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.”