New Profiles and Articles on TRAC

  • Dr. Aafia Siddiqui referred to as “Lady of al-Qaeda" and “Prisoner of Faith” is serving an 86-year sentence in federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, for the attempted murder and assault of US nationals and officers and employees in Afghanistan. She was arrested during 2008 in Afghanistan carrying sodium cyanide, as well as documents describing how to make chemical weapons and dirty bombs and how to weaponise Ebola.

  • In 2008, Ayman al-Zawahri (then al Qaeda Central Command (AQC)’s second in command) proclaimed that women could not join Al Qaeda. However, what has transpired since the proclamation is the opposite, be it within al Qaeda Core or opposing ranks, like the Islamic State (ISIS).

  • Jalal Mohsen Saeed Baleedi Al-Marqashi (nickname Hamza Al-Zinjibari) is the field commander of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in the governorates of Abyan, Shabwa, Lahj, Hadramout, and Al-Beidha, where the group refers to itself as Ansar Al-Sharia in the Arab Peninsula.  Baleedi ‘s group was responsible for the kidnapping and killing of 14 Yemen soldiers on 8 August 2014, four of whom were beheaded. The soldiers were abducted from a civilian transportation bus in Hadramout.

  • Jund al-Sham announced its formation as a Salafist jihad group in Syria on 23 December 2012. Jund al-Sham is located in rural western Homs governorate. The group is comprised of both Lebanese and Syrian fighters.  Jund al-Sham close association with the IS is seen on the group's Facebook page, where the ISIS flag is displayed as well as group fighters stating that the group supports a Caliphate. However, the group does not openly state hostility towards Jabhat al-Nusra (JN), and has circulated images of JN banners in support of the jihad in Syria.

  • Raïa Mutomboki is an anarchic structured self defence group that consists of various localised self-defence militia groups in the eastern DRC. The group emerged during 2005 in response to the killing of 12 residents of the Kyokoa village by the FDLR (Hutu rebel group that fled to eastern DRC following the Rwanda civil war of 1994).  Raia Mutomboki ideology is defined with a Congolese nationalism narrative, fighting against the threat of foreigners, with the FDLR/interahamwe rebels from Rwanda as enemy and target.

  • Official Syrian sources confirmed that units of Syrian army managed to kill one of key members of Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) and in same time its spokesman: Abu Faris Al Suri (real name: Ridwan Al Namous). According to Syrian Arab News Agency, attack on Nusra Front spot took place in Zabdani district in Al Qalamoun (where JN has been fighting with Hezbollah recently).

  • Jamaat Ahadun Ahad has about 250 to 300 fighters, with the leadership being mainly Chechen. According to Hasan Mustafa, Jamaat Ahadun Ahad consists of four Chechen Muhajir groups and two Syrian Ansar groups (mostly Syrian Turkmens from Reef Latakia). Anofficial statement released by JAA (in English, Arabic and Turkish), the group states that they are led by a Shura Council consisting of mujahideen with “great pasts in the lands of jihad in Chechnya and Afghanistan.”

  • Jamaah Ansharusy Syariah (JAS) is a splinter group of Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT), established during August 2014 by Abdul “Iim” Rohim and Rosyid Ridho, the sons of convicted Abu Bakar Ba’asyir.  Ba’asyir expelled his sons and top aides from JAT following their refusal to support his pledge of support to the Islamic State (IS). JAS objective is to rival JAT recruitment for followers in support of the full implementation of Sharia in Indonesia. JAS claimed a membership of 2 000 in Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara and Bengkulu.

  • While ISIS has dominated social media in its attempts at propaganda, funding and recruitment, JN has been unable to capitalize on the same methods. The one exception to this has been “De Basis,” the Dutch/Belgian support group of JN which translated means “The Base”. It is the same name used by Al-Qaeda and has served as a support and recruiting organization for JN since October of 2013. In the last year Belgium and the Netherlands have experienced residents travelling to Syria to fight with the newly formed Islamic State. The Netherlands and Belgium have confirmed approximately 200 nationals each who have travelled to Syria. Of those, approximately 50 have died and another 50 have returned home.

  • Liwa Thuwar Raqqa (LTR - the Revolutionaries of Raqqa Brigade) is an anti-Islamic State (IS) and Syrian government insurgency group in Raqqa. The group is led by "Abu Eisa". The LTR was initially aligned with Jabhat al Nusrah (JN) in an attempt to counter increased presence of the IS at Raqqa. During early 2014 the LTR distanced itself from JN following infighting between the IS and various rebel groups in Raqqa.

  • A serious issue regarding Sharia Compliant Financing is the lack of regulation. Islamic scholars and advisory board members determine what is considered Islamic and what isn't when it comes to investments. This can be an issue as there is often no uniformity regarding business decisions and also what charities advisers donate to with money from these entities in order to “purify” otherwise tainted or “unIslamic” money.

  • China hacked into the corporate networks of three top Israeli defense technology companies, including Elisra GroupIsrael Aerospace Industries, and Rafael Advanced Defense SystemsMost of the information was intellectual property pertaining to Arrow III missiles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), ballistic rockets, and other technical documents in the same fields of study.  Based on the infiltration Chinese hackers were looking for information related to Israel’s all-weather air defense system called Iron Dome.  Attacks bore all of the hallmarks of the “Comment Crew,” a prolific and state-sponsored hacking group associated with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and credited with stealing terabytes of data from defense contractors and U.S. corporations.

  • The Declaration of the Caliphate in Iraq by Islamic State (ISIS) in July 2014 raises growing concerns about jihadist expansion all over the world, but especially in North Africa where diverse jihadist groups and leaders are vying for dominance. In a region known for jihadist splinter groups, competing ethnic militias and lack of trust amongst these groups leaders, a Maghreb or Sahel Caliphate seems only possible if unity could be gained within a regional dynamic of jihadist diversity.

  • On June 29, 2014 the Islamic State announced a new Islamic Caliphate in the sacred land of ash Sham, which includes much of northern Iraq, and introduced a new chapter for the jihadist world. A chapter not written by established jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda and its affiliates, but by a new, younger generation with renewed energy and brutality. This contemporary generation's interests are not founded in religious debate on the legality of the Caliphate but what can be done to establish (Sunni) Muslim interests by proclaiming conquered territory a "Caliphate." These modern global jihadists are using social networks, tweets and Facebook postings to consolidate their support among younger Muslims, while the orthodox, old guard has been actively denouncing the validity of a Caliphate that does not conform to Muslim orthodoxy. TRAC is using this article to actively archive all the "for", "against" and "undecided" on IS's Caliphate.

  • Following the independence of Bangladesh, the party was banned in 1971. However, a 1975 coup in Bangladesh enabled the JeI to re-active political presence and activities.   In March 2013, Twenty-one people were killed in clashes between JeI supporters and police following a death penality verdict for their leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee for 1971 war crimes.  By August 2013 the JeI was barred from participation in Bangladesh elections when judges declared its charter in breach of Bangladesh’s secular constitution.  Currently the Bangladesh government is reportedly considering banning  JeI for its alleged involvement in genocide during the 1971 War.

  • 16 July 2014: Abou Abeydah from the Qassam brigades warns about imminent attacks in response to the “occupation of Palestine”

  • In 2013, the Oath Keepers announced the formation of “Civilization Preservations Teams” (since renamed “Community Preparedness Teams) “modeled loosely on the Special Forces ‘A Team’ (Operational Detachment A) model.” These teams are intended to provide support in the event of an incident that would isolate a community or incapacitate the government. Each 12 member team includes four to six “security experts,” including “precision shooting experts” and “close combat and small unit tactics experts.”

  • Top Boko Haram Leadership structure. Portrayed in Infograph.