The Pentagon announced that 11 al Qaeda operatives were killed in a pair of airstrikes near Idlib, Syria earlier this month. One of them, Abu Hani al Masri, is described as “a legacy al Qaeda terrorist with ties to the group’s senior leaders, including Ayman al Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden.”
The US-led coalition has killed 13 Islamic State leaders in and around Mosul, Iraq in the past month. Three of them were Chechens, highlighting the important role that foreign fighters play in the group’s chain of command. According to Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Colonel John Dorrian, another fallen jihadist was responsible for manufacturing chemical weapons to be used in the defense of Mosul.
The State Department has added a former Guantanamo detainee, Ayrat Nasimovich Vakhitov, to the US government’s list of designated terrorists. According to press reports, Vakhitov was recently arrested in connection with the terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport. Also designated today is Aslan Avgazarovich Byutukaev, who leads the Islamic State’s forces in Chechnya.
The State Department has added Aliaskhab Kebekov (also known as Ali Abu Muhammad al Dagestani), who heads the Islamic Caucasus Emirate, to the US government’s list of specially designated global terrorists. State notes that Kebekov has proclaimed his organization’s “structural subordination” to al Qaeda.
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