On the night of Friday, 1 May, the Islamic State (ISIS) launched one of its most ambitious operations in Iraq in recent memory. Several units of the jihadist group converged on Iraqi paramilitary forces securing a rural section of Salahuddin province, engaging them in an hours-long attack that ended with ten paramilitaries dead. The 1 May assault followed a month in which ISIS had become more direct and aggressive in its attacks on Iraqi security forces.
A military official in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, the U.S.-led multilateral partnership that has supported Iraq’s fight against the group, noted the complexity of the Salahuddin attack and several others that weekend.… Seguir leyendo »
Afghanistan’s «peace deal» has been blown up. The government has resumed fighting the Taliban after a horrifying attack by gunmen on a maternity ward run by Doctors Without Borders in Kabul. Mothers and nurses were the main victims in the first attack, with 16 killed. Two of the dead were newborns.
Although the Taliban denied being responsible for the attack, Afghanistan’s national security adviser, Hamdullah Mohib, stated on Twitter that «their attacks this spring against Afghans are comparable to the level of fighting in past fighting seasons …This is not peace, nor its beginnings,» and that there is «little point in continuing to engage Taliban in ‘peace talks.’ … Seguir leyendo »
Este documento analiza las comunicaciones emitidas por dos principales organizaciones del yihadismo global –al-Qaeda y Estado Islámico– sobre la pandemia del coronavirus y sus posibles implicaciones en materia de seguridad para nuestras sociedades.
La crisis del COVID-19 no ha pasado desapercibida para el movimiento yihadista global, caracterizado por su gran capacidad de resiliencia y adaptación a los nuevos contextos. Las dos principales organizaciones de referencia en la actualidad han difundido comunicaciones oficiales en las que ofrecen su particular visión de los hechos. Sin embargo, aunque el diagnóstico es coincidente, la respuesta varía en función de si nos referimos a al-Qaeda, más ideológico, o a Estado Islámico, que se dirige de forma más directa y enérgica a sus seguidores.… Seguir leyendo »
On March 23 to 24, the centre of Mocimboa da Praia in Cabo Delgado province was occupied by up to 40 “jihadists”, who targeted government facilities, including a barracks, and brandished banners of affiliation to the so-called Islamic State.
On March 25, suspected jihadists raided the town of Quissanga and destroyed the district police headquarters. They too carried an Islamic State flag. Twenty to 30 members of Mozambique’s security forces were killed in both attacks.
Mocimboa da Praia is just south of the Afungi Peninsula, the location of gas projects worth $60- billion. Mocimboa was briefly occupied in late 2017, during attacks claimed by a group known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama (or al-Sunnah) that marked the start of a brutal low-intensity conflict, with widespread human rights abuses and attacks on civilians.… Seguir leyendo »
As the COVID-19 pandemic swiftly reorders the priorities of policymakers and the public worldwide, conflicts that only recently occupied centre stage in the global policy and media debate are receding into the background. The fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere is no exception.
But while UN Secretary-General António Guterres has argued that mankind faces a common enemy in COVID-19, and thus appealed for a “global ceasefire”, ISIS has made clear that it sees things differently. In a new editorial in its weekly newsletter, ISIS has told its membership that their globe-spanning war is to go on, even as the virus spreads.… Seguir leyendo »
Han pasado 16 años desde el 11-M y seguimos sin saber quién ordenó destruir los trenes y todo su contenido, quién consiguió sustituir las pruebas más importantes -las obtenidas en el lugar de los hechos- por una mochila que nadie vio en los trenes.
Seguimos sin saber por qué nadie ha investigado esa evidente destrucción de pruebas, ni tampoco cómo les pudo pasar desapercibida una mochila bomba de 11 kilos a los especialistas de los Tedax en la estación de El Pozo.
Desde el primer momento, alguien se puso en marcha para destruir los elementos de prueba del 11-M, pues no de otra manera se puede interpretar la masiva retirada de material probatorio de los trenes que se empezó a realizar 24 horas después de la masacre.… Seguir leyendo »
In 2016, Donald Trump, then a candidate for president, described Barack Obama as the “founder of ISIS.” In the end, it may be Mr. Trump who comes to be known not as the terrorist group’s founder, but as its savior.
The Islamic State has been weakened considerably since its peak in 2015, when it controlled a territory the size of Britain, but the Trump administration’s targeted killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani may have poised the group for a comeback. Just as the misguided American invasion of Iraq in 2003 revitalized Al Qaeda, some 17 years later, a return to chaos in the same country may yet do the same for the Islamic State.… Seguir leyendo »
On Nov. 29, London Bridge was the site of another terrorist attack. Usman Khan, a 28-year-old convicted on terrorism offences in 2012 and then released from jail last year, stabbed two people to death and injured three others. British police shot and killed Khan, and the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack the following day.
A week later, a Saudi trainee at a Navy base in Pensacola, Fla., murdered three sailors before military security shot him dead. The Navy grounded nearly 300 Saudi trainees while the FBI investigated the incident as a presumed terrorist attack.
These two acts jolted Western governments and security agencies to the risk of jihadist terrorism.… Seguir leyendo »
What happened in Niger?
On 10 December, assailants struck a Nigerien military camp close to the settlement of Inates on the border with Mali, killing more than 70 soldiers in the deadliest attack on security forces in the country’s history. The Islamic State’s affiliate in Mali and Niger claimed responsibility for the attack. Its fighters reportedly used mortars and kamikaze vehicles to storm the base. In its statement, the Islamic State said it had captured weapons, ammunition, vehicles and even “a number of tanks”. This claim could not be independently confirmed.
The attack by the Islamic State affiliate, which has escalated its campaign in the area around Inates since April, is part of an emerging trend of large-scale jihadist operations against military outposts in the central Sahel.… Seguir leyendo »
Children peer out from behind the bars into the light, scarred by intense trauma and uncertain of their future, terrified both of their prison and the outside world. The images and stories of these youngsters, robbed of their childhood by the extreme violence of life under the Islamic State, are harrowing. Many are unaccompanied, the large majority are under 12. They now find themselves abandoned in appalling conditions in rudimentary camps in Syria. Governments have to do better: This is not the way to treat children who are also victims of terrorism. Nor is it effective counterterrorism policy.
Tens of thousands of men, women and children with an alleged connection to the Islamic State are currently held in camps in northeastern Syria.… Seguir leyendo »
Le 11 novembre a été inauguré, à Paris, un monument en mémoire des soldats « morts pour la France » loin de leur pays depuis 1963. Si on examine le contexte dans lequel sont morts les 549, et hélas bientôt 562, soldats dont le nom y est inscrit, on s’apercevra que presque tous sont tombés en luttant non contre des Etats, mais contre des organisations armées. Aujourd’hui, et pour ne considérer que le Sahel, nous affrontons Ansar Eddine, Al-Qaida au Maghreb islamique (AQMI), la katiba Macina et la katiba Al-Mourabitoune réunies dans un Groupe pour le soutien de l’islam et des musulmans (GSIM), ainsi que l’Etat islamique dans le Grand Sahara (EIGS).… Seguir leyendo »
In 2014, Lamya Haji Bashar was a 15-year-old woman in Kocho, a sleepy Yazidi farming village in northern Iraq. On Sunday, August 3, 2014, her life changed forever when ISIS swept through the region.
ISIS fighters killed her neighbors and friends, entire families, women and children. Thousands of Yazidis fell victim to mass executions and disappeared into mass graves. And thousands of Yazidi women and girls were sold into slavery. The UN would later recognize ISIS as the perpetrator of a genocide against the Yazidi community.
Bashar herself was sold as a modern-day slave to ISIS. She escaped and is now sharing the brutal truth of violence against women.… Seguir leyendo »
«Fuera todos los yihadistas extranjeros. Turquía “no es un hotel”». Con estas palabras, pese a su habitual estilo irritante, Ankara plantea un problema legítimo, aunque durante años haya sido “la autopista de la yihad”. Ahora, la idea del Gobierno de Recep Tayyip Erdogan de enviar repentinamente a los llamados “combatientes extranjeros” a sus países de origen es lo que ha hecho estallar el caso.
Este es un tema embarazoso. Lleno de implicaciones jurídicas, dificultades logísticas y aspectos morales relacionados con las familias de los terroristas. Suponiendo que todos lo sean. La cuestión de los combatientes extranjeros de la “guerra santa”, procedentes sobre todo de Asia y África, pero entre los que también hay muchos de Europa y Estados Unidos, es la fruta envenenada del octavo año de conflicto en Siria.… Seguir leyendo »
On Oct. 13, al-Shabab sent mortar rounds into the United Nations base at the Mogadishu airport, one of the most fortified areas in Somalia. A July hotel attack and car bombing in a Somali port town left more than 26 dead. In May, al-Shabab detonated a car bomb near the presidential palace in Mogadishu, killing nine people.
Al-Shabab is an Islamist extremist group affiliated with al-Qaeda, seeking to oust the Western-backed federal government of Somalia and install an Islamic government instituting sharia law. Despite coalition efforts to counter this militant group, al-Shabab continues to demonstrate resiliency and the ability to launch attacks both domestically and cross-border into Kenya.… Seguir leyendo »
On Oct. 26, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, arguably the most wanted terrorist in the world, detonated a suicide belt to avoid capture by U.S. forces. His death, an important and symbolic event in the fight against the Islamic State, was soon followed by the announcement of a successor last Thursday.
ISIS has suffered significant setbacks over the past two years, losing most of its territorial control, and has returned to its roots as an insurgent organization. Although the group no longer operates as a proto-state governing vast amounts of land, it remains active with estimates of between 10,000 and 15,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria.… Seguir leyendo »
Au terme d’une traque sans relâche étalée sur près d’une décennie, Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi, «calife» autoproclamé du groupe Etat islamique, était tué le 26 octobre dans un raid des forces américaines en Syrie au côté de son porte-parole, Abou Hassan al-Mouhajir. Au-delà du discours triomphaliste déployé le lendemain même par le président Donald Trump, cette disparition ne signifie guère l’arrêt de la menace jihadiste, et encore moins celle de l’idéologie qui la sous-tend. Au cœur de celle-ci, un profond ressentiment ayant façonné toute une génération de radicaux et dont la prise en considération permet, a posteriori, de faire la pleine lumière sur les circonstances d’émergence du groupe terroriste en 2006, de même que sur l’extension continue de sa cause depuis cette période et son intarissable potentiel de mobilisation.… Seguir leyendo »
In the most recent Democratic debate, an animated Joe Biden exclaimed that ISIS «is going to come here» as a result of Trump’s decision to abandon the Syrian Kurds and withdraw nearly all US troops from Syria.
After Trump’s orders to withdraw, however, another wave of American troops entered Syria, leaving as many as 900 forces in the country. Still, the break in our alliance with the Kurds and the weakening in US counter-terror policy will undoubtedly allow gains for ISIS and other jihadi groups.
Is Biden right? Has Trump paved the way for ISIS to launch attacks on American soil?… Seguir leyendo »
The death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, caused by a raid by Army Delta Force operators based in Iraq, was an enormous but not fatal blow to that dangerous terrorist network. Others among the ISIS leadership are being hunted and killed.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was outraged that President Trump didn’t notify Congress before the raid, though he did notify Russia. Custom, not the law or the U.S. Constitution requires notifying Congress, so she’s way off base. The sad fact is that we had to notify Russia because Russia controls the airspace our Delta guys had to fly through to get to their target.… Seguir leyendo »
The self-proclaimed Islamic State has just named its new leader. Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qorashi takes the place of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the man who declared the so-called Islamic State “caliphate” in the Iraqi city of Mosul in June 2014. The U.S. military killed Baghdadi on Oct. 26, ending a five-year manhunt for the world’s most wanted terrorist.
The new Islamic State leader faces a major challenge: how to make himself appear legitimate in the eyes of the group’s followers and the broader community of Muslim believers. Baghdadi’s appeal, of course, rested on his claim to be restoring the caliphate from the early centuries of Islam.… Seguir leyendo »
They are good at dismay, the Europeans. Their cheek-clutching horror at US President Donald Trump’s abandonment of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was worthy of Munch’s «The Scream.»
But to have reacted with surprise at this much-telegraphed decision reveals a staggering level of naivety. Worse still, their failure to anticipate the behavior of America’s mercurial President reveals both cowardice and stupidity — not among the tiny number of special forces from the United Kingdom, France, Denmark and elsewhere, who were sent to help with the defeat of ISIS, of course. But certainly among the leaders of wealthy western nations that have the greatest strategic interest in what happens in the Middle East.… Seguir leyendo »