Al Qaeda continues to build its network and infrastructure in Afghanistan after the fall of the Afghan government. Al Qaeda opened eight new training camps, five madrasas, a weapons depot and safe houses in Afghanistan that are used to facilitate the movement of its members to and from Iran.
Three Shabaab members were killed in what U.S. Africa Command described as a “collective self-defense airstrike” in the Lower Juba region. Shabaab, Al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa, remains a dangerous threat.
Bill is joined by Stu Velasco and Zach Popp of The Boardwalk Podcast (also hosted by Kyle Reynolds who couldn’t make it, shoutout Kyle Reynolds) to discuss the trials and tribulations of their time in service to the U.S. during the long war.
In a slight detour from our Israel coverage, Bill and Caleb are joined by counterterrorism expert Sara Harmouch to discuss her recent article that sounds like it was written for Long War Journal but was actually written for War on the Rocks, called “Al-Qaeda: A Defeated Threat? Think Again.”
They debunk the latest example of President Biden’s insistence that al Qaeda no longer has a presence in Afghanistan and discuss how U.S. rejection of intelligence is neither new nor at odds with its dangerous habit of disconnecting dots pertaining not least of all to al Qaeda.
Al-Qaeda’s General Command, or its central leadership, called on Muslims to attack American, European, and Israeli institutions, interests, and embassies around the world. Additionally, it called on Muslims in the West to strike from within.
Mahad Karate, a senior official and a deputy emir of Shabaab, al-Qaeda’s branch for East Africa, again named several al-Qaeda leaders present in Mogadishu during the infamous ‘Black Hawk Down’ incident in 1993.
Abukar Ali Adan, the deputy leader of Shabaab, Al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa, is a dangeorus commander who has led the group’s military wing and has ties to other Al Qaeda branches in African and on the Arabian Peninsula.
After nearly two decades of abysmal assessments from U.S. intelligence officials and policy makers on Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, the latest claims that the terror group is “at its historical nadir” should be taken with more than a grain of salt.
The Afghan people continue to suffer as the Taliban consolidates its power. Meanwhile, the Taliban’s support for Al Qaeda, the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, and a number of regional terror groups grows.
Bill is again joined by Generation Jihad regular Ambassador Edmund Fitton-Brown to discuss the latest report from the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team (which Edmund previously led). Released on July 25, 2023, the Team’s thirty-second report provides an update on al Qaeda and the Islamic State. Bill and Edmund unpack findings, discuss a few highlights, and also explain some points of disagreement.
The Afghan Taliban continues to claim that there are no foreign terror groups operating inside their country, despite all evidence to the contrary. The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan has an extensive footprint in Afghanistan.
AFRICOM has launched four airstrikes against Al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia this month as it continues to provide air support for the Somali National Army.
“I said Al Qaeda would not be there,” President Biden said about Afghanistan. “I said we’d get help from the Taliban… I was right.” Except Al Qaeda is indeed in Afghanistan and is receiving support from the Taliban.
The Afghan Taliban has vehemently objected to the lest UN report, as it punches gaping holes into the Taliban’s narrative that it does not shelter and support foreign terror groups. However, the presence of the TTP, Al Qaeda and a host of other terror groups in Afghanistan is undeniable.
Bill welcomes back to the show Generation Jihad regular Ambassador Edmund Fitton-Brown. Now a member of the Counter Extremism Project’s advisory board, Edmund previously served as the UK’s Ambassador to Yemen and later as the coordinator of the U.N. Security Council’s Sanctions Monitoring Team.
Edmund’s former team at the U.N. just released its latest report on Afghanistan which details (among other troubling issues) just how embedded al Qaeda is in Afghanistan’s Taliban government.
Bill and Edmund dissect the report’s findings.
Al Qaeda has established training camps in five Afghan provinces, as well as safe houses and a media center. The Taliban-Al Qaeda relationship is strong. Al Qaeda most certainly has not declined, nor has it been decimated or defeated.
Three prominent dual hatted Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders serve in key positions within the Taliban establishment, according to the United Nationals Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team. The Taliban is providing Al Qaeda with key support, including “welfare payments” and passports.
The Taliban has made this false statement for decades, even prior to 9/11. After al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri was killed in Kabul, Taliban promises like this should be dismissed out of hand. Foreign terror groups continue to operate in Afghanistan to this day.
FDD’s Long War Journal responds to the former ambassador’s assertion that assessments of Afghanistan once again becoming a terrorist safe haven are false.
Sami al-Uraydi, a Jordanian national and senior leader within al-Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has been designated.
Host Bill Roggio and (now official) co-host Caleb Weiss are joined by former coordinator of the UN Security Council Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring team Edmund Fitton-Brown to discuss findings in the latest UN report on the Islamic State and al Qaeda.
The U.S. captured al Qaeda key commander Abu Ikhlas al Masri in 2010. He was freed from Bagram prison after the Taliban takeover in 2021, and is thought to have reformed an Al Qaeda unit.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, claimed credit for the deadly attack. The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan denied involvement, while it and the Afghan Taliban cynically claimed it would never strike a mosque.
The U.S. military targeted Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa, in a pair of strikes in central Somalia over the past several days. The first attack took place on Jan. 20 near the town of Galcad in Somalia’s central region of Galguduud. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said it killed at least 30 Shabaab members […]
The U.S. has now placed a $10 million bounty on Maalim Ayman, the leader of Shabaab’s military wing in Kenya. Maalim Ayman now joins the ranks of other high-profile Sunni jihadis around the world demanding a similar price tag.
Another hotel siege perpetrated by Shabaab in Mogadishu was ended by Somali security forces almost twenty four hours after it began. The al Qaeda branch continues to lash out against civilians in response to military operations against it.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as well as al Qaeda’s general command, have issued communiques denouncing Qatar and the World Cup as a means to degrade the morals of the Arabian Peninsula. The Islamic State’s supporters have additionally issued their own infographics, calling for attacks on the games.
Nine individuals were designated by the U.S. Treasury Department while an additional five were also blacklisted by the U.S. State Department.
Mohammad Nabi Omari was one of the notorious “Gitmo Five” detainees who were freed in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl. His appointment highlights Sirajuddin’s consolidation of power in Afghanistan’s interior ministry.
The recent drone strike comes as the Somali National Army (SNA) mounts a large offensive against Shabaab in Somalia’s central Hiraan Region.