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1
Threat Update: June 12, 2018
Turkey’s air campaign against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in
northern Iraq may resul...
2
Threat Update: June 12, 2018
Counterterrorism operations may cause ISIS- and al Qaeda-affiliated
groups to consolidate i...
3
Threat Update: June 12, 2018
Kashmir
A Pakistani militant group that also attacks coalition forces in Afghanistan
is und...
Yemen
4
11-12 JUN: The UN Security Council held an emergency
meeting to discuss the imminent offensive. The UN Envoy
to Ye...
Horn of
Africa
5Emily Estelle
Al Shabaab counters U.S.-Somali offensive in
southern Somalia
1. 30 MAY: U.S. AFRICOM struck...
Libya
6
The LNA After Derna: Possible Courses of
Action
Emily Estelle
AJDABIYA: ISIS has attacked the LNA
several times in...
Sahel
7
Human network and potential collaboration
raise potential for ISGS-JNIM merger
Reilly Andreasen
4.4.4.
South Asia
8Mackenzie Robinson and Maher Farrukh
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) undermines
ceasefire in Kashmir
1
2
01 JUN:
1. JeM...
9Jake Barnett
Herder-farmer violence creates potential
recruitment opportunity for Boko Haram
Nigeria
1. 06 JUN: Fulani
he...
Acronym List
AMISOM: African Union Mission in Somalia
AQAP: al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
AQIM: al Qaeda in the Islami...
For more information about AEI’s Critical Threats Project, visit www.criticalthreats.org.
Contact us at criticalthreats@ae...
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2018 06-12 CTP Update and Assessment

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CTP's Threat Update series is a weekly update and assessment of Iran and the al Qaeda network and its affiliates in Yemen, the Horn of Africa, and the Maghreb and Sahel.

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2018 06-12 CTP Update and Assessment

  1. 1. 1 Threat Update: June 12, 2018 Turkey’s air campaign against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq may result in additional clashes between the IRGC and PKK-linked militants along the Iran-Iraqi Kurdistan border. IRGC Ground Forces clashed with Kurdish militants in three separate engagements from June 8 - 10. Tehran and Ankara view Kurdish insurgencies as an immediate security threat and have coordinated militarily in the past to target militants. Iran Somalia Al Shabaab demonstrated advanced planning capabilities and coordination in an attack that killed an American service member in southern Somalia. African Union forces are unlikely to clear al Shabaab from southern Somalia before their scheduled withdrawal in 2020. A premature withdrawal would preserve al Shabaab’s safe haven and allow the group to return to strategic areas, including coastal cities. Yemen The UAE began an operation to seize al Hudaydah port city from al Houthi forces. Saudi-led coalition warplanes struck al Houthi positions on the outskirts of the city after declaring the port and surrounding area a military zone. Emirati-backed Yemeni forces have not yet reached the city. An offensive on the port will pressure the al Houthi movement but will also worsen the humanitarian crisis.
  2. 2. 2 Threat Update: June 12, 2018 Counterterrorism operations may cause ISIS- and al Qaeda-affiliated groups to consolidate in northern Mali. ISIS in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) militants are reportedly regrouping in the Gourma area of Timbuktu region following losses to French-backed Tuareg militias further south. The relocation brings ISGS into the area of operations of al Qaeda’s Malian affiliate. The two groups share historical ties and are more likely to deconflict or collaborate against common enemies than fight each other. Sahel The military ruler of eastern Libya will attempt to extend his influence to the south and west after completing a military campaign in the northeast, risking renewed conflict on several fronts. Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) is close to culminating its campaign to seize Derna, the last anti-LNA bastion in the east. Haftar will likely attempt to regain positions in the southwest and build alliances with armed groups in the northwest after seizing Derna as he prepares for December 2018 presidential elections. Libya
  3. 3. 3 Threat Update: June 12, 2018 Kashmir A Pakistani militant group that also attacks coalition forces in Afghanistan is undermining an Indian ceasefire in disputed Kashmir. Jaish-e- Mohammed (JeM) is conducting a campaign against Indian security forces in Kashmir and criticized other militant groups for ceasing attacks during Ramadan. India halted operations in Kashmir during Ramadan in order to mitigate rising tensions in the region. JeM may gather more support and recruits from disaffected Kashmiris by sustaining its attacks in the area. Nigeria Ongoing violence between Muslim pastoralists and predominantly Christian farmers in south-central Nigeria creates an opportunity for Salafi-jihadi groups to capitalize on intercommunal and religious tensions. Boko Haram may seek to expand recruitment efforts within Fulani herder communities. Boko Haram’s continued suicide attacks in northern Nigeria, where the Nigerian Army has repeatedly declared victory, are diminishing popular faith in security forces.
  4. 4. Yemen 4 11-12 JUN: The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the imminent offensive. The UN Envoy to Yemen met with Saudi and Emirati officials to attempt to prevent an offensive on the port. Allyson McCarthy and Maher Farrukh UAE begins operation to seize al Hudaydah port 12/13 JUN: The UAE began Operation Golden Victory to seize al Hudaydah port. 409-12 JUN: Emirati officials set a deadline for al Houthi forces to withdraw by June 12 and warned aid groups to evacuate the city. 2 3 Present 24-28 MAY: Emirati-backed forces advance within 14 miles of al Hudaydah city. 1 Territory controlled by al Houthi forces Territory controlled by coalition-backed Yemeni forces
  5. 5. Horn of Africa 5Emily Estelle Al Shabaab counters U.S.-Somali offensive in southern Somalia 1. 30 MAY: U.S. AFRICOM struck al Shabaab militants 30 miles southwest of Mogadishu. 2. 02 JUN: U.S. AFRICOM struck al Shabaab militants near Boosaaso, Puntland. 3. 06 JUN: Al Shabaab claimed to attack a U.S. vehicle near Sanguni, Lower Jubba region. 4. 07 JUN (est.): U.S.-backed Somali forces raided al Shabaab positions near Jamaame, Lower Jubba region. 5. 08 JUN: Al Shabaab fired mortars at a U.S.-Somali position near Sanguni, killing one American service member and wounding four others. 6. 09 JUN: Al Shabaab detonated a suicide vehicle-borne IED in an attempt to breach the Somali base at Sanguni. 2 1 6 5 3 4
  6. 6. Libya 6 The LNA After Derna: Possible Courses of Action Emily Estelle AJDABIYA: ISIS has attacked the LNA several times in the oil crescent region in recent months. The LNA may prioritize securing its economic interests. DERNA: The LNA is close to seizing the city. BENGHAZI: The LNA controls Benghazi but faces simmering unrest and a latent Salafi-jihadi threat in the city. SEBHA: The LNA lost positions in the southwestern Fezzan region in early 2018 and may seek to re-establish its influence over local actors there. TRIPOLI: LNA commander Haftar needs to gain support in western Libya before planned elections in 2018. He will build alliances with local factions and may attempt to mobilize armed groups to challenge the LNA’s rivals.
  7. 7. Sahel 7 Human network and potential collaboration raise potential for ISGS-JNIM merger Reilly Andreasen 4.4.4.
  8. 8. South Asia 8Mackenzie Robinson and Maher Farrukh Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) undermines ceasefire in Kashmir 1 2 01 JUN: 1. JeM militants entered Kashmir from Pakistan. 2. JeM militants attack Indian security forces twice in Srinagar. 3. Likely JeM militants attacked a local legislator’s home in Tral. 4. Likely JeM militants attacked Indian security forces in Pulwama town. 5. JeM militants attacked Indian security forces in Khanabal area. 04 JUN: 6. JeM militants detonated an IED targeting Indian Army troops in Sopore town. 34 6 57 09-12 JUN: 10. The Indian Army began an operation to clear militants from Raynar forest. 12 JUN: 11. JeM militants attacked Indian security forces in Janglat Mandi town. 12. Likely JeM militants attacked Indian security forces in Pulwama town. 8 9 10 05 JUN: 7. Likely JeM militants attacked Indian security forces Tahab and Batapora villages. 06 JUN: 8. JeM militants detonated an IED targeting Indian army troops in Harwan area. 9. Likely JeM militants attacked an Indian army base in Hajjan town. 12 11
  9. 9. 9Jake Barnett Herder-farmer violence creates potential recruitment opportunity for Boko Haram Nigeria 1. 06 JUN: Fulani herdsmen killed nine villagers in Mbagwen Ward, Benue State. 2. 09 JUN: Nigerian security forces foiled a Boko Haram suicide bombing in Maiduguri, Borno State. 3. 11 JUN: Boko Haram conducted a suicide bombing near Maikore Junction, Maiduguri, Borno State, killing three people. 1 2 3
  10. 10. Acronym List AMISOM: African Union Mission in Somalia AQAP: al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula AQIM: al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb AQIS: al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent BDB: Benghazi Defense Brigades BRSC: Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council CJA: Congress for Justice in Azawad CMA: Coordination for the Movement of the Azawad GATIA: Imghad Tuareg and Allies Self-Defense Group ISIS: Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham JNIM: Jama’a Nusrat al Islam wa al Muslimeen GNA: Libyan Government of National Accord LNA: Libyan National Army MAA: Arab Movement of Azawad MINUSMA: United National Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali MNLA: National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad MSCD: Mujahideen Shura Council in Derna MUJAO: Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa SNA: Somalia National Army TTP: Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan 10
  11. 11. For more information about AEI’s Critical Threats Project, visit www.criticalthreats.org. Contact us at criticalthreats@aei.org or (202) 888-6575. Frederick W. Kagan Director Critical Threats Project Team Katherine Zimmerman Research Manager Caroline Goodson Program Manager 11 al Qaeda Analysts Emily Estelle Maher Farrukh Jake Barnett Iran Analysts Marie Donovan Mike Saidi Nicholas Carl Digital Content Associate Katie Donnelly

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