New Profiles and Articles on TRAC

  • The In Amenas crisis strengthened the role of Belmukhtar in the jihadist movement, but it also polarized the conflict between the new leader and Droukdel.  Reorganization within AQIM has strengthend its position within Maghreb and Sahel.

  • Recrutiment Cells Abundant: Since the 2004 Madrid train bombings, which killed 191 people and injured more than 1,800 others, Spanish law enforcement forces have arrested 472 suspected al Qaeda militants or collaborators. During 2014, Spain’s continued vulnerability to terrorism is seen in the arrest and break-up of jihadist cells/networks accused of abetting the Islamic State of Iraq and ash Sham (Islamic State of Iraq, ISIS or ISIL) and Jabhat al-Nusra (JN). Current estimates on Spanish fighters in Syria vary between 35 and 95.

  • The radicalisation of Iraq's secular environment is set to give prominence to Shi'a militant groups such as the AAH. The group is regarded as one of the most effective Shi'a militant groups fighting against Coalition forces in Iraq as well as an important ally for the Assad government in Syria.

  • The leader of Uamsho, Sheikh Farid Hadi Ahmed, called for a dress code for foreigners, restrictions on the consumption of alcohol and the establishment of an independent Zanzibari state, with a constitution based on Sharia law.

  • Tunisian ISIS foreign fighters interrogating Iraqi soldiers before execution in unknown location

  • Tunisian jihadist execute Iraqi soldiers in unknown location.

  • There is more to the ISIS swift gains in Iraq than just a Blitzkrieg. TRAC sources in the region confirm that the retreat by the Iraqi soldiers from Mosul was well planned, perhaps at the highest level of government.

     

  • Fulani herdsmen and farmers conflict in Nigeria is a land resource based conflict in north-eastern Nigeria. According to a Human Rights Watch report of December 2013 violence between Fulani herdsmen, farmers and local communities killed 3,000 people since 2010. An aggravating factor is that most Fulani herders are Muslim and farmers are largely Christian which contains a possibility of sectarian violence that could be exploited by Boko Haram.

  • Abu Muhammad al-Amriki’s claims to have lived in America for approximately ten or eleven years before leaving for the "jihad in Syria". In January 2014, al-Amriki joined the ISIS, citing disagreements with JN over events relating to weapon supplies in Atmeh.

  • Ex-Puntland militia leader and al-Shabaab ally Sheikh Mohamed Said “Atom” surrendered to the Somali government on 7 June 2014. In a press statement he criticised al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane (aka Mukhtar Abu Zubair) stating that al-Shabaab deliberately misguided youths, killed Somali Muslims, distorted jihad, and denied humanitarian aid to the Somali people.

  • In the wake of the TTP (Pakistan Taliban) attack on the Karachi Airport June 8, TTP representative Shahidullah Shahid warned the TTP will engage "in a full-out war with the Pakistani state, starting on June 10."

  • The Imam Bukhari Jamaat is an Uzbekistan jihadist group aligned with Jabhat al-Nusrah (JN) and the Army of Emigrants and Supporters (aka Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar). The number of Uzbekistan fighters in Syria is estimated at approximately 500, with factions supporting either the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) or JN and supporting groups.

  • Originally from Iraq, Abdurahman lived for ten years in the Netherlands before turning to jihad in Syria.  It has been reported that Abdurahman found Nusra Front not combattive enough, and switched to join ISIS.

  • Much of the current commentary suggests that the group has grown substantially in strength, especially relative to the Nigerian military. The group’s size and operational capacity have been reported to be significant. In some more dramatic accounts, the group seems more like a rebel army than a ragtag group of rebels.

  • On 01 June 2014, French police in Marseilles arrested Mehdi Nemmouche ( 29-year-old French national of Algerian origin) as the primary suspect in the Brussels Jewish Museum attack on 24 May 2014. If Nemmouche’s is found guilty he will be the first European Islamist who, upon returning from Syria committed an act of terror in Europe.

  • AQAP claims to have executed four men accused of planting electronic chips in vehicles to help U.S. drones track insurgents in Yemen. This 28-minute video shows what AQAP said were four spies confessing that they had planted devices in vehicles which resulted in the deaths of AQAP fighters two years ago in the southern Shabwa province. It said the men were later executed.

  • Ahrar-ul-Hind’s leader is Maulana Umar Qasmi (from the Jhang district of Punjab Province) who has links with the Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), as well as the banned Jaysh-i-Muhammad group, in Bahawalpur. Ahrar-ul-Hind reportedly has ties with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Harkat-ul-Mujahidin and Jundullah. Ahrar –ul-Hind is most likely a splinter group from the TTP Punjab, lead by Asmatullah Muawiya, who is engaged in negotiations with the Pakistan Government.

  • Ansar-ul-Mujahidin is an Islamic extremist organisation founded in the beginning of March 2013. The jihadist group is known to include Uzbekistan fighters and is referred to as a faction of the TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Islami Pakistan). Pakistani intelligence information links Mufti Shafique (leader of the TTP Gandapur group) with the Ansar-ul-Mujahidin.