Katibat Imam al Bukhari (also known as the Imam Bukhari Jamaat), an Uzbek jihadist group that operates in Syria and Afghanistan, has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the US State Department today.
US forces killed four Shabaab terrorists in a strike in southern Somalia. The strike is the second since Feb. 19.
Abdul Hakim al Tatari, a Russian Tatar member of the former Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, joined the Islamic State’s Wilayat Khurasan before migrating to Syria. He was later killed in the battles around Baiji, Iraq, just days after arriving to Islamic State-held territory.
The eighth edition of the Islamic State’s Rumiyah magazine features a cover story on Ahmad Abousamra, who was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List in 2013. Abousamra was the “chief editor” of Dabiq, the Islamic State’s English-language magazine, and also one of al Qaeda’s fiercest rhetorical opponents. He described al Qaeda’s leaders and pro-al Qaeda ideologues as the “Jews of Jihad.”
Ansar Jihad, a small al Qaeda-linked group comprised of Central Asians and Turkish fighters, has released another video of its training camps in northwestern Syria.
A Uighur commander known as Abu Omar al Turkistani was killed in a US drone strike in Syria on Jan. 1. According to a jihadi biography posted online, he had a lengthy career fighting alongside al Qaeda-linked forces. He purportedly participated in the Battle of Tora Bora in late 2001.
While promoting its Al Farouq Training Camp, a speaker said that Taliban’s ultimate goal is the establishment of a global Islamic state.
Ayman al Zawahiri eulogizes two slain al Qaeda veterans in a newly released video. Zawahiri praises the pair for their contributions to jihad. The production is laced with criticisms of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s Islamic State.
Al Qaeda’s rebranded guerrilla army in Syria is fighting alongside other jihadists, Islamists and Free Syrian Army-branded rebels in an offensive intended to break the Assad regime’s siege of Aleppo. Most of the participating groups belong to two coalitions: Jaysh al Fath (“Army of Conquest”) and Fatah Halab (“Aleppo Conquest”). These same two alliances tried and failed to break the siege earlier this year.
This marks the first time the fledgling Islamic State branch has claimed control over a town in Somalia.
The Taliban’s “Real Men” video contradicts many of its public statements where the group claims it only seeks to liberate Afghanistan from occupation. Instead, it makes it clear that the Taliban views itself as a defender of Islam and part of the global jihad.
Abdulqadr Mumin, the leader of the small cadre of Islamic State fighters in the East African nation, defected from Shabaab late last year. He is said to kidnap and indoctrinate young Somali boys to bolster his ranks.
The Taliban continue to bring recalcitrant leaders back into the fold. The Dadullah family and commanders from the Mullah Dadullah Front, a jihadist faction with close ties to al Qaeda, rejoined the Taliban and swore allegiance to its emir, Mullah Haibatullah.
The al Qaeda branch highlights one method of governance in the southern Somali region of Middle Jubba.
More than 20 jihadist, Islamist and other rebel organizations took part in the offensive to break the siege of Aleppo. It was likely one of the largest combined efforts in the history of the Syrian war.
Several members of the Islamic State Khorasan Provinces’ “central council” as well as other senior and mid-level leaders based in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar have broken their oath to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi and have rejoined the Taliban.
The Islamic State’s propagandists have celebrated the terrorist attacks in Brussels with videos, articles and infographics praising the three suicide bombers responsible. One video features two Belgian fighters who say the operation was a “new 9/11” and part of Osama bin Laden’s legacy.
The 13th edition of the Islamic State’s Dabiq magazine is filled with anti-al Qaeda and anti-Taliban arguments. Previous editions of Dabiq included similar attempts to undermine al Qaeda’s and the Taliban’s jihadist credentials.
An American who fought for Shabaab in Somalia has reportedly surrendered to African Union forces. He turned himself in after swearing allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State. Shabaab’s leaders, who remain loyal to al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, have been purging defectors.
The Islamic State’s Aleppo “province” has released a video congratulating its brothers in the Sinai “province” for downing a Russian airliner on October 31. The video is at least the fourth time that the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the crash. The group has not provided evidence proving its culpability thus far, but Western officials say it is increasingly likely.
Al Qaeda’s branches and allies have held or continue to control ground in Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Mali, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Libya, contrary to the narrative that only the Islamic State seeks to take territory.
Earlier this month, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan officially swore allegiance to the Islamic State’s emir, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. On August 20, fighters from the Islamic Jihad Union followed in al Qaeda’s footsteps and pledged loyalty to Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, the newly appointed leader of the Taliban.
The Taliban has released a new statement attributed to Mullah Omar saying that his men have been ordered to “forcefully prevent” anyone from sowing dissent in the jihadists’ ranks in Afghanistan. Although the statement doesn’t mention the Islamic State or its followers by name, the Taliban clearly has Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s organization in mind.
More than 50 troops from Burundi are reported to have been killed. The attack comes just one week after Shabaab killed at least 60 Ethiopian troops in another attack in southern Somalia.
The group’s attacks are likely its deadliest since it swore allegiance to the Islamic State last November.
Usama Mahmood, the spokesman for al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), has released a statement calling on all jihadists to unite against the US-led coalition, which is bombing targets throughout Iraq and Syria.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government faces daunting challenges due to the growth of the Islamic State and other extremist groups. Many of these challenges have arisen from Germany’s own problematic counterterrorism policies.
The US added the Chechen-led Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar and the Moroccan-led Harakat Sham al Islam, as well as Murad Margoshvilli, the leader of the Junud al Sham, to the list of Specially Designated Global terrorists. The Margoshvilli and the two terror groups are closely tied to al Qaeda in Syria.
The destruction of the mosques housing the tombs of Jonah and Seth is only the latest in the Islamic State’s campaign to purge minority religions from Mosul.
Zulkifli bin Hir, a most-wanted terrorist linked to Jemaah Islamiyah, Abu Sayyaf, and the KMM who was reported killed in 2012, is operating in the southern Philippines.