Threat Update: June 26, 2018
The al Houthi movement will not withdraw from al Hudaydah port
city and other key positions on the Red Sea coast under current
conditions. The UN special envoy is engaged in intensive political
negotiations, but will be unlikely to deliver an acceptable result to all
parties involved. The UAE and coalition-backed Yemeni forces are
prepared for an assault on the port city itself should the al Houthis refuse
Protests in Iran will continue and may expand because the Iranian
regime is unable to address underlying economic problems.
Thousands of Iranians in various cities protested high prices and
instability in the currency market on June 25 and 26. The Iranian rial has
devalued by more than 200 percent since October 2017 without a
comparable increase in the minimum wage.
The intensification of mass violence against Fulani civilians in Mali
creates recruitment opportunities for Salafi-jihadi groups. Groups like
ISGS or JNIM will offer protection to Fulani communities targeted by the
Malian Army and tribal militias to further ties to these communities. Salafi-
jihadi groups may leverage the vulnerability of Fulani populations to take
control of communities and expand their areas of operations.
ISIS’s West Africa Province plans to expand operations outside the
Lake Chad Basin. The group maintains the goal of striking Nigeria’s
capital, Abuja. It may also be planning to attack commercial airliners,
based on unverified rumors. Both attacks are unlikely but would signal a
major change in the group’s capabilities and ambitions.
Threat Update: June 26, 2018
A grenade attack on a rally for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed
was likely an assassination attempt, indicating domestic opposition
to Ahmed’s reform program. Backlash from within Ethiopia’s ruling
coalition or its security forces could destabilize the country and re-ignite
civil unrest that has abated since Ahmed’s appointment.
An eastern Libyan militia coalition is attempting to take control of oil
revenues and advance westward, setting conditions for renewed civil war
between eastern and western factions that will allow ISIS and al Qaeda-
linked groups to regain strength in the country. The Libyan National Army
announced its intent to hand over recently recaptured oil ports to eastern
authorities instead of the internationally recognized oil authority in Tripoli.
Threat Update: June 26, 2018
ISIS is attempting to leverage anti-Indian sentiments in Kashmir to
garner support and expand its presence in the region. Hundreds to
thousands of Kashmiris celebrated a local ISIS leader after Indian
security forces killed him on June 22. The large turnout for his funeral
reflects rising opposition to the India state in Kashmir rather than support
for ISIS’s ideology or objectives in the region, however.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) may increase operations to
rebuild its havens in North and South Waziristan under the group’s
new leadership. The TTP Central Shura appointed Mufti Noor Wali as
emir and Mufti Hazrat as his deputy. Both are members of the powerful
Mehsud faction, which draws support and recruits from North and South
Waziristan. Pakistani counter-militancy operations largely pushed the
TTP out of North and South Waziristan from 2014 through 2017.
Yemen factions harden their positions on
Hudaydah port offensive
16-17 JUN: Al Houthi officials indicated
willingness to allow the UN to administer
al Hudaydah port after meeting with the
21 JUN: The UN envoy announced that
the UN is prioritizing avoiding military
conflict in al Hudaydah over advancing
negotiations to resolve the civil war.
24 JUN: Al Houthi forces fired two ballistic missiles
at Riyadh. Saudi air defenses intercepted them. An
al Houthi spokesperson threatened to fire more
missiles into Saudi Arabia in response to the
offensive on al Hudaydah.
25 JUN: Hadi government Foreign Minister
Khaled al Yamani said that his government
would only accept the UN proposal if the al
Houthis withdraw from the Red Sea coast.
Growing ethnic-based violence may help Salafi-
jihadi groups gain support among Fulani
1. 21 FEB: Malian Army troops
killed seven Fulani civilians in
2. 09 MAR: Dozo tribesmen
burned a Fulani village in
3. 11 MAR: Dozo tribesmen killed
14 Fulani civilians in Tenenkou.
4. 25 MAR: Malian Army troops
killed six Fulani civilians in Dogo.
5. 12 JUN: Malian Army troops
killed 25 Fulani civilians in Kobaka
6. 16 JUN: Dozo tribesmen killed
two Fulani in Mopti region.
7. 23 JUN: Dozo tribesmen killed
32 Fulani civilians in Koumaga.
LNA operations enter area of influence of rival
1. LNA forces recaptured Ras Lanuf
2. LNA forces advanced westward
into Sirte district.
3. LNA forces claimed control of
Ras Lanuf. Egypt and the UAE likely
provided air support.
4. The PFG-BDB coalition began
retreating westward. LNA-aligned
warplanes struck a militia convoy
between Sirte city and Misrata.
5. LNA forces conducted airstrikes
south of Misrata. LNA forces
continued to advanced westward
toward Sirte district.
6. LNA forces seized Mughar district
7. LNA forces advanced into the Old
City of Derna and claimed to seize
the Jubaila area.
8. The National Oil Corporation
announced that the LNA controls
Ras Lanuf port.
Ethiopia prime minister pursues aggressive
05 JUN: Prime Minister Ahmed announced that
Ethiopia would withdraw from the disputed border in
Badme to implement the peace accords that ended
a border war with Eritrea in 2000.
05 JUN: Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed lifted
Ethiopia’s state of emergency two months
early. The defense minister announced a state
of emergency on February 16 following the
resignation of the previous prime minister.
23 JUN: An unknown attacker detonated a
grenade at a pro-Abiy Ahmed rally in Meskel
Square, Addis Ababa. The grenade killed
two people and injured 156 others.
ISIS West Africa Province seeks to expand
operations throughout Nigeria
1. 28 APR: Nigerian security
forces arrested an ISWA
militant in Muda Lawal Market,
2. 05 MAY: Nigerian security
forces arrested two ISWA
commanders near Abuja in
Gwagwalada, Federal Capital
3. 19 JUN: ISWA militants
killed nine Nigerian soldiers in
an attack on an army base in
Gaijram, Borno State.
4. 16 JUN: Nigerian police
increased security at Lagos
airport in response to a
rumored ISWA plot.
ISWA kinetic engagement
Arrest of ISWA members
Rumored ISWA plot
Mehsud faction regains control of TTP
07 NOV 2013: The TTP selected
Mullah Fazlullah as the new emir of the
TTP. Fazlullah was not from the
powerful Mehsud faction.
23 JUN 2018: The TTP Central Shura appointed
Noor Wali as emir and Mufti Hazrat as his
deputy. Both are from the Mehsud faction.
413 JUN 2018: A U.S. airstrike killed
TTP emir Fazlullah in Kunar
province, eastern Afghanistan.
02 FEB 2017: Fazlullah appointed
a leader from the Mehsud faction
as his deputy to bring the faction
back into the TTP.
ISIS attempts to leverage opposition to the
Indian state for support in Kashmir
15 APR: ISIS in Kashmir criticized Hizbul
Mujahideen for prioritizing nationalistic goals
over establishing an Islamic state.
22 JUN: Indian security forces
killed the ISIS in Kashmir chief.
Hundreds to thousands of
supporters attended his funeral.
12 MAR: Thousands of Kashmiris
attended the funeral for ISIS’s leader in
Kashmir. Multiple militant groups claimed
him as a member.
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
ISGS: ISIS in the Greater Sahara
ISIS: Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham
ISWA: ISIS West Africa Province
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
MSCD: Mujahideen Shura Council in Derna
MUJAO: Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa
SNA: Somalia National Army
TTP: Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan
For more information about AEI’s Critical Threats Project, visit www.criticalthreats.org.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 888-6575.
Frederick W. Kagan
Critical Threats Project Team
al Qaeda Analysts