An invaluable resource finally becomes public.
Jonathan V. Last reports: Over at the Long War Journal, Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio have the first analysis of the massive trove of documents, files, and images which were recovered at Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, during the raid in which bin Laden was killed.
The cache of documents, released today for the first time by the CIA, are an amazing stockpile of information that has never before been public. Per Joscelyn and Roggio:
* For the first time, there’s a picture of Hamza bin Laden, Osama’s secretive son, who’s never before been photographed.
* There’s a file with bin Laden’s hand-written, 228-page private journal.
* There’s a good deal of evidence that at the time of his death, bin Laden was still actively leading al Qaeda.
* Also, there’s a great deal of information on bin Laden’s ties to Iran and Iraq.
Here’s Joscelyn and Roggio on al Qaeda and Iran:
One never-before-seen 19-page document contains a senior jihadist’s assessment of the group’s relationship with Iran. The author explains that Iran offered some “Saudi brothers” in al Qaeda “everything they needed,” including “money, arms” and “training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon, in exchange for striking American interests in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.” Iranian intelligence facilitated the travel of some operatives with visas, while sheltering others. Abu Hafs al-Mauritani, an influential ideologue prior to 9/11, helped negotiate a safe haven for his jihadi comrades inside Iran. But the author of the file, who is clearly well-connected, indicates that al Qaeda’s men violated the terms of the agreement and Iran eventually cracked down on the Sunni jihadists’ network, detaining some personnel. Still, the author explains that al Qaeda is not at war with Iran and some of their “interests intersect,” especially when it comes to being an “enemy of America.” Read the rest of this entry »
RT USA reports: Social media posts by an Al-Qaeda affiliate claim a man named Abu Hurayra Al-Amriki (Abu Hurayra the American) blew himself up in an attack in Syria. US officials say he is the first-known American suicide bomber in the civil-war besieged country.
On Sunday, four men from the Al-Nusra Front, a jihadist organization aligned with Al-Qaeda, carried out suicide bombings on army positions in Idlib province, AFP reported. Dozens were killed or wounded, though exact numbers of casualties are still unknown.
Abu Sulayman al Muhajir, one of the top sharia officials in the Al-Nusra Front, according to The Long War Journal, tweeted about the involvement of an American man in the coordinated suicide attacks on Tuesday.
Abu Hurayra Al-Amriki Performed a martydom operation in Idlib, Jabal Al-Arba’een. May Allah accept him pic.twitter.com/MeewywKqDD
— أبو سليمان المهاجر (@abusulayman321) May 27, 2014
A Sunday tweet from Al-Nusra’s Twitter feed appears to show the same man – a light-skinned Caucasian – sitting with three other men and wearing a bomb vest.
— Syria Direct (@SyriaDirect) May 28, 2014
According to Google Translate, the original Al-Nusra tweet translates to “# _ Front victory in cooperation with the # Hawks _ Sham performs four martyrdom operations in Mount _ # # forty Idlib.”
US law enforcement and counterterrorism officials confirmed the suicide bombing to NBC News and said they have identified the American, but would not release his identity or hometown. Read the rest of this entry »
Zawahiri: “Their awe is lost and their might is gone and they don’t dare to carry out a new campaign like their past ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.”Posted: November 8, 2012
Osama bin Laden, Mohammed al Zawahiri, and Sheikh Tawfiq Al ‘Afani, as seen in the Al Faroq video on the protest at the US embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11, 2012. Courtesy of SITE Intelligence Group.
In a new audio message addressed to Shabaab, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia, Ayman al Zawahiri cites the raids on US diplomatic facilities in September as evidence of American weakness.
Shabaab has suffered setbacks in recent months, including the loss of its stronghold in the port city of Kismayo. But in what amounts to a pep talk, Zawahiri says Shabaab’s spirits should be buoyed by the supposed losses suffered by America and its allies elsewhere.
“They were defeated in Iraq and they are withdrawing from Afghanistan, and their ambassador in Benghazi was killed and the flags of their embassies were lowered in Cairo and Sana’a, and in their places were raised the flags of tawhid [monotheism] and jihad,” Zawahiri says, according to a translation provided by the SITE Intelligence Group.
“After their consecutive defeats, they are working from behind agents and traitors,” Zawahiri continues. “Their awe is lost and their might is gone and they don’t dare to carry out a new campaign like their past ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Al Qaeda-linked extremists have been tied to the three assaults on US diplomatic facilities Zawahiri mentions.
Press reports have identified several al Qaeda-affiliated parties as being responsible for the Sept. 11 assault on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya.