The Islamic State has officially recognized a loyalty oath sworn by Abu Walid al Sahrawi, a jihadist based in West Africa. Sahrawi first swore his fealty to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in May 2015. It is not clear why it took so long for the so-called caliphate to recognize him as one of its representatives.
On Oct. 9, a statement attributed to Mokhtar Belmokhtar was circulated online. The message eulogizes Sheikh Ag Aoussa, a prominent Tuareg leader who was reportedly killed in an explosion after attending a meeting at a UN camp in Mali. The statement’s author, presumably Belmokhtar, blames France for Aoussa’s death and calls on tribes to turn against the French.
The Pentagon has confirmed that Ahmed Salama Mabrouk was killed in an Oct. 3 airstrike in Syria’s Idlib province. According to Defense Department Press Secretary Peter Cook, Mabrouk was “one of Al Qaeda’s most senior leaders” and his death is “a blow to their ability to plot external attacks.” Mabrouk was one of the most senior officials in Jabhat Fath al Sham, al Qaeda’s rebranded branch in Syria.
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.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Al Nusrah Front have jointly issued a eulogy for Mullah Mansour, the Taliban’s chief leader. Mansour was killed in an American drone strike on May 21.
An infographic in the Islamic State’s Al Naba newsletter highlights the “caliphate’s” fighting against both its jihadist rivals and the Libyan Army in the eastern city of Derna. The Islamic State was forced out of Derna’s center last year, even as it gained ground elsewhere in Libya.
Newly released files recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound reveal that al Qaeda’s leadership drafted a truce proposal for the Mauritanian government. There is no evidence in the files that Mauritania agreed to the deal, which would have allowed al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) to operate freely in the country. In a separate letter, AQIM emir Abdelmalek Droukdel asked for bin Laden’s advice concerning the staffing of his elite Shura council.
Libya’s air force confirmed that a jet was shot down by anti-aircraft fire earlier today. Ansar al Sharia Libya, which says its fighters were responsible, openly promotes al Qaeda ideologues in its propaganda.