In early 2014, as Muslim civilians were being massacred in Central African Republic as part of a cycle of violence between Muslim and Christian militias, al-Qaeda went on a full-court press in an attempt to foster any jihadist movement to take up arms in the country. These attempts, however, largely fell on deaf ears. As such, this offers a unique glimpse into when, and potentially how, jihadist mobilization attempts fail.
The eighth edition of the Islamic State’s Rumiyah magazine features a cover story on Ahmad Abousamra, who was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List in 2013. Abousamra was the “chief editor” of Dabiq, the Islamic State’s English-language magazine, and also one of al Qaeda’s fiercest rhetorical opponents. He described al Qaeda’s leaders and pro-al Qaeda ideologues as the “Jews of Jihad.”
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.
The Pentagon said today that Ali Awni al Harzi, the first suspect publicly identified in the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, was killed in a US airstrike in Mosul, Iraq. Al Harzi and his brother have been working for the Islamic State as facilitators.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) Uqba bin Nafi Battalion has claimed credit for an attack that killed four members of Tunisia’s National Guard. The group remains loyal to AQIM despite some claims that it had defected to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s Islamic State.
The Tunisian Uqba Ibn Nafi Battalion, which is linked to Ansar al Sharia Tunisia and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, released pictures on Twitter showing weapons taken after clashes with the Tunisian military. The group also claimed two recent attacks in the North African country.
Intelligence cited in leaked Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) threat assessments link the six recently transferred Guantanamo detainees to Abu Zubaydah and al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has issued a statement praising the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham’s (ISIS) gains in Iraq and calling for reconciliation between jihadist groups in Syria. The statement was authored prior to the ISIS declaring that it ruled over a caliphate and rebranding itself the “Islamic State.”
Abu Iyad al Tunisi, the head of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, has released a statement calling for jihadists in the Levant to reconcile based on recent events in Iraq.
Prior to 9/11, Abu Qatada inspired numerous al Qaeda operatives. Now imprisoned in Jordan, he is providing ideological guidance to jihadists in Syria and North Africa.
Ansar al Sharia Tunisia regularly promotes Abu Qatada’s advice and guidance on its Twitter feed.
Seifallah Ben Hassine (a.k.a. Abu Iyad al Tunisi) has released a short statement saying that the Muslim youth “haunt” the US and the West.
A Tunisian known as Abu Anas al Tunisi was a member of the three-man suicide assault team that targeted a government complex in Samarra.
Kamel Zarrouk is said to have joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham after fleeing security forces in Tunisia.
Ayman al Zawahiri’s message concerning the infighting in Syria has been picked up by various jihadist websites, including a Facebook page operated by Ansar al Sharia Tunisia.
A newly released report by the Senate Intelligence Committee notes that terrorists “affiliated” with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Muhammad Jamal Network, and Ansar al Sharia took part in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
The State Department has designated three Ansar al Sharia organizations. Two of them were involved in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya and the third was involved in the Sept. 14, 2012 assault on the US Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia. The State Department says Ansar al Sharia Tunisia is “tied” to al Qaeda’s affiliates, including al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
More than one year after the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, a former Guantanamo detainee remains a key suspect.
Press reports from North Africa indicated that Seifallah ben Hassine (a.k.a. Abu Iyad al Tunisi) was captured by US and Libyan forces, but the Tunisian terror group and the US have denied the rumors.
For the past few days, Ansar al Sharia has been battling Libyan security forces in the city of Benghazi. More than one year after the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the US mission, the al Qaeda-linked Ansar al Sharia remains a potent force.
Testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on al Qaeda’s network in Africa and the threat it poses to the US
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has joined other jihadist groups in releasing a statement praising Hakeemullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban commander killed earlier this month. Ansar al Sharia Tunisia posted the message on one of its official Facebook pages.
The Tunisian government blamed Ansar al Sharia for a failed suicide bombing and an additional planned suicide attack last week.
A suicide bomber blew himself up in the coastal city of Sousse earlier today. According to Tunisian officials, the bombing was part of a planned wave of attacks. No group has claimed the attack, but it comes after weeks of escalating violence between Ansar al Sharia and the Tunisian government.
In a new statement, Ansar al Sharia claims it is organizationally independent, but confirms its “loyalty” to al Qaeda. The Tunisian government claimed last week that the group is closely linked to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
The Tunisian government has labeled Ansar al Sharia a terrorist organization. The group’s leaders, including Seifallah ben Hassine, have longstanding ties to al Qaeda and terrorism. Ben Hassine has been identified as the “mastermind” of the Sept. 14, 2012 attack on the US Embassy in Tunis.
The State Department said 21 US embassies and consulates will be closed on Sunday, Aug. 4, in response to a suspected threat from an al Qaeda affiliate. No specific details about the threat have been provided. Al Qaeda-linked jihadists assaulted multiple diplomatic facilities in September 2012.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has issued a statement mourning the death of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s deputy leader, Said al Shihri. The statement quickly made the rounds on jihadist social media sites.
In a statement released on its Facebook page and Twitter feed, Ansar al Sharia Tunisia denied any involvement in two high-profile assassinations this year. One day earlier, Tunisia’s interior minister accused Ansar al Sharia members and a longtime jihadist of being involved.
Tunisian officials have accused a longtime jihadist, who fought in Iraq, of being involved in two high-profile assassinations. The Tunisian government also alleged that some of the perpetrators “belong to Ansar al Sharia.”