An Islamic State leader in the Sahara has been killed by the French military. President Emmanuel Macron said Adnan Abu Walid al Sahrawi’s death was “a major success”. Al Sahrawi was the leader of IS in the Greater Sahara, and had previously claimed to be behind terror attacks in the region. It comes following the recent killing of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, and a number of other strikes on the IS leadership.
Islamic State’s affiliates in Africa are set for major expansion after a series of significant victories, new alliances and shifts in strategy reinforced their position across much of the continent. Following recent gains in Nigeria, the Sahel, in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Isis propaganda published by the group’s leadership is increasingly stressing sub-Saharan Africa as a new front.
The UK Supreme Court ruled Friday that “ISIS bride” Shamima Begum cannot return to the United Kingdom to appeal the revocation of her UK citizenship. Begum was 15 years old when in 2015 she left the UK with two school friends to join ISIS in Syria. She was stripped of her British citizenship by then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid on February 19, 2019.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the shadowy leader of the Islamic State group who presided over its global jihad and became arguably the world’s most wanted man, died after U.S. special operators cornered him during a raid in Syria, President Donald Trump said Sunday. As U.S. troops bore down on al-Baghdadi, he fled into a “dead-end” tunnel with three of his children, Trump said, and detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and the children.
Shamima Begum, the British schoolgirl who ran away to join Isis, has said she has accepted she will probably never return to the UK – but insisted she was “brainwashed” by the terrorist group. Speaking for the first time since the death of her third baby in March, the 19-year-old said she “really regretted everything” and asked for a second chance. Ms Begum claims she left London for Syria in 2015 because she believed “everything that I had been told, while knowing little about the truths of my religion”.
Airstrikes have targeted Islamic State weapons stores as the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched an attack against the jihadists’ enclave in Baghuz near the Iraqi border. The assault by the SDF aims to wipe out the last vestige of Isis’s self-declared “caliphate” that once spanned a third of Iraq and Syria. While the Baghuz enclave represents the last shred of populated land held by the jihadists, the group is still widely seen as a big security threat with remote territory elsewhere and the continued capacity to launch guerrilla attacks.
After being imprisoned in military custody for three months in Iraq, a United States citizen, suspected of fighting for the Islamic State, will be permitted to meet with an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer. A federal judge made the ruling Saturday, ordering the Pentagon to allow the meeting, calling the Trump administration’s position ‘troubling.’
Syrian Kurds say they managed to place a spy in Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s inner circle who stole a pair of the Islamic State leader’s underpants to prove his identity and then helped guide US soldiers to his Syrian hideout. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claim they played a key role in tracking down Baghdadi to a compound in northern Syria where he was reportedly planning his escape over the nearby border into Turkey.
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his first speech since last September and urged followers to continue fighting. The 54-minute audio released on Wednesday is entitled ‘Give Glad Tidings to the Patient’ and encourages followers to ‘persevere.’ The undated audio appears to reference recent events including the detention of a US pastor in Turkey.
US and Tajik officials announced on Monday that four tourists, including two Americans, cycling through Tajikistan were killed when a driver hit them and joined his passengers in attacking the cyclists with knives. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was ‘in response to calls to target citizens of Coalition countries.’