US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

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16.06.2020

"Taliban ramps up attacks after ending unilateral ceasefire"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/06/taliban-ramps-up-attacks-after-ending-unilateral-ceasefir
e.php

Nach dem Ende der vereinbarten Waffenruhe in Afghanistan haben die Taliban ihre Angriffe auf Regierungstruppen wieder mit Vehemenz aufgenommen, berichtet Bill Roggio. "The Taliban has resumed its offensive against Afghan security forces throughout the country after a lull in fighting following a three-day unilateral ceasefire for the Eid-ul-Fitr holiday in late May. Over the past week, the Taliban has killed or wounded more than 420 Afghan security personnel during attacks across Afghanistan. At least 171 Afghan security personnel were killed in and 250 more were wounded during 222 Taliban attacks in 29 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces during the past week, a spokesman for the Interior Affairs Ministry told TOLONews. The Taliban’s resumption of its nationwide offensive against the Afghan government is in stark contrast to the picture that was painted by Afghan officials a little over two weeks ago."

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10.06.2020

"Taliban denounces 'deviant beliefs,' including 'satanic western and disbelieving ideologies'"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/06/taliban-denounces-deviant-beliefs-including-satanic-weste
rn-and-disbelieving-ideologies.php

Nach Ansicht von Bill Roggio sollte sich der Westen keine Illusionen über die wahren Absichten der Taliban in Afghanistan machen. In einem neuen Video habe die Gruppe kaum Zweifel an ihrer ideologischen Kompromisslosigkeit gelassen. "As Western and Afghan officials cling to the hope that they can make peace with the Taliban and integrate the group into the government, the Taliban continues to display its true colors. In a recent video, the Taliban extolled the virtues of jihad and its Islamic Emirate while denouncing 'deviants … who are trained in the poisonous deviant beliefs of atheism, communism, secularism, democracy, and other satanic western and disbelieving ideologies.' The video, titled 'Real Men 4,' is the latest in a series of Taliban statements that makes clear the group will not compromise with the Afghan government, which it has previously described as a 'puppet' of the U.S., as well as 'illegitimate,' 'impotent,' and most importantly, 'un-Islamic.' (…) The Taliban’s message of scorn and disdain for the Afghan and U.S. governments, and Western governance and culture is nothing new. The jihadist group has been very clear over the past two decades that the only acceptable form of government in Afghanistan is an 'Islamic system' that is to be ruled by the Taliban’s government. (…) The Taliban has also said that it would not 'share' power after sacrificing so much during its jihad."

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08.06.2020

"Analysis: Taliban again denies presence of foreign fighters in Afghanistan"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/06/analysis-taliban-again-denies-presence-of-foreign-fighter
s-in-afghanistan.php

Dass die Taliban nach wie vor die Präsenz ausländischer Kämpfer in Afghanistan leugnen, sollte nach Ansicht von Bill Roggio grundsätzliche Zweifel an ihrer Vertrauenswürdigkeit wecken. "The Taliban’s denial of the presence of foreign fighters in Afghanistan is of course absurd. FDD’s Long War Journal has consistently documented the presence of Al Qaeda, Islamic State and a host of other foreign terrorists in the country over the past two decades. The information is based on U.S. and Afghan military raids against the groups’ leaders and fighters, U.N. reports, press reporting, and even Al Qaeda’s own martyrdom statements for its leaders and fighters killed while fighting in Afghanistan. (…) The Taliban’s continuous denial of the presence of Al Qaeda and other foreign fighters should give Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and other U.S. officials – who somehow maintain that the Taliban will be an effective counterterrorism partner – serious cause for concern. Secretary Pompeo even boldly declared that the Taliban will work hand-in-hand with the U.S. to 'destroy' Al Qaeda. Meanwhile the deal signed between the two included no such commitment. After all, how can the Taliban destroy Al Qaeda if it isn’t even in Afghanistan?"

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01.06.2020

"U.N.: Taliban 'regularly consulted' with Al Qaeda throughout negotiations with U.S."

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/06/u-n-taliban-regularly-consulted-with-al-qaeda-throughout-
negotiations-with-u-s.php

Beobachtern der UN zufolge haben sich die Taliban während ihrer Verhandlungen mit der US-Regierung regelmäßig mit der Al-Qaida abgestimmt. "A new report by a U.N. monitoring team casts further doubt on the supposed counterterrorism assurances made by the Taliban in its Feb. 29 withdrawal agreement with the U.S. The Taliban 'regularly consulted with Al Qaeda during negotiations with the United States and offered guarantees that it would honor their historical ties,' according to the monitoring team. The analysis contains numerous allegations of ongoing collusion between the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The report is dated May 27, or nearly two months after the U.S. and Taliban entered into their accord in Doha. In exchange for a withdrawal timetable and various other concessions made by the U.S., the Taliban supposedly agreed to prevent groups such as Al Qaeda from operating inside its territory and wouldn’t allow Al Qaeda to threaten the U.S. and its allies."

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18.05.2020

"Pensacola shooter had ‘significant ties’ to AQAP, FBI finds"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/05/pensacola-shooter-had-significant-ties-to-aqap-fbi-finds.
php

Bei einem Anschlag im Dezember 2019 hatte ein saudischer Soldat drei Menschen auf einem Militärstützpunkt im US-Bundesstaat Florida erschossen sowie weitere verletzt. Nun ist es dem FBI offenbar gelungen, das iPhone des Attentäters zu entsperren. Eine Untersuchung der entschlüsselten Daten habe dabei Hinweise auf eine Verbindung zur Terrororganisation Al-Qaida geliefert. "Investigators reached this conclusion after the FBI cracked the encryption on two of Alshamrani’s iPhones. Alshamrani, a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force, was in the U.S. as part of a training program. But he was secretly planning something else. Alshamrani 'had specific conversations with overseas AQAP associates about plans and tactics,' according to the DOJ. 'In fact,' the DOJ says, Alshamrani 'was communicating with AQAP right up until the attack, and conferred with his associates until the night before he undertook the murders.'"

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18.05.2020

"As Afghan Army resumes offensive operations, Taliban launches suicide attacks"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/05/as-afghan-army-resumes-offensive-operations-taliban-launc
hes-suicide-attacks.php

Die Taliban haben auf die Ankündigung neuer Offensivoperationen der afghanischen Regierungstruppen mit zwei Selbstmordanschlägen geantwortet. "(…) the Taliban has been clear it would continue military operations against the Afghan government, which it views as a 'puppet' of the U.S., 'impotent,' and a 'stooge.' The Taliban has refused to negotiate directly with the Afghan government, and has said it would never join with it to govern the country. (…) Taliban attacks have spiked since the signing of the mischaracterized 'peace deal' between the U.S. and the Taliban. According to Reuters, Taliban attacks between March 1 and April 15 increased by more than 70 percent. The Taliban has been clear that its deal with the U.S. was merely a 'withdrawal agreement' and that it is obligated to wage jihad against the Afghan government to reestablish the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan."

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04.05.2020

"Analysis: The Islamic State’s ideological campaign against al-Qaeda"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/05/analysis-the-islamic-states-ideological-campaign-against-
al-qaeda.php

Thomas Joscelyn analysiert ein neues Propagandavideo, mit dem sich der "Islamische Staat" ideologisch von der Al-Qaida abgrenzen wolle. "On April 29, the Islamic State’s 'province' (wilayah) in Yemen released a lengthy video that is intended to undermine al-Qaeda’s ideological legitimacy within the jihadists’ ranks. The 50-plus minute production, titled 'A Documentary Shedding Light on Al-Qaeda Organization’s Deviation Following What Is Known as the Arab Spring,' repeats many of the same doctrinal accusations the Islamic State has made for years. The would-be caliphate’s ire is directed at Ayman al-Zawahiri and his lieutenants, as well as al-Qaeda’s regional branches and their allies. The Islamic State’s central charge is that al-Qaeda betrayed its own Salafi-jihadist ideology in the wake of the Arab uprisings in 2011 and 2012. (…) It is noteworthy that the organization’s media apparatus is emphasizing these arguments against al-Qaeda once again. It shows that the Islamic State, despite suffering significant setbacks, has a deep institutional memory."

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20.04.2020

"Arrests in Germany highlight reach of Islamic State’s Central Asian network"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/04/arrests-in-germany-highlight-reach-of-islamic-states-cent
ral-asian-network.php

Thomas Joscelyn zufolge ist es kein Zufall, dass die in Nordrhein-Westfalen festgenommenen vier mutmaßlichen Mitglieder einer IS-Zelle aus Tadschikistan stammen. "The AP reports that the cell members 'are alleged to have been in contact with two high-ranking ISIS figures in Syria and Afghanistan.' If this is verified, then ISIS has retained a command and control structure that is still capable of influencing or directing international plots — even though the organization’s plans are routinely foiled. The role of Tajiks in this purported plot is noteworthy. The Islamic State has had cells in Tajikistan for years, while also recruiting Tajiks to fight in Afghanistan."

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13.03.2020

"Jihadists discuss coronavirus, offer advice"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/03/jihadists-discuss-coronavirus-offer-advice.php

Die Corona-Pandemie sei auch von der dschihadistischen Propaganda aufgegriffen worden, berichtet Caleb Weiss. "Both the al Qaeda-linked Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) and the Islamic State have publicly commented on the virus. In a video released late last month, the TIP, a predominately Uighur jihadist organization, framed the coronavirus outbreak in China as 'punishment from God' for the state’s oppression of the Uighur minority. (…) While not explicitly naming coronavirus in its most recent issue of the weekly Al Naba newsletter, the Islamic State does offer 'Sharia guidance on dealing with epidemics.' Utilizing several ahadith [sayings of the Prophet Muhammad] to emphasize their points, the group offers basic advice such telling members to 'cover your mouths when yawning and sneezing' and to 'wash your hands before dipping them into containers.' Some of the Islamic State’s advice even mirrors that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by advocating for a form of social distancing and quarantining."

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03.03.2020

"Analysis: Taliban leader declares victory after U.S. agrees to withdrawal deal"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/03/analysis-taliban-leader-declares-victory-after-u-s-agrees
-to-withdrawal-deal.php

Thomas Joscelyn und Bill Roggio sind nicht überrascht, dass die Taliban die Vereinbarung mit den USA als Sieg deklarieren. Sie bezweifeln, dass sich die Taliban tatsächlich von der Al-Qaida distanzieren werden. "The State Department agreed to a lopsided deal in which the Taliban extracted several significant concessions in exchange for little. The U.S. agreed to a full withdrawal from Afghanistan within 14 months, the delisting of Taliban leaders from international sanctions lists, and an uneven prisoner exchange that would free 5,000 jihadists for just 1,000 prisoners held by the Taliban. (The Afghan government quickly balked at this concession.) The Taliban has agreed to take part in intra-Afghan negotiations, but hasn’t recognized the Afghan government’s legitimacy. Nor has the Taliban agreed to a ceasefire with Afghan forces, or offered any real indication that it seeks peace. Akhundzada’s victory declaration was littered with references to the Taliban’s 'Islamic Emirate,' the same authoritarian regime the jihadists have been fighting to resurrect since 2001. (…) If Secretary Pompeo is right, then Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad has negotiated the greatest betrayal in the history of jihadism, with the Taliban breaking its quarter-century relationship with al-Qaeda. It would be a boon for counterterrorism efforts around the globe, as jihadists everywhere from West Africa to South Asia have held up the Taliban’s alliance with al-Qaeda as a model for jihadist unity. If Pompeo is wrong, then President Trump’s State Department has exonerated and legitimized the Taliban on America’s way out the door. That certainly wasn’t necessary to withdraw troops from the country. Nor does it place America’s security interests first."

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31.01.2020

"Jihadists in central Mali pledge allegiance to new Islamic State leader"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/01/jihadists-in-central-mali-pledge-allegiance-to-new-islami
c-state-leader.php

Dschihadistische Gruppen in Mali haben Caleb Weiss zufolge ihre Treue zum "Islamischen Staat" bekräftigt und dem neuen IS-Anführer Abu Ibrahim al Hashimi al Qurayshi in einem Video Gefolgschaft geschworen. "The video features dozens of jihadists in the area of Nampala close to Mali’s borders with Mauritania. It is important to note that the video was not released through official Islamic State channels. Though this is not unusual for Islamic State-loyal jihadists in the Sahel. Prior to and even after being officially recognized by the Islamic State’s leadership in Iraq and Syria, the so-called 'Islamic State in the Greater Sahara' released most of its propaganda and attack claims unofficially. (…) As the Islamic State continues to grow in the Sahel, it is possible that it will be able to attract more fighters from al Qaeda’s camp. This will not come without consequences, however, as future brawls between the jihadist heavyweights are likely to occur."

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29.01.2020

"UN: Al-Qaeda maintains close ties to Taliban despite talks with U.S."

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/01/un-al-qaeda-maintains-close-ties-to-taliban-despite-talks
-with-u-s.php

Ein neuer UN-Bericht hat Thomas Joscelyn zufolge bestätigt, dass die Taliban in Afghanistan nach wie vor enge Beziehungen zur Al-Qaida pflegen. "Al-Qaeda’s relations with the Taliban 'continue to be close and mutually beneficial,' according to a newly released report authored by the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team responsible for tracking terrorist groups around the globe. Al-Qaeda supplies 'resources and training in exchange for protection' from the Taliban. (…) The Taliban has lied about its relationship with al-Qaeda since the 1990s, and continues to obfuscate the presence of foreign fighters waging jihad under its banner. But the UN team confirms, once again, that foreign jihadists are indeed participating in the Taliban-led insurgency. 'Al-Qaeda and foreign terrorist fighters aligned with it, under the protection and influence of the Taliban, pose a long-term global threat,' the UN’s monitoring team reports."

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27.01.2020

"'Incite the Believers' continues to fight Assad regime in southern Idlib"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/01/incite-the-believers-continue-to-fight-assad-regime-in-so
uthern-idlib.php

Zu den Rebellen, die in der Idlib-Provinz im Norden Syriens gegen die vorrückenden Regierungstruppen kämpfen, gehört Caleb Weiss und Joe Truzman zufolge auch die der Al-Qaida nahestehende Gruppe "Incite the Believers". "Since the beginning of the year, the al Qaeda-linked 'Incite the Believers' operations room in northern Syria has advertised its battles with the Assad regime. Various photos and videos detail skirmishes in southern Idlib, while others showcase the continuous sporadic fighting in nearby Latakia. The operations room joins Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS) and various Turkish-backed groups in conducting operations against the regime’s current advances in southern Idlib. 'Incite the Believers' includes several jihadist groups operating in northern Syria, including Hurras al Din ('Guardians of the Religion'), Ansar al Tawhid, Ansar al Din Front and Ansar al Islam. Since forming, the alliance has provided continuous updates to its activities in Syria and is heavily promoted by al Qaeda’s social media apparatus."

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17.01.2020

"The ISIS insurgency in the Sinai continues despite Egyptian Army efforts"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/01/the-isis-insurgency-in-the-sinai-continues-despite-egypti
an-army-efforts.php

Der Aufstand des "Islamischen Staates" auf der ägyptischen Sinai-Halbinsel nimmt Joe Truzman zufolge trotz einer verstärkten Gegenoffensive der Armee kein Ende. "There is no end in sight to Wilayat Sinai’s guerrilla campaign against the Egyptian Army and other foes, despite the launch of multiple counter-insurgency operations by the Army since 2013. The Islamic State’s so-called Sinai “province” has also remained loyal to the group’s overall leadership, even with the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and several of his key lieutenants. The jihadists’ attacks against army posts and check points continue to be successful against an army that benefits from air-support, APCs, tanks and superior armament. (…) Egypt has had a difficult time containing the insurgency occurring in the north of the country. The terrain in this part of the country offers excellent cover for hit-and-run attacks against Egyptian Army outposts which are located too far and between one another."

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11.09.2019

"Ayman al-Zawahiri defends 9/11 hijackings in anniversary address"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2019/09/ayman-al-zawahiri-defends-9-11-hijackings-in-anniversary-
address.php

Al-Qaida-Anführer Ayman al-Zawahiri hat sich anlässlich des Jahrestags der Anschläge vom 11. September 2001 erneut an die Öffentlichkeit gewandt, berichtet Thomas Joscelyn in seiner ausführlichen Analyse des Videos. "Ayman al-Zawahiri defends the 9/11 hijackings in a video released on the 18th anniversary of al-Qaeda’s most devastating attack. The production, released by al-Qaeda’s As Sahab propaganda arm, is titled 'And They Shall Continue to Fight You.' Although the production was transcribed in English, Zawahiri’s main audience includes Islamic scholars throughout Arabic-speaking countries. Indeed, the al-Qaeda leader is defensive throughout much of the video, seeking to explain his organization’s actions on 9/11 and thereafter. (...) For Zawahiri, the 'nature of the battle' is such that 'it is a global Crusader war against Muslims, and there is no dividing line between the local and the global battle.' That is a key point that is often missed in analyses of al-Qaeda. The group is not solely focused on attacks in the West, but instead views its jihad as a contiguous conflict against a wide range of parties across the globe. (...) Although Zawahiri views the 'local' and 'global' conflicts as part of the same war, he again encourages jihadists to attack the U.S., its interests and allies."

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31.08.2019

"Airstrike targeted Al Qaeda leadership in Syria, U.S. military says"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2019/08/airstrike-targeted-al-qaeda-leadership-in-syria-u-s-milit
ary-says.php

Das US-Militär hat eigenen Angaben zufolge einen Luftangriff gegen Anführer der Al-Qaida in der syrischen Idlib-Provinz durchgeführt. "According to various al Qaeda-associated Telegram channels, the facility that was bombed belonged to Ansar al-Tawhid. The location was either a headquarters or safe house for Ansar al-Tawhid, and members of another organization, Hurras al-Din (or the Guardians of Religion), may have been visiting at the time. Both Ansar al-Tawhid and Hurras al-Din are part of al Qaeda’s international network. (...) Hurras al-Din (HAD) is led by al Qaeda veterans. Its overall leader is Abu al-Qassam (a.k.a. Khalid al-Aruri), according to a monitoring team that reports to the United Nations Security Council. Al-Qassam was once one a top deputy to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of al Qaeda in Iraq, and has myriad ties to other al Qaeda actors. (...) Ansar al-Tawhid is thought to be the latest incarnation of a group first known as Jund al-Aqsa, which was an al Qaeda front group. (...) Ansar al-Tawhid has been heavily involved in the fighting against Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its allies. In particular, the group’s members have been trying to thwart a regime offensive in southern Idlib province and the surrounding areas. (...) Ansar al-Tawhid has also trumpeted its attacks on Russian-backed forces. In mid-August, the group released photos and a video documenting a missile launch that allegedly targeted Russia’s proxies."

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23.07.2019

"Taliban justifies 9/11 attack, blaming America’s ‘interventionist policies’"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2019/07/taliban-justifies-9-11-attack-blaming-americas-interventi
onist-policies.php

Die Taliban haben die Anschläge vom 11. September 2001 Thomas Joscelyn und Bill Roggio zufolge in einem neuen Video gerechtfertigt und auf die "interventionistische" Außenpolitik der USA zurückgeführt. Das Argument gehe auf den Taliban-Gründer Mullah Omar zurück und werde auch zur Rechtfertigung anderer Anschläge der Al-Qaida genutzt. "This provocative message is included in 'Umari Army (6),' a video that was produced by Al-Emara, the Taliban’s official media arm. It was released online and promoted by the Taliban’s spokesman earlier today. Footage of United Airlines Flight 175 slamming into the World Trade Center is shown in the background as the statement rolls across the bottom of the screen. (...) The Taliban doesn’t just blame 9/11 on the West’s 'interventionist policies.' In its new video, it is also portrays the 2004 Madrid train bombings by al Qaeda-linked terrorists in the same light. (...) With respect to women, the group claims they 'are not given any rights' currently and are 'solely called towards misguidance.' This is a rejection of more liberal-minded rights for women and girls. Indeed, the Taliban rejects any form of Westernized culture outright, decrying '24-hour music and songs, obscene dramas' and 'movies' as a desecration of the 'creed of a nation' and degradation of Afghanistan’s 'cultural heritage.'"

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23.06.2019

"Al Qaeda growing stronger under Taliban’s umbrella, UN finds"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2019/06/al-qaeda-growing-stronger-under-talibans-umbrella-un-find
s.php

Ein Beobachterteam des UN-Sicherheitsrates hat Thomas Joscelyn zufolge bestätigt, dass die Al-Qaida in Afghanistan nach wie vor unter dem Schutz der Taliban stehe und sogar neu erstarkt sei. "While some are eager to portray the Taliban as a purely nationalist organization, the UN notes that the Taliban is the 'primary partner for all foreign terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, with the exception of' the Islamic State’s Khorasan branch, which seeks to undermine the Taliban’s legitimacy. Al Qaeda 'members act as instructors and religious teachers for Taliban personnel and their family members.' And a 'number of Al Qaeda activists have reportedly arrived in Afghanistan from Egypt,' though the UN did not identify these Egyptians or say when they arrived. The UN assesses that the Taliban 'cooperate[s] and retain[s] strong links with' Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), the Haqqani Network (which is an integral part of the Taliban), Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (also known as the Turkistan Islamic Party, or TIP), 'as well as nearly 20 other regionally and globally focused groups.'"

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18.06.2019

"US bases in Iraq targeted in rocket attacks"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2019/06/__trashed-3.php

Bill Roggio und Caleb Weiss berichten über drei Raketenangriffe auf US-Militärstützpunkte in Irak, für die dem Iran nahestehende schiitische Milizen verantwortlich sein könnten. "(...) it is widely suspected that Iranian-supported militias, which are part of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) are responsible. The areas in which the attacks have occurred are areas with a strong PMU presence. Iran has created and supported a number of Shia militias in Iraq to increase its influence in the country, counter the US presence in Iraq and the region, as well as serve as proxies in the Syria civil war. These militias are responsible for killing over 600 troops during and after the surge as the US battle al Qaeda in Iraq."

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08.05.2019

"Taliban assaults 'anti-Islamic' NGO in Kabul, citing its promotion of 'western culture'"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2019/05/taliban-assaults-anti-islamic-ngo-in-kabul-citing-its-pro
motion-of-western-culture.php

Thomas Joscelyn berichtet über einen Selbstmordanschlag der Taliban auf die von den USA unterstützte Nichtregierungsorganisation "Counterpart International" in Kabul. "The Taliban, which consistently refers to itself as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, accuses Counterpart of promoting 'western culture' and the 'mixing' of men and women. (...) The Taliban’s attack on Counterpart is also another example of the tension between the group and international aid organizations. It came just hours after the jihadists’ political office met with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In April, the Taliban banned the ICRC and the World Health Organization (WHO) from operating in the areas it controls."

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23.04.2019

"Analysis: The Islamic State’s allegiance videos"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2019/04/analysis-the-islamic-states-allegiance-videos.php

Ein neues Video des "Islamischen Staates" zeigt die mutmaßlichen Attentäter von Sri Lanka bei einem Treueschwur auf den IS-Anführer Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Thomas Joscelyn analysiert die Bilder im Kontext früherer Bekennervideos des IS und schreibt: "The footage is undoubtedly intended to underscore the connection between the perpetrators and the Islamic State mother organization. The strength of those ties needs to be evaluated using multiple sources of evidence and intelligence, not just the videos. Such an evaluation is currently underway with respect to the terrorists in Sri Lanka. Nevertheless, the videos demonstrate that the terrorists have at least a digital tie to the Islamic State’s global network. The jihadists seen in the footage from Sri Lanka rehearse a familiar script, declaring Baghdadi to be 'Emir ul-Mu’minin,' or the 'Emir of the Faithful,' in front of the group’s typical banner. This ritual is not limited to videos released after successful terrorist attacks, but even, in some cases, after the terrorists’ plots fizzled."

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23.03.2019

"US-backed forces declare end to Islamic State’s physical caliphate"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2019/03/us-backed-forces-declare-end-to-islamic-states-caliphate.
php

Die letzte Bastion des "Islamischen Staates" in Syrien ist einer Meldung der arabisch-kurdischen SDF-Miliz nach langen Kämpfen endlich gefallen. "The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared today that the Islamic State’s caliphate has been defeated. In a statement posted online, the SDF announced the 'destruction of the so-called Islamic State Organization and the end of its ground control in its last pocket in [Baghouz] region.' The SDF had battled the jihadists for control of Baghouz since early this year. The first part of the SDF’s announcement is an exaggeration. The Islamic State’s organization has not been entirely destroyed. The group has lost its territory, meaning it can longer claim to rule over a physical caliphate. This has undoubtedly damaged the organization’s stature, making it less appealing to would-be recruits than at the zenith of its power in 2014 and 2015. However, the group’s media machine shifted its messaging many months ago. Whereas the Islamic State once told followers that it was 'remaining and expanding,' the jihadists now preach a message of resiliency and determination, claiming that their setbacks are a divine test."

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05.03.2019

"UN: Al Qaeda continues to view Afghanistan as a 'safe haven'"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2019/03/un-al-qaeda-continues-to-view-afghanistan-as-a-safe-haven
.php

Der UN-Sicherheitsrat stellt in einem neuen Bericht fest, dass die Beziehungen der Al-Qaida zu den Taliban nach wie vor gut seien und die Terrororganisation Afghanistan immer noch als "sicheren Hafen" betrachte. "The new assessment was authored in January and released online in early February. It is consistent with a previous analysis written last summer. In that report, dated July 2018, the UN said al Qaeda’s 'alliance with the Taliban and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan remains firm,' and the two are still 'closely allied.' (...) The US is currently negotiating with the Taliban. Zalmay Khalilzad, who leads the American delegation, has already stated that he is satisfied with the Taliban’s commitment to prevent Afghanistan 'from ever becoming a platform for international terrorist groups or individuals.' However, as the UN’s two reports and other evidence show, international terrorist organizations are already operating throughout Afghanistan, including in areas controlled by the Taliban. Khalilzad has not explained why he trusts the Taliban now, given that the Taliban’s representatives have repeatedly lied about their relationship with al Qaeda since the 1990s and the two groups remain in the same trench to this day."

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10.01.2019

"Jihadist group consolidates control in northwestern Syria"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2019/01/jihadist-group-consolidates-control-in-northwestern-syria
.php

Die radikalislamische Rebellenfraktion Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) habe ihre Vorherrschaft im Nordwesten Syriens durch Kämpfe gegen rivalisierende Gruppen in den vergangenen Wochen weiter ausgebaut, berichtet Thomas Joscelyn. "The jihadis still have not declared an Islamic state in Idlib, but HTS’s recent moves have extended their control throughout the region, allowing their nascent government to increase its footprint. In a report released last year, the US State Department referred to HTS as an 'al Qaeda-linked' group, saying its 'proselytization sessions' include games for children that are based 'on al Qaeda’s religious beliefs.' While HTS has gained more ground at the expense of other insurgents, significant challenges lie ahead. Namely, Bashar al Assad’s loyalists and their allies have been eyeing Idlib province for a possible invasion for months. Turkey intervened on Idlib’s behalf last year, forging a deal with the Russians that staved off a possible attack. But it is not clear if the Assad-Iran-Russia axis will continue to hold off, or if they will push into Idlib in the coming weeks and months."

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04.01.2019

"Islamic State expanded operations in Somalia in 2018"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2019/01/analysis-islamic-state-expanded-operations-in-somalia-in-
2018.php

Der Islamische Staat hat seine Operationen in Somalia im vergangenen Jahr deutlich ausgeweitet, berichtet Caleb Weiss. "According to data compiled by FDD’s Long War Journal, the jihadist group [Islamic State in Somalia (ISS)] has claimed 106 attacks in Somalia since April 2016. In 2018 alone, ISS claimed 66 operations. While this tally is less consequential than other areas in which the Islamic State operates, this number is more than the total number of claimed operations in Somalia in 2016 and 2017 combined. These claims were collected from Islamic State propaganda channels, such as Nashir and Amaq News, on Telegram. (...) as ISS continues to encroach on Shabaab territory, it is likely more inter-jihadi conflict between the two organizations will be seen. This has already played out to some degree, but Shabaab’s declaration of open conflict is a bad omen for the fledgling jihadist group. Additionally, while the Islamic State has not yet showed any signs of decelerating attack claims from Somalia, a renewed Shabaab campaign against it, however, will likely have a drastic effect on its operations."

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19.12.2018

"Analysis: The Islamic State hasn’t been defeated"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2018/12/analysis-the-islamic-state-hasnt-been-defeated.php

Präsident Trump hat den angekündigten Abzug der US-Truppen aus Syrien mit der Niederlage des "Islamischen Staates" begründet. Thomas Joscelyn hält diese Siegesmeldung für verfrüht. "(...) has the Islamic State (ISIS) been 'defeated' in Syria? The short answer is no. An unknown number of the group’s top leaders, including presumably Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and middle managers remain alive. It is highly likely that thousands of fighters remain in both Syria and Iraq. They continue to fight as insurgents, biding their time for opportunities to surge. And the Islamic State’s media machine, which is assumed to be headquartered in the region, remains prolific, pumping out messages in multiple languages on a daily basis. It is true that the Islamic State has lost nearly all of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders seemed to refine the president’s claim in a followup statement, saying the US has 'has defeated the territorial caliphate.' If that were the end of the story, then so be it. But as FDD’s Long War Journal and a number of others have repeatedly pointed out, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s men returned to their insurgent roots some months ago."

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18.12.2018

"Taliban commander admits thousands of foreign fighters are embedded within group"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2018/12/taliban-commander-admits-thousands-of-foreign-fighters-ar
e-embedded-within-group.php

Ein hochrangiger Taliban-Kommandeur hat in einem NBC-Interview überraschend eingeräumt, dass sich in den Reihen der Gotteskrieger tausende ausländische Kämpfer befinden. Bill Roggio hält diese freimütige Aussage für "erstaunlich", da es sich bei den Kämpfern mit hoher Sicherheit um Al-Qaida-Mitglieder handele. "FDD’s Long War Journal has maintained for the last eight years that US military and intelligence estimates of between 50 to 100 al Qaeda in Afghanistan (later modified to 200) have been woefully low. (...) It is unclear why the Taliban leader felt the urge to admit that thousands of foreign fighters are fighting alongside his group (most these are without a doubt al Qaeda, note how the Taliban commander refers to them as 'foreign militants'). Perhaps he is emboldened by the US government’s desperation to negotiate with the Taliban, and is unconcerned that his comments will make US officials reconsider the Taliban’s relationship with al Qaeda. Regardless of the reason, the admission further validates eight years of research by FDD’s Long War Journal, which has rejected the absurd notions that al Qaeda was defeated in Afghanistan and the Taliban has distanced itself the group."

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16.12.2018

"Taliban confirms meeting with US in the UAE"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2018/12/taliban-confirms-meeting-with-us-in-the-uae.php

Die Taliban haben bestätigt, dass sie sich am Montag in den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten zu Gesprächen mit Regierungsvertretern der USA, Saudi-Arabiens und Pakistans getroffen haben. "Notably absent from the Taliban’s statement is any mention of the Afghan government. The jihadists have publicly rejected any talks with President Ghani’s government, repeatedly describing it as an illegitimate 'puppet' of the US. According to Voice of America (VOA), the encounter in the UAE was brokered by Pakistan, after President Donald Trump requested Pakistan’s assistance in jumpstarting the talks. Citing Pakistani officials, VOA added that previous talks in Qatar stalled because the Taliban insisted on 'a date or timeframe' for the US and NATO withdrawal before participating in any sort of peace process with its Afghan foes. Such a timetable would be a major concession just to initiate negotiations. (...) It remains to be seen if Zalmay Khalilzad, who leads the American delegation, can actually get the Taliban and the Afghan government to sit down at the same table — or if the US will proceed without such talks. At least one American official claims they aren’t even really negotiating with the Taliban. 'We are not engaged in peace talks with the Taliban,' John R. Bass, the US Ambassador in Afghanistan, said earlier this month, according to TOLOnews. 'We are not negotiating on behalf of the Afghan people, we are not negotiating on behalf of the Afghan government, we are not in negotiating period.'"

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28.11.2018

"Afghan government’s negotiating position completely at odds with Taliban’s"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2018/11/afghan-governments-negotiating-position-completely-at-odd
s-with-talibans.php

Bill Roggio erwartet, dass die afghanische Regierung in den Verhandlungen zur Beendigung des Krieges an den Rand gedrängt werden wird. Die Verhandlungsposition Kabuls spiegle nicht die militärische Realität wider. Die Regierung selbst werde von den Taliban als "Marionette des Westens" abgelehnt. "The Taliban has refused to directly negotiate with the Afghan government, which it again views as a puppet of the West. Instead, the Taliban has insisted on directly negotiating with the US, which it views as the real power broker, and insists that the US withdraw its troops from the country. Only then can the Taliban make 'peace.' The US and international community, in its haste to negotiate a settlement with the Taliban at any cost, has delegitimized the Afghan government and weakened its potential negotiating position, assuming the Taliban will even negotiate with it. It is difficult to see how the Afghan government can remain a party to the so-called peace process given those conditions."

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26.11.2018

"Analysis: US military grossly underestimates Taliban, al Qaeda force levels in Afghanistan"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2018/11/analysis-us-military-grossly-underestimates-taliban-al-qa
eda-force-levels-in-afghanistan.php

Bill Roggio wirft dem US-Militär in einem weiteren Beitrag vor, die Zahl der Taliban-Kämpfer in Afghanistan systematisch zu unterschätzen bzw. herunterzuspielen. "Once again, the US military has grossly underestimated the size and scope of the Taliban, despite battling the group head-on for the last 17 years. In its latest quarterly report, US Forces – Afghanistan (USFOR-A) approximated the Taliban’s strength as between 28,000 and 40,000 fighters. That number should be doubled, at the minimum, because the USFOR-A estimate is wildly unrealistic given the level and intensity of fighting in Afghanistan, as well as the number of Taliban casualties claimed by Afghan security forces. (...) the Taliban’s strength is likely to number well over 100,000 fighters. US military and intelligence officials who track the Taliban agree. One official told LWJ that the Taliban likely has more than 70,000 fighters and tens of thousands of support personnel and supporters. Another said that the Taliban “could not possibly do what it has done with merely 40,000 fighters; double or more realistically triple that number, and you are closer to the truth.”

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