AL Qaeda’s operatives are fighting in more countries around the world today than was the case on 9/11. And its leaders still want to target the United States and its interest and allies. The war they started is far from over.
The State Department announced today that it has designated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), al Qaeda’s branch in Mali and West Africa, as a terrorist organization. JNIM and its leader, Iyad Ghali, are openly loyal to al Qaeda and the Taliban’s emir.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has released a new video that includes the testimony of several “spies” who have allegedly helped the Saudis and Americans hunt down the group’s members. There are reasons to be skeptical of AQAP’s claims, but the organization is clearly concerned that spies will do more damage to its hierarchy.
Jalaluddin fought the Soviets, served as the Minister of Frontiers during the Taliban rule of Afghanistan from 1996-2001, was a member of the Taliban’s Quetta Shura, or governing body, and father of Sirajuddin Haqqani, one of the Taliban’s two deputy emirs and overall military commander.
The Trump administration is desperately trying to negotiate with the Taliban’s senior leadership. The Obama administration did as well, with the effort ending in a diplomatic fiasco.
Bajauri’s death is likely to be touted as a strategic blow to Khorasan province. However, the US military has killed the three previous leaders in the span of 25 months, and yet the group has expanded its operations.
Al Qaeda has released a new message from its emir, Ayman al Zawahiri, who argues that the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is a core part of a new, imagined caliphate.
At a Pentagon press conference, General Nicholson again gave a Pollyannish assessment of the state of Afghanistan. He claimed the peace process is working and the Taliban’s offensive is failing, and took credit for a Taliban victory over the Islamic State.