Thomas Joscelyn’s testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee’s Task Force on Denying Terrorists Entry into the United States on what happens to the Islamic State after it loses its territory in Iraq and Syria.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released its most recent statistics on Guantanamo recidivism this week. 208 former detainees are either confirmed or suspected of rejoining the jihad. 188 of them were transferred or released during the Bush administration and the remaining 20 by the Obama administration. The estimated number of recidivists has steadily climbed since 2008, when the government first provided statistics on this topic.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency released a video purportedly showing the two terrorists responsible for yesterday’s assault on a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France. One of the two, identified as Abu Jalil al Hanafi, swears allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi on behalf of himself and his comrade. The Islamic State has also released a profile of Mohammad Daleel, the jihadist who blew himself up in Ansbach, Germany on July 24. The biography indicates that Daleel was a veteran of the jihad in Syria.
In a memo submitted to the UK parliament, British Prime Minister David Cameron claimed that seven terrorist plots have been broken up in the UK in the past 12 months, the number of terrorism-related arrests is up 31%, and the Islamic State has an “external operations structure in Syria” that is devoted to planning attacks in the West.
The White House announced today that Fadhil Ahmad al Hayali (a.k.a. Hajji Mutazz), the deputy leader of the Islamic State, was killed in an airstrike on June 18. US military officials previously reported that he had been killed in December 2014. Al Hayali was one of the most senior leaders in the “caliphate,” and had wide-ranging responsibilities.
Ansar al Sharia Libya now operates a radio station in Benghazi and several Twitter feeds. The group is at war with General Khalifa Haftar’s forces, but is promoting its governance efforts even while in the thick of battle. While a senior sharia official has defected to the Islamic State, there is no indication the group as a whole has followed suit.
The State Department today announced that Denis Cuspert has been added to the US government’s list of specially designated global terrorists.
The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has tweeted a series of photos purportedly showing the aftermath of the US-led coalition’s airstrikes in Idlib. Prior to today, the coalition had not announced any airstrikes against Al Nusrah since the first day of the bombing campaign in Syria.