliban is taking control of districts to boost its negotiating position in so-called peace talks, the reality is that the Taliban has a long term military plan to gain control of strategic areas in order to reestablish its Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Read more →

Taliban justifies 9/11 attack, blaming America’s ‘interventionist policies’

The Taliban describes al Qaeda's Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the US as a "heavy slap on their dark faces," claiming it "was the consequence of their interventionist policies and not our doing." Additionally, the Taliban says it will not talk to the Afghan government, will fight Afghan security forces to the end, rejects the presence of foreign forces on Afghan soil, and calls western culture uncivilized. Read more →

Trump caves to Pakistan on Afghanistan

Trump's acquiescence to Pakistan, which has backed the Taliban's deadly insurgency in Afghanistan, occurs less than two years after he accused Pakistan of providing "safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror". Trump also said Pakistan returned billions of dollars in US aid with “nothing but lies & deceit.” Read more →

Taliban suicide team kills a dozen policemen in Kandahar

US military and diplomatic officials have claimed that attacks such as these are designed by the Taliban to increase its leverage in so-called peace talks with the US. In reality, the Taliban has all the leverage it needs. The Taliban is preparing the ground for the next stage in the war by targeting and weakening Afghan forces in major cities and outlying areas. Read more →

Pakistan again arrests Lashkar-e-Taiba emir Hafiz Saeed

Pakistan is a state where those who push the bounds of what is acceptable to the military and Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, including jihadists, politicians, journalists, and activists, end up missing or are found murdered. Pakistan has weathered nearly two decades of international condemnation over Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, yet he and his terrorist entities have not only survived, but thrived. Read more →