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Analysis & Commentary - The Long War Journal

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1st May 2016 – The Long War Journal

AQAP says it withdrew from Mukalla to protect residents

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has published a two-page statement online confirming the group’s withdrawal from the Yemeni port city of Mukalla that occurred one week ago. AQAP members and supporters have discussed the retreat on social media in the days since, but the organization did not officially comment until its statement yesterday. more...

30th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State claims dozens of troops killed in suicide assault in western Anbar

Bill Roggio

The Islamic State took responsibility for the killing of dozens of Iraqi security personnel in a suicide assault on a police station in a western Anbar province town which was recently liberated from the jihadist organization. more...

28th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda-linked cleric leads new recruiting campaign for jihadists in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Sheikh Abdallah Muhammad al Muhaysini, one of the most influential jihadist ideologues in Syria, has launched a new recruiting campaign that aims to indoctrinate thousands of young men. The mobilization effort, named “Take Up Arms, Do Not Sit Still,” began online and throughout Syria on Apr. 20. more...

27th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

US military searches for Kabul Attack Network members

Bill Roggio

The US military made an unusual public plea for information yesterday in its hunt for eight members of a terrorist network which is plotting attacks in four provinces in eastern Afghanistan. The organization, known as the Kabul Attack Network, is comprised of fighters from various jihadist groups operating in the country, and has endured for years. more...

26th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent targets LGBT activist, friend in Bangladesh

Thomas Joscelyn

A team of several jihadists killed a LGBT activist, Xulhaz Mannan, and his friend in Bangladesh’s capital of Dhaka yesterday. The men were reportedly hacked to death with machetes. more...

26th April 2016 – Quoted by Mark Pomerleau - The Hill

Can ‘leadership decapitation’ strikes defeat ISIS?

Bill Roggio

Recent actions by the U.S.-led military effort against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has reignited a much-debated component of counterterrorism policy called "leadership decapitation," which aims to dismantle organizations from the top down by taking out high-ranking officials — thus leaving groups in a state of leaderless disarray. Within the last month or so, the Defense Department has announced it has killed ISIS's minister of war and the group's supposed No. 2, known by many various noms de guerre. "[W]e are systemically eliminating ISIL's Cabinet," Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told reporters in March (using another acronym for the group). more...

25th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Arab coalition enters AQAP stronghold in port city of Mukalla, Yemen

Thomas Joscelyn

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia has entered the southern Yemeni port city of Mukalla, which has been a major hub of operations for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) since early April 2015. Airstrikes helped pave the way for ground forces from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Yemeni government to enter Mukalla in the past 24 hours. more...

25th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State highlights ‘first camp of the Caliphate in Somalia’

Bill Roggio

The Islamic State touted a small training camp and announced its first attack in Somalia as part of the its push establish a presence in the country. more...

25th April 2016 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

FDD senior fellows Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn discuss al-Qaeda's fights in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and Libya. more...

23rd April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State gains ground from al Qaeda in Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp

Thomas Joscelyn

The Yarmouk refugee camp in the Syrian capital of Damascus has witnessed fierce battles between the Islamic State and Al Nusrah Front in recent weeks. Multiple reports say the Islamic State has been gaining ground from Al Nusrah, which is an official branch of al Qaeda’s international organization. more...

22nd April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Taliban touts Bergdahl swap as key ‘achievement’

Thomas Joscelyn

The Taliban says the exchange of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five top Taliban commanders in 2014 was a major “achievement” in its war against the West and its allies. The claim was made in a lengthy video released on the Taliban’s official website, Voice of Jihad, earlier this month. more...

22nd April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Syrian jihadist group Sham al Islam appoints new leader

Bill Roggio

Harakat Sham al Islam, a Moroccan-founded group allied with al Qaeda and other Syrian jihadist organizations, appointed a new leader after its previous emir resigned due to “his health and work-related issues.” The jihadist group, founded by former Guantanamo Bay detainees, is listed by the US government as a specially designated global terrorist entity, and is known to operate a training camp in Syria. more...

22nd April 2016 – Quoted by Shane Harris - The Daily Beast

Parents Sue Assad for Son’s Beheading by ISIS

Thomas Joscelyn

There may be some justice after all for Steven Sotloff, the journalist whose gruesome killing at the hands of an ISIS executioner was seen around the world in a propaganda video in 2014. more...

20th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State fighters retreat from bases outside Derna, Libya

Thomas Joscelyn

Fighters belonging to the Islamic State’s arm in Libya have reportedly withdrawn from their positions on the outskirts of the city of Derna. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s loyalists were opposed by rival jihadists inside the city. Airstrikes by the Libyan Army, the US and Egypt have also repeatedly hit the so-called “caliphate’s” fighting positions in the area over the past year and a half. more...

20th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Pakistani Taliban faction kills 7 policemen guarding polio vaccination team

Bill Roggio

A faction of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, or TTP, claimed credit for two attacks in Karachi that targeted policemen as they guarded members of a polio vaccination team. The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan has targeted polio vaccination teams in Pakistan’s major cities in the past. more...

19th April 2016 – Quoted by Shane Dixon Kavanaugh - Vocativ

Afghanistan’s Endless War And Its Staggering Toll On Civilians

Bill Roggio

The Taliban’s deadly assault in Kabul on Tuesday, which the Afghan Interior Ministry said killed 64 people and injured more than 300 others, was aimed at an elite security force paid to protect government officials, the militant group claimed. But the majority of those struck by the car bomb detonated during the height of rush hour were civilians, reflecting a grim reality on the ground. more...

19th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

AQAP says it wanted to debate the Islamic State

Thomas Joscelyn

A jihadist media outfit has released a video and a statement allegedly documenting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) attempts to debate Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s men in Yemen. more...

19th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Taliban kills dozens in suicide assault in Kabul

Bill Roggio

The Taliban targeted a unit responsible for providing security for Afghan officials in a coordinated suicide assault in the Afghan capital today. The Taliban claimed credit for the deadly attack, in which at least 28 people were killed and more that 300 were wounded, according to reports on the ground. more...

19th April 2016 – Quoted by Carlo Munoz, Guy Taylor - The Washington Times

Taliban suicide attack in Kabul renews debate on Afghanistan troop cuts

Bill Roggio

A devastating Taliban suicide attack that killed at least 28 people and wounded more than 300 others Tuesday in the heart of Kabul has sent concerns soaring that Afghanistan’s struggling security forces will be overmatched in the summer fighting season, which many believe will be among the bloodiest on record. more...

18th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

US transfers 9 Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia

Thomas Joscelyn

The Department of Defense (DOD) announced on Apr. 16 that nine Guantanamo detainees, all from Yemen, have been transferred to Saudi Arabia. more...

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