On July 19, Dr. David Andrew Weinberg testified before Congress concerning the incitement found in Saudi Arabia’s government-published textbooks for school children. He argued that such incitement is not just a moral issue or a human rights issue, but also a national security issue.
Al Qaeda released an audio message from Hamza bin Laden and a news bulletin during President Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia. Hamza does not mention the American delegation, but he does criticize the Saudi family’s historical dealings with the British. The one-page newsletter specifically addresses Trump’s visit and claims that a new center for combating extremism in Riyadh will really be used “to fight faith, purity, and commitment.”
The Islamic State has released an audio message from Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. It is the first message from Baghdadi in nearly one year. Baghdadi frames the wars being fought in Iraq and elsewhere in sectarian terms and says that his men are waging a “grand jihad” against their many enemies.
The US military launched missile strikes on three radar sites in a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen. The strikes came in response to two attacks on the USS Mason earlier this week. The Houthis’ insurgency in Yemen is backed by Iran and has greatly complicated US counterterrorism efforts.
Hamza bin Laden, Osama’s son, criticizes Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen in a newly released audio message. Hamza claims that the Saudi campaign has aided Houthi rebels by interfering in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s war against them. He calls on Muslims to overthrow the Saudi government.
The Taliban’s condemnation is not surprising as it has relied on Saudi Arabia as a source for fundraising and other support to fuel the Afghan insurgency.
The State Department’s newly released Country Reports on Terrorism for 2015 suggests that several Gulf States still have a lot of work to do when it comes to terrorist fundraising.
There are now eight Islamic State branches throughout the world designated by the US as terrorist entities – Khorasan, or Afghanistan and Pakistan; the Caucasus; the Egyptian Sinai; Algeria; and Nigeria.