How Europe’s Most Notorious Jihadi Still Wasn’t Extreme Enough for ISIS

On Wednesday, November 28, Austrian Islamic State (IS/ISIS) fighter Mohamed Mahmoud, known by the alias “Abu Usama al-Gharib,” was announced dead, ending the dark saga of a lifelong ladder-climb to the top of the global jihadi community—and ultimate fall.

Continue reading
1592 Hits

ISIS is Doubling Down on The Philippines


In August, I wrote an analysis on an increasingly evident aim by the Islamic State (ISIS) “to establish a more substantial base in the Philippines.” My assessment was based on recent events in the country, the most notable of which being the July 31 suicide bombing by Moroccan fighter “Abu Kathir al-Maghrebi” on Basilan island, which ISIS claimed. The attack was a landmark event for the Philippines: for the first time, a foreigner fighter from outside of the Southeast Asia region had been attributed to an attack in the Philippines—the first suicide operation there, at that.

Continue reading
11070 Hits

ISIS’ Suicide Bombing in the Philippines Could be a Regional Game-Changer

During the last year, the Islamic State’s (ISIS) presence in the Philippines has fallen into the emerging narrative of the group’s defeat. Filipino forces ended ISIS’ months-long siege on the city of Marawi in October of 2017, just three months after the group’s loss of Mosul and roughly a week after its loss of Raqqah. From here, the comforting narrative sold itself: the mess of ISIS in the Philippines, like in other countries, was finally being cleaned up.

But perhaps not.

Continue reading
11028 Hits

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?

Continue reading
32235 Hits

What a Pro-ISIS Account’s Las Vegas Reaction Says about the Group’s Inner Workings

On the morning of Monday, October 2, 2017, Americans were struggling to understand the mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas the night before. And as the public received the first details about attacker Stephen Paddock, a 64 year old with no known history of radicalism, people were (and still are) far from certain of his motives.

Continue reading
21739 Hits