Monthly Archives: September 2017

Taliban Blames the Afghan Government and America for the Lack of Peace in Afghanistan

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 29 September 2017

The Taliban’s Political Office put out a statement today “concerning opposition to peace process and activities”, which placed blame for the ongoing war in Afghanistan on the Afghan government and the U.S.-led coalition. The statement is reproduced below. Continue reading

The Coalition Kills Three Islamic State Drone Developers

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 29 September 2017

The international coalition against the Islamic State (IS) announced that it has killed “three senior and highly skilled ISIS officials” near Mayadeen in eastern Syria between 12 and 14 September. Continue reading

Islamic State Leader Says the Show Goes On

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 28 September 2017

The leader of the Islamic State (IS), Ibrahim al-Badri (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi), released a 46-minute audio statement today, his first statement for about eleven months. Entitled, “Sufficient Is Your Lord As A Guide And A Helper” or “Your Lord Suffices as Guide and Helper”, it is al-Badri’s twelfth speech since he became leader of the IS movement in 2011 and the seventh since IS declared the restoration of the caliphate. Continue reading

Iraqi Kurdistan’s Independence Referendum and the West’s Middle East Strategy

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 27 September 2017

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a referendum on 25 September, and voted overwhelmingly—with nearly 93% in favour—for independence. The comparison with Brexit might have been overworked by all sides, but there was a familiarity: while the result itself was not a shock, the fact of the referendum itself came as a surprise to many in what one might call the global elite, which lectured in that endearing way that had such success in deterring Brits a year ago. Then as now, the effect was, if anything, to stoke the bloody-mindedness of a population that had considerable qualms but had enough pride to repudiate being harangued in those accents. Still, as with Brexit, it wasn’t as if the naysayers didn’t have a case, and now comes the really difficult work. Continue reading

Islamic State Claims it Caused the Evacuation at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Reiterates Claim of Parsons Green Attack

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 23 September 2017

Al-Naba 98, 22 September 2017

The ninety-eighth edition of the Islamic State’s (IS) newsletter, Al-Naba, was released on 22 September 2017. This Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France, was evacuated on 17 September due to a bomb scare, and later declared to be a “false alarm”. This edition of Naba claims that an IS operative in fact planted a bomb, causing the chaos at Charles de Gaulle. Al-Naba 98 also contained a further acknowledgement of the “bucket bombing” at Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain, which took place on the morning 15 September 2017. Continue reading

Iran Raises the Stature of One of Its Shi’a Jihadist Militias: Harakat Hizballah al-Nujaba

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 22 September 2017

Logo of Harakat Hizballah al-Nujaba

Reuters has published a profile of Harakat Hizballah al-Nujaba (HHN), sometimes simply called Harakat al-Nujaba, a Shi’a militia made up of Iraqi citizens that is loyal to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamene’i and the revolutionary theocracy’s ideology of absolute wilayat al-faqih (guardianship of the jurist). HHN, which first emerged in the summer of 2013, is one of a web of overlapping Shi’a jihadist groups recruited from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and beyond—as far afield as the Ivory Coast—that have been used to spearhead Tehran’s imperial push into the Arab world, particularly the rescue of Bashar al-Asad’s regime in Syria that would otherwise have fallen to a popular rebellion. In recent months, Iran has been raising the profile of HHN. Continue reading

Al-Qaeda Tries To Take Advantage of the Crisis in Burma

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 22 September 2017

Al-Qaeda’s General Command released a statement on 12 September 2017 on Telegram, entitled “Burma Calling” or “Burma is Calling for You”, reproduced below, which incited jihadists to travel to Burma to protect the Rohingya Muslim minority that has come under assault from the state in recent days. Continue reading