On January 19, the Pentagon released its new National Defense Strategy, which prioritizes “inter-state strategic competition” from China and Russia over “terrorism.” In many ways, the strategy makes sense. However, the threat from ISIS and al Qaeda has not been eliminated. The jihadists are fighting around the globe, everywhere from West Africa to Southeast Asia.
The State Department has designated Ansaroul Islam, a Burkinabe jihadist group affiliated with al Qaeda’s network in Mali, as a terrorist organization. FDD’s Long War Journal has tracked the rise of the group since its founding in late 2016.
French forces conducted near simultaneous raids and airstrikes on three jihadist targets belonging to al Qaeda’s Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM).
General Bajwa and Pakistani officials can pontificate all they like about how their country has eliminated terrorism and no longer permit terrorists to use its soil to attack another country. A look at the facts tells another story, and that is one of Pakistani duplicity.
Sajna Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan, not in Afghanistan like some Pakistani officials have claimed. Sajna lead the group’s powerful Mehsud faction, was close to al Qaeda, and was responsible for murdering thousands of Pakistanis.
The US Treasury Department designated three jihadist facilitators who work for Sheikh Aminullah, a key al Qaeda and Taliban facilitator based in Peshawar, Pakistan. All three have allegedly facilitated Aminullah’s travels to the Gulf, where he has presumably raised funds. Two of the newly-sanctioned jihadists have been tied to operations in Afghanistan.
The camps were used by the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and other terrorist groups.
The DoD would not be suppressing information on Taliban district and population control as well as key metrics on the Afghan security forces if the fight was going well.