Islamic State flag in front of the main gate of Saddam Husayn’s palace in Tikrit, 5 April 2015 // AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED SAWAF
A lengthy document—roughly sixty pages and 12,000 words—was published online on 21 February 2019 containing biographies of twenty-seven senior Islamic State (IS) officials, past and more recent. Those bios that are dated were written between October 2018 and the time of publication, with one exception that was written in the summer of 2018. The author claims to be an IS veteran. While longevity is difficult to prove, the fact that the author provides heretofore unseen images of some of the IS leaders suggests that at a minimum he is an IS operative. Continue reading →
In Trebes, a small town of 5,000 people in southern France near Carcassonne, at 11 a.m. on 23 March 2018, a 25-year-old Moroccan-born man, Radouane Lakdim, walked into a “Super U” supermarket and opened fire, killing two people immediately, an attendant and a customer.
An hour earlier, Lakdim had hijacked a car on the outskirts of Carcassonne, killing the passenger by shooting him to death and seriously wounding the driver.
Lakdim then drove five miles to Trebes, appeared to stop outside a military barracks, before stopping outside a riot police centre and shooting at a group of four officers from 200 yards away, seriously injuring one. Continue reading →
In the 110th issue of the Islamic State’s newsletter, Al-Naba, released on 15 December 2017, the jihadists claimed responsibility for the attempted pipe bomb attack at the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan, New York City, on 11 December 2017. The claim appeared on page 11 of 12 in a section entitled, “Events of the Week”. The text of the claim is reproduced below. Continue reading →
In Las Vegas, just after 22:00 Pacific Time on 1 October [6:00 on 2 October, British time], 64-year-old Stephen Paddock fired about 1,100 rounds over a ten-minute period from the thirty-second floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel at the crowd gathered on the Las Vegas Strip for the Route 91 Harvest music festival (the country singer, Jason Aldean, was playing at the time). When the shooting stopped, fifty-eight people had been murdered—making this the deadliest mass-shooting in American history—and 546 people had been injured. Paddock was found dead in the hotel room, having apparently shot himself.
The Islamic State claimed the Las Vegas attack via Amaq on 2 October, and soon released a fuller statement naming the killer as “Abu Abd al-Bir al-Amriki”. This followed the previous pattern laid down by IS when it claims its foreign terrorist attacks. There is as yet no definitive evidence of Paddock being motivated by jihadist ideology, nor of contact between Paddock and IS, and U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement have been quick to claim that such links do not exist.
In the 100th edition of Al-Naba, IS’s weekly newsletter, IS added details to its claims, page three contained a brief article adding details to IS’s claims about Las Vegas. A rough translation of the Naba article is reproduced below. Continue reading →
At 8:20 on 15 September 2017, a bomb detonated in a rear carriage of a tube train at Parsons Green station in London. The passengers on the packed, rush-hour train described a flash “fireball” that travelled down the train. Thirty people were injured, some horribly burned, but there were no fatalities and the main explosive clearly did not detonate. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State (IS). Continue reading →
The U.S.-led international coalition launched airstrikes into eastern Syria on 4 September 2017 that killed “two senior ISIS leaders” involved in “weapons engineering activities” and the external operations wing of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), according to a statement from U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) yesterday. Continue reading →
The United States announced on 27 July that it had killed seven “senior ISIS propagandists and facilitators in Iraq and Syria” since late March. The removal of these terrorists takes from the Islamic State “extensive experience and training, and degrades ISIS’s ability to plan and conduct attacks on civilian targets in Iraq and Syria, as well throughout the region and in the West,” U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said. The geographical pattern of the strikes that killed these men allow some conclusions about IS’s current situation on the ground, and the information provided by CENTCOM underlines IS’s will and capacity, even as it loses its caliphate, to conduct external operations. Continue reading →