Abu Abdullah al Shafi, the top leader of Ansar al Islam, was captured along with seven associates during a raid in Baghdad. Shafi has close ties with Osama bin Laden.
Fakri Hadi Gari, the group’s deputy emir, and the financial emir were captured by Iraqi forces in Mosul.
Ansar al-Islam raided an Assad regime military position in the Latakia province yesterday, killing more than two dozen Assad loyalists. The attack was widely celebrated on Sunni jihadist social media channels. Ansar al-Islam is a small jihadist group that originated in Iraq, but has fought in Syria for years.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has released a eulogy for Mansur al Shalali (aka “Harun”), the slain military commander of Ansar al Sharia in Libya. AQIM notes that Shalali fought for several years in Algeria. The eulogy further underscores the tight relationship between AQIM and Ansar al Sharia Libya.
Salahuddin al Shishani also accused the Islamic State of attempting to assassinate him after his failed attempt to mediate a dispute between the group and al Qaeda’s branch in Syria.
The assassination of a popular politician has sparked a crisis in Tunisia. Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, an al Qaeda-linked group, has called for a common Islamist solution to the crisis.
Zawahiri lives. The Taliban-Al Qaeda alliance remains strong. The leaders of Al Qaeda’s branches in North and East Africa have assumed roles in Al Qaeda’s line of succession.
Hundreds of prisoners, including an unclear number of jihadists, remain free following a massive jailbreak just outside the Nigerian capital of Abuja earlier this week. The Islamic State has said its men were behind the raid.