Bill and Joe are back with an update on the latest from Israel and Gaza. Today they’re also joined by their FDD colleague and Turkey expert, Sinan Ciddi, to unpack just how deep Turkey’s relationship is with Hamas.
Another caliph is dead. A new one, Abu Hafs al-Hashimi al-Quraishi, has been appointed.
In recent weeks, a Taliban delegation led by Zabihullah Mujahir visited Turkey to meet with various officials including senior Hamas members.
Shabaab killed at least 100 people at the same place where it killed upwards of 500 civilians almost exactly five years ago.
The U.S. Treasury Department announced today that two money men working for al Qaeda and Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS) have been designated. The designations are part of a broader U.S. effort to sanction individuals and entities taking part in the Syrian war. Other extremists and parts of Bashar al-Assad’s regime were also designated and sanctioned as part of the campaign.
Two prominent jihadist ideologues, Sheikh Abdullah al-Muhaysini and Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, are engaged in a war of words over Erdoğan’s Turkey. The relationship between the jihadists in Syria and Turkey has long been a point of contention and the heated rhetoric reveals that it isn’t likely to subside soon.
Hosts Tom Joscelyn and Bill Roggio discuss al Qaeda’s problems in Syria, where a series of disputes have upset the group’s chain of command.
In the span of four days, the Al Qaeda branch has claimed the use of two suicide car bombings on Somali and Turkish military bases in two different areas of Somalia.
After many years of conflict in Syria and Libya, the involvement of Turkey, Russia and other powers is leading to increasingly sophisticated clashes between the latest UAV and air defense technology. The use of new technology has ramifications for future conflicts in the Middle East and provides an emerging model for how regional powers are fighting proxy wars to redraw the balance of power in the region.
Recently, Hezbollah has suffered losses it has not seen in years of fighting in Syria.
The U.S. Treasury Department has announced a new round of counterterrorism designations targeting the Islamic State’s support networks in Turkey, Afghanistan and the Gulf.
The bombing came as Turkey also shelled the city. It is likely that as the Turkish advance continues, the Islamic State will further exploit the chaos inside northern Syria to regroup and conduct more attacks.
The rising of Islamic State sleeper cells could become more common as the Kurdish-dominated SDF is diverted to the newly announced Turkish invasion of northern Syria.
In a message released on Feb. 5, al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri harshly criticizes the jihadists in Syria. He says they are engaged in a misguided “competition” for “imagined authority” over territory that is under the oversight “of secular Turkish checkpoints.”
Abu Hammam al-Shami and Dr. Sami al-Uraydi have rejected a proposal that they say would create a new military council in northern Syria under the leadership of an Assad regime dissident. The proposal was allegedly put forth by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham’s leaders, whom al-Shami and al-Uraydi have quarreled with in the past.
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.
Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has cut a deal with Bashar al-Assad’s regime to exchange thousands of residents in Kefraya and al-Fouah, two predominately Shiite towns in the northern province of Idlib, for 1,500 prisoners held in Assad’s prisons.
US-backed Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) reportedly killed the Islamic State executioner Talip Akkurt, known by his nom de guerre Abu Talha al Turki, who burned two Turkish soldiers alive in Syria in 2016. Al Turki was reported dead following a June 7 SDF attack in Deir Ezzor’s Hajin town. Since Feb. 2018, al Turki was […]
Since late April, Shabaab has released a series of videos emphasizing its place in al Qaeda’s global network. Two of the videos were recorded by the group’s emir, Abu Ubaydah Ahmad Umar, a normally reclusive figure. Abu Ubaydah refers to the Taliban’s emir as the “Commander of the Faithful” and Ayman al Zawahiri as the “father-emir” while addressing the mujahideen in Syria and Yemen.
The US Treasury Department has further exposed the Islamic State’s international network by designating three facilitators as terrorists. The men have operated in the Philippines, Somalia, Turkey and elsewhere. One of them operates a business in Turkey that has acquired drone components for the so-called caliphate.
The US Treasury Department designated six Taliban-Haqqani figures as terrorists today. Treasury’s identifying information locates five of the six — including three senior Taliban finance officials and the deputy leader of the group’s military commission — inside Pakistan. At least two of the newly-sanctioned men have ties to al Qaeda.
Zoobia Shahnaz allegedly defrauded financial institutions as part of a scheme to fund the Islamic State. She is also accused of seeking to join the so-called caliphate this past summer. Shahnaz was stopped for questioning at JFK International Airport on July 31, but not arrested until this week.
Abdul Hakim al Tatari, a Russian Tatar member of the former Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, joined the Islamic State’s Wilayat Khurasan before migrating to Syria. He was later killed in the battles around Baiji, Iraq, just days after arriving to Islamic State-held territory.
The US has released a video from Hamza bin Laden’s wedding, providing a more recent image of Osama’s heir than was previously available. The video was recovered during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in May 2011. FDD’s Long War Journal assesses that the wedding likely took place inside Iran, where Hamza was detained until being released sometime in 2010.
On Aug. 29, the Treasury Department announced that Salim Mustafa Muhammad al-Mansur had been added to the US government’s list of specially designated global terrorists. The move was made in conjunction with the Iraqi government. Al-Mansur served as the Islamic State’s “finance emir for Mosul,” Iraq as of earlier this year, but he has “moved to Turkey.”
The Department of Justice announced on June 29 that Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud pleaded guilty nearly two years ago to training with and fighting for Al Nusrah Front in Syria. Al Nusrah “instructed” Mohamud “to return to the US and commit an act of terrorism.” He admittedly planned to kill American “military officers or other government employees or people in uniform.”
CENTCOM announced today that “three senior foreign fighters” in the Islamic State were killed in recent weeks. Two of them were reportedly involved in the group’s “external operations” and one of them was a trainer in the “Cubs of the Caliphate” program, which indoctrinates youth. The third jihadist helped oversee the Islamic State’s use of small drones.
The State Department announced yesterday that two Canadian citizens have been added to the US government’s list designated terrorists. Tarek Sakr has been “linked” to al Qaeda’s “affiliate” in Syria and Farah Mohamed Shirdon is a member of the Islamic State. According to press reports, jihadists associated with Sakr are suspected of playing a role in the kidnappings of two Americans in Syria.
The Pentagon announced that 11 al Qaeda operatives were killed in a pair of airstrikes near Idlib, Syria earlier this month. One of them, Abu Hani al Masri, is described as “a legacy al Qaeda terrorist with ties to the group’s senior leaders, including Ayman al Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden.”
The Islamic State has been battling Turkey and allied groups north of Al Bab, Syria since Nov. 2016. The US was reluctant, at first, to support Turkey’s ground operations near the town. But that changed after Turkey turned to Russia for aerial support. The Syrian regime and its allies also launched an offensive south of Al Bab earlier this month.