ISIS in Action and Other Jihadi Actors

Ahmidah Al-Safrani, Abd Al-Hadi Zarqun, and Hammam Hamani were identified by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Public Affairs (OFAC) on 13 April, as Libyan-based financial facilitators of the Islamic State (IS). OFAC has implemented sanctions on these individuals freezing their assets and prohibiting business with US nationals.

Sabri and Souq al-Hout, both adjacent to the port in the centre of Benghazi are the only remaining areas controlled by the loose jihadist coalition of Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council (BRSC) and IS fighters. The Libyan National Army (LNA) maintains an aerial and naval blockade in the area and the current dip in clashes will likely be short lived as these areas have been an epicenter of fighting for over two years.

On 15 April, reinforcements from the southern Libya Shield forces, led by Islamist commander Ahmed Abdul Jalil Al-Hasnawi, arrived at Temenhint airbase to back up the Government of National Accord (GNA)-affiliated forces, including the Misratan Third Force and the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB), in their battle against the Libyan National Army (LNA).

On 16 April, militias affiliated with Khalifa Al-Ghwell, announced that they are joining the BDB and the Misratan Third Force, to join in the fight against the LNA in the South. Despite the announcement, there is no evidence of their deployment yet.

On 17 April, the LNA led an airstrike on the BDB base south of Sirte. Former Bunyan al-Marsus forces have mobilized to Sirte, where they are functionally aligned with the BDB, causing concern about the possibility of a BDB counter attack against the LNA. Ongoing conflict between the LNA and the GNA’s Misratan-led Third Force in Southern Libya could spill back over onto the initial battle ground of the Oil Crescent.

In Derna on 14 April, the LNA targeted Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) positions south of the city with a new volley of airstrikes; the LNA aerial and naval blockade in Derna continues.

To read about the international community’s responses to jihadis in Libya this week, click here.  To read the Eye on ISIS team’s explanation of the developments within the anti-ISIS Coalition of Libyan militias, click here. To read all four sections of this week’s Eye on ISIS in Libya report, click here. To subscribe to receive this report weekly into your inbox, sign up on the subscribe page.

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On 13 April 2017 at approximately 7:30 pm local time in Nangarhar’s Achin district, in the area of Mamund valley, American forces dropped – according to their statement – the largest non-nuclear bomb known as the ‘mother of all bombs’. This barbarity was followed with much fanfare with the Americans proudly boasting about it in the media thus showcasing the increasing barbarity of the foreign occupation.
The use and experimentation of such destructive weapons by foreign occupiers on our war-weary people and in every corner of our war-ravaged country is inexcusable. The Islamic Emirate condemns such barbarity in the strongest of terms and considers its perpetrators as war criminals. Such over-proportionate use of destruction poses long-term detriments for the environment and the development of our nation.
The repression of Daesh plots inside Afghanistan is the obligation of Afghans and not of foreigners. If the Americans fear for their security they should foil such plots at their own borders. The use of Daesh as a ploy to kill Afghans, bombard our lands, experiment novel weapons, and extend the illegitimate occupation is unacceptable. On the contrary, it is a historical wrong and a blatant aggression.
Through such actions the Americans hope to portray itself as a force against Daesh while at the same time giving this group visibility and legitimacy and therefore practically strengthening it. In recent months the Islamic Emirate carried out three separate operations against Daesh in Nangarhar yet every time the Mujahideen came close to completely eradicating this group, American aircraft would start bombarding the Mujahideen and forcing them to retreat.
The fact that the Americans claim that their presence in Afghanistan is limited only to a train and assist role while dropping 10 kiloton bombs on our lands only strengthens the voices of independence and Jihad in our land. Such barbarity illustrates that all freedom-loving Afghans ought to adopt a clear stance against the ongoing oppression of our country and no longer be fooled by American extenuations.
We believe that the use of heavy weaponry and destructive bombs in our country is not the answer to the current dilemma. Rather such irresponsible actions only light the flames of vengeance and show the ugly face of foreign occupation.
Zabihullah Mujahid
Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
17/07/1438 Lunar Hijri
26/01/1396 Solar Hijri

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Source: Telegram

Abstract: Fifteen years ago this month, a Tunisian operative named Nizar Nawar detonated a truck bomb outside the el-Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia, killing 19, including 16 German and French tourists. Orchestrated by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, it was al-Qa`ida’s first successful international attack after 9/11, but it has received far less attention than other attacks launched by the group. Court documents, case files, and primary sources shed significant new light on the attack and al-Qa`ida’s then modus operandi for international attack planning, which has both similarities and differences with recent international terrorist plots carried out by the Islamic State. In retrospect, the Djerba attack should have been a warning sign of the international threat posed by Tunisian foreign fighters, who are now one of the most dangerous cohorts within the Islamic State.

On April 11, 2002, a Tunisian al-Qa`ida operative named Nizar Bin Muhammad Nasar Nawar (Sayf al-Din al-Tunisi) ignored security officers’ orders to stop and drove a truck filled with liquid propane into the wall of el-Ghriba Synagogue, one of Africa’s oldest Jewish synagogues, in Djerba, Tunisia.1 Masterminded by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM),a the attack killed 14 Germans, three Tunisians, and two Frenchmen and left 30 others injured. Although it was al-Qa`ida’s first successful external operation following the 9/11 attacks, little has been written about how the attack materialized. It is one of the only large-scale, post-9/11 attacks or plots that has not been given a full retrospective treatment based on information that has been gleaned since its execution.2 Additionally, in light of the current Islamic State external operation campaign, it is worth examining how the Djerba bombing compares to more recent terrorist attacks in order to shed light on the evolution of terrorist attack planning.

This article draws on court documents, media reports, Guantanamo Bay prisoner review files, and Arabic primary sources from the jihadi movement to tell the story of the attack. While there is much contradictory information, the author has attempted to piece together what really happened by cross-referencing sources and weighing their credibility. While many scholars and general observers were surprised at the number of Tunisians who became involved with jihadism following the country’s revolution, this study of the network behind the Djerba attack makes clear that Tunisians have, in fact, played a significant role in the global jihadi movement for decades. Equally relevant to understanding the contemporary threat picture, this article sheds light on the longstanding importance of entrepreneurial individuals who link different nodes of networks together.3

Click here to read the article in full.

For prior parts see: #75#74#73#72#71#70#69#68#67#66#65#64#63#62, #61#60#59#58#57#56#55#54#53#52#51#50#49#48#47#46#45#44#43#42#41#40#39#38#37#36#35#34#33#32#31#30#29#28#27#26#25#24#23#22#21#20#19#18#17#16#15#14#13#12#11#10 and #1.

Click the following link for a safe PDF copy: The Islamic State — al-Nabā’ Newsletter #76

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Source: https://ia601502.us.archive.org/2/items/nabaa76

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