According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), al Qaeda’s senior leaders are strengthening the al Qaeda “network’s global command structure.” Meanwhile, the Islamic State “still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria.” Both groups maintain worldwide networks or affiliates, branches, and supporters.
Bilal Khuraysat, an al Qaeda ideologue in Syria, has released a treatise justifying Shabaab’s war with the Islamic State in Somalia. The Islamic State continues to battle al Qaeda’s branches and like-minded jihadists in several theaters.
Islamic State West Africa has forced thousands of civilians to flee Rann after raiding and ransacking the makeshift town in northeastern Nigeria. The assault in Rann is part of a broader ISWA offensive in the region.
Four Americans, including two service members, were killed when an Islamic State suicide bomber struck in Manbij, Syria earlier today.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency released a short message claiming that the terrorist responsible for attacking the Strasbourg Christmas market was a “soldier” of the so-called caliphate. The message was disseminated online hours after Chérif Chekatt, who has been identified as the assailant, was shot dead by French police. Thus far, the Islamic State hasn’t provided any corroborating details.
The US-led coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) counterattacked the Islamic State in eastern Syria yesterday. The jihadists launched a large-scale offensive in Deir Ezzor province on Nov. 23, assaulting SDF positions along two axes.
The US State Department has designated Hajji ‘Abd al-Nasir, a senior Islamic State official, as a terrorist. The US government says al-Nasri has served in “several leadership positions,” including as the group’s military emir in Syria and the “chair” of the Islamic State’s delegated committee.
The US-led coalition and Iraqi forces recently hunted down senior Islamic State personnel responsible for “overseeing operations conducted within Salah ad Din, Kirkuk, Ninewah and northern Anbar provinces.” The Islamic State claims that is men are especially prolific in these same areas. Over a six-week period from Sept. 27 to Nov. 7, the Islamic State claimed a total of 313 operations in Iraq, with more than 100 occurring in Kirkuk province.