In a lengthy audio message released on Apr. 22, Islamic State spokesman Abu-al-Hasan al-Muhajir claims that the US is retreating from Iraq and Syria. He argues that his group is in a better condition than when the US withdrew its forces from Iraq in 2011. He advises the Islamic State’s members that they should prepare for the war against the Russians and Iranians, who are filling the void left by the Americans.
“I did it for the Islamic State,” Akayed Ullah, who is charged with carrying out the failed bombing in Times Square yesterday, allegedly told authorities.
In a short video released yesterday, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) leader, Qasim al Raymi, reiterated his group’s call for “lone mujahid” attacks in the West. AQAP was an early innovator of the concept of “individual jihad,” but has been eclipsed by its rivals in the Islamic State in recent years. Raymi is attempting to move AQAP back to the fore of the “lone mujahid” effort.
The Pentagon announced today that three members of the Islamic State’s external operations arm were killed in an airstrike in Raqqa, Syria on Dec. 4. All three worked for Boubaker Al-Hakim, a notorious French-Tunisian jihadi who was killed on Nov. 26. Hakim and his network had been plotting attacks against Western targets, according to Defense Department.
The Islamic State has released a message from its new spokesman, Abu al Hassan al Muhajir. Abu Muhammad al Adnani had served in that role for years until his demise in August. Muhajir tries to rally Sunnis to the Islamic State’s cause in Iraq and elsewhere.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency claims that its “soldier” carried out the attack at Ohio State University yesterday. The wording is similar to that used after previous claims of responsibility for attacks in both Europe and the US.
The Islamic State has released an audio message from Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. It is the first message from Baghdadi in nearly one year. Baghdadi frames the wars being fought in Iraq and elsewhere in sectarian terms and says that his men are waging a “grand jihad” against their many enemies.
The complaint filed in the case against Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is accused of planting bombs in New York and New Jersey on Sept. 17, omitted any reference to the Islamic State. But a newly released page from Rahami’s notebook shows that he mentioned Abu Muhammad al Adnani in the context of being unable to travel abroad for jihad. Prior to his demise in August, Adnani repeatedly told followers to strike in their home countries if they were unable to emigrate to the lands of the so-called caliphate.