On Sept. 19, Thomas Joscelyn testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs at a hearing titled, “The Trump Administration’s Afghanistan Policy.” His testimony focused on the close working relationship between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
In a message released earlier this month, Abu Ubaydah Yusuf al-Anabi, a US-designated terrorist, called for sharia governance in Algeria. Al-Anabi is a senior Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb religious figure and has led the group’s “Council of Notables.”
The State Department announced today that it is offering a $1 million reward for information on Hamza bin Laden’s whereabouts. Hamza is the genetic and ideological heir of al Qaeda’s founder and he has been groomed for a leadership position within the organization.
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.