With the attempted terrorist attack using machetes at the Louvre museum in Paris yesterday by Abdullah Reda al-Hamamy, whose social media history shows statements at least sympathetic to the Islamic State (IS), it raises once again the question, making no assumptions about al-Hamamy’s motives, of how connected the organization headquartered in Raqqa is to the attacks taking place around the world under IS’s banner—and how we would know.
As IS’s attacks outside of the statelet it has built in Iraq and Syria increased in frequency over the last year, a rather routinized mechanism has developed for attributing blame: IS claims the atrocities—or attempted atrocities—through Amaq News Agency. Continue reading →
The United States released sanctions yesterday that confirmed the identity of Abu Sulayman al-Firansi, a senior commander in the external operations division of the Islamic State (IS). Abu Sulayman is Abdelilah Himich, a French citizen, as was first reported last month. Among the interesting aspects of this are the revelation that a European made it to a very senior position within the structure of IS’s foreign intelligence service, the amn al-kharji. Continue reading →
On 10 August 2016, Aaron Driver, 24, detonated a bomb in the back of a taxi in Strathroy, Ontario, Canada, as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) closed in, wounding himself and the driver before the police opened fire and killed him. A convert and long-time supporter of the Islamic State—Driver was arrested for such support in June 2015—Driver had followed the pattern of many recent operatives of the Islamic State by making a martyrdom video declaring his allegiance to the caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which was sent to the IS “news agency” Amaq in preparation for his impending terrorism. This was among the communications intercepted by the FBI. Continue reading →