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15th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Taliban destroys Afghan army helicopter in IED attack at military base

Bill Roggio

The Taliban destroyed an Afghan National Army helicopter as it landed on a remote Army base in the northeastern province of Kunar late last month. The Afghan government previously claimed the helicopter was damaged in an “emergency landing,” but the Taliban recorded the attack on video. more...

15th April 2016 – Quoted by Catherine Putz - The Diplomat

Is al-Qaeda Back in Afghanistan?

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

Al-Qaeda is ostensibly the reason the United States got involved militarily in Afghanistan more than a decade ago. But as the war in Afghanistan progressed, al-Qaeda receded as a target and seemingly as an active player. When Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011 in neighboring Pakistan, the group seemed to be at a nadir. But this week, acting Afghan Defense Minister Masoom Stanekzai told CNN that al-Qaeda was resurgent. more...

13th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

US military admits al Qaeda is stronger in Afghanistan than previously estimated

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

A senior US general in Afghanistan recently admitted the US military and intelligence services’ long-held belief that al Qaeda has only 50 to 100 operatives based in the country is incorrect, stating that number must be revised upward. more...

12th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Taliban name Afghan spring offensive after founder and first emir Mullah Omar

Bill Roggio

The “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” the official name of the Taliban, announced the commencement of the 2016 spring offensive, and named it after Mullah Omar, its founder and first leader whose death was disclosed in the summer of 2015. more...

11th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Taliban: Mullah Zakir denies reports he called for negotiations with the West

Bill Roggio

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the official name of the Taliban, issued a statement denying that senior leader and former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mullah Adbul Qayoum Zakir has called for negotiations with the Afghan government and the West. more...

11th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Senior Islamic State Khorasan leaders defect to Taliban

Bill Roggio

Several members of the Islamic State Khorasan Provinces’ “central council” as well as other senior and mid-level leaders based in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar have broken their oath to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi and have rejoined the Taliban. more...

8th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

US military kills 2 Swedish Islamic State fighters in Iraq

Bill Roggio

The US military said it killed two Swedish nationals who were part of the Islamic State’s “cadre of foreign fighters” in separate airstrikes. One of the two Swedes killed in the strikes served as the deputy emir of the Islamic State’s “Anwar Awlaki brigade.” Swedish jihadists have played key roles in al Qaeda in the past. more...

8th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

US strikes al Qaeda’s ‘Khorasan Group’ in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The US struck senior al Qaeda leaders in Syria twice this week. “These airstrikes were focused on targeting key Al Qaeda leaders who pose a threat to the US, our allies and our national security interests,” CENTCOM announced today. CENTCOM added that the slain jihadists were “core” al Qaeda members. more...

8th April 2016 – Quoted by Armin Rosen - Tablet Magazine

Was Iran Involved in Sept. 11? A Federal Judge Awards Victims $10.5 Billion in Damages.

Thomas Joscelyn

On March 9, the U.S. District Court in the southern district of New York reached a default judgment ordering Iran to pay some $10 billion to the relatives of victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as well as to an insurance company. A default judgment is not a determination of guilt, or even a finding on the merits. But the ruling hints at one of the myriad risks of empowering an unpredictable regime with a violently anti-American ideological bent. more...

8th April 2016 – The Weekly Standard

Two More ‘High’ Risk Detainees Transferred from Gitmo

Thomas Joscelyn

Secretary of State John Kerry praised the Republic of Senegal today “for offering humanitarian resettlement to" two now former Guantanamo detainees. As was the case when the administration transferred detainees to Uruguay in late 2014 and Ghana earlier this year, the Guantanamo jihadists are being portrayed almost as victims in need of rescue from the American government. more...

7th April 2016 – Quoted by Alessandria Masi - International Business Times

Al Qaeda Winning Hearts And Minds Over ISIS In Yemen With Social Services

Thomas Joscelyn

Half of Yemen’s 24.4 million people don’t have access to clean water — the most basic of human needs. This stark statistic is in clearest evidence in the country’s Hadramaut region, where oil flows freely but water taps run dry and tribal councils are powerless to improve people’s lives. But there’s a group working to change that. more...

6th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front confirms al Qaeda veteran killed in US airstrike

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Nusrah Front confirmed today that Abu Firas al Suri, a veteran jihadist who served al Qaeda since the 1980s, was killed in an American airstrike on Apr. 3. The group eulogized Abu Firas in a statement released online that was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group. more...

5th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Syrian fighter jet downed in Aleppo province

Thomas Joscelyn

A Syrian fighter jet was reportedly downed in the Aleppo province earlier today. “A warplane was exposed to [a] surface-to-air missile during its reconnaissance mission over the countryside of Aleppo which led to its downfall,” the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported. more...

5th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Taliban appoints Mullah Omar’s brother, son to key leadership positions

Bill Roggio

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the official name of the Taliban, appointed Mullah Omar’s brother and eldest son to key leadership positions in the jihadist group’s executive council. more...

4th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

US transfers 2 Guantanamo detainees to the Republic of Senegal

Thomas Joscelyn

The Department of Defense and State Department announced today that two Libyans have been transferred from Guantanamo to the Republic of Senegal in West Africa. more...

4th April 2016 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Thomas Joscelyn

FDD senior fellow Thomas Joscelyn discusses the latest al-Qaeda news and work from The Long War Journal. more...

4th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Treasury Department: Charity run by Scottish-born jihadist an al Qaeda ‘front organization’

Thomas Joscelyn

At first blush, Al Rahmah Welfare Organization (RWO) is a charity that serves orphans, widows and the downtrodden in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and elsewhere. The group’s web page and social media sites are filled with projects for prospective donors to fund: water wells, an “Educators [sic] Teaching Course” for would-be instructors at one of RWO’s Koran schools, emergency relief for refugees, the building of orphanages and mosques, as well as “many more humanitarian works.” more...

3rd April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Jihadists say airstrike killed veteran al Qaeda leader in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Jihadists on social media reported earlier today that Abu Firas al Suri, who served al Qaeda since the 1980s, was killed in an airstrike in Syria. more...

3rd April 2016 – The Long War Journal

US airstrike targets senior leader of Shabaab’s security and intelligence service

Bill Roggio

The US military targeted a senior al Qaeda leader who also serves in the Amniyat, a key security and intelligence organization within Shabaab, al Qaeda’s offical branch in Somalia, in an airstrike last week. The US military has not confirmed the death of Hassan Ali Dhoore, the dual hatted al Qaeda and Shabaab leader, who was the focus of the airstrike. more...

3rd April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front, allies launch offensive south of Aleppo

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Nusrah Front and allied rebel groups launched an offensive in the countryside south of the city of Aleppo on April 1. The battle began when three Al Nusrah suicide bombers struck positions occupied by Shiite militias and Syrian regime forces near the Talat al-‘Iss hill. more...

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