The Department of Justice announced yesterday that Damon M. Joseph, a 21-year-old man from Ohio, has been arrested and charged with planning an attack on one or two synagogues in Toledo. According to court documents, Joseph praised the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in late October. He was allegedly inspired by both the Islamic State and Anwar al-Awlaki.
The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) in Afghanistan and Syria has long operated as part of the Taliban-al Qaeda axis. Earlier this year, however, the TIP’s Syrian branch sided with Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) during its battles with other rebel groups. This infighting and related events have complicated the picture with respect to the TIP in Syria. One TIP-affiliated outlet claimed earlier this year that the group’s senior management had sent new leadership from Afghanistan to Syria.
Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama, has released a new audio message in which he provides “advice for martyrdom seekers in the West.” Hamza’s message was disseminated less than a week after Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Qasim al Raymi released a similar call for individual attacks in the West.
In a short video released yesterday, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) leader, Qasim al Raymi, reiterated his group’s call for “lone mujahid” attacks in the West. AQAP was an early innovator of the concept of “individual jihad,” but has been eclipsed by its rivals in the Islamic State in recent years. Raymi is attempting to move AQAP back to the fore of the “lone mujahid” effort.
The seventh issue of Al Qaeda’s Al Nafir Bulletin, which was released earlier today, denounced the recent American counterterrorism raid in Yemen. The group’s statement portrayed the operation as an assault on all Muslims and threatened President Donald Trump, saying “the flame of jihad has ignited and reached all over the world.”
One US soldier was killed and three more were injured during a raid in central Yemen. Adbulrauf al Dhahab, a senior Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader, and 13 other fighters were reportedly killed in the operation.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency claims that its “soldier” carried out the attack at Ohio State University yesterday. The wording is similar to that used after previous claims of responsibility for attacks in both Europe and the US.
Authorities recovered a handwritten journal from Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is charged with carrying out bombings in New York and New Jersey on Sept. 17. The notebook allegedly contains praise for Osama bin Laden and Anwar al Awlaki.
According to the Department of Justice, Syed Farook was influenced by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (Inspire) magazine and the teachings of Anwar al Awlaki. Shortly after the San Bernardino shooting, an oath of allegiance to the Islamic State’s Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was posted on a Facebook page associated with Farook’s wife, Tafsheen Malik.
One of the brothers responsible for the attack on Charlie Hebdo claimed to have met with Anwar al Awlaki. The other may have met with Awlaki as well. Meanwhile, another terrorist responsible for the siege of a kosher market claimed he was a member of the Islamic State.
An indictment unsealed yesterday alleges that Nigerian citizen Lawal Olaniyi Babafemi is a member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who aided in the production of Inspire magazine and was given money to recruit other Nigerians.
The Webster Commission released its final report on the FBI’s handling of evidence regarding Major Nidal Malik Hasan prior to the Nov. 5, 2009 Fort Hood shootings. Hasan sent a number of emails to al Qaeda cleric Anwar al Awlaki prior to the attack.
On Monday, a British Airways employee named Rajib Karim was convicted of plotting to blow up a US-bound airliner. While planning the attack, Rajib emailed back and forth with al Qaeda cleric Anwar al Awlaki. The emails reveal that Awlaki played a direct, operational role in Rajib’s plotting.
AQAP has released the fourth edition of its Inspire magazine. In it, al Qaeda cleric Anwar al Awlaki calls on Muslims to steal from the disbelievers in order to fund their jihad. Awlaki’s message may indicate that AQAP’s fundraising has been hampered by US-led efforts.
Two articles by al Qaeda cleric Anwar al Awlaki are featured in the latest edition of Inspire magazine. The publication also mentions the controversy surrounding the Obama administration’s decision to allow US forces to target Awlaki in Yemen.