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Analysis & Commentary - The Long War Journal

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28th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Jihadist coalition claims control of Idlib

Thomas Joscelyn

Jihadist groups belonging to the Jaysh al Fateh coalition say they have seized control of the city of Idlib, or at least much of it, from Bashar al Assad’s forces. more...

27th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Shabaab suicide assault team storms hotel in Somali capital

Bill Roggio

A heavily armed group of fighters from al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa stormed a hotel and seized control of it in the Somali capital of Mogadishu today. The attack is the latest by Shabaab against high-profile and relatively secure targets in the city. more...

27th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Jihadist coalition captures checkpoints around city of Idlib

Thomas Joscelyn

Jaysh al Fateh, the jihadist coalition established for the battle of Idlib, has captured more than a dozen checkpoints from Syrian regime forces. The alliance’s member groups have posted a steady stream of propaganda online after launching the offensive earlier this week. The propaganda messages — including maps, videos, and pictures — show the jihadists controlling key checkpoints and other ground in and around the city. more...

26th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Saudi Arabia begins Operation Decisive Storm in Yemen

Oren Adaki

Saudi Arabia and Arab allies began an airstrike campaign in Yemen at midnight last night in response to the growing threat from Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels, who have expanded their military control southward towards the port of Aden since their seizure of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, in late September. more...

26th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Boko Haram kidnaps hundreds from Damasak

Laura Grossman

West African terrorist outfit Boko Haram reportedly kidnapped over four hundred young women and children as it fled from the northeastern Nigerian town of Damasak earlier this month. more...

25th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

State Department adds Islamic Caucasus Emirate leader to terrorist list

Thomas Joscelyn

The State Department announced today that Aliaskhab Kebekov (also known as Ali Abu Muhammad al Dagestani) has been added to the US government’s list of specially designated global terrorists. more...

25th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

US begins airstrikes against Islamic State in Tikrit, supports Shiite militias

Bill Roggio

The US-led military Coalition in Iraq is openly supporting Iranian-backed Shiite militias and Iraqi forces who are battling Islamic State fighters entrenched in Tikrit. more...

24th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda and allies form coalition to battle Syrian regime in Idlib

Thomas Joscelyn

On Mar. 19, the al Qaeda leader known as Sanafi al Nasr returned to Twitter after an absence of more than a month and half. Nasr is both an official in al Qaeda’s global network and a senior strategist in the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. more...

23rd March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Analysis: Boko Haram loses ground, but remains in the fight

Laura Grossman

Nigeria and its allies appear to be making headway in the fight against Boko Haram. However, these initial victories may not mean that the region is closer to ending its fight against violent radical Islam. more...

20th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State Claims Suicide Attacks in Sana’a Mosques

Bill Roggio

The coordinated suicide assault is the first high-profile attack by the Islamic State inside Yemen. more...

20th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Analysis: Why AQAP quickly denied any connection to mosque attacks

Thomas Joscelyn

Almost as quickly as the Islamic State’s branch in Yemen claimed responsibility for suicide attacks at mosques attended by Houthis in Sana’a earlier today, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) denied any connection to the coordinated bombings. more...

19th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State Reportedly Claims Responsibility for Tunis Massacre

Thomas Joscelyn

Twenty of the victims were visiting from Britain, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, and Spain, which the Islamic State referred to as “Crusader countries.” more...

19th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

US Kills Pakistani Taliban Commander in Drone Strike

Bill Roggio

Khawray Mehsud served as a bodyguard and close aide to Baitulllah Mehsud, the founder of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. The Taliban said Khawray was a skilled military commander who fought on multiple "fronts" in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. more...

18th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Iranian-Backed Militias Rampaged in Central Iraq After Freeing Town: HRW

Bill Roggio

A Human Rights Watch report says that the militias looted, burned thousands of buildings, and abducted at least 11 people during the Amerli offensive last summer. more...

17th March 2015 – Cited by Ali M. Latifi, Shashank Bengali - The Los Angeles Times

Afghan Officials Acknowledge Islamic State Presence in Their Country

The Afghan government said Tuesday that forces belonging to the Islamic State militant organization have taken root in the country, its first official acknowledgment that the group based in Iraq and Syria had reached so far to the east.. more...

17th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Analysis: Shiite Pakistani Casualties of the Wars in Syria and Iraq

Ali Alfoneh

Seven Pakistani Shiites who were killed while fighting for Bashar al Asad's regime in Syria appear to have been recruited and trained inside Iran. more...

15th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State Overruns Iraqi Army Brigade Headquarters North of Fallujah

Bill Roggio

The Thar Thar area, where the attack took place, is key terrain between Anbar and Salahaddin provinces. The assault on the base comes as fighting has escalated in Anbar's provincial capital of Ramadi. more...

14th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

US Targets Senior Shabaab Intelligence Official in Airstrike

Bill Roggio

The airstrike is said to have targeted Adan Garaar, a senior official in the Amniyat, Shabaab's intelligence and security service that also is responseble for external operations. Garaar's fate is not known. more...

13th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State Spokesman Publicly Accepts Boko Haram’s Allegiance

Thomas Joscelyn

In a new audio speech, the Islamic State's spokesman, Abu Muhammad al Adnani, accepts the pledge of allegiance made by Boko Haram's leader earlier this month. more...

13th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Foreign Suicide Bombers Launch Assault on Ramadi

Bill Roggio

At least 13 suicide bombers, including jihadists from Belgium, Australia, Uzbekistan, Chechnya, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia launched a coordinated assault on Anbar's provincial capital. more...

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