Category Archives: Al Qaeda

Al-Qaeda: Burkina Faso Hotel Just 1 Operation to Cleanse Land of Non-Muslims

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said the brutal attack on a hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital was part of its ongoing operations to “cleanse” the region of non-Muslims.

In a statement released by its media arm, Al-Andalus Foundation for Media Production, AQIM vowed to “continue to seek to target the dens of the Crusaders, plunderers of our wealth and the aggressors on our sanctities and violators of our holy places.”

Twenty-eight people from several nations were killed in Friday night’s attack on the Splendid Hotel and Cappuccino restaurant in Ouagadougou, including Christian missionary Mike Riddering, who had lived in Burkina Faso since 2011. Riddering had gone to meet a pastor at the restaurant.

“My heart is so heavy and I am having trouble believing he is gone,” his wife, Amy, posted on Facebook. “Mike was an example in the way he lived and loved. God be glorified! Mike Riddering I will love you always! You left quite a legacy here. I can only imagine the adventures you are having now.”

Other victims included six Canadians, two former members of parliament from Switzerland, four Ukrainians in the same family including a 9-year-old girl, and a French service member. Two policemen and a soldier from Burkina Faso were among the dead.

AQIM’s claim of responsibility said the Splendid hotel, popular among diplomats, was one of “the most dangerous nests of global espionage-related matters in the west of the African continent.”

They described starting at the restaurant and heading toward their “main goal” of the hotel, where they killed “crusaders” of “different nationalities” in an hours-long operation.

“This blessed operation comes as part of a series of operations to cleanse the land of Islam and Muslims from the nests of global espionage-related matters and in revenge for our people in Central Africa, Mali and other Muslim countries to the east and west .. and a reminder to France and its allies.”

Burkino Faso is more than 60 percent Muslim and about 23 percent Catholic, with the remainder ascribing to traditional African religions or Protestant sects. Witnesses reported the gunmen speaking in an unfamiliar language.

The AQIM statement noted that they have “their eyes on the captive Jerusalem” — and they lauded car and knife attacks against Israelis.

The terror group also released photos of the gunmen.

A National Security Council spokesman issued a statement on the attack Sunday, commending “the bravery of the Burkinabé, French, and U.S. security personnel who responded to the situation and prevented even worse loss of life,” but did not mention al-Qaeda.

“Acts of terrorism will not stop efforts by brave Americans and others from around the world who travel far and wide to support governments, civil society groups, and others working to strengthen democracy, improve healthcare, and increase economic opportunities for all,” said NSC spokesman Ned Price.

“We stand with the Burkinabe people against terrorism and extremism,” said State Department press secretary John Kirby. “We will continue to support our partners in Africa to combat this shared and lethal threat.”

 

Three Splendid hotel terrorists, according to an AQIM press release.Three Splendid hotel terrorists, according to an AQIM press release.
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Saudi Arabia to lead 34 Islamic state coalition against terrorism

REUTERS  DUBAI – Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced the formation of a 34-state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism, according to a joint statement published on state news agency SPA.

“The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations center based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations,” the statement said.

The announcement cited “a duty to protect the Islamic nation from the evils of all terrorist groups and organizations whatever their sect and name which wreak death and corruption on earth and aim to terrorize the innocent.”

the campaign would “coordinate” efforts to fight terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan

Shi’ite Muslim Iran, Sunni Saudi Arabia’s arch rival for influence in the Arab world, was absent from the states named as participants, as proxy conflicts between the two regional powers rage from Syria to Yemen.

The United States has been increasingly outspoken about its view that Gulf Arab states should do more to aid the military campaign against the Islamic State militant group based in Iraq and Syria.

In a rare press conference, 30-year-old crown prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman told reporters on Tuesday that the campaign would “coordinate” efforts to fight terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan, but offered few concrete indications of how military efforts might proceed.

“There will be international coordination with major powers and international organizations…in terms of operations in Syria and Iraq. We can’t undertake these operations without coordinating with legitimacy in this place and the international community,” bin Salman said without elaborating.

Asked if the new alliance would focus just on Islamic State, bin Salman said it would confront not only that group but “any terrorist organization that appears in front of us.”

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab neighbors have been locked in nine months of warfare with Iran-allied rebels in neighboring Yemen, launching hundreds of air strikes there.

Especially after a rash of attacks on Western targets claimed by Islamic State in recent months, the United States has increasingly said it thinks that firepower would better be used against IS.

As a ceasefire is set to take hold in Yemen on Tuesday alongside United Nations-backed peace talks, Riyadh’s announcement may signal a desire to shift its attention back toward the conflicts north of its borders.

Islamic State has pledged to overthrow the monarchies of the Gulf and have mounted a series of attacks on Shi’ite Muslim mosques and security forces in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia

The 34 countries participating in the alliance along with Saudi Arabia are: Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Turkey, Chad, Togo, Tunisia, Djibouti, Senegal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Gabon, Guinea, Palestine, Comoros, Qatar, Cote d’Ivoire, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Mali, Malaysia, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Yemen.

Guantanamo detainee released by Obama now an al Qaeda leader in Yemen

15-12-08 Ibrahim Qosi

Ibrahim al Qosi, an ex-Guantanamo detainee, now serves as a leader and spokesman for al Qaeda in Yemen.Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a new video featuring a former Guantanamo detainee, Ibrahim Qosi, who is also known as Sheikh Khubayb al Sudani.

In July 2010, Qosi plead guilty to charges of conspiracy and material support for terrorism before a military commission. His plea was part of a deal in which he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors during his remaining time in US custody. Qosi was transferred to his home country of Sudan two years later, in July 2012.

Qosi joined AQAP in 2014 and became one of its leaders. Qosi and other AQAP commanders discussed their time waging jihad at length in the video, entitled “Guardians of Sharia.”

Islamic scholars ensure the “correctness” of the “jihadist project,” according to Qosi. And the war against America continues through “individual jihad,” which al Qaeda encourages from abroad. Here, Qosi referred to al Qaeda’s policy of encouraging attacks by individual adherents and smaller terror cells. Indeed, AQAP’s video celebrates jihadists who have acted in accordance with this call, such as the Kouachi brothers, who struck Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris earlier this year. The Kouachi brothers’ operation was sponsored by AQAP.

The al Qaeda veterans shown in the video emphasized the importance of following the advice of recognized jihadist ideologues. Although AQAP’s men do not mention the Islamic State by name, they clearly have Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s group in mind. Al Qaeda has criticized the Islamic State for failing to follow the teachings of widely respected jihadist authorities, most of whom reject the legitimacy of Baghdadi’s self-declared “caliphate.”

Qosi’s appearance marks the first time he has starred in jihadist propaganda since he left Guantanamo. His personal relationship with Osama bin Laden and time in American detention make him an especially high-profile spokesman.

A leaked Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) threat assessment and other declassified files documented Qosi’s extensive al Qaeda dossier. In the threat assessment, dated Nov. 15, 2007, US intelligence analysts described Qosi as a “high” risk to the US and its allies.

“Detainee is an admitted veteran jihadist with combat experience beginning in 1990 and it is assessed he would engage in hostilities against US forces, if released,” JTF-GTMO found.

In 1990, Qosi met two al Qaeda members who recruited him for jihad in Afghanistan.

Qosi was then trained at al Qaeda’s al Farouq camp, which was the terror group’s primary training facility in pre-9/11 Afghanistan. In 1991, Osama bin Laden relocated to Sudan and Qosi followed. He worked as an accountant and treasurer for bin Laden’s front companies, a role he would continue to fill after al Qaeda moved back to Pakistan and Afghanistan in the mid-1990s.

JTF-GTMO found that after an attempt on bin Laden’s life in 1994, Qosi was chosen to be a member of the al Qaeda founder’s elite security detail. He was also picked to perform sensitive missions around that time.

For example, Qosi served as a courier and may have delivered funds to the terrorist cell responsible for the June 25, 1995 assassination attempt on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Qosi relocated to Chechnya that same year, before returning to bin Laden’s side in Afghanistan some time in 1996 or 1997.

“From 1998 to 2001,” JTF-GTMO’s analysts wrote, Qosi “traveled back and forth between the front lines near Kabul and Kandahar to help with the fight against the Northern Alliance.”

In Dec. 2001, the Pakistanis captured Qosi as he fled the Battle of Tora Bora. He was detained as part of a group dubbed the “Dirty 30” by US intelligence officials. The “Dirty 30” included other members of bin Laden’s bodyguard unit, as well as Mohammed al Qahtani, the would-be 20th hijacker. Qahtani, who was slated to take part in the Sept. 11, 2001 hijackings, had been denied entry into the US just months before.

While detained at Guantanamo in 2003, Qosi was asked why he stayed true to bin Laden for so many years. According to JTF-GTMO, Qosi explained it was his “religious duty to defend Islam and fulfill the obligation of jihad and that the war between America and al Qaeda is a war between Islam and aggression of the infidels.”

Qosi made it clear in AQAP’s new production that he hasn’t changed his opinion in the twelve years since.

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