Tag: al qaida

U.S. Releases Documents Seized From Bin Laden Raid

The U.S. today released documents seized during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Osama bin Laden was fixated on attacking U.S. targets and pressured al Qaeda groups to heal local rivalries and focus on that cause, according to documents the United States says were seized in bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan and released on Wednesday.

The documents are available here.

The release contains two sections. The first is a list of non-classified, English-language material found in and around the compound. The second is a selection of now-declassified documents.

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Jordan Frees Al Qaida Spiritual Advisor

When we last left off with Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi (spiritual mentor to Al Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, bio here), he had just been jailed in Jordan for communicating with terrorists while working with U.S. lawyer Stanley Cohen to negotiate with Maqdisi's enemy ISIS to free Peter Kassig. The F.B.I. was aware of the effort, and paid for Cohen and his translator's travel. (Cohen began serving his own federal prison sentence on tax charges this month.)

Today Jordan confirmed it released Maqdisi two days ago. [More...]

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AQAP Claims Credit for Charlie Hebdo Attacks

AQAP has issued a statement taking credit for the Charlie Hebdo killings. The reason for the operaton: Their insults to the Prophet.

We in the Organization of Qa'idatul Jihad in the Arabian Peninsula claim responsibility for this operation as a vengeance for the Messenger of Allah. We clarify to the ummah that the one who chose the target, laid the plan nd financed the operation, is the leadership of the organization.

It says by coincidence, Coulibaly had another operation set at the same time.[More...]

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Al Qaeda Explains Why It Targeted France and Charlie Hebdo

In addition to taking credit for the Charlie Hebdo attack, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) yesterday explained why France and Charlie Hebdo were selected as targets.

The leadership of #AQAP directed the operation, and they have chosen their target carefully as a revenge for the honor of Prophet (pbuh). The target was in France in particular because of its obvious role in the war on Islam and oppressed nations.

The operation was the result of the threat of Sheikh Usama (RA). He warned the West about the consequences of the persistence in the blasphemy against Muslims’ sanctities. Sheikh Usama (RA) said in his message to the West: If there is no check on the freedom of your words, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions.

Separately, in a 5 minute audio address released by al-Malahem Media, AQAP leader Shaykh Harith al-Nathari praised the attack. (He did not take credit.) [Added: A version with English subtitles is now available here.] Here is an English translation. [Another is here.] A snippet:[More...]

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Former U.S. Ranger Claims al-Zarqawi Beaten to Death

In 2006, the U.S. proudly announced that al Qaida leader al Musab al-Zarqawi had been killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq.

Now there are claims he was murdered after surviving the airstrike. A former U.S. Army Ranger who writes using the name Utlendr at a well-known website written by veterans of the Special Forces called Special Operations Forces Situation Report (Sofrep), wrote an article Friday, How Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Really Met His Fate. The author, who uses the name Utlendr, according to The Australian, was part of the team that worked with Delta Forces to locate al Zarqawi's safe house in order to bomb it. The U.S. gave two official statements in 2006 on al Zarqawi's death. In the first, it said he was killed in the bombing. In the second, it said he was critically injured in the bombing and died an hour later.

Utlendr now writes that al Zarqawi was indeed badly injured in the bombing. But, he says, Iraqi forces had loaded him into an ambulance to take him to the hospital. The Delta Forces ambushed the ambulance.

Here's where it gets interesting. [More...]

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New Additions to the Designated Terror List

Yesterday, the U.S. added additional suspected terrorists and groups on its designated terror list. More than one are connected to kidnappings and beheadings.

Among the new names I recognize: Amru al-Absi

As of mid-July 2014, Amru al-Absi was selected as ISIL’s provincial leader for Homs, Syria, in the Aleppo region. As a principal leader of ISIL in Syria, he has been in charge of kidnappings.

I wrote about him here, but check the source articles I relied on, here and here. [More...]

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Move Over ISIS, The Khorasan Are Waiting in the Wings

The Associated Press today reports that ISIS is not a danger to America, but another Islamic extremist group, Khorasan (aka Khurasan), which is affiliated with al Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the Taliban, is working with Yemeni bomb-makers from AQAP to launch an attack inside the U.S.

At the center is a cell known as the Khorasan group, a cadre of veteran al-Qaida fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan who traveled to Syria to link up with the al-Qaida affiliate there, the Nusra Front.

But the Khorasan militants did not go to Syria principally to fight the government of President Bashar Assad, U.S. officials say. Instead, they were sent by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to recruit Europeans and Americans whose passports allow them to board a U.S.-bound airliner with less scrutiny from security officials.

There are so many Khorasan groups I'm not sure yet which branch this is. [More...]

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Al Qaida Announces Formation of New Branch in Indian Subcontinent

As if the West doesn't have enough headaches with ISIS, here comes al Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to announce the formation of a new branch in the Indian subcontinent, including Burma, Kashmir, Gujarat, Bangladesh, Ahmedabad and Assam. al-Zawahiri says the Indian subcontinent was part of the Muslim world before it was invaded, and they want to restore Islam to it. He also reaffirms the group's loyalty to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

No mention is made of ISIS, and al-Zawahiri has yet to issue a statement about the group. But ISIS won't be pleased to learn that one of the six goals of the new group is to establish a Caliphate state through Jihad.

al-Zawahiri says this has been in the works for two years. It is a unification effort to unite all the Muslims in the region into one group. This is consistent with Osama bin Laden's strategy. [More...]

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Ayman al-Zawahri Calls for More Strikes Inside U.S.

Al Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri yesterday called for more lone wolf and other small scale attacks against the U.S. His reasoning is that even small attacks cause us to overreact with security, which is expensive and contributes to diminishing our economy.

In an audio speech released online a day after the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 strikes, Zawahri said attacks "by one brother or a few of the brothers" would weaken the U.S. economy by triggering big spending on security, SITE reported.

..."We should bleed America economically by provoking it to continue in its massive expenditure on its security, for the weak point of America is its economy, which has already begun to stagger due to the military and security expenditure," he said.

He also wants to see big strikes -- the kind that that take ten years to plan -- against the U.S.

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Al Qaeda Prison Breaks Now Considered a Factor in Closures

CNN reports the recent al Qaida prison breaks factored into the decision to close embassies in the middle east and Africa.

CNN also refers to a recent statement by Ayman al-Zawahiri and his appointment of AQAP's Nasir al Wuhayshi as "general manager" of al Qaeda's multiple networks. McClatchy reports the threat came from intercepting communications between the two. [More...]

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Global Travel Alert Due to al Qaeda Threat

Yesterday, the U.S. announced it would close its Embassies in the Middle East and North Africa. Today it issued a global travel alert to U.S. citizens, particularly in the Middle East and Africa.

“The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula,” read the bulletin, by the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. “Current information suggests that Al Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August.”

Travelers are urged to register their plans with the State Department. [More...]

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Osama Bin Laden's Wife Going Home to Yemen

Osama bin Laden's Yemeni wife, Amal Ahmed al-Sadah, age 29, and their 12 year old daughter Safiya, are finally going to be allowed to leave Pakistan and return to Yemen. No word yet on the fate of Osama's other two wives.

More uncertainty as to which of bin Laden's sons was killed along with Osama in the U.S. raid: The Guardian article says Hamza (not Khalid) was killed and buried at sea with his father. That is not what the U.S. and Pakistan have said (although the U.S. changed its story a few times.) Where is Hamza bin Laden?

On a related al Qaida note, there's been a jail break in Yemen, and 57 al Qaida members escaped.

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Al Qaida Launches Women's Magazine

Al Qaida has launched a magazine for women, called Al-Shamikha, which translates to "Majestic Woman." The first issue is a 31 page glossy.

The magazine's advice to women: Cover up and marry a martyr. Al Qaida's rationale behind the project:

"Because women constitute half of the population – and one might even say that they are the population since they give birth to the next generation – the enemies of Islam are bent on preventing the Muslim woman from knowing the truth about her religion and her role, since they know all too well what would happen if women entered the field of jihad... The nation of Islam needs women who know the truth about their religion and about the battle and its dimensions and know what is expected of them."

The Daily Mail says the first issue contains beauty tips as well as The magazine includes exclusive interviews with the wives of martyrs, who praise their husband's suicide missions.

Is it a new day for the global marketing of Jihad? Al Qaida has had some sophisticated marketing campaigns in the past. But do they reach anyone but the disaffected? Sounds like a lot of preaching to the choir to me.

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