Yet again, senior American officials display a stunning level of ignorance about the Islamic State and the Taliban. Elections are antithetical to jihadists’ belief of religious rule.
The US government has designated Myrna Mabanza, an Islamic State facilitator based in the Philippines, as a terrorist. The Treasury Department identifies Mabanza as a woman in her mid-20s who has worked with some of the Islamic State’s most senior personnel in Southeast Asia and has also served as an “intermediary” to jihadists in Syria.
Two suicide bombers killed dozens inside the Afghan capital today. The first targeted a checkpoint near an Afghan intelligence building, while the second struck journalists and others who rushed to the scene. Reporters Without Borders says it “was the deadliest attack on the media since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.”
In a lengthy audio message released on Apr. 22, Islamic State spokesman Abu-al-Hasan al-Muhajir claims that the US is retreating from Iraq and Syria. He argues that his group is in a better condition than when the US withdrew its forces from Iraq in 2011. He advises the Islamic State’s members that they should prepare for the war against the Russians and Iranians, who are filling the void left by the Americans.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a voter registration office in Kabul, Afghanistan earlier today. It is the latest in a string of attacks carried out by the group inside the Afghan capital. More than 50 people were killed and over 100 others wounded, according to initial casualty reports.
The Islamic State’s propagandists continue to take aim at rival jihadists, including al Qaeda and Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS). A recent Islamic State video calls upon HTS fighters to defect to the so-called caliphate’s cause.
Hikmatullah is part of the contingent of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan that defected and joined the Islamic State after the Taliban was caught hiding the death of Mullah Omar.
The US military announced that it killed Musa Abu Dawud, a high-ranking al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb leader in Libya, in an airstrike last weekend. Dawud is an established jihadist who has been in the fight with the GSPC and AIQM for at least three decades.