Al-Qaeda (AQ) addressed a message to the family of Warren Weinstein—a former American USAID worker kidnapped in Lahore, Pakistan in August 2011—telling them that the U.S. government has not made any "serious efforts" for his release and that it wants him to die in their possession.
In light of the Islamic State's (IS) advances in Iraq and Syria, many have asked about the group's shadowy leader and self-proclaimed Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In July 2013, users on jihadist discussion forums distributed what turned out to be a largely accurate biography of al-Baghdadi (AKA Abu Du'a, Ibrahim bin Awwad bin Ibrahim al-Badri al-Radhwi al-Husseini al-Samarrai) that may help to reveal more about such a powerful and infamous leader the world knows so little about. The unidentified author told of Baghdadi being an active jihadist for at least eight years in Iraq and having served in the Shariah Committees of both Jeish Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama'a, a group he founded, and the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC), IS's predecessor.
Libya is once again in the news as the collapse of the country continues apace. Two weeks ago, the U.S. and other nations evacuated their diplomatic corps from the capital of Tripoli while fighting raged across the city and militants assaulted the international airport. The weak central government in Tripoli has been incapable of stopping the violence; the parliament itself is being forced to hold sessions away from the capital.
With the American intervention against Islamic State (IS) forces in Iraq, the internet has been flooded with threats against the US. On social media, jihadists are promising that "Iraq is a grave" for U.S. forces, posting pictures of dead soldiers, and calling on "Muslim brothers there to start firing and burning every possible target."
How worried should Americans and other Westerners be? Just as importantly, does the situation in Iraq affect US security? In other words, is this our problem or their problem?
As the United States begins airstrikes on Islamic State (IS) targets in northern Iraq, jihadists have called for attacks on American interests at home and abroad.