Has al-Qaeda Replanted its Flag in Syria?

Artwork by supporters of the newly established group, Hurras al-Deen.

On February 27, pro-al-Qaeda (AQ) Telegram channels began distributing a statement from a group calling itself “Hurras al-Deen” (“Guardians of the Religion”). In its inaugural message, the group demanded action regarding besieged Eastern Ghouta, chiding Muslims for “eating and drinking and living joyfully” during such humanitarian atrocities. It promised Muslims in Ghouta:

…we shall do the best of our efforts to relieve your siege or to stab your oppressor in the waist to paralyze him or distract him from you, for we give our necks to save yours and our blood to save your blood.

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Who Killed U.S. Troops in Niger, and Why Haven't they Claimed Responsibility?

On October 4, 2017, four U.S. Special Forces service members were killed in an ambush near the western Niger village of Tongo Tongo in an attack that has since gone unclaimed by any terrorist entity.

U.S. military officials believe the attack came from the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in the Greater Sahara. However, if ISIS did carry out the attack, why didn't it claim it—especially after its claims of responsibility for attacks like Las Vegas and dozens of others which contain no direct connection to it?

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Disarray in the Syrian Jihad is Making Perfect Conditions for an AQ Revival

Al-Qaeda (AQ) found itself on the losing end of a years-long investment in July of 2016 when Nusra Front (NF) leader Abu Muhammad al-Julani announced the group’s leave from AQ to become Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS), thus breaking his pledge to AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Julani, the man who ignited a bloody conflict with the Islamic State (IS) after abandoning Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to establish a new AQ affiliate in Syria, had ironically removed AQ’s formal presence in the country altogether.

But stress the word formal in “formal presence,” because AQ planted its Syrian foundation much deeper than Julani and others may have anticipated.

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Nice Attack Demonstrates Long-Promoted Jihadi Terror Tactic

It didn’t take long to conclude that when Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a truck into a Bastille Day fireworks celebration in the French town of Nice, killing over 80, it was a terror attack. Investigators still have yet to piece together his motivations, and no group has yet claimed responsibility, but the style of attack undeniably resembles a terror tactic long promoted by terror groups—particularly the Islamic State (IS).

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Issue 14 of AQAP’s “Inspire” Magazine Focuses on Assassinations, Provides Targets and Methods

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Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released the 14th issue of its English magazine, “Inspire,” with a thematic focus on “Assassination Operations.” The 88-page issue was released on September 9, 2015 in both English and Arabic.

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