The Defense Department has confirmed that Boubaker al-Hakim, a French-Tunisian Islamic State leader, was killed in Raqqa, Syria on Nov. 26. Al-Hakim had ties to Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, an al Qaeda-affiliated group, before defecting to the Islamic State’s cause. He admittedly assassinated one Tunisian politician in 2013 and knew the assailants responsible for a second slaying.
Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, was released from an Egyptian prison earlier this week. He was imprisoned in Egypt in 1999, but released following the uprisings in 2011. He quickly became a prolific advocate for al Qaeda’s jihadist ideology. Along with other al Qaeda-linked jihadists, he helped orchestrate the protest outside the US Embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11, 2012.
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.
More than three years after the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, Ansar al Sharia tells its followers to learn from the teachings of slain al Qaeda ideologues. The group’s radio station regularly broadcasts lectures by al Qaeda leaders who have been killed in US airstrikes.
AQIM has released a eulogy for Hamid al Sha’iri, who led a “squadron” in Libya. Al Sha’iri and his men were traveling from Derna to Benghazi to fight General Khalifa Haftar’s forces when they were ambushed.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has released a eulogy for Mansur al Shalali (aka “Harun”), the slain military commander of Ansar al Sharia in Libya. AQIM notes that Shalali fought for several years in Algeria. The eulogy further underscores the tight relationship between AQIM and Ansar al Sharia Libya.
Ansar al Sharia, which is now led by a jihadist known as Abu Khalid al Madani, continues to battle General Khalifa Haftar’s forces. Contrary to erroneous accounts, the group has not sworn allegiance to the Islamic State.
Before his own death on Jan. 31, Harith al Nadhari, a senior AQAP sharia official, recorded an audio eulogy for the leader of Ansar al Sharia Libya, Mohammed al Zahawi. Nadhari noted that Zahawi had met with Osama bin Laden in the mid-1990s.