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.
FDD’s Long War Journal confirmed the authenticity of a photograph of senior Al Qaeda leaders Saif al Adel, Abu Muhammad al Masri, and Abu Abu al Khayr al Masri in Tehran, Iran, circa 2015. Saif al Adel may be the next leader of Al Qaeda.
Friend of the show LTG (Ret.) H.R. McMaster joins Bill once again to discuss America’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan one year ago. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary — including an ongoing close relationship with al Qaeda, the United States designated the Taliban as “partners in peace” and handed the terrorist group keys to a state apparatus. Afghanistan fell and became the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. But it didn’t have to.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, who at the time was the operational commander of the Haqqani Network, was joined by his brother Badruddin Haqqani, Qari Zakir, the Taliban’s chief of suicide bombers, Mullah Sangeen Zadran, a dangerous Haqqani leader, and Ghani Muhammad, an Al Qaeda-linked military commander based in Pakistan, in the video. They give a send off to the suicide assault team that attacked Forward Operating Base Fenty on Nov. 12, 2010.
Zakir’s appointment to lead the fight against the National Resistance Front (NRF) in Panjshir and the district of Andarab in the neighboring province of Baghlan is a clear indication that the NRF is challenging the Taliban’s primacy in central and northern Afghanistan. Zakir is a capable military commander.
Shabaab’s recent hotel siege in Mogadishu, beginning on Friday and ending early Sunday, signals the severe challenges that remain in combating the al Qaeda branch.
Since resuming military activity inside Somalia earlier this year, the Biden Administration has ramped up the pace of airstrikes in the Horn of Africa country in recent weeks. Since June 3, the US has conducted at least six airstrikes against Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan leader Omar Khalid Khurasani, who is believed to have given sanctuary to Ayman al Zawahiri in the past, has called for global jihad, attacks on the US, and the establishment of the caliphate, and celebrated the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. He is reported to have been killed in a district in Afghansitan that has hosted an Al Qaeda training camp in the past.
Edmund Fitton-Brown — outgoing coordinator of the UN Security Council Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring team and longtime friend of the show — joins Bill to discuss the killing of Al Qaeda emir Ayman Zawahiri, who died in a U.S. drone strike last Sunday.
Zawahiri’s death is being hailed as a counterterrorism success, but that masks the fact Afghanistan has become a safe haven for top Al Qaeda leaders.
In this episode, Bill flies solo and expands upon his recent article in FDD’s Long War Journal, “Ayman al Zawahiri is alive; Taliban and Al Qaeda ‘remain close,’ UN reports,” noting that reports today (August 1, 2022) of Zawahiri’s death inside of Afghanistan underscore the country’s role as a safe-haven for Al Qaeda.
This policy both limits the effectiveness of anti-Taliban resistance and reduces the U.S. military and intelligence communities’ ability to monitor and strike Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and other regional and global terror groups based in Afghanistan.
Abu Hamzah al Yemeni, a senior leader and military commander in the Al Qaeda-linked Hurras al-Din, was the target of the strike. CENTCOM claims he was killed, but al Yemeni was also reported killed in a U.S. strike in Sept. 2021.
The presence of Abdul Haq al Turkistani, a veteran Al Qaeda leader, in Afghanistan contradicts the Taliban’s claims that there are no foreign fighters based in the country.
Nelly Lahoud’s new book reportedly draws from 6,000 Abbottabad raid documents. But the book suffers from major analytical problems.
A Tajik commander in the Al Qaeda-linked Jamaat Ansarullah who was appointed to lead several districts in northern Afghanistan continues to celebrate the group’s ties to the Taliban.
Al Qaeda’s central leadership remains organized with its branches actively carrying out orders passed down from Ayman al Zawahiri who sits at the helm and remains an influential figure in Jihad. Host Bill Roggio is joined by Long War Journal contributor Caleb Weiss to discuss the state of Al Qaeda under Zawahiri’s leadership.
The U.S. military continues to recycle stale estimates of Al Qaeda’s strength in Afghanistan, and elevate the Islamic State as a greater threat.
The Haqqani Network, an integral part of the Taliban whose leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is the Taliban’s deputy emir and minister of the interior, is reported to have facilitated the negotiations.
Host Bill Roggio briefs listeners on some of the latest news related to Afghanistan — including a few buried headlines you might have missed.
Shabaab again highlights operations from its urban assassination unit in Mogadishu. In doing so, it places these killings in the context of the wider global jihad.