Tag Archives: Thomas Joscelyn

US-led coalition targets Islamic State’s oil and gas network

Combined Joint Force Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) announced today that four members of the Islamic State’s illicit gas and oil network were killed during “operations” on May 26. They were targeted in the Middle Euphrates River Valley. Separately, CJTF-OIR’s local partners seized and destroyed $1.4 million dollars worth of drugs from the so-called caliphate in southern Syria.


Analysis: AQAP remains under pressure

On May 23, Al-Badr Media Foundation announced its presence online, saying it will work to serve the interests of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its supporters in several ways. AQAP remains under pressure and its media output has been degraded by a US-led campaign. Al-Badr is AQAP’s latest attempt to improve the group’s security measures and boost fighter morale.


As US relocates embassy to Jerusalem, al Qaeda leader condemns international system

Al Qaeda has released a message from its leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, that is timed to coincide with the Trump administration’s relocation of the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Zawahiri notes that the decision caused a “big uproar,” but he reminds listeners that Tel Aviv is also supposedly Muslim land. He calls for jihad to uproot the entire international system led by the US and the UN.


ISIS targets elections in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya

Since late April, the Islamic State has claimed a string of operations targeting elections in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The group’s spokesman, Abu al-Hasan al-Muhajir, threatened Iraq’s upcoming election on May 12 and the jihadists are carrying out operations accordingly.


Islamic State continues to battle Assad regime, allies

Since mid-April, the Islamic State and the Assad regime have been engaged in an intense battle in the southern neighborhoods of Damascus. ISIS claims to have killed or wounded hundreds of Assad’s soldiers, but its figures cannot be independently verified. Meanwhile, the so-called caliphate continues to fight the Syrian government and its allies in other areas as well, including in eastern Syria.


Treasury sanctions ISIS facilitator based in the Philippines

The US government has designated Myrna Mabanza, an Islamic State facilitator based in the Philippines, as a terrorist. The Treasury Department identifies Mabanza as a woman in her mid-20s who has worked with some of the Islamic State’s most senior personnel in Southeast Asia and has also served as an “intermediary” to jihadists in Syria.


ISIS suicide bombers target security forces, journalists in Kabul

Two suicide bombers killed dozens inside the Afghan capital today. The first targeted a checkpoint near an Afghan intelligence building, while the second struck journalists and others who rushed to the scene. Reporters Without Borders says it “was the deadliest attack on the media since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.”


Analysis: Islamic State spokesman says ‘new phase’ of jihad has begun

In a lengthy audio message released on Apr. 22, Islamic State spokesman Abu-al-Hasan al-Muhajir claims that the US is retreating from Iraq and Syria. He argues that his group is in a better condition than when the US withdrew its forces from Iraq in 2011. He advises the Islamic State’s members that they should prepare for the war against the Russians and Iranians, who are filling the void left by the Americans.