Subscribe to FDD

Analysis & Commentary - Thomas Joscelyn

Thomas Joscelyn's Latest Articles

17th April 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State propagandists seek to undermine rival jihadists in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State's propagandists continue to take aim at rival jihadists, including al Qaeda and Hay'at Tahrir al Sham (HTS). A recent Islamic State video calls upon HTS fighters to defect to the so-called caliphate's cause. more...

8th April 2018 – The Weekly Standard

Assad’s Horror, and Those Who Enable It

Thomas Joscelyn

Horrific images from the aftermath of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria are once again circulating online. The scene of this gassing is the eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus. Both the location and the timing of this apparent war crime are symbolically important. And while the immediate focus will be on Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his willingness to gas his own people, any long-term solution will require understanding the role of the rogue states that enable and support him. more...

6th April 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

US-led coalition says ‘much work remains to defeat’ to ISIS

Thomas Joscelyn

Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), which oversees the coalition to defeat the Islamic State, warned today that “much work remains to defeat” Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s organization in Iraq and Syria. The US-led coalition’s statement is at odds with the Trump administration’s stated position earlier this week. more...

6th April 2018 – The Weekly Standard

Trump and Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The White House declared on April 4 that the "military mission to eradicate ISIS in Syria is coming to a rapid end, with ISIS being almost completely destroyed." While the United States is "committed to eliminating the small ISIS presence in Syria that our forces have not already eradicated," the Trump administration already has an eye on "future plans," which will rely heavily on other countries "to work toward peace and ensure that ISIS never reemerges." more...

6th April 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: A premature declaration of victory in Syria?

Thomas Joscelyn

The White House declared on Apr. 4 that the "military mission to eradicate ISIS in Syria is coming to a rapid end, with ISIS being almost completely destroyed." But ISIS continues to operate in several areas of Syria, as well as in Iraq, which wasn't even mentioned in the White House's statement. more...

1st April 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Hamza bin Laden warns of Shiite expansion in the Middle East

Thomas Joscelyn

In his latest message, Hamza bin Laden warns that Shiites are expanding throughout the Middle East and claims that the Saudi government is incapable of stopping them. Hamza calls upon Muslims to support the jihadists in Yemen. He also criticizes the relationship between the Saudis and the US. more...

26th March 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Jihadists in Syria denounce US designation of Uzbek group

Thomas Joscelyn

Jihadists and Islamists in Syria have denounced the US government's decision to designate Katibat Imam al Bukhari (KIB) as a terrorist organization. The KIB's own statement on the designation includes misleading claims and some of those defending the group have their own al Qaeda links. more...

24th March 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Al Qaeda again addresses factional infighting in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The latest edition of al Qaeda's Al-Nafir news bulletin addresses the jihadists' infighting in Syria. Al Qaeda has been forced to comment on the disputes multiple times over the past year. more...

23rd March 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State claims its ‘soldier’ took hostages in southern France

Thomas Joscelyn

French authorities ended a hostage crisis earlier today after an armed man assaulted a supermarket in Trèbes. The man reportedly killed at least three people, including a passenger in a car he attempted to hijack and two others in the market. The Islamic State (ISIS) claims the perpetrator is its "soldier." ISIS has been tied to a series of plots in France since 2014. more...

22nd March 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Grozny jihadist swore allegiance to Baghdadi before assaulting police

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State's Amaq News Agency has claimed responsibility for a jihadist's assault on police in Grozny on Mar. 20. Amaq released a video of the alleged perpetrator swearing allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi prior to his day of terror. The video is similar to a string of other clips released by Amaq since mid-2016. more...

22nd March 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

US designates ISIS chemical weapons expert from France as terrorist

Thomas Joscelyn

The State Department announced today that Joe Asperman, a French national, has been designated as a terrorist. Asperman works as "a senior chemical weapons expert for ISIS" and "oversaw chemical operations production within Syria for ISIS and the deployment of these chemical weapons at the battlefront." more...

22nd March 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

US designates ISIS chemical weapons expert from France as terrorist

Thomas Joscelyn

The State Department announced today that Joe Asperman, a French national, has been designated as a terrorist. Asperman works as "a senior chemical weapons expert for ISIS" and "oversaw chemical operations production within Syria for ISIS and the deployment of these chemical weapons at the battlefront." more...

21st March 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Al Qaeda chief says America is the ‘first enemy’ of Muslims

Thomas Joscelyn

As Sahab has released two new messages from al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri in recent days. In the first, he again criticizes Abu Bakr al Baghdadi's Islamic State, accusing it of sowing dissent in the jihadists' ranks. In the second, Zawahiri reminds jihadists and Muslims that his organization considers the US to be their "first enemy." more...

21st March 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State suicide bomber strikes near shrine in Afghan capital

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State's Khorasan branch quickly claimed responsibility for an attack near a shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan earlier today. The Sunni jihadists regularly target Shiite civilians in Afghanistan and elsewhere. more...

7th March 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Podcast: The Rise of African Jihadism

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

Since 9/11, our struggle with jihadism has been largely focused in the Middle East. But while large and looming threats remain ever present in that region, jihadist forces have been rising on the continent of Africa. more...

6th March 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Zawahiri incites followers in the Maghreb

Thomas Joscelyn

Earlier today, al Qaeda’s propagandists released the latest message from their leader, Ayman al Zawahiri. more...

4th March 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Jihadists form ‘Guardians of the Religion’ organization in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

On Feb. 27, a newly-formed jihadist group in Syria issued a two-page statement calling for the defense of eastern Ghouta. Bashar al Assad’s regime is laying siege to Ghouta, pounding the area in Damascus with air strikes. more...

2nd March 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

ISIS supporter tried to recruit 55 children for attacks in London

Thomas Joscelyn

The UK Metropolitan Police announced today that three men have been convicted on terrorism-related charges after it was learned they planned to use up to 55 children in attacks throughout London. more...

27th February 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

State Department designates 7 ISIS-affiliated groups as terrorist organizations

Thomas Joscelyn

The State Department announced today that seven ISIS-affiliated groups have been designated as terrorist organizations. more...

22nd February 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: ISIS hasn’t been defeated

Thomas Joscelyn

On January 19, the Pentagon released its new National Defense Strategy, which prioritizes "inter-state strategic competition" from China and Russia over "terrorism." In many ways, the strategy makes sense. However, the threat from ISIS and al Qaeda has not been eliminated. The jihadists are fighting around the globe, everywhere from West Africa to Southeast Asia. more...