Successfully reported this slideshow.
Your SlideShare is downloading. ×

2017 05-16 ctp update and assessment

Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Loading in …3
×

Check these out next

1 of 14 Ad

2017 05-16 ctp update and assessment

Download to read offline

CTP’s Threat Update series is a weekly update and assessment of the al Qaeda network. The al Qaeda network update includes detailed assessments of al Qaeda’s affiliates in Yemen, the Horn of Africa, and the Maghreb and Sahel.

Below are the top three takeaways from the week:

1. The fragmenting of the Yemeni state endangers U.S. policy in Yemen. The former governor of Aden, whom President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi ousted in early May, announced the formation of a transitional political council to govern southern Yemen on May 11. Yemeni military forces allied with the southern transitional political council and forces allied with the Hadi government mobilized. The U.S. supports the re-establishment of a unitary Yemeni state under the Hadi government to limit Iran’s influence and continue partnered counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

2. Al Qaeda encourages supporters to conduct fight-in-place attacks in the West. Hamza bin Laden, the son of former al Qaeda emir Osama bin Laden, advised “lone-wolf” attackers to prepare and refer to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)’s “Inspire” magazine for instructions. Bin Laden’s statement echoes a recent statement by AQAP emir Qasim al Raymi calling on individuals to conduct basic attacks in the U.S. and Europe.

3. Jama’a Nusrat al Islam wa al Muslimeen (JNIM), an al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb associate operating in Mali, is conducting a campaign to challenge the Malian government and UN peacekeeping forces in northern Mali. The group conducted a series of attacks on military bases in the past two weeks to fix security forces in place. JNIM is also securing freedom of movement in rural areas by intimidating local officials. Four al Qaeda-linked groups merged to form JNIM and set conditions for the current campaign in March 2017.

CTP’s Threat Update series is a weekly update and assessment of the al Qaeda network. The al Qaeda network update includes detailed assessments of al Qaeda’s affiliates in Yemen, the Horn of Africa, and the Maghreb and Sahel.

Below are the top three takeaways from the week:

1. The fragmenting of the Yemeni state endangers U.S. policy in Yemen. The former governor of Aden, whom President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi ousted in early May, announced the formation of a transitional political council to govern southern Yemen on May 11. Yemeni military forces allied with the southern transitional political council and forces allied with the Hadi government mobilized. The U.S. supports the re-establishment of a unitary Yemeni state under the Hadi government to limit Iran’s influence and continue partnered counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

2. Al Qaeda encourages supporters to conduct fight-in-place attacks in the West. Hamza bin Laden, the son of former al Qaeda emir Osama bin Laden, advised “lone-wolf” attackers to prepare and refer to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)’s “Inspire” magazine for instructions. Bin Laden’s statement echoes a recent statement by AQAP emir Qasim al Raymi calling on individuals to conduct basic attacks in the U.S. and Europe.

3. Jama’a Nusrat al Islam wa al Muslimeen (JNIM), an al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb associate operating in Mali, is conducting a campaign to challenge the Malian government and UN peacekeeping forces in northern Mali. The group conducted a series of attacks on military bases in the past two weeks to fix security forces in place. JNIM is also securing freedom of movement in rural areas by intimidating local officials. Four al Qaeda-linked groups merged to form JNIM and set conditions for the current campaign in March 2017.

Advertisement
Advertisement

More Related Content

Slideshows for you (20)

Similar to 2017 05-16 ctp update and assessment (20)

Advertisement

More from AEI's Critical Threats Project (20)

Recently uploaded (20)

Advertisement

2017 05-16 ctp update and assessment

  1. 1. AEI’s Critical Threats Project Update and Assessment May 16, 2017
  2. 2. 2 TOP THREE TAKEAWAYS 1 3 2 1) The formation of an independent governing council for southern Yemen further fractures the state and may cause U.S. policy to fail. 2) Hamza bin Laden called on al Qaeda supporters to conduct fight-in-place attacks in the West. 3) An al Qaeda-associated militant coalition is waging an escalating insurgency in northern Mali.
  3. 3. 3 | ASSESSMENTAL QAEDA Al Qaeda Network The al Qaeda senior leadership seeks to inspire fight-in-place attacks in the West. Hamza bin Laden, Osama bin Laden’s son, addressed would-be recruits and called for them to plan attacks well, using al Qaeda’s “Open-Source Jihad” materials. He prioritized potential targets as those who transgress Islam, Jews, Americans, NATO member states, and added Russia to the list. Outlook: Al Qaeda propaganda will continue to target individuals in the U.S. and Europe. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, and al Qaeda associates An ISIS Wilayat Khorasan attack against a prominent Balochi ally of the Pakistani Prime Minister may intend to provoke a crackdown on Balochi groups from Pakistani security forces. Secular Balochi separatist groups are conducting an attack campaign targeting Pakistani state economic interests in Balochistan. A violent crackdown could mobilize a Balochi base that would facilitate ISIS’s expansion. Outlook: ISIS militants will escalate in Balochistan to draw in the Pakistani security forces.
  4. 4. 4 | ASSESSMENT: Political The Yemeni state is fracturing. Southern Yemeni leaders formed a transitional political council that seeks to establish a federal state. The internationally recognized Yemeni government and the al Houthi-Saleh bloc both condemned the new southern council. Outlook: The Hadi government will make political sacrifices to re-incorporate the council. Security A standoff is developing between forces loyal to the Hadi government and the newly-formed transitional political council in southern Yemen. Militias and army units declared their allegiance to either side and have mobilized in Aden and Hadramawt. Outlook: Political negotiations will likely de-escalate tensions to prevent further conflict. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS in Yemen AQAP stepped up an information campaign designed to garner support in central Yemen. AQAP frames U.S. counterterrorism operations as support for al Houthi-Saleh forces while positioning itself as the defender of Sunnis in central Yemen. Outlook: AQAP will gain popular support in central Yemen while the civil war continues. GULF OF ADEN YEMEN
  5. 5. 5 | SIGNIFICANT ACTIVITY:GULF OF ADEN YEMEN 1) 10 MAY: AQAP militants conducted a suicide attack in Hadramawt. 2) 10 MAY: Al Houthi- Saleh forces claimed to fire two ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia. 3) 12 MAY: ISIS claimed an attack on al Houthi-Saleh forces in al Bayda. 4) 15 MAY: Al Houthi- Saleh forces seized a village in al Dhaleh. 5) 15 MAY: Gunmen assassinated a Southern Movement activist in Aden city. 3 5 4 1 2
  6. 6. 6 | ASSESSMENT: Political World leaders signed security and economic agreements at the 2017 London Conference on Somalia to ensure international backing for the Somali Federal Government (SFG). Outlook: The international humanitarian response in Somalia will improve. Security AMISOM troop-contributing countries committed to maintaining their deployments in Somalia. Kenya’s president vowed to keep troops in Somalia indefinitely. Uganda’s president announced a plan to double the country’s current AMISOM deployment. Somali President Farmajo called for the lifting of the 1992 UN arms embargo to modernize the Somali military. Outlook: The UN Security Council will partially lift the 1992 arms embargo on Somalia. Al Shabaab Al Shabaab shifted attack zones eastward into central Somalia in response to Kenyan pressure in the Kenyan-Somali border region. Militants have competed with Somali and AMISOM forces for control of several towns in Hiraan and Bakool regions in recent weeks. Outlook: Al Shabaab may attempt to seize Hudur, the capital of Bakool region. GULF OF ADEN HORN OF AFRICA
  7. 7. 7 | SIGNIFICANT ACTIVITY:GULF OF ADEN HORN OF AFRICA 4 2 3 1 1) 10 MAY: Al Shabaab militants fired mortars at an AMISOM base near Mogadishu. 2) 11 MAY: Al Shabaab militants clashed with Ethiopian troops near Beledweyne, Hiraan region. 3) 12 MAY: Al Shabaab militants attacked quarry workers in Elwaq, Mandera County. 4) 15 MAY: Al Shabaab militants attacked Kenyan police forces in Omar Jillo, Mandera County.
  8. 8. 8 | ASSESSMENT: Political The involvement of Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar in the Libyan political process is deepening existing divisions within the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). The GNA’s foreign minister recognized Haftar as commander-in- chief of the armed forces, sparking criticism from members of the GNA coalition. Outlook: Key powerbrokers may abandon the GNA if it strikes a deal with Haftar. Security Militias from the former Libya Dawn coalition are mobilizing in Tripoli to challenge rival groups aligned with the GNA. Former Libya Dawn militias attacked GNA-aligned militias in several Tripoli districts in an effort to retake “lost territories” in the city. Outlook: The GNA will attempt to broker a ceasefire in Tripoli. Ansar al Sharia and Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) in Libya ISIS resumed attacks in Sirte district six months after U.S.-backed forces expelled it from Sirte city. ISIS militants reportedly attacked fuel trucks between Abugrein and Waddan. Outlook: ISIS will seek to establish checkpoints on the north-south road from Abugrein. WEST AFRICA LIBYA
  9. 9. 9 | SIGNIFICANT ACTIVITY:WEST AFRICA LIBYA 2 3 1 1) 09-12 MAY: Former Libya Dawn militias clashed with pro-GNA militias in Tripoli. 2) 09-14 MAY: The LNA conducted airstrikes on the militant-held Sabri district in Benghazi. 3) 12 MAY: Protesters called for the reinstatement of the 1951 constitution, federalism, and the monarchy in Benghazi and Tobruk. 4) 14 MAY: ISIS militants attacked fuel trucks in Sirte district. 4
  10. 10. 10 | ASSESSMENT: Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and ISIS in the Maghreb Protests against unemployment and lack of development escalated in Tunisia. A vendor self- immolated on May 10 near Tunis, leading to clashes between civilians and the police. Tunisia’s president ordered the army to protect key economic facilities from protesters. Outlook: Protests will continue to spread in Tunisia, challenging the weak state. Associated Movements in the Sahel (Ansar al Din, al Murabitoun, Boko Haram) AQIM affiliate JNIM is fixing security forces and disrupting local government in order to expand its influence in Mali. JNIM fired mortars at a MINUSMA base in Timbuktu, continuing a series of base attacks in northern Mali. JNIM also intimidated local officials in rural towns. Boko Haram is using the release of kidnapped girls to rebuild its leadership. The group released a video showing militants recently released in exchange for 82 Chibok girls. The same video threatened attacks on Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. Boko Haram also released a video showing Chibok girls who refused to be released. Outlook: JNIM will increase its control over rural populations in northern Mali. Boko Haram may attempt to conduct a bombing campaign in major Nigerian cities during Ramadan. WEST AFRICA MAGHREB AND SAHEL
  11. 11. 11 | SIGNIFICANT ACTIVITY:WEST AFRICA MAGHREB 1) 10 MAY: Tunisian police clashed with protesters in Manouba governorate after a vendor self- immolated. 2) 10 MAY: Moroccan authorities arrested six suspected ISIS militants in five cities throughout Morocco. 3) 12 MAY: Algerian security forces killed a militant in Zougagha, Ain Defla province. 4) 12 MAY: Tunisian security forces arrested a militant in Zaghouan governorate. 2 3 1 4
  12. 12. 12 | SIGNIFICANT ACTIVITY:WEST AFRICA SAHEL 2 3 1 4 1) 12 MAY: Boko Haram-Shekau attacked a Nigerian battalion near the Sambisa forest in Borno State, Nigeria. 2) 14 MAY: JNIM assassinated the son of the mayor of Menaka, Gao region. 3) 15 MAY: JNIM attacked the mayor’s office in Ouattagouna, Gao region. 4) 15 MAY: JNIM fired mortars at a MINUSMA camp in Timbuktu, Mali.
  13. 13. 13 ACRONYMS African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB) Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC) Congress for Justice in Azawad (CJA) Coordination for the Movement of the Azawad (CMA) Imghad Tuareg and Allies Self-Defense Group (GATIA) Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) Jama’a Nusrat al Islam wa al Muslimeen (JNIM) Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) Libyan National Army (LNA) Arab Movement of Azawad (MAA) United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) Mujahideen Shura Council in Derna (MSCD) National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad (MNLA) The Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) Somalia National Army (SNA) Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
  14. 14. 14 Katherine Zimmerman research manager katherine.zimmerman@aei.org (202) 888-6576 Marie Donovan Iran analyst marie.donovan@aei.org (202) 888-6572 Heather Malacaria program manager heather.malacaria@aei.org (202) 888-6575 Emily Estelle al Qaeda analyst emily.estelle@aei.org (202) 888-6570 For more information about AEI’s Critical Threats Project, visit www.criticalthreats.org. Frederick W. Kagan director fkagan@aei.org (202) 888-6569

×