Islamic State West Africa reportedly seized the town of Baga in northeastern Nigeria earlier this week. The Nigerian military downplayed the jihadis’ advances, but it appears that ISWA seized the town, at least temporarily. And ISWA documented its spoils in a series of images released today.
Al Qaeda’s As Sahab has released an essay blasting Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the US. The essay’s author, identified as Sheikh Awab Bin Hasan al Hasni, portrays America as a declining power and touts the resurrection of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. AQAP also finally released the 58th issue of Al Masra newsletter, which focuses on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
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.
In October, a new military operations room, named “Incite the Believers,” began attacking Assad regime positions in a number of locations. The joint venture is comprised of at least three groups: “Guardians of Religion,” Ansar al-Din and Ansar al-Islam.
The Islamic State warns Shabaab that it will respond to the group’s campaign targeting Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s loyalists in Somalia. Shabaab has been executing and arresting defectors who join the Islamic State since 2015. But the al Qaeda branch has stepped up its anti-Islamic State operations again in recent weeks.
Since early September, the US has issued terrorist designations for Islamic State moneymen operating around the globe, from the Caribbean to East Africa. The designations highlight the diverse sources the so-called caliphate uses to fund its insurgency and terrorist operations.
Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), the most powerful jihadist organization in Idlib province, has finally issued a statement addressing the agreement reached between Turkey and Russia last month. HTS vows to continue waging jihad, and warns that it doesn’t trust Russia’s “intentions,” but does not directly repudiate the Sochi accord.
The US wants the Taliban to lay down its arms and recognize the legitimacy of the Afghan government. The State Department has even encouraged the group to “turn their bullets and bombs into ballots” and “vote.” But in a new statement, the Taliban again rejects Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections, saying it is a “demand of our faith” that they be “prevented from taking place.”