The mercury level of the national violence continues to rise in Libya, with a constantly growing number of significant armed political groups coming to prominence. Two rival national governments continue to claim legitimacy: one in Tobruk (the duly elected Council of Deputies) and one in Tripoli (the non-elected New General Congress, a self-proclaimed continuation of the previous General Congress elected in 2012 that agreed to dissolve itself after the June 2014 elections).
For several months, I have been writing about signs of cooperation—generally on a local level—between al-Qaeda (AQ) groups and others that have sworn fealty to the Islamic State (IS). It might seem counterintuitive that the two, which have accused each other of assassinating leaders, engaged in a very public mutual disowning, and fought each other openly in some areas, would work together at all. But there is growing evidence of localized convergences between the two organizations, especially in Lebanon, Syria, and Tunisia. Whether this will turn into something more comprehensive is unclear.
American actor and musician Jimmy Dean once said, "I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." To that point, there is no better example of adaptation-for-the-worse than the virus than the Islamic State (IS) on Twitter. As waves of social media administrators, hackers, and well intentioned citizens have continually attempted to push back at IS on social media—via shutting down, hacking, and reporting their accounts—it still thrives on Twitter.
Islamic State (IS) supporters on Twitter have launched a campaign of threats against Americans. Unified by the hashtag, "WeWillBurnUSAgain," the campaign has prompted references to the 9/11 attacks and past lone wolf attacks in the West along with promises for future ones. Content tweeted, along with written messages, included images, videos, and past IS media releases.
The release last month of eight new documents, captured during the raid that killed Usama bin Laden, is allowing us to re-examine conclusions reached earlier about al-Qaeda (AQ). Two previous posts used the new evidence to look at the relationship between AQ’s leadership and affiliates, and at Bin Laden’s involvement in running his own organization. This post examines what the documents have to say about the complex relationship between AQ and Pakistan.