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Analysis & Commentary - The Long War Journal

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22nd March 2016 – The Weekly Standard

ISIS Overwhelming Europe’s Counterterrorism Forces

Thomas Joscelyn

The Amaq News Agency, a propaganda arm of the Islamic State (or ISIS), has claimed responsibility for today's attacks in Brussels. The claim is hardly surprising: The Islamic State has had Belgium in its crosshairs since at least 2014. more...

21st March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Veteran Egyptian jihadist now an al Qaeda leader in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Ahmad Salama Mabruk, a veteran Egyptian jihadist who has worked for al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri for decades, has been publicly identified as a senior member of Al Nusrah Front. Mabruk, also known as Abu-al-Faraj al-Masri, is featured in part two of Al Nusrah’s “The Heirs of Glory,” which was released via social media on Mar. 18. The video focuses on the Arab uprisings that began in 2011. more...

20th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda’s strategy five years into the Syrian revolution

Thomas Joscelyn

On Mar. 17, Al Nusrah Front leader Abu Muhammad al Julani released a statement commemorating the fifth anniversary of the uprising against Bashar al Assad’s regime. “We congratulate the people of al Sham [Syria] and the Islamic Ummah [worldwide community of Muslims] on the pass of five years of their blessed revolution and their blessed jihad,” Julani wrote, according to a translation by SITE Intelligence Group. more...

19th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

British hostage discusses American airstrikes on Islamic State’s media kiosks

Thomas Joscelyn

John Cantlie, a British journalist who has been held hostage by the Islamic State since 2012, is featured in a newly released video. The short production, which is three and a half minutes long, shows Cantlie standing in the alleged ruins of an Islamic State media kiosk in Mosul, Iraq. more...

19th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Ayman al Zawahiri’s brother released from Egyptian prison

Thomas Joscelyn

Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of al Qaeda’s emir, was released from an Egyptian prison on Mar. 17. He had been charged with establishing a terrorist group linked to al Qaeda and plotting attacks against various targets inside Egypt, but a court dropped the charges and let him go. more...

16th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State uses 2 women in suicide attack at Nigerian mosque

Bill Roggio

The Islamic State West Africa (ISWA), which is formerly known as Boko Haram, killed more than 20 people in a double suicide attack at a mosque in northern Nigeria. Both suicide bombers were women. ISWA has used women in 105 suicide attacks in Nigeria and neighboring countries since June 2014, according to data compiled by The Long War Journal. more...

16th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda insider returns to Twitter, discusses group’s global leadership

Thomas Joscelyn

An al Qaeda media operative known as Shaybat al Hukama returned to Twitter on Feb. 15. Hukama’s account has been shuttered several times, only to reappear under a new handle after each suspension. Hukama has used his social media accounts to provide new information about al Qaeda’s operations in the past. And this occasion has been no different. more...

16th March 2016 – Quoted by The Tower

U.S. Court Orders Iran to Pay Over $10 Billion to 9/11 Victims

Thomas Joscelyn

A U.S. District Court in New York ordered Iran last Wednesday to pay approximately $10.5 billion total to the families of 9/11 victims and to insurance companies who paid claims resulting from damages incurred during the attacks. more...

15th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Jihadist propaganda outlet denies Islamic State military commander killed in US airstrike

Bill Roggio

A jihadist propaganda outlet that is linked to the Islamic State has denied the US killed Omar al Shishani, a senior military commander, in an airstrike last week. Shishani’s status has been uncertain since the US announced it targeted him last week, and it is still unknown if he is dead, alive, or seriously wounded. more...

13th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front raids rebel group’s headquarters in Idlib province, seizes weapons

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Nusrah Front and the 13th Division, a Syrian rebel group that has received US-made anti-tank TOW missiles, clashed in the past two days. The two sides have fought in Maarat al Numan, a town in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, as well as in the surrounding area. more...

11th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Former Egyptian special forces officer calls on scholars to support al Qaeda’s jihad

Thomas Joscelyn

Hisham Ali Ashmawi, a former Egyptian special forces officer who is openly loyal to al Qaeda, released an audio message earlier this month in which he called on scholars to support the jihadists’ cause. more...

10th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

US adds 2 HIG explosive experts to list of global terrorists

Bill Roggio

The two Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) explosive experts who were designated today are Abdul Saboor and Abdullah Nowbahar. At the end of February 2015, State’s Rewards for Justice program offered $3 million for information leading to Saboor’s arrest, and $2 million for information on Nowbahar. more...

10th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

US special operations forces raid Shabaab in southern Somalia

Bill Roggio

Just days after the US military struck a Shabaab training camp north of Mogadishu, special operations forces and Somali troops launched a raid near the Somali capital overnight. Details are scarce, but Shabaab has reported that one of its fighters was killed in the firefight. Somali officials claimed that 19 Shabaab fighters were killed. more...

9th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

US targeted senior Islamic State military commander in airstrike in Syria

Bill Roggio

The US military said it targeted and may have killed a senior military commander in an airstrike on March 4 in northern Syria. The commander, Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili, who is better known as Omar al Shishani (the Chechen), played an important role in the Islamic State’s military operations, and was listed by the US as a specially designated global terrorist in 2014. more...

8th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

ODNI: 204 former Guantanamo detainees are confirmed or suspected recidivists

Thomas Joscelyn

The number of former Guantanamo detainees confirmed or suspected of rejoining the jihad has grown to 204, according to a summary released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) yesterday. Nearly two-thirds of the jihadists, 128 in total, are at-large. The remaining 76 ex-detainees have been killed, died of natural causes, or were re-captured. more...

4th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Osama Bin Laden’s Files: Boko Haram’s leader wanted to be ‘under one banner’

Thomas Joscelyn

Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, requested to speak with Osama bin Laden’s deputy, according to a newly released letter recovered during the May 2011 raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan. more...

3rd March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Bin Laden Files: Al Qaeda in Pakistan engaged journalists, directed media operations from Waziristan

Bill Roggio

Many of the documents seized from Osama bin Laden’s safe house in Abbottabad provide in interesting window on al Qaeda media operations, and the jihadist group’s relations with the Taliban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. more...

3rd March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Osama Bin Laden’s Files: Letters to the ‘Commander of the Faithful’

Thomas Joscelyn

In a letter addressed to Mullah Omar in late 2010, Osama bin Laden argued that the West had been “undermined and weakened in every respect” by the war in Afghanistan. The al Qaeda master believed the jihadists simply needed to be patient, as the West lacked the will to keep fighting and had suffered “socially, politically, militarily and economically” from the war. more...

2nd March 2016 – Quoted by Duane Bean - IJ Review

Ex-Gitmo Detainee Arrested in Spain for Leading an ISIS Recruiting Cell

Bill Roggio

Hamed Abderrahaman Ahmed, a former Gitmo detainee released in 2004 to Spain, was arrested for leading a ISIS recruiting cell. more...

2nd March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Osama Bin Laden’s Files: AQAP emir foreshadowed 2011 takeover of southern Yemen

Bill Roggio

Nasir al Wuhayshi, the emir of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who later became al Qaeda’s general manager, detailed the group’s strengths in Yemen’s provinces prior its spring 2011 offensive that saw much of the south fall under its control. more...

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