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.”
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.