New Profiles and Articles on TRAC

  • Since its renaissance during 2009, Boko Haram is on an upward trajectory. Boko Haram has extended its areas of attack not only in Nigeria, but also Cameroon, added to its list of targets foreigners to be kidnapped and attained sophisticated weapons.

  • Al-Qa‘ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is a Sunni extremist group based in Yemen that has orchestrated numerous high-profile terrorist attacks. The Yemen government warned that losses could force AQAP "to commit hysterical and desperate acts" in response to current counter-terrorism operations.

  • Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AST) is rebranding itself as Shabab al-Tawhid (ST  - The Youth of Pure Monotheism) in Tunisia and Libya. ST members in Libya have been engaged in kidnappings and media campaigns whereas ST members in Tunisia are focussed on maintaining AST presence via social networking and dawa work.

  • An undated, new, and very gruesome, Boko Haram 44-minute video emerged on the internet May 9th, 2014 showing a huge crowd of heavily armed cadre gathering for a sermon, beheadings and festivities. Three captives are seen, including 2 Nigerian Police Officers (NPF) and a civilian, while a diatribe is given to a quiet, attentive audience before the very bloody executions.

  • Shekau is doing much more than merely claiming credit for the mass abductions of school girls. He justifies beheadings against Infidels and mentions Obama (9 times), the UN Secretary General, Jonathan and Bush by name. Shekau also threatens next attacks in Abuja and oil rich Christian ports.

  • The Army of the Emigrants and Helpers has participated in joint operations with the Islamic State of Iraq (Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham ISIS) and the Jabhat al-Nusra (JN), in Syria in fighting the Syrian Government. The group experienced two defections during 2013 related to diverse opinions on pledges of allegiance to either ISIS or JN as well as accusations of mis-management of funds.

  • Sabiri Jamaat is a jihadist group comprised of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Chechnya and Russian fighters. The group has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS).

  • According to the Saudi Arabia government those apprehended included the leader of the cell as well as three foreign nationals, namely a Palestinian, a Yemeni and a Pakistani national.  Contradictory information identified the Palestinian national arrested as the leader of the Saudi cell. Though the identity of the Palestinian is currently unknown, he is capable of bomb-making and had been a member of an Al-Qaeda franchise outside of Saudi Arabia and also participated in conflicts abroad.

  • On 18 March 2014, increased tensions within the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) resulted in the formation of a new rebel movement: the Coalition for the People of Azawad (CPA). The CPA is referred to as a “politico-military” organization and is claimed to have “nearly 8,000 veteran fighters”.

  • SaM, as with other Bahrain militant groups, is opposed to the recruitment and naturalisation of foreigners (particularly from Sunni Muslim religious backgrounds) into Bahrain’s security forces, which they refer to as “mercenaries.” SaM often posts images of police officers, with foreign backgrounds, that the group has targeted.

  • There are approximately 5000 Sunni foreign fighters in Syria. These fighters join battalions, also known as ‘muhajireen’ units, which in turn mostly support either the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) or Jabhat al-Nusrah (JN).  This general profile focuses on three battalions: Katiba al-Bittar al-Libi, Katiba al-Muhajireen, and Imam Bukhari Battalion

  • April 2014 Men - some masked, others bare-faced - stood guard around the 11-storey headquarters of the Donetsk Republic. The building was festooned with banners denouncing the European Union, the United States and "fascists". The swift occupation of the headquarters became a flashpoint in the battle for Ukraine

  • It was only after arriving in Yemen that Asiri learned to make bombs. There are opposing reports on how Asiri mastered such a skill, with some indication he was taught by a Pakistani bomb maker linked to al-Qaeda, whereas other reports refer to self-training by means of manuals and the Internet.

  • The sum total of radicalization can be a tangible one, culminating in a person living in the USCanada or Europe becoming a trans-national terrorist and traveling overseas to receive advanced training or participating in combat operations. If these individuals survive and return to their host countries it would be naïve to think they seamlessly integrate back into our society and renounce any previously formed fanatical beliefs.  NOTE: this article also focuses on Candian solutions to foreign fighter radicalization.

  • The Khasavyurt terrorist group allegedly stood behind a series of violent, cold-blooded attacks on Dagestan stores, car bombings, assaults on the police and extorting large sums of money at gunpoint from local entrepreneurs. January 2014 special units of the Federal Security Service (FSB) trapped and killed four terrorist suspects in Khasavyurt.

  • Shekau's focus on the “near enemy” is influenced by a clear ethnic agenda within Nigeria; however, the other three often unheard of leaders within Boko Haram, Khalid al-Barnawi, Mamman Nur and Adam Kambar, have much larger goals in mind: a transnational agenda.This rivarly between former high level members loyal to Yusuf with more transnational goals and Shekau's need for absolute dominance, maybe the source of the recent rumors that Boko Haram is fracturing from within.  

  • The EIJM establishment followed the merger of various groups during the 1980s, such as the Jabhat Tahrir al-Iritriyya al-Islamiyya al-Wataniyya (The National Eritrean Islamic Liberation Front), the Munzamat al-Ruwwad al-Muslimin al-Iritria (The Organization of Eritrean Pioneer Muslims) and the al-Intifada al-Islamiyya (Islamic Awakening).  The merger of the various groups resulted in a fragmented EIJM coupled with the lack of a unified and effective leadership. 

  • The Ashtar Brigades is a Shia militant group opposed to Bahrain’s ruling monarchy. Since 2013, the group has claimed credit for almost twenty attacks against security personnel in Bahrain. Consequently, on 4 March 2014, the Bahrain government listed SaA as a terrorist group.