The Department of Justice has unsealed an updated indictment against Jehad Serwan Mostafa, an American who has long served as a senior figure in Shabaab. The FBI alleges that Mostafa has played a role in Shabaab’s explosives department, among other jobs. In 2011, he served as an emissary for Ayman al-Zawahiri.
In exchange for two kidnapped U.S. and Australian professors, the Afghan government freed dangerous Taliban and Haqqani Network leaders Haji Malik Khan, Anas Haqqani, and Qari Abdul Rasheed Omari.
If confirmed, this would represent another major blow to al Qaeda’s Uqba bin Nafi Battalion.
Two statements, which were released by al Qaeda’s general command and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, were addressed to Shabaab yesterday in a coordinated messaging campaign.
Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security claims it has confirmed that Asim Umar, the emir of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, was killed during a Sept. 23 raid in Helmand province. Other key AQIS leaders were also killed in the fighting.
In 2001, Omar was unwavering in his position that the Taliban was religiously obligated to protect Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda cadre. The Taliban has remained true to Omar’s words, and fought an 18 year long war to defend the terror group.
Afghan officials have identified several AQIS members who were killed during a controversial raid in Musa Qala, Helmand earlier this week. They have also posted images purportedly documenting the weaponry, explosives and cash seized at the jihadists’ compound.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has repeatedly made it absolutely clear that the aim of this Jihad is the end of occupation and establishment of an Islamic government,” the Taliban says in a recent statement.