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Analysis & Commentary - The Long War Journal

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18th August 2016 – The Long War Journal

Jihadists who attacked Russian police appear in Islamic State video

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has released a video purportedly showing the two young jihadists who assaulted Russian policemen yesterday in Balashikha, which is east of Moscow. They are identified as Uthman Mardalov and Salim Israilov. more...

17th August 2016 – The Long War Journal

An alleged ‘agent’ of Iran transferred from Guantanamo to the UAE

Thomas Joscelyn

On Aug. 15, the Pentagon announced the transfer of 15 Guantanamo detainees to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Twelve of the men are Yemenis and the remaining three are citizens of Afghanistan. more...

15th August 2016 – The Long War Journal

Powerful jihadist faction reconciles with the Taliban

Bill Roggio

A powerful Taliban faction that broke away from the main group has reconciled and swore allegiance to the Taliban’s new emir, Mullah Haibatullah. The reunion of the faction, known as the Mullah Dadullah Mahaz or Mullah Dadullah Front, is the latest success in the Taliban’s effort to bring wayward groups and commanders back into the fold after divisions over the death of its founder and first emir, Mullah Omar. more...

14th August 2016 – The Long War Journal

Zawahiri compares members of the Muslim Brotherhood to chickens

Thomas Joscelyn

As Sahab, al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, released a new message from Ayman al Zawahiri yesterday. Zawahiri’s speech is apparently the first of a series titled, “Brief Messages to a Victorious Ummah [worldwide community of Muslims].” more...

13th August 2016 – The Long War Journal

US military confirms air strike killed Islamic State’s emir for Khorasan province

Bill Roggio

The US military announced yesterday that it killed Hafiz Saeed Khan, the Islamic State’s emir for Khorasan province, in an airstrike in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar three weeks ago. more...

11th August 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda highlights ‘Qari Imran Camp’ in South Waziristan

Bill Roggio

Al Qaeda released a video of its fighters training at a makeshift camp in South Waziristan in 2013, long after the Pakistani military claimed the tribal agency was cleared of jihadists. more...

11th August 2016 – The Long War Journal

Opposition to Islamic State claims more ground in Sirte, Libya

Thomas Joscelyn

Fighters opposed to the Islamic State in Sirte, Libya claim to have gained more ground inside the city in the past few days. The US has conducted dozens of airstrikes in support of their campaign. more...

8th August 2016 – The Long War Journal

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Islamic State claim suicide attack at Pakistani hospital

Bill Roggio

Both the Islamic State and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed credit for today’s suicide attack at a hospital in the Pakistani city of Quetta that killed scores of people. While the competing claims cannot be verified, both groups are capable of executing the mass-casualty suicide assault. more...

7th August 2016 – The Long War Journal

Jihadists and other rebels claim to have broken through siege of Aleppo

Thomas Joscelyn

Shortly after Al Nusrah Front announced on July 28 that it was relaunching its operations under the name Jabhat Fath Al Sham (“Conquest of the Levant Front”), jihadists, Islamists and other Sunni rebel groups began an offensive to break the siege of Aleppo. more...

3rd August 2016 – The Long War Journal

US State Department lists Jamaat-ul-Ahrar as terrorist group

Bill Roggio

The US State Department added Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a dangerous faction of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, to its list of global terrorists organizations earlier today. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has been behind numerous deadly attacks inside Pakistan and is closely allied with the Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda. more...

1st August 2016 – The Long War Journal

US airstrikes target Islamic State stronghold in Libya

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

The US military acknowledged today that it has targeted the Islamic State’s Libyan arm in the city of Sirte. The air strikes are part of an effort to deal a blow to the jihadist group in its largest base of operations inside Libya. more...

29th July 2016 – The Long War Journal

Analysis: Deterring Gulf States from backing the new Al Nusrah Front

David Andrew Weinberg

Al Nusrah Front – Al Qaeda’s largest branch in its history – announced yesterday that it was changing its name to the Levant Conquest Front, a group it claimed would have “no relationship with any foreign party.” more...

28th July 2016 – The Long War Journal

Iraq’s PM establishes Popular Mobilization Front as a permanent ‘independent military formation’

Bill Roggio, Amir Toumaj

The Iraqi government has officially incorporated the Iranian-supported Popular Mobilization Front (PMF) as an “independent military formation” in Iraqi’s security forces. The move, which was approved by Iraq’s prime minister in February, is disturbing as it establishes the PMF as a parallel security organization akin to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Influential PMF commanders have openly expressed their affinity for Iran’s supreme leader and the head of IRGC’s Qods Force. more...

28th July 2016 – The Long War Journal

Analysis: Al Nusrah Front rebrands itself as Jabhat Fath Al Sham

Thomas Joscelyn

Abu Muhammad al Julani, the emir of Al Nusrah Front, delivered a short statement today concerning his organization’s future. He read his message in a video that was rebroadcasted by television stations throughout the Middle East, publicly showing his face for first time. In previous appearances on Al Jazeera and other stations, Julani’s image was obscured. more...

27th July 2016 – The Long War Journal

Terrorists in Normandy swore allegiance to Baghdadi before attacking church

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has released a video purportedly featuring the two terrorists responsible for attacking a church in Normandy, France yesterday. The assailants killed an elderly priest during a morning mass in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, took several people hostage, and were then gunned down by police. more...

26th July 2016 – The Long War Journal

Attacks in France and Germany claimed by Islamic State propaganda arm

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has claimed responsibility for two attacks in Europe. The first was a suicide bombing in Ansbach, Germany on July 24. More than one dozen people were injured, some of them seriously, when a bomber self-detonated outside of a music festival. more...

23rd July 2016 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State claims suicide bombings at Kabul protest

Bill Roggio

The Islamic State claimed credit for a double suicide attack today in Kabul that killed more than 60 people, wounded at least 200 more and caused much of the city to be shut down. more...

22nd July 2016 – The Long War Journal

Presence of French special forces in Libya sets off controversy

Thomas Joscelyn

A helicopter carrying three French soldiers crashed near Benghazi, Libya earlier this week. The French government subsequently confirmed that all three soldiers, along with their Libyan counterparts, were killed. The circumstances surrounding the crash remain murky, but jihadists and Islamists inside Libya have been rattling their sabres ever since the presence of French special forces was confirmed. more...

21st July 2016 – The Long War Journal

Taliban seizes district in northern Afghanistan

Bill Roggio

The Taliban took control of the district of Qala-i-Zal in Kunduz province after an operation the put Afghan forces under siege, Afghan officials and the Taliban confirmed. The district is the latest to fall under Taliban control. more...

20th July 2016 – The Long War Journal

Treasury designates 3 senior al Qaeda members in Iran

Thomas Joscelyn

The Treasury Department announced today that three senior al Qaeda members have been added to the US government’s list of designated terrorists. All three of them are “located in Iran.” more...

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