Al Qaeda Telegram channels have shared a statement attributed to Saif al-Adel. He writes that the jihadis modify their military program to take into account Turkey’s influence.
A report by the United Nations includes new details concerning the dispute between Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and al Qaeda’s senior leaders, including the role played by two veteran operatives living in Iran. The UN’s member states say that HTS is still in “contact” with al Qaeda’s leadership despite their heated disagreements, and that al Qaeda has even reinforced HTS with “military and explosives experts” sent from Afghanistan.
Since late April, Shabaab has released a series of videos emphasizing its place in al Qaeda’s global network. Two of the videos were recorded by the group’s emir, Abu Ubaydah Ahmad Umar, a normally reclusive figure. Abu Ubaydah refers to the Taliban’s emir as the “Commander of the Faithful” and Ayman al Zawahiri as the “father-emir” while addressing the mujahideen in Syria and Yemen.
A jihadist known as Abu Abdullah has responded to claims made by a senior Hay’at Tahrir al Sham figure. Abu Abdullah identifies himself as al Qaeda’s “external communication officer,” a previously undisclosed position, and says that al Qaeda’s senior leaders are able to communicate with their representatives around the globe on an “almost daily” basis.
The jihad in Syria has unleashed another leadership crisis for al Qaeda.
In a new audio message, Ayman al Zawahiri warns jihadists that they should avoid a strictly “nationalist” agenda in Syria. He also says the jihadists should focus on waging a “guerrilla” war inside Syria and not place too much emphasis on controlling territory at this time. Zawahiri’s words are likely intended to influence some of the debates occurring within jihadist circles.
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.”
The US Treasury Department and the UN have added two senior jihadists to their terror sanctions lists. Both of them were leaders in the group formerly known as Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. Treasury’s announcement provides new details about al Qaeda’s operations in Syria, including the organization’s history and personnel.
Abu Jaber has released his first speech as the general commander of the newly formed Ha’yat Tahrir al Sham (“Assembly for the Liberation of Syria”). He calls on other factions to join his group, promises to wage jihad on Bashar al Assad’s regime until the end and claims that losing the war would be catastrophic for Syria’s Sunnis.
Five groups, including al Qaeda’s rebranded branch, have announced the creation of a new group in Syria. The move comes after weeks of reported disagreements and clashes between the insurgents in northern Syria.
Jund al Aqsa, a US and UN designated terrorist organization, was subsumed by al Qaeda’s rebranded Syrian branch in early October. The group had deep ties to al Qaeda’s fundraising network in the Gulf prior to the merger.
Fifteen years after 9/11, Al Qaeda remains a threat to the West despite not carrying out a large-scale attack in years. The group is waging insurgencies in several countries and is far larger than it was on 9/11.
A transcript of Abu Muhammad al Julani’s remarks yesterday shows that his statement has been misconstrued in the press.
Abu Muhammad al Julani announced that Al Nusrah Front has been rebranded as Jabhat Fath Al Sham. Many have read into Julani’s statement as a formal disassociation with al Qaeda. But Julani didn’t actually say that, as his language was intentionally ambiguous. While sitting next to a longtime al Qaeda veteran from Egypt, Julani did not explicitly say that his group has broken from al Qaeda.
The Al Nusrah Front confirmed today that Abu Firas al Suri, a veteran jihadist who served al Qaeda since the 1980s, was killed in a US airstrike on Apr. 3. A Pentagon spokesman recently explained that Al Nusrah has “ties” to al Qaeda, but this is not an adequate description of the relationship. Al Nusrah is one of al Qaeda’s regional branches and is openly loyal to Ayman al Zawahiri.
On Mar. 17, Abu Muhammad al Julani, the emir of Al Nusrah Front, issued a statement commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Syrian uprisings. Julani argued that the jihadists are inseparable from the Syrian people. Several years into the war, there are pockets of resistance to Al Nusrah, but the West has no strategy for harnessing this discontent and rolling back Al Nurah’s influence within the insurgency.
Abu Muhammad al Julani will appear at a press conference “soon,” according to Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. The timing of his appearance was likely influenced by the Syrian opposition’s meeting in Saudi Arabia this week. Al Nusrah is not represented at the gathering.
During the last months of his life, Osama bin Laden worried about the fate of his son, Hamzah. In a newly-released audio message, Hamzah picks up his father’s banner.
In a newly released audio speech, Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al Adnani calls on his group’s rivals (including other jihadists) to “repent,” recognizes a new pledge of allegiance from the Caucasus, and urges Sunnis to fight Shiites throughout the Middle East.
The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has issued a statement disavowing the massacre of Druze civilians in Idlib last week. The group doesn’t deny that its fighters are responsible for the slaughter, but claims that the jihadists disobeyed specific “directives” banning such acts.
Al Jazeera aired the second part of its interview with Abu Muhammad al Julani earlier this week. Julani again made it clear that Al Nusrah is a part of al Qaeda and referenced Ayman al Zawahiri’s “directives” following the beginning of the Arab revolutions in late 2010 and early 2011.
Earlier this week, Al Jazeera aired the first part of its interview with Abu Muhammed al Julani, who is the emir of the Al Nusrah Front. Julani stressed that his organization is “committed” to Ayman al Zawahiri’s “orders,” thereby dispelling erroneous reports that his group was going to “break” with al Qaeda.
An audio recording of Abu Muhammad al Julani, the emir of the Al Nusrah Front, introduces a newly-released video produced by the group. The video highlights Al Nusrah’s purported military gains and ends with a clip of Ayman al Zawahiri calling for jihadist unity.
The Al Nusrah Front has forced the leader of the Western-backed Syrian Revolutionaries’ Front, Jamal Maarouf, to flee his base of operations in Idlib.
A popular pro-al Qaeda jihadist ideologue who relocated from Saudi Arabia to Syria last year has criticized the Islamic State’s rivals on his Twitter feed. Abdallah Muhammad al Muhaysini says that the failures of various jihadist leaders have driven the youth into the Islamic State’s arms.
The Al Nusrah Front has released a statement saying that it has not “yet” announced the creation of an Islamic emirate and it will only do so after other jihadist groups agree with the decision.
An alleged audio recording featuring Al Nusrah Front emir Abu Muhammad al Julani was leaked online. Julani discusses the creation of an Islamic emirate, or state, in Syria as a counterweight to the Islamic State and other actors.
Tayseer Allouni aired the first televised interview with Abu Muhammad al Julani, the head of the Al Nusrah Front, earlier this month. Allouni was controversially convicted by a Spanish court on terrorism charges in 2005. A Spanish court alleged that Allouni assisted the al Qaeda operative who now heads al Qaeda in the Levant, among other charges.