Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan leader Omar Khalid Khurasani, who is believed to have given sanctuary to Ayman al Zawahiri in the past, has called for global jihad, attacks on the US, and the establishment of the caliphate, and celebrated the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. He is reported to have been killed in a district in Afghansitan that has hosted an Al Qaeda training camp in the past.
Edmund Fitton-Brown — outgoing coordinator of the UN Security Council Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring team and longtime friend of the show — joins Bill to discuss the killing of Al Qaeda emir Ayman Zawahiri, who died in a U.S. drone strike last Sunday.
Zawahiri’s death is being hailed as a counterterrorism success, but that masks the fact Afghanistan has become a safe haven for top Al Qaeda leaders.
In this episode, Bill flies solo and expands upon his recent article in FDD’s Long War Journal, “Ayman al Zawahiri is alive; Taliban and Al Qaeda ‘remain close,’ UN reports,” noting that reports today (August 1, 2022) of Zawahiri’s death inside of Afghanistan underscore the country’s role as a safe-haven for Al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda’s central leadership remains organized with its branches actively carrying out orders passed down from Ayman al Zawahiri who sits at the helm and remains an influential figure in Jihad. Host Bill Roggio is joined by Long War Journal contributor Caleb Weiss to discuss the state of Al Qaeda under Zawahiri’s leadership.
Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri threatens Myanmar in a newly released video, which attempts to connect the plight of Muslims there to the jihadists’ global struggle.
The U.S. has confirmed that Husam Abd-al-Ra’uf, a senior al Qaeda leader, was killed in Ghazni province earlier this month. The head of the National Counterterrorism Center touts his death as a “major setback” for al Qaeda and one of its “strategic losses,” but that is doubtful.
Hosts Tom Joscelyn and Bill Roggio discuss al Qaeda’s weak media output on the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 hijackings.
Al Qaeda has released a video message featuring Ayman al Zawahiri, who criticizes Al Jazeera at length. Although the video was released on the anniversary of the 9/11 hijackings, it was likely timed to coincide with the normalization of relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Hosts Bill Roggio and Tom Joscelyn discuss what al Qaeda looks like in 2020.
Last week, AQAP released an audio message form its new emir, Khalid Batarfi. In it, Batarfi renews his allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri on behalf of AQAP. He also praises the Taliban and Shabaab.
Ali Mohamud Rage, a senior Shabaab official, has released a video concerning the group’s assault on the Manda Bay Airfield earlier this week. Three Americans were killed during the attack, which Rage says was “carried out under the guidance and direction” of Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The Department of Justice has unsealed an updated indictment against Jehad Serwan Mostafa, an American who has long served as a senior figure in Shabaab. The FBI alleges that Mostafa has played a role in Shabaab’s explosives department, among other jobs. In 2011, he served as an emissary for Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Afghan officials have identified several AQIS members who were killed during a controversial raid in Musa Qala, Helmand earlier this week. They have also posted images purportedly documenting the weaponry, explosives and cash seized at the jihadists’ compound.
On the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 hijackings, Ayman al-Zawahiri defends the attack. He claims in a new video that all of the Islamic scholars’ arguments against the hijackings have been “refuted.” The video also features various al-Qaeda leaders from around the globe.
Ayman al-Zawahiri has released a new message entitled, “Don’t Forget Kashmir.” He criticizes the Pakistani Army and intelligence services at length, saying they can’t be trusted to support the jihad against Indian forces. He also calls upon Muslim scholars to explain that it is “individual duty” to support the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate.
According to a recently released report by a UN Security Council monitoring team, the Taliban is the “primary partner for all foreign terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan,” including al Qaeda. The only exception is the Islamic State, which opposes the Taliban.
The head of the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), Abdul Haq al-Turkistani, has called on jihadist “scholars” to do more to address the plight of Uighurs. Al-Turkistani addresses his message to Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhunzada, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and a number of al Qaeda ideologues.
According to the UN’s Jan. 2019 assessment, al Qaeda’s relationship with the Taliban is “long-standing” and “strong.” And al Qaeda “continues to see Afghanistan as a safe haven for its leadership.” The UN estimates that the Islamic State has several thousand fighters in Afghanistan as well.
In a message released on Feb. 5, al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri harshly criticizes the jihadists in Syria. He says they are engaged in a misguided “competition” for “imagined authority” over territory that is under the oversight “of secular Turkish checkpoints.”
Al Qaeda’s branch in Mali attacked a UN base earlier today, killing at least ten peacekeepers from Chad. The group says that the assault was part of Ayman al-Zawahiri’s global campaign, which rejects the “normalization” of Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also visited Chad today.
Al Qaeda released a message from its leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 hijackings. Zawahiri argues that the jihadists must view various conflicts raging around the globe as a “single war with different fronts against a united enemy.”
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.
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.
The State Department has amended the terrorist designation for Al Nusrah Front to include the “alias” Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS). State’s announcement indicates that the US government still considers HTS to be part of al Qaeda’s network, despite the jihadists’ vitriolic disputes over its formation. State didn’t explain its reasoning behind the move.
Al Qaeda has released a message from its leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, that is timed to coincide with the Trump administration’s relocation of the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Zawahiri notes that the decision caused a “big uproar,” but he reminds listeners that Tel Aviv is also supposedly Muslim land. He calls for jihad to uproot the entire international system led by the US and the UN.
As Sahab has released two new messages from al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri in recent days. In the first, he again criticizes Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s Islamic State, accusing it of sowing dissent in the jihadists’ ranks. In the second, Zawahiri reminds jihadists and Muslims that his organization considers the US to be their “first enemy.”
Al Qaeda released a new message from Ayman al Zawahiri today. His talk is titled, “France Has Returned Oh Descendants of the Lions.” Zawahiri calls on Muslims in the Maghreb to oppose foreign forces.
Three jihadist factions in Syria announced today that they have joined the “Guardians of the Religion” organization. Al Qaeda-affiliated social media channels have promoted the new group, which was formed as a result of jihadist infighting and leadership disputes in Syria.
In a newly-released audio message, Ayman al Zawahiri blames Islamist parties in Tunisia and Egypt for the failure of the Arab uprisings to deliver sharia-based governance.