Threat Update: July 24, 2018
Russia may be engaging opportunistically in Yemen to undercut
U.S.-backed UN negotiations. Russia’s ambassador to Yemen met with
senior Hadi government officials after the UN envoy to Yemen discussed
his roadmap for negotiations with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The
al Houthi movement urged Russia to facilitate a political resolution
possibly as an alternative to UN-led negotiations.
Tehran signaled its readiness to respond militarily against Iraq- and
Pakistan-based insurgent groups that cross the border after
conducting attacks on Iranian soil. An Iranian Interior Ministry official
stated if neighboring countries cannot curtail terrorist activities within
their own borders then Iran will take cross-border action against terrorist
bases. The threat follows a Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK)-organized
attack on July 21 that killed 11 Iranians in northwestern Iran.
Threat Update: July 24, 2018
Sustained protests may weaken the UN-backed Government of
National Accord (GNA), which is the U.S. counterterrorism partner in
Libya, as well as empower militias controlling Tripoli. Tripoli residents
protested power outages in GNA-controlled neighborhoods. Continued
demonstrations and the GNA’s lack of control over oil resources will likely
destabilize UN reconstruction efforts and undermine the GNA’s legitimacy.
Violence and political turmoil surrounding Mali’s presidential
elections may undermine the central government’s legitimacy. The
opposition party accused the government of election fraud. Salafi-jihadi
violence is preventing voting in some regions, potentially resulting in a
disputed election. Salafi-jihadi groups may expand their popular support
in the country by offering an alternate form of governance.
Mike Saidi and Nicholas Carl
Anti-regime insurgents increase attacks
along Iranian borders (May 1 – July 24)Iran
23 MAY: Kurdistan Free Life
Party (PJAK) militants attacked
outpost near Iraqi Kurdistan
border, killing a member of Iran’s
Law Enforcement Forces (LEF).
11 JUN: Fifteen unidentified
militants clashed with LEF border
guards and killed one.
21 JUL: PJAK militants killed 11
IRGC and Basij fighters in an
attack on an IRGC outpost near
the Iraqi Kurdistan border.
20 JUL: Russian Ambassador to Yemen
Vladimir Dedushkin emphasized Russia’s
readiness to facilitate a resolution to the
Yemeni conflict while meeting with Hadi
government officials in Moscow.
12 DEC: Russia closed its embassy in
Sana’a and evacuated its diplomatic
staff after al Houthi forces killed former
Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
18 JUL: Al Houthi Supreme Political Council President
Mahdi al Mashat urged Russia to facilitate a diplomatic
resolution to the Yemeni conflict in a letter to Russian
President Putin. Al Houthi media framed the letter as an
effort to reopen diplomatic relations with Russia.
Russia resumes engagement in Yemen after
Pompeo meets with UN envoy
19 JUL: U.S. Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo met with UN Special Envoy to
Yemen Martin Griffiths to discuss
negotiations for the Yemen conflict.
Russian meeting with Hadi government
Russian meeting with al Houthi movement/Iran
Russian statement on Yemen
Turmoil threatens integrity of Mali’s
18 JUL: Talataye municipality cancelled
elections after violence by pro-government
militias displaced the majority of the population.
1 20 JUL: Opposition leader and presidential
candidate Soumaila Cisse accused the
administration of inflating the number of
registered voters in order to stuff the ballot box.
20 JUL: Militants attacked an
electoral campaign convoy for
Aliou Diallo in southern Mali.
3 22 JUL: Salafi-jihadi and counterterrorism
operations displaced residents in the Gourma
region, which may cause the government to
cancel voting there.
22 JUL: Macina Liberation Front militants clashed with the
Malian Army along the Mopti-Segou provincial border in a
likely attempt to scare locals away from voting.
Political unrest targets UN-backed Libyan
17 JUL: Residents began
sustained protests in the al
Dreibi, Ghout al Shaal, and Hay
al Andalus districts of Tripoli.
21 JUL: Sirte residents criticized
GNA Prime Minister Serraj’s
response to power outages and
poor living conditions.
23 JUL: Former GNA Presidential
Council members announced the
withdrawal of eastern Libya from
the Libyan Political Agreement.
1 2 3
Ghout al Shaal district
Hay al Andalus district
Al Dreibi district
7. 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
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
8. For more information about AEI’s Critical Threats Project, visit www.criticalthreats.org.
Contact us at email@example.com or (202) 888-6575.
Frederick W. Kagan
Critical Threats Project Team
al Qaeda Analysts