The Latest - Al Qaeda

Al Qaeda Latest Mentions

1st January 2018 – Quoted by Kaplan Herald

An arm of al-Qaeda has reaped tens of tens of millions to finance assaults in Africa

Yaya J. Fanusie

An affiliate of al-Qaeda that has executed several attacks across Africa — and is considered the organization‘s wealthiest branch — is sitting on millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains that help fund its deadly activities across the region, a new report said. more...

22nd December 2017 – Quoted by Leigh Cuen - International Business Times

Terrorists Are Increasingly Interested Bitcoin

Yaya J. Fanusie

Former Central Intelligence Agency analyst Yaya Fanusie, currently the director of illicit finance analysis at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, published a report Thursday arguing more jihadist groups are fundraising with cryptocurrency as prices continue to skyrocket. more...

21st December 2017 – Quoted by Michael del Castillo - Coindesk

Think Tank Links Rising Bitcoin Price to Terrorist Use

Yaya J. Fanusie

Groups affiliated with Islamic extremism are showing an increased willingness to raise funds with bitcoin, according to a U.S. national security advisor. more...

21st December 2017 – Quoted by David Dawkins - Express

Jihadis bank on bitcoin for fresh flow of terror funding

Yaya J. Fanusie

Yaya J. Fanusie, the director of analysis at US think tank the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance says that although untraceable cash remains the global terror network’s preferred medium for moving funds, recent online activity shows that jihadist groups are turning to bitcoin digital currency to attract funds from supporters. more...

19th December 2017 – Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - Voice of America

North Africa Braces for Impact as Islamic State Fighters Return

North African officials say a large number of foreign recruits who joined the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq have returned to their countries and remain loyal to the extremist organization. They fear the returnees are planning to unleash terrorist attacks in the coming months, adding to a jihadist menace that includes well-entrenched al-Qaida affiliates. more...

6th December 2017 – Quoted by Daniel Byman - Lawfare

An al-Qaeda Setback in Syria?

Thomas Joscelyn

Unheralded amid the recent political chaos in Washington and upheavals in the Middle East was a potential bit of good news: revelations that the al-Qaeda core’s split from its Syrian affiliate did not resemble a gentle parting but rather an acrimonious divorce. The revelations, which emerged from a statement by a senior Syrian jihadist, a public chastisement from Ayman Zawahiri, and then and a back-and-forth involving various jihadists in Syria, suggests that al-Qaeda wields less influence than previously feared and that U.S. efforts to isolate al-Qaeda in Syria are bearing some fruit. more...

6th December 2017 – Quoted by Javier E. David - CNBC

Al Qaeda’s arm in N. Africa has made around $100 million through ransom and drug trading, study says

Yaya J. Fanusie, Alex Entz

An affiliate of al-Qaeda that has executed several attacks across Africa — and is considered the organization's wealthiest branch — is sitting on millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains that help fund its deadly activities across the region, a new report said. more...

22nd November 2017 – Quoted by Mosaic Magazine

Bin Laden’s Prescient View of Islamic State’s Weaknesses

Thomas Joscelyn

Al-Qaeda’s Iraqi branch renamed itself Islamic State in Iraq (ISI) and began distancing itself from its parent organization in 2006. more...

19th November 2017 – Quoted by Mike LaChance - Legal Insurrection

Obama Concealed Strength of al-Qaeda Before 2012 Election

At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the big moment was Joe Biden triumphantly declaring “Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.” It turns out that in order to make that narrative stick, Obama had to downplay the actual strength of al-Qaeda. more...

19th November 2017 – Quoted by Arab News

Bin Laden files ‘will rewrite history of Iraq War’, conference told

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

Newly released files from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan will rewrite the history of the Iraq War, a conference in Washington has heard. more...

18th November 2017 – Quoted by Scott Johnson - Powerline

From The Bin Laden Files

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

Yesterday the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and FDD’s Long War Journal hosted a panel discussion of the massive cache of Osama bin Laden documents released on November 1 courtesy of CIA Director Mike Pompeo. The conversation featured the incredibly dogged New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi as well as FDD’s Tom Joscelyn and Bill Roggio, who were given the opportunity to preview the records, images, audio, and video files included in the release. The discussion was moderated by Kim Dozier, executive editor of The Cipher Brief and author of Breathing the Fire: Fighting to Survive and Get Back to the Fight. more...

18th November 2017 – Quoted by Saagar Enjeti - The Daily Caller

‘Cherry Picked’: Obama Downplayed Al-Qaida Strength In Lead Up To 2012 Election

Thomas Joscelyn

The Obama administration deliberately sought to downplay how robust the al-Qaida network was in the lead up to the 2012 election by selectively releasing documents that enforced a preferred narrative, The Weekly Standard reports, citing experts at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and New York Times Correspondent Rukmini Callimachi. more...

18th November 2017 – Quoted by Rick Moran - PJ Media

Bin Laden Docs Show Obama Misled, Politicized Intelligence During 2012 Campaign

"Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive" was a favorite mantra of the Obama campaign during the 2012 election. The implication was that al-Qaeda was "decimated," as President Obama said several times. more...

17th November 2017 – Quoted by Jenna Lifhits - The Weekly Standard

New York Times Reporter: Obama Administration Misled on al Qaeda

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

A top foreign correspondent at the New York Times said Friday that the Obama administration deliberately downplayed al Qaeda’s strength in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election. more...

11th November 2017 – Quoted by Iran Focus

Why Did Obama Hide Documents That Link Iran With Terror Group?

Clifford D. May

A large number of documents that were seized during the raid on Abbottabad in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden were recently made public. The documents which included photos and computer files show that there are undeniable links between Iran and the terrorist al-Qaeda group. more...

11th November 2017 – Quoted by Al Arabiya English

Why Obama put Bin Laden’s documents linking Iran, Qatar under lock and key

Clifford D. May

Clifford May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said that days after the release of Osama bin Laden's documents out of his residence in Abbottabad in Pakistan, it became obvious why US President Barack Obama didn’t publish those documents which links Al-Qaida with Iran and Qatar. more...

7th November 2017 – Quoted by Hannah Parry - Daily Mail

Osama bin Laden’s son calls upon Muslims to ‘take revenge on the Americans’ for killing his father

Osama bin Laden's 'favourite' son has called on Muslims around the world to launch terror attacks on the US for killing his father. more...

6th November 2017 – Quoted by Stephen F. Hayes - The Weekly Standard

The Big Reveal: The Story of How 470,000 Documents from Osama Bin Laden’s Compound Got Into the Open

Thomas Joscelyn

The CIA has finally released 470,000 files recovered from the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound. Here's why it took so long. more...

5th November 2017 – Quoted by Agencia EFE

Pornography and “malware” among bin Laden’s files

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) disclosed a collection of documents of who, after planning the attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington, became the most wanted terrorist in the world. more...

4th November 2017 – Quoted by Asharq Al-Awsat

Abbottabad Documents Reveal How Bin Laden Was Influenced by Muslim Brotherhood

A journal made public by the CIA and apparently handwritten by one of Osama bin Laden's daughters offers a glimpse into how the al-Qaeda leader viewed the world around him and reveals his deep interest in the so-called 2011 “Arab Spring” months before he was killed in a US raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011. more...


Clifford D. May

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7th March 2017 - 11:59 AM

After the Islamic State: Consequences and Beneficiaries

On the heels of the Pentagon delivering its draft plan to destroy the Islamic State to the White House, an important question remains on who would benefit from such a defeat. How can the White House and Pentagon craft such a strategy without emboldening al-Qaeda? How will Iran and Syria be impacted by any denigration of IS control? Who fills the vacuum? How should the administration and others assess the situation?

27th February 2014 - 12:00 PM

Terrorism Finance in Turkey: A Growing Concern

A Conversation with John Cassara, Svante Cornell, Jonathan Schanzer, Tom Joscelyn, and John Hannah

Turkey has been rocked by a sweeping corruption scandal. Prime Minister Erdogan has responded by reassigning policemen and prosecutors, and clamping down on press freedom. While these actions have prompted only muted criticisms from the West, some of the cases raise troubling questions about terrorist activity in Turkey – including financial ties to Iran, Hamas, and even al-Qaeda figures. FDD has produced research recently on these issues. But many questions remain.