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.”
The Libyan National Army (LNA) claims to have captured Hisham al-Ashmawy, a former Egyptian officer who defected to the jihadists’ cause. Ashmawy has been accused of orchestrating jihadist operations in both Egypt and Libya. The Egyptian government alleges that he has been involved in a series of terrorist attacks targeting officials.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has released a new video that includes the testimony of several “spies” who have allegedly helped the Saudis and Americans hunt down the group’s members. There are reasons to be skeptical of AQAP’s claims, but the organization is clearly concerned that spies will do more damage to its hierarchy.
On Aug. 24, the US Treasury Department designated three Islamic State recruiters as terrorists. The trio appeared in a June 2016 beheading video that was used to recruit fighters from Southeast Asia. The new designation is the latest in a series of moves taken by the US government to target the Islamic State’s global network with financial sanctions and other measures.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an attack on a school for midwives in Jalalabad, Afghanistan yesterday, saying the target was a headquarters for USAID. Despite a focused, US-led counterterrorism campaign against Wilayah Khorasan in Nangarhar, the group retains an operational footprint in eastern Afghanistan.
Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) announced yesterday (July 24) that six Islamic State operatives were killed in targeted strikes since April. The jihadists had allegedly plotted attacks inside Saudi Arabia and Sweden, as well as against the US and American interests.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that struck near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul only minutes after Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum passed through the area.