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Analysis & Commentary - The Long War Journal

The Long War Journal Media Articles

6th June 2015 – The Long War Journal

US Kills Afghan Taliban Fighters in Drone Strike in Pakistan

Bill Roggio

The US killed nine Afghan Taliban fighters in an drone strike in Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan today. more...

5th June 2015 – The Long War Journal

The Al Nusrah Front’s ‘Inherited Jihad’

Thomas Joscelyn

On Wednesday (June 3), Al Jazeera aired the second part of its interview with Abu Muhammad al Julani, who leads the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. The interviewer, Ahmad Mansur, once again provided a friendly forum for Julani to portray his organization in a positive light. more...

4th June 2015 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State’s ‘Khorasan Province’ Threatens Taliban in Latest Video

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s so-called “Khorasan province” threatened the Taliban in a video released late last month. The video, which is more than 15 minutes long, features a lengthy speech by an unnamed jihadist (see image above) in front of armed fighters and local villagers. more...

3rd June 2015 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State Continues to Clash with Multiple Foes in Aleppo, Hasakah

Thomas Joscelyn

Four days after the Islamic State launched a sudden assault on towns and villages in Syria’s northern Aleppo province, the heavy fighting continues. Not only is the Islamic State battling a consortium of rebel groups and jihadists in Aleppo, the “caliphate” is attempting to push into the predominately Kurdish city of Hasakah, which is the capital of the northeastern province with the same name. more...

2nd June 2015 – The Long War Journal

US Said to Have Killed ‘Foreigners’ in Drone Strike in Pakistan

Bill Roggio

The US is reported to have killed at least four jihadists, including “foreigners,” in a drone strike that struck a vehicle in an area of Pakistan’s tribal agency of North Waziristan that serves as a safe haven for al Qaeda and other groups that operate in the region. more...

1st June 2015 – The Long War Journal

With Sudden Advances in Aleppo, Islamic State Provokes Counteroffensive

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State has launched yet another new offensive in Syria, just weeks after its fighters captured the ancient city of Palmyra and the Iraqi city of Ramadi. The so-called “caliphate” is attempting to take more territory from anti-Assad rebels in the province of Aleppo, not far from the Turkish border. more...

1st June 2015 – The Long War Journal

Qods Force Commander Soleimani Reportedly Spotted in Anbar Province

Bill Roggio

Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commanding officer of Qods Force, the special operations branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, has reportedly been photographed in Iraq’s Anbar province alongside Shiite militiamen. Additionlly, Soleimani was photographed with the head of the Popular Mobilization Committee, who is listed by the US as a terrorist, and the leader of the Imam Ali Brigade, an Iranian-backed Shiite terror group. more...

30th May 2015 – The Long War Journal

Iranian Military Commander Killed Fighting in Ramadi

Bill Roggio

The commander, Jassem Nouri, was reportedly killed on May 28 while fighting against the Islamic State near Ramadi. The Islamic State defeated the Iraqi military in Ramadi and drove it out of the city on May 17. The Iraqi government has called on Iranian-supported Shiite militias to eject the jihadist group from the provincial capital of Anbar. Hezbollah Brigades, which is listed by the US as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and is supported by Qods Force, is leading the fight to retake the city. more...

29th May 2015 – The Long War Journal

Analysis: Al Nusrah Front ‘Committed’ to Ayman al Zawahiri’s ‘Orders’

Thomas Joscelyn

On Wednesday (May 27), Al Jazeera aired the first part of its lengthy interview with Abu Muhammad al Julani, who heads the Al Nusrah Front in Syria. The broadcast portrayed Julani and his organization, which is an official branch of al Qaeda, in an overwhelmingly positive light. more...

28th May 2015 – The Long War Journal

Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar Leader Accuses Islamic State of Creating ‘Fitna’

Bill Roggio

Salahuddin al Shishani, the emir of the Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar, or the Army of the Emigrants and Helpers or Muhajireen Army, also accused the Islamic State of attempting to assassinate him after he and others tried to mediate a truce between the Islamic State and the Al Nusrah Front. Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar is listed by the US as Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization. The jihadist group has sworn loyalty to the Islamic Caucasus Emirate, an al Qaeda-linked group that operates in the Russian Caucasus. more...

27th May 2015 – The Long War Journal

Another Al Qaeda Veteran Reportedly Killed While Leading Jund al Aqsa in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Said Arif, an al Qaeda veteran who trained in Afghanistan in the 1990s, has reportedly been killed in Syria while leading Jund al Aqsa’s forces. Arif’s death has been reported by multiple jihadists on social media, but has not yet been confirmed on Jund al Aqsa’s official Twitter feed. He was allegedly killed in an airstrike conducted by the US-led coalition just days ago. more...

27th May 2015 – The Long War Journal

Pakistani Taliban Rejects Islamic State’s ‘Self-Professed Caliphate’

Thomas Joscelyn

The Pakistani Taliban’s official propaganda wing, Umar Media, has released a statement rejecting the Islamic State’s “self-professed caliphate” in Iraq and Syria. The publication, written by a jihadist known as Abu Usman Salarzai, is nearly 60 pages long and purports to expose the errors in Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s claim to be the new caliph. more...

25th May 2015 – The Long War Journal

Former Taliban Shadow Governor Appears in New Propaganda Video Depicting Recent Combat in Badakhshan

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

The Taliban released a new propaganda video in late May depicting a recent series of attacks against Afghan security forces in the rugged and remote northeastern province of Badakhshan. The video, which is over an hour long, contains an interview with Qari Fasehuddin, the Taliban shadow governor for Badakhshan, who claimed his group is waging jihad to deter US and German forces from looting Badakhshan’s natural resources. more...

23rd May 2015 – The Long War Journal

Osama Bin Laden’s Files: Taliban Mourned Senior Al Qaeda Leader as US Attempted Negotiations

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

Newly-released documents seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound reveal that the Taliban expressed its condolences to al Qaeda for the death of one of its top leaders who was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan in May 2010. The letter of sympathy and unity was issued during the same timeframe that the Obama administration and US military officials were optimistic about conducting negotiations with the Taliban, and the conventional wisdom was that al Qaeda and the Taliban had split. more...

22nd May 2015 – The Long War Journal

2 French Suicide Bombers Used in Islamic State Assault on Haditha

Bill Roggio

The Islamic State used two French suicide bombers in today’s coordinated assault on the western Iraqi town of Haditha. One of the bombers has been featured in the past in an Islamic State propaganda film calling for more French recruits. more...

21st May 2015 – The Long War Journal

Coalition Airstrikes Kill 14 Al Nusrah Front Members

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has released a series of photos purportedly showing the aftermath of coalition airstrikes in Syria. The group claims that 14 members were killed. The photos can be seen below. more...

20th May 2015 – The Long War Journal

Nearly All of Osama Bin Laden’s Files Should Be Released

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

Earlier today, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a set of files recovered from Osama bin Laden’s compound. The public release of the files is step towards transparency. However, the files released today are a tiny fraction of the total cache recovered in Abbottabad. As The Long War Journal has reported previously, more than one million total file are in the US government’s possession. In addition, some of the most important revelations discovered in bin Laden’s files remain hidden from public view. more...

20th May 2015 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State, Shiite Militias Square Off East of Ramadi

Bill Roggio

The Islamic State, flush with the success of overrunning Anbar’s provincial capital of Ramadi over the weekend, is advancing eastward in an effort to consolidate its gains and take full control of the Ramadi-Fallujah corridor. more...

18th May 2015 – The Long War Journal

‘Strategy to Defeat Islamic State is Working,’ US Department of Defense Claims

Bill Roggio

This Department of Defense news article (reproduced in full below) on the status of the fight against the Islamic State couldn’t have been more poorly timed. Published on May 15, the same day that the Islamic State overran the government center in Ramadi, the report provides a pollyannaish view from Brigadier General Thomas D. Weidley of the US military’s air campaign and the Iraqi military’s fight against the Islamic State more...

18th May 2015 – The Long War Journal

Veteran Jihadist Served Al Qaeda for 17 Years, ‘Martyred’ in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

In late March, a coalition of jihadist groups named Jaysh al Fateh overran Bashar al Assad’s forces in the provincial capital of Idlib. Their victory was one of the insurgents’ most significant accomplishments to date. more...

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