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Abu Musab al Zarqawi Abu Musab al Zarqawi al-Qaeda Arabia Jordanian Deceased 20060228 Link
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Ahmed Fadil al-Khalayila al-Qaeda in Iraq Iraq-Jordan Jordanian Deceased 20050609 Link
    Doorknob dead
  Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi al-Qaeda in Iraq Iraq-Jordan Jordanian Deceased 20050614  
  Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi al-Qaeda Arabia 20040107  
  Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi Jund al-Shams Middle East 20030703  
  Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi al-Tawhid Iraq-Jordan 20031219  
  Fadel Nazzal Al Khalayleh Ansar Al-Islam Iraq-Jordan Jordanian At Large Big Shot 20040210  
    Real name of Zarqawi
  Fadel Nazzal Al Khalayleh al-Qaeda in Iraq Iraq-Jordan 20040210  
  Fadel Nazzal al-Khalayleh al Qaeda Middle East Jordanian At Large Supremo 20030204  
    Real name of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
  Abu Musab al- Zarqawi al-Qaeda in Iraq Iraq 20051017 Link
  Abu Mussab Zarqawi al-Qaeda in Iraq Iraq-Jordan 20050705  
  Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi al-Tawhid Middle East 20050719  
  Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi al-Qaeda Middle East Jordanian At Large Big Shot 20021215  
  Abu Zarqawi Ansar al-Islam Iraq 20040123  
  Abu Musab al Zarqawi Coalition for Militant Action in the Niger Delta Africa: Subsaharan 20051027 Link
  Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi al-Qaeda Iraq-Jordan Big Shot 20050713  
  Abu Musab Al Zarqawi Al Qaeda in Iraq Iraq-Jordan 20050714  
  Abu Musab Al Zarqawi Ansar al-Islam Europe 20040520 Link
  Abu Musab Al Zarqawi al-Qaeda Arabia 20050705  
  Abu Musab Al Zarqawi Tawhid and Jihad Africa: North 20050704  
  Abu Musab Al Zarqawi Al-Qaeda in Iraq Africa: North 20050805  
  Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi Ansar Al-Islam Europe Jordanian Supremo 20050701  
  Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi Al-Tawhid Europe 20030625  
  Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi al Qaeda Middle East 20030204  
  Abu Mussab Zarqawi al-Tawhid Europe 20030727  
  Abu Mussab al Zarqawi al Qaeda Middle East 20030204  
  Abu Mussab al Zarqawi Ansar al-Islam Axis of Evil 20030123  
  Abu Mussab al Zarqawi Al Tawhid Europe 20030205  
  Abu Mussab al Zarqawi al-Tawhid Axis of Evil 20030502  
  Abu Musab Zarqawi al-Tawhid Axis of Evil 20030930  
  Abu Musab Zarqawi Al Tawhid Terror Networks 20031208  
  Abu Musab Zarqawi Ansar al-Islam Europe 20040111  
  Abu Musab Zarqawi al-Qaeda Axis of Evil 20021005  
  Abu Mussab al Zarqawi al-Qaeda Arabia 20030207  
  Abu Musab Zarqawi al-Qaeda in Iraq Syria-Lebanon-Iran Jordanian Deceased Supremo 20050613  
  Abu Musab al Zarqawi al-Qaeda in Iraq Iraq-Jordan Jordanian Deceased Supremo 20050907  
    Deader than a rock.
  Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi al-Qaeda in Iraq Iraq-Jordan At Large 20050704  
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Omar Corps Iraq-Jordan Jordanian Deceased 20050708  
  Abu Musab Al Zarqawi al-Qaeda in Iraq Iraq-Jordan Deceased 20050825  
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Al-Qaeda in Iraq Iraq-Jordan Jordanian Deceased 20050716  
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Tawhid and Jihad Movement Iraq-Jordan Jordanian Deceased 20040707 Link
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi al-Qaeda in Europe Europe Jordanian Deceased 20051205 Link
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Ansar al-Islam Europe Jordanian Deceased 20051118 Link
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Bayat al-Imam Central Asia Jordanian Deceased 20040606 Link
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Qaida al-Jihad Iraq Jordanian Deceased 20051104 Link
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan Terror Networks Jordanian Deceased 20040524 Link
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Jund al-Shams Terror Networks Jordanian Deceased 20040524 Link
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Beyyiat el-Imam Terror Networks Jordanian Deceased 20040524 Link
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi al-Qaida in Iraq Europe Jordanian Deceased 20051028 Link
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Moroccan Combatant Islamic Group Europe Jordanian Deceased 20040516 Link
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Ansar al-Fath Europe Jordanian Deceased 20051011 Link
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Iraqi Insurgency Iraq-Jordan Jordanian Deceased 20040218  
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Ansar Al-Islam Iraq-Jordan Jordanian Deceased 20040210  
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Jund al-Sham Syria-Lebanon-Iran Jordanian Deceased 20050707  
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Omar Brigade Iraq-Jordan Jordanian Deceased 20050706  
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi al-Tawhid Europe Jordanian Deceased 20030704  
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Tawhid wal Jihad Africa North Jordanian Deceased 20060428 Link
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Tawhid and Jihad Iraq Jordanian Deceased 20060608 Link
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi al-Qaeda Iraq-Jordan Jordanian Deceased Supremo 20040210  
    Looking very natural
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi al-Qaeda in Iraq Iraq-Jordan Jordanian Deceased Supremo 20050623  
    Deader than a rock.
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi al-Qaeda in Iraq Europe Jordanian Deceased 20050815  
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi al-Qaeda in Iraq Iraq-Jordan Jordanian Deceased 20050713  
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi al-Qaeda in Iraq Iraq-Jordan Jordanian Deceased 20050712  
  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi al-Qaeda in Iraq Iraq-Jordan Jordanian Deceased 20050627  
  Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi al-Qaeda in Iraq Iraq Jordanian Deceased Supremo 20051022 Link
    Deader than a rock

Iraq
Iraq security forces arrest the new ISIS leader
2020-05-21
[PUBLISH.TWITTER]
ISIS leader nominated to replace Baghdadi handed over to Iraqi authorities
[ALMASDARNEWS] The Iraqi Intelligence Service announced that the person nominated to succeed the terrorist leader and founder of the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that they were al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're really very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear western pols talk they're not really Moslems....
(ISIS/ISIS/IS/ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been handed over to them.

According to the Iraqi News Agency, the Intelligence Service announced that their forces have taken custody Abdel-Nasser Qirdash, noting that he is the candidate to succeed Baghdadi as the leader of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Qirdash is the highest ranking Islamic State officer to ever be taken into custody.

It should be noted that while Qirdash was nominated to replace Baghdadi, the Islamic State ultimately chose to ’Abdul-Rahman al-Mawlah as the leader of the group.

He was first arrested in Syria last year, but was not handed over to the Iraqi authorities until recently.

The former Islamic State leader, Baghdadi, was killed during a special U.S. military operation in northwestern Syria in October of 2019.

Baghdadi was hiding in a jihadist-held town in the northern countryside of the Idlib Governorate; he refused to surrender during the U.S. raid and chose to detonate his own boom jacket.

Despite Baghdadi’s death in 2019, the Islamic State has remained active in both Syria and Iraq, often carrying out hit-and-run attacks against the Syrian and Iraqi armies, along with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Related:
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: 2020-03-22 5,000 Terrorists Detained In One of The Toughest Prisons Worldwide
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: 2020-02-21 New York Times' New Low - Guest Writer Sirajuddin Haqqani
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: 2020-02-15 Iranian Minister Tried To Pass Off A $20 Halloween Costume As A Real Spacesuit
Related:
Islamic State: 2020-05-19 Coalition warplanes strike ISIS hideouts south of Kirkuk: Iraqi forces
Islamic State: 2020-05-18 Iraqi forces launch fresh anti-ISIS military operation amid uptick in attacks
Islamic State: 2020-05-18 Prosecuting IS returnees in Germany requires the law's longest arm

Iraq claims capture of senior Daesh leader
[ARABNEWS] Iraq claimed on Wednesday it had arrested a ISIS leader considered a successor to the terror group’s former chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The National Intelligence Service told the Iraqi News Agency (INA) it had picked up Abdul Nasser Qardash.

He served as the head of one of the terrorist group’s commissions, INA said, and served under Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who led the group that preceded ISIS.

However,
man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them...
some reports suggested Qardash was captured by US or Kurdish forces in Syria last year and just recently transferred to Iraqi custody.

The US has previously identified Ameer Muhammed Saeed al-Salbi al-Mawla, as the new leader of ISIS. He is known within the group as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi.

Some reports said Qardash was the same person as al-Mawla, despite the photo used by INA of the captured holy warrior not matching that of al-Mawla.

Link


Terror Networks
Does leadership decapitation lead to the demise of terrorist organizations? Study sez:
2019-11-11
[MITPressJournals] Does leadership decapitation lead to the demise of terrorist organizations? Can the United States undermine or destroy terrorist organizations such as al-Qaida by arresting or killing their leaders? What explains organizational resilience to leadership targeting? Leadership decapitation, or the killing or capturing of the leaders of terrorist organizations, has become a core feature of U.S. counterterrorism policy. Many scholars and analysts claim that it weakens terrorist organizations and reduces the threat they pose. Unsurprisingly, they saw the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, in Abbottabad, Pakistan, as a major tactical victory for President Barack Obama and for the broader war on terrorism. Despite the success of this operation and subsequent attacks on al-Qaida leaders, decapitation is unlikely to diminish the ability of al-Qaida to continue its activities in the long run. Rather, it may have counterproductive consequences, emboldening or strengthening the organization.

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States has killed or captured many al-Qaida leaders as part of a general campaign to decapitate the organization. It has employed a variety of military operations to achieve this objective, including raids by Special Operations forces. Both bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, were killed as a result of such raids. On October 5, 2012, U.S. forces captured Abu Anas al-Libi, an al-Qaida leader, in a raid in Libya. The United States has also relied heavily on drone strikes to target al-Qaida leaders and other militants in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen.

In June 2012, Abu Yahya al-Libi, then al-Qaida’s deputy leader, was killed in Pakistan in a drone strike coordinated by the Central Intelligence Agency. Highly experienced, al-Libi served an important operational function within the organization. Scholars and policymakers saw his death as a significant blow to an already weakened al-Qaida.2 Nine months earlier, a Hellfire missile fired from a U.S. drone killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni-American cleric linked to a number of terrorist plots in the West. On August 22, 2011, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, believed to be the organization’s second-highest leader, was reportedly killed in a drone strike in Pakistan.3 Rahman served an important communicative function between bin Laden and lower-level operatives. Ilyas Kashmiri, reputed to be a senior member of al-Qaida and the operational commander for Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, was killed in a drone attack in South Waziristan on June 3, 2011.4 These examples illustrate the frequency with which the United States has targeted al-Qaida leaders and operatives over the past few years, speciªcally through the use of drone strikes.5

Despite these and other instances of successful targeting, al-Qaida remains a resilient terrorist organization. Applying a theory of organizational resilience, I examine why targeting al-Qaida’s leadership is not an effective counterterrorism strategy and, indeed, is likely counterproductive. A terrorist group’s ability to withstand attacks is a function of two factors: bureaucratization and communal support. Analyzing both when and why certain terrorist groups are able to survive leadership attacks, this article differs from existing work by providing a more nuanced lens through which to evaluate the effectiveness of counterterrorism policy.
The center of gravity of Islamic terrorism is their grievance that we occupy their countries and kill their people. Stop doing this and their grievance disappears. Attacking their leaders or footsoldiers will never, ever win the war.
The center of gravity of Islamic terrorism is that we have not surrendered and converted to their faith — that’s what their term for the non-Muslim world, Dar al-Harb, the House of War, means. There is only one way, from their perspective, for their grievance to disappear, and that is for us to become members of the Borg. But killing lots of them will discourage the jihadi faction for a while.
Related:
Dar al-Harb: 2018-07-09 Why Muslim Rapists Prefer Blondes: A History
Dar al-Harb: 2011-01-18 Al-Qaeda and organized crime: two sides of the same coin
Dar al-Harb: 2009-02-24 No jihad in India, says Darul Uloom Deoband
Link


Terror Networks
As the 'caliphate' ends, where is its leader Baghdadi?
2019-03-24
[DAWN] The world's most wanted man who has so far eluded capture, the bad boy Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
(IS) group chief His Supreme Immensity, Caliph of the Faithful and Galactic Overlord, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
...the head of ISIS, or what remains of it, and a veteran of the Abu Graib jailhouse. Looks like a new messiah to bajillions of Moslems, like just another dead-eyed mass murder to the rest of us. So far he has been killed at least four times, though not yet by a stake through the heart...
has seen his "caliphate" crumble and its last shred of territory in Syria evaporate on Saturday.

After declaring himself caliph in 2014, Baghdadi held sway over seven million people across swathes of Syria and Iraq, where IS implemented its brutal version of Islamic law.

But that land has been whittled down to disjointed sleeper cells by years of fighting, including a ferocious bombing campaign by the United States-led coalition.

Reclusive even when IS was at the peak of its power, the 47-year-old Iraqi, who suffers from diabetes, has been rumoured to have been maimed or killed several times in the past. And his whereabouts have never been confirmed.

So, with his proto-state gone and a $25-million US bounty on his head, where is Baghdadi?

"He only has three companions: his older brother Jumaa, his driver and bodyguard Abdullatif al-Jubury, whom he has known since childhood, and his courier Saud al-Kurdi," said Hisham al-Hashemi, an Iraqi specialist in IS.

Hashemi said the quartet is likely laying low somewhere in Syria's vast Badia desert, which stretches from the eastern border with Iraq to the sweeping province of Homs.

That is where his son Hudhayfa al-Badri was reportedly killed in July by three Russian guided missiles, he added.
Rudaw adds:
But there has been no sign of al-Baghdadi.

"The Coalition is not holding him nor do we know where he is," US-led coalition front man Col. Sean Ryan told The News Agency that Dare Not be Named.

Mohammed Kheder, co-founder of the Sound and Picture group which documents IS, said the last time al-Baghdadi was spotted in the area was about 15 months ago, citing sources on the ground and the testimony of the people who left the area.

In Twitter posts, Kheder’s group has said it cannot rule out the possibility al-Baghdadi was detained long ago ‐ "especially since many of American airdrops and night operations targeting IS leaders along the Iraqi border have not been disclosed by the coalition."

Iraqi intelligence officials believe al-Baghdadi is hiding somewhere in the desert stretching across the Syrian-Iraqi border, using tunnels to move around.

"He does not use any communication equipment or internet to avoid detection by coalition planes," a senior intelligence official said. "When he wants to see someone from the organization, they are brought to him individually in cars that stop around two hours away from where al-Baghdadi is, and then they are brought to him individually on cycle of violences."

Another official, a colonel, said the Americans recently targeted some of al-Baghdadi’s closest people, including his personal bodyguard Khaled al-Saudi ‐ known as Khallad ‐ who was killed last week near the area of al-Baaj along the Iraqi-Syrian border.

Khallad’s wife was jugged
Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try!
. Another close aide to al-Baghdadi was also recently killed and his wife captured, the colonel said, adding that the Americans believe such targets will soon lead them to al-Baghdadi. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity to share intelligence information.

Al-Baghdadi was born Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai in 1971 in Samarra, Iraq, and adopted his nom de guerre early on. According to IS-affiliated websites, he was detained by US forces in Iraq and sent to Bucca prison in February 2004 for his anti-US hard boy activity.

He was released 10 months later, after which he joined the al-Qaeda branch in Iraq of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He later assumed control of the group, known at the time as the Islamic State of Iraq.

After Syria’s civil war erupted in 2011, al-Baghdadi dispatched comrades to the neighboring country to create a like-minded Sunni bad boy group there. The group, which came to be known as the Nusra Front, initially welcomed moderate Sunni rebels who were part of the uprising against Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor. If he'd stuck with it he'd have had a good practice by now...
Over time, more of his fighters and possibly al-Baghdadi himself relocated to Syria, pursuing his plan to restore a medieval Islamic state, or caliphate. In April 2013, al-Baghdadi announced what amounted to a hostile takeover of the Nusra Front, saying he was merging it into a new group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
... the current version of al-Qaeda in Iraq, just as blood-thirsty and well-beloved as the original...
. Nusra Front’s leader Abu Mohammad al-Golani refused to accept the takeover ‐ as did al-Qaeda’s central leadership, which broke with al-Baghdadi.

Al-Baghdadi’s fighters went onto to capture a contiguous stretch of territory across Iraq and Syria, including key cities such as Raqqa in Syria and djinn-infested Mosul
... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
in Iraq. In June 2014, the group announced its own state, or caliphate. al-Baghdadi became the declared caliph of the newly renamed Islamic State group.

The group ruled with a virulently extreme interpretation of Islamic law. The atrocities, massacres and beheadings by al-Baghdadi’s gunnies that followed ‐ many broadcast in grisly and macabre video postings on hard boy websites ‐ secured IS a spot in some of the darkest, most brutal annals of modern history.

Throughout it all, al-Baghdadi was in the shadows.

His only known public appearance on video was on June 29, 2014, when he appeared as a black-robed figure to deliver a sermon from the pulpit of Mosul’s Great Mosque of al-Nuri in which he urged Moslems around the world to swear allegiance to the caliphate and obey him as its leader.

"It is a burden to accept this responsibility to be in charge of you," he says in the video. "I am not better than you or more virtuous than you. If you see me on the right path, help me. If you see me on the wrong path, advise me and halt me. And obey me as far as I obey God."

Little is known about al-Baghdadi’s family. An ex-wife, Saja al-Dulaimi, and her daughter from al-Baghdadi, were detained in Leb in 2014. She was released a year later as part of a swap with al-Qaeda in exchange for kidnapped Lebanese soldiers and coppers. In July 2018, IS announced that al-Baghdadi’s son, Huthaifa al-Badri, had been killed fighting government forces in central Syria.

None of the subsequent reports of al-Baghdadi being killed or maimed were confirmed. In 2017, Russian officials said there was a "high probability" he had been killed in a Russian Arclight airstrike on the outskirts of Raqqa, but US officials later said they believed he was still alive.

He resurfaced in late September 2017, calling in an audio message on followers to burn their enemies everywhere. Another audio was posted last August in which al-Baghdadi urges followers to "persevere" in fighting IS’ enemies ‐ the speech was sprinkled with references to current events to show it was recent.

Experts tracking hard boy figures said the voice in the recordings was al-Baghdadi’s.

It was the last time he was heard of.
Link


Africa North
Three jihadi groups active in Mali announce merger
2017-03-12
For information, the latest iteration of Al Qaeda-linked groups in Mali. They're as bad as Toad the Wet Sprocket in that part of the world.
[La Belle France24] Three jihadist groups operating in the Sahel region
... North Africa's answer to the Pak tribal areas...
of Africa have merged to form one single organization, Mauritania’s private news agency ANI said Thursday, citing a video distributed by the Islamists.
Video of the announcement can be seen at the link, for those curious about the current appearance of the miscreants.
Among the groups joining the merger south of the Sahara are Mali’s Al Qaeda-linked Ansar Dine
...a mainly Tuareg group that controlled areas of Mali's northern desert together with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and MUJAO in early 2012...
and al-Murabitoun, led by Algerian myrmidon Mokhtar Belmokhtar.
...apparently the vicious, one-eyed cigarette smuggler is not dead yet, despite reports last November that the French had killed him.
The new movement will operate under the name the Group to Support Islam and Moslems, and will be led by Ansar Dine’s Iyag Ag Ghaly, ANI said, adding that it had received the video Wednesday.

The Macina Brigades group, active in central Mali, has also joined the merger.

"It is very particular to see them all together," said Wassim Nasr, La Belle France 24’s expert on jihadist movements.

ANI distributed a screenshot of the video showing five jihadist leaders seated together, with Iyad Ag Ghaly in the centre.

The four others were identified as the "emirs" of the new movement.

"What they are doing here is also against the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
in the region, which is gaining in force," Nasr said. "They are confirming their presence there."

The ability of such key players in local terror groups to meet freely is notable. "It shows that it is impossible to monitor this huge region militarily and even with technical means," said Nasr.

In an audio excerpt Iyad Ag Ghaly can be heard swearing allegiance to slain Jordanian jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi ‐ whose Al Qaeda in Iraq group later evolved into the Islamic State group ‐ and Ayman al-Zawahiri
... Formerly second in command of al-Qaeda, now the head cheese, occasionally described as the real brains of the outfit. Formerly the Mister Big of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Bumped off Abdullah Azzam with a car boom in the course of one of their little disputes. Is thought to have composed bin Laden's fatwa entitled World Islamic Front Against Jews and Crusaders. Currently residing in the North Wazoo area assuming he's not dead like Mullah Omar. He lost major face when he ordered the nascent Islamic State to cease and desist and merge with the orthodx al-Qaeda spring, al-Nusra...
, Al Qaeda’s current leader.

He can also be heard praising Al Qaeda founder the late Osama bin Laden
... who doesn't live anywhere anymore...
, who was killed in Pakistain in May 2011.

It was not clear when the video was recorded, though ANI said it was "recent".

All three groups already had ties to Al Qaeda, and were involved in an onslaught that saw northern Mali fall out of government control for nearly a year from spring 2012.

The snuffies were later expelled from the region by a French-led international military intervention.

Nonetheless large swathes of northern Mali continue to come under attack from jihadist groups.

The area is also seen by governments battling the jihadist threat as a launchpad for attacks against other countries in the region.
Link


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Syria sends reinforcements to Palmyra to counter Daesh
2016-12-11
[Iran Press TV] The Syrian army says reinforcements have been deployed to the ancient city of Palmyra in the west-central Homs Province to prevent the Takfiri
...an adherent of takfir wal hijra, an offshoot of Salafism that regards everybody who doesn't agree with them as apostates who must be killed...
ISIS murderous Moslems from further advancing toward the city.

The army said in a statement on Saturday that festivities are underway between government forces and the terrorists, who have advanced to the city’s outskirts.

The statement said that the Lions of Islam had seized areas to the northwest and southeast of the historic city.

According to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the terrorist group launched the recent offensive late on Thursday, when it seized grain silos northeast of Palmyra, and has since taken at least partial control of oil and gas fields to the city’s northwest.

The Syrian army, backed by popular forces and a wave of Russian Arclight airstrikes, retook the ancient city from ISIS on March 27 following weeks of military operations.

Syrian army and allied forces are also busy driving the Takfiri murderous Moslems from the strategic northwestern city of Aleppo. On Friday, government forces liberated 52 blocks in the eastern parts of the city and are now in control of 93 percent of the whole city, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

The recent army gains come despite the persistent financial and military support that many foreign states have been providing to the Lions of Islam since 2011 to bring about the ouster of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Lord of the Baath...
.

ISIS enters Palmyra

BEIRUT: Fighters of the Daesh group on Saturday re-entered Syria’s famed ancient desert city of Palmyra from which they were driven out eight months ago, a monitor said.

“IS entered Palmyra on Saturday and now occupies its northwest. There is also fighting with the army in the city center,” said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The jihadists began an offensive in recent days near the town which is on UNESCO’s world heritage list.

In May last year, Daesh seized several towns in Homs province including Palmyra, where they caused extensive damage to many of its ancient sites.

They were ousted from Palmyra in March by Syrian regime forces backed by Russia.

ISIS captures Palmyra

AMMAN/BEIRUT: Daesh militants on Saturday captured most of the ancient city of Palmyra after penetrating Syrian regime’s army defenses and securing strategic heights around the ancient city in eastern Syria following a surprise assault, a monitoring group and rebels said.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there were fears for the lives and safety of civilians inside the city because many of them were pro-regime.

The opposition and the war monitor said with the exception of the southern parts, most of the city was now in the hands of the militants who had waged an attack on several fronts.

Meanwhile, the regime’s army tightened its grip Saturday on opposition fighters besieged in Aleppo along with thousands of civilians.

Airstrikes pummeled the shrinking opposition enclave in east Aleppo as US Secretary of State John Kerry said the regime’s “indiscriminate bombing” amounted to crimes against humanity.

Western powers meeting in Paris called for peace talks to resume and for civilians to be allowed to leave Aleppo, where tens of thousands have already fled the offensive.

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said the world is watching “the last steps” in the Aleppo battle and evacuating civilians must be a priority.

Meanwhile, the US-led coalition has killed a key leader of Daesh in Syria, the Pentagon said on Saturday.

“Coalition warplanes targeted and killed Tunisian Boubaker Al-Hakim, in Raqqa, Syria” on Nov. 26, Pentagon spokesman Ben Sakrisson said in a statement.

“Al-Hakim was a Daesh leader and longtime terrorist with deep ties to French and Tunisian radical elements,” he added.

Al-Hakim is also suspected of involvement in extremist attacks against Tunisian political leadership in 2013, Sakrisson said.

“His removal degrades Daesh’s ability to conduct further attacks in the West and denies Daesh a veteran extremist with extensive ties,” he added.

Hakim’s death also “denies Daesh a key figure with extensive historical and current involvement in facilitation and external operations and degrades their ability to conduct terror attacks around the world,” the statement read.

Separately, the Turkish army and its allies on Saturday entered the Daesh bastion of Al-Bab in northern Syria, the observatory said.

“They entered Al-Bab from the northwest after violent clashes with the radicals as Turkish artillery bombarded the town,” the observatory said. Heavy fighting was ongoing late Saturday in the town near the Turkish border, he said.
Ynet relates Babouker al Hakim's pre-death history:
Hakim, a 33-year-old French Tunisian, was a mentor to the brothers who gunned down cartoonists at the French paper Charlie Hebdo in January 2015.

Soon after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, el Hakim wound up in a network of French jihadis and fought with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. ISIS began as an al-Qaida affiliate in Iraq led by al-Zarqawi, until Zarqawi was killed in a US airstrike in June 2006.

El Hakim was arrested in Syria and sent to France, where he was convicted in 2008 and sentenced to seven years in prison. He was considered at the time to be among the most radicalized of the network of young extremists from the Paris area, which included the brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi.

Released from prison in early 2011,
...he must have been credited with time served while awaiting trial, or else he was a seriously model prisoner...
el Hakim is believed to have moved to Tunisia, where he claimed responsibility in 2014 for the assassinations of two political figures. By then, he was high up in ISIS's ranks and was believed to play a role in the group's external operations.

El Hakim moved back and forth between Syria and Iraq using networks of smugglers and jihadis, according to court records obtained by The Associated Press. He appeared on French television calling on friends in Paris to join him.

"I am in Iraq, I'm doing jihad. And all my brothers who are there, should come and defend Islam," he said.
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Home Front: WoT
US wants Israel to try Gitmo prisoner for 2002 Kenya bombing — report
2016-12-10
[IsraelTimes] Mohammed Bajabu allegedly confessed to attack at Israeli-owned Mombasa hotel; process said held up by FBI reluctance to share evidence.

The United States has reportedly asked Israel to accept and prosecute a Kenyan man held at Guantanamo Bay over his alleged involvement in a deadly 2002 bombing at an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa.

According to US government documents, Mohammed Abdul Malik Bajabu, 43, has confessed to a role in the terror attack, as well as an unsuccessful attempt to down an Israeli passenger plane that same day, the Miami Herald reported.

Thirteen people -- 10 Kenyans and three Israelis -- were killed and 80 others were maimed when a boom-mobile went off at Mombasa’s Paradise Hotel on November 28, 2002, shortly after a large group of Israeli tourists checked into the beachfront resort. At around the same time, a surface to-air missile targeted but missed an Arkia plane carrying 271 people as it took off from Mombasa airport.

Kenyan authorities incarcerated
I ain't sayin' nuttin' widdout me mout'piece!
Bajabu in Mombasa in 2007, and turned him over to the US. He has been held at the US military prison without charge.

The Herald reported that US officials traveled to Israel in April this year to discuss the possibility of transferring Bajabu to Israel for prosecution over his role in both attacks.

Though Israeli authorities had expressed interest in accepting Bajabu, the transfer has been delayed for months by the FBI refusal to share the prisoner’s confession from his 2007 interrogations.

"The government of Israel has repeatedly asked for information to support their possible prosecution. But, for reasons that are unclear, the FBI has declined to provide the information that has been requested by senior Israeli prosecutors," an unnamed US government official told The Herald. "They want to see the incriminating statements. And that’s where we are stuck -- and have been for many months -- which is frustrating."
That ought to change shortly after January 20, 2017.
Kenya has unsuccessfully attempted to prosecute the other alleged suspects in the 2002 attacks. In 2005, a High Court justice acquitted four Kenyan nationals accused of involvement in the attacks over lack of evidence.

The attacks were credited to al-Qaeda’s east Africa affiliate, but Kenyan Judge John Osiemo said state prosecutors were unable to connect the four suspects to the bombing or the terror group.
This is why jihadis should be treated as spies instead of criminals, something a PoliSci/Harvard Law guy with limited experience might not be equipped to understand. This article from 2005 lays out some of the connections between the local miscreants and Al Qaeda's Abu Musab al Zarqawi.
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Arabia
Ex-wanted Saudi was Qaeda commander, returned from Iran
2016-10-26
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] Wanted Saudi man Osama Ali Abdullah Damjan -- who surrendered himself to police in early October--was reportedly a senior al-Qaeda commander who likely fled to Iran.

Damjan left Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
to Afghanistan in 2001 before the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States, sources speaking to Alarabiya.net revealed.

The sources claimed that Damjan was admitted to al-Qaeda’s Al Farooq training camp near Kandahar, one of the late Osama bin Laden
... who doesn't live anywhere anymore...
's key bases.

Damjan had been training at the camp during bin Laden’s presence. Bin Laden's successor Ayman al-Zawahiri
... Formerly second in command of al-Qaeda, now the head cheese, occasionally described as the real brains of the outfit. Formerly the Mister Big of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Bumped off Abdullah Azzam with a car boom in the course of one of their little disputes. Is thought to have composed bin Laden's fatwa entitled World Islamic Front Against Jews and Crusaders. Currently residing in the North Wazoo area assuming he's not dead like Mullah Omar. He lost major face when he ordered the nascent Islamic State to cease and desist and merge with the orthodx al-Qaeda spring, al-Nusra...
and Abu Musab al Zarqawi -- the founder of al-Qaeda in Iraq -- also received training in the same place.

After the United States waged war on al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, Damjan joined the terrorist group’s commanders who fled to Iran.

In 2003, Damjan -- who was also known under the Islamist alias "Abu Jawahir" -- appeared in Iraq fighting along Al Zarqawi, and was later appointed as the emir of the Iraqi city of Qaem.

Conflicting reports on websites affiliated with al-Qaeda reported that Damjan was killed in 2010 in Wazoo, Pakistain.

Other websites said he died inside a prison in the ISIS-stronghold Syrian city of Raqqa, which could reflect that the al-Qaeda commander was not on good terms with ISIS.

However,
Switzerland makes more than cheese...
Damjan was still alive and surrendered himself to police in early October, the Saudi Interior Ministry stated Tuesday.

The ministry said he "had contacted the security authorities in the Kingdom and expressed his wish to return and surrender himself to security authorities," according to a statement published by the Saudi Press Agency.

Damjan arrived in Saudi Arabia on October 4, 2016.

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Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Turkish-backed Syria fighters advancing on IS-held Dabiq: Erdogan
2016-10-16
[AlAhram] Turkish-backed opposition fighters were advancing Saturday on the northern Syrian town of Dabiq with the aim of taking it from Islamic State (IS) militants, Turkey's president said.

"We are now advancing. Where? To Dabiq," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in televised comments in the Black Sea province of Rize.

Turkey launched an unprecedented operation inside Syria on August 24, helping Syrian rebels to rid its frontier of IS militants and Syrian Kurdish militia.

In the operation's early weeks, Jarabulus and Al-Rai became the first two major settlements to be captured from the IS.

The Syrian rebels, supported by Turkish planes and tanks, are two and a half kilometres (1.5 miles) from Dabiq, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"Two hours ago, the rebels started their attack to control Dabiq. The rebels came from Al-Rai," it said.

Dabiq holds symbolic importance for IS because of a Sunni prophecy that states it will be the site of an end-of-times battle between Christian forces and Muslims.

The town itself has negligible military value compared with the strategic IS-controlled cities of Raqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.

Earlier this week, IS tried to downplay the advancing rebel forces in its Al-Naba online pamphlet, saying the major battle for the town was yet to come.

Anti-IS fighters and their Turkish backers "have amassed in Aleppo, announcing Dabiq as their major goal," and thinking they could score "a great moral victory against the Islamic State."

But "the great epic of Dabiq will be preceded by great events and apocalyptic omens," the pamphlet, published Thursday, said.

"These hit-and-run battles in Dabiq and its outskirts -- the lesser Dabiq battle -- will end in the greater Dabiq epic," the group added.

Dabiq is also the name of IS's sleek English-language magazine. Every new edition opens with a quote by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the late leader of IS's precursor, the Islamic State of Iraq.

"The spark has been ignited in Iraq, and its flames will grow until they burn the Crusader armies in Dabiq," he once said.
Al Arabiya adds:
ISIS has stationed around 1,200 of its fighters there said the Observatory, a Britannia-based war monitor.
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Africa North
Body of Libyan executed in Iraq on terrorism charges repatriated
2016-09-09
[Libya Herald] The body of Adel Juma Shaalali, the Libyan executed in Iraq last week, arrived at Labraq airport today and was collected by the Red Islamic Thingy which in turn handed it over to his family for burial in his hometown of Derna.

Shaalali, 43, was on death row in Baghdad for four years, having been convicted in August 2012 on terrorism and murder charges. Following protests in December that year by Libyan sympathisers, the Zeidan administration succeeded in persuading the Iraqi government to delay his execution. It was again delayed in April 2014 following legal appeals.

"The possibility that Iraq might execute Shaalali without revealing even basic information about his case highlights grave concerns about Iraq’s justice system," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch
... During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, HRW received a pledge from the Foundation to Promote Open Society, of which George Soros is Chairman, for general support totaling $100,000,000. The grant is being paid in installments of $10,000,000 over ten years.Through June 30, 2013, HRW had received $30,000,000 towards the fulfillment of the pledge....
. "The Iraqi government should immediately stay Shaalali’s execution."

Shaalali left Libya for Iraq in 2007 and joined Jamaat al-Tawhid wal-Jihad of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi which later became part of the so-called Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
. He later caught accused of fighting against the US forces there and of being a terrorist.

At least one, possibly two Iraqi citizens were murdered in Derna after Shaalali’s conviction, it is thought in acts of Dire Revenge by what was then Derna’s Ansar al-Sharia
...a Salafist militia which claims it is not part of al-Qaeda, even though it works about the same and for the same ends. There are groups of the same name in Libyaand Yemen, with the Libyan versions currently most active. Tunisia's Shabaab al-Tawhid started out an Ansar al-Sharia and changed its name in early 2014. It still uses the old name now and then, probably because the stationery's not all used up and the web site hasn't expired yet...
.
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Iraq
US airstrike kills ISIS 'Emir of Anbar Province' in Iraq
2016-05-10
[FOXNEWS] A U.S. Arclight airstrike on Friday killed four Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
fighters in western Iraq, including a leader who appeared in ISIS execution videos and was considered an heir apparent to terror criminal mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Pentagon announced Monday.

The terror leader, Abu Wahib, was known as the "Emir of Anbar Province." The strike unfolded near al-Rutba, not far from the Syrian border, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told news hounds.

Wahib left an Anbar university, where he was studying computer science, to fight U.S. forces entering Iraq, The New York Times
...which still proudly displays Walter Duranty's Pulitzer prize...
reported. He beat feet from an Iraq-run prison in Tikrit in 2012.

Cook said Wahib's death marks another serious blow to ISIS leadership and would "further degrade its ability to operate, especially in Anbar Province."

Iraq had falsely reported Wahib's death in the past, but Cook said, "we're confident that this was a successful strike and I'll leave it at that."
Link


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Syrian army presses ahead with offensive against ISIS
2016-04-05
Syrian troops and allied militiamen pressed on with an offensive against ISIS in central Syria on Monday, clashing with the extremists around the town of Qaryatain a day after it was captured by pro-government forces.

The push into Qaryatain took place under the cover of Russian airstrikes and dealt another setback to ISIS in Syria a week after the army retook the historic town of Palmyra from the group. SANA said the army was fighting ISIS militants in areas around Qaryatain Monday, as well as in farms east and north of Palmyra.

The capture of Qaryatain deprives ISIS of a main base in central Syria and could be used by government forces in the future to launch attacks on ISIS-held areas near the Iraqi border.

Qaryatain used to be home to a sizable Christian population and lies midway between Palmyra and the capital, Damascus. Activists said last summer that Qaryatain had a mixed population of around 40,000 Sunni Muslims and Christians, as well as thousands of internally displaced people who had fled from the nearby city of Homs. Many of the Christians fled the town after it came under ISIS attack.

Dozens of Qaryatain's Christians and other residents have been abducted by ISIS. While the town was under Islamic State control, some were released while others were made to sign pledges to pay a tax imposed on non-Muslims.

Meanwhile, monitoring groups said that a senior Al-Qaeda official was killed in air strikes Sunday night that killed at least 21 other militants in Idlib province, a militant stronghold in northern Syria.

The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant websites, said Abu Firas al-Souri died in US strikes. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the jets were thought to belong to the Syrian or Russian Air Forces.

It said they targeted the headquarters of Jund al-Aqsa, an extremist group that fights alongside al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front.

Al-Souri was the former official spokesman for the Nusra Front, the group reported on social media Monday.

A 2014 biographical video about al-Souri, obtained by SITE, says he used to represent Osama bin Laden in Pakistan after he met the al-Qaeda founder in Afghanistan during the jihad against the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

Al-Souri, born outside Damascus in 1949, followed the path of many Syrian militants. A graduate of the country's military college, he trained militant cells in the country between 1977 and 1980, heading several operations against the authorities for the latter part of that period.

He was expelled from the Syrian military in part because of his Islamist ties in 1979.

He fled to Jordan in 1980 then to Afghanistan in 1981 where he trained militants coming to the war-torn country from across Asia and the Arab world. He became an associate of bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a senior al-Qaeda commander who led the organization’s affiliate in Iraq following the 2003 US invasion.

Al-Souri participated in a number of major military operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan before transferring to Yemen in 2003. In 2013, the al-Qaeda leadership transferred him to Syria to mend the growing rift between the group and ISIS.

A media outlet belonging to the Lebanese militia Hezbollah said al-Souri’s son was also killed in the air strikes.

Hezbollah has sent thousands of its fighters to fight alongside Syrian government forces in the country’s five-year civil war. The group was reported to have lost a dozen soldiers in fierce fighting in northern Syria last weekend as militant groups alongside rebel militias mounted an offensive against several government positions.
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Olde Tyme Religion
The Soft Power of Militant Jihad
2015-12-22
AFTER Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor to the Islamic State, reportedly beheaded the American hostage Nicholas Berg in 2004, he became known in jihadi circles as the Slaughterer. Few people in the West are aware that he also went by the nickname He Who Weeps a Lot. Mr. Zarqawi was known for weeping during prayer and when speaking about Muslim women's suffering under occupation.
(Skipping many paragraphs in the same vein)
As the West comes to terms with a new and growing threat ‐ horrifically evident in the recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. ‐ we are not only confronting organizations and doctrines, but also a highly seductive subculture. This is bad news. Governments are much better equipped to take on the Slaughterer than they are He Who Weeps a Lot.
Without that last paragraph, this would be pure enemy propaganda. It still is. NYT, sympathetic as always.
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