- Virginia Jihadist Zachary Chesser Arrested
Zachary Chesser, a young, Virginia-based jihadist activist who uses the name “Abu Talhah al-Amriki,” was arrested on July 21, 2010, following an attempt to travel to Somalia to join the Shabaab al-Mujahideen, a designated terrorist organization. Cheser previously gained media attention when he threatened the South Park creators in April over the show's depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. According to an FBI affidavit, Chesser managed to make contact with facilitators on online jihadist forums who provided advice on how he could successfully travel to Somalia.
- Jundallah Announces New Spokesmen
In a communiqué posted on their website on July 20th, Jundallah, the People’s Resistance Movement in Iran, announced the appointment of two new spokesmen. The communiqué reproduced a correspondence from Emir Hajj Mohammed Zahir Baloch, the head of public relations for Jundallah, to Abdul Rauf Rigi, head of the organization, appointing Aziz and Makrim Abdul Rauf Rigi to the positions of spokesmen.
- Afghan Taliban Threatens Companies Bidding for Mineral Extraction
On June 27, 2010, the Afghan Taliban issued a statement threatening foreign companies from engaging in the bidding process to extract minerals from Afghanistan.
- Taliban Spokesman Comments on McChrystal's Removal
On June 24, 2010, the Taliban released an article with statements from the group's spokesperson, Qari Muhammad Yusuf Ahmadi, discussing the removal of US General Stanley McChrystal from the command of American and ISAF forces in Afghanistan.
- AQAP Shariah Official Urges Scholars to Support Jihad
Sheikh Abu Zubeir ‘Adil al-‘Abab, a Shariah (Islamic law) Official of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), addressed Muslim scholars in an audio lecture, urging they demonstrate loyalty to their faith by supporting jihad and the mujahideen.
- 49th Issue of Afghan Taliban Magazine, "al-Samoud"
The Media Center of the Afghan Taliban released the 49th issue of its monthly electronic magazine, “al-Samoud,” on its website and jihadist forums on June 20, 2010.
- Al-Qaeda's Adam Gadahn Gives Demands to Obama
Al-Qaeda’s American spokesman Adam Gadahn (AKA Azzam the American) appeared in a video released by the group’s media arm, as-Sahab, dictating demands to US President Barack Obama. The 24 minute video was posted on jihadist forums on June 20, 2010, and is titled, “Legitimate Demands 2: Barack’s Dilemma.”
- ISI Claims Raid on Iraq's Central Bank
The Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), the al-Qaeda-front in Iraq, claimed the June 13th raid on Iraq’s Central Bank in a communiqué issued on jihadist forums on June 16, 2010.
- Libi Offers Condolences for Slain ISI Leaders in Video
Abu Yahya al-Libi, a member of al-Qaeda’s Shariah Committee, appeared in a video, offering condolences for the deaths of top Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) officials, and urging fighters in Iraq to unite. The 19 minute, 41 second as-Sahab-produced video is titled, “Blood of Our Leaders… Fuel for Our Battles,” and was released on jihadist forums on June 15, 2010.
- CIA Base Bomber Urges Suicide Attacks in as-Sahab Video
Al-Qaeda’s media arm, as-Sahab, released a posthumous video of Humam al-Balawi (AKA Abu Dujana al-Khorasani) inciting Muslims towards suicide attacks, or what he calls “martyrdom-seeking operations.” The video is 41 minutes, 43 seconds long, and was posted on jihadist forums on June 11, 2010.
- Abu Dujana Brigade Claims Attack on US Embassy in Paris
A jihadist on the Mujahideen E-Network forum posted an alleged communiqué from the “Abu Dujana al-Khorasani Brigade” claiming responsibility for sending chemical-laced letters to the US embassy in Paris. The communiqué was posted on July 31, 2010, and was subsequently posted by the same user on the al-Fallujah forum on August 2.
- AQAP Deputy Leader Calls for Kidnappings to Support Prisoners
Abu Sufyan al-Azdi, the deputy leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), urged Muslims to support their imprisoned brethren and threatened action to release female prisoners in Saudi Arabia in a speech released on jihadist forums on June 2, 2010.
- Afghan Taliban Claims Attack of Peace Jirga in Kabul, Other Attacks
The Afghan Taliban claimed a rocket strike and suicide bombing aimed at the National Consultative Peace Jirga in the Afghan capital, Kabul, in communiqués posted on its website and jihadist forums on June 2, 2010.
- Mauritanian Sheikh Justifies Killing of Civilians
An individual posed a question to the Q&A section of Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi’s website, tawhed.ws, asking for a ruling on killing civilians in countries whose forces “occupy” Muslim lands.
- Afghan Taliban Claims Large-Casualty Attacks in Ghazni, Kandahar
The Afghan Taliban claimed two large-casualty attacks in Ghazni and Kandahar provinces in Afghanistan in two communiqués posted on its website and jihadist forums between May 25 and May 26, 2010.
- AQAP Releases Interview with Anwar al-Awlaki
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a visual interview with Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Yemeni-American cleric who is accused of providing spiritual guidance to suspected Fort Hood shooter, Nidal Malik Hasan, and the Christmas Day airplane bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
- Shabaab Captures Intelligence HQ, Strikes in Mogadishu
The Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement claimed capturing an intelligence headquarters building in Shibis district in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and attacking AMISOM forces and militia elements in three communiqués issued on jihadist forums between May 21 and May 23, 2010.
- Afghan Taliban Claims Killing 45 in Bagram Air Base Raid
The Afghan Taliban claimed a raid on Bagram air base in Parwan province in Afghanistan, north of Kabul, killing 45 soldiers and wounding dozens, in three communiqués posted on its website and jihadist forums on May 19, 2010.
- Kidnap Americans, Advice to Women - "Echo of the Epics," Thirteenth Issue
The wife of Abu Sufyan al-Azdi, the deputy leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), urged Saudi women to migrate to Yemen in an article published in the thirteenth issue of AQAP’s e-magazine, “Echo of the Epics” (Sada al-Malahem). The issue was released on jihadist forums on May 18, 2010.
- AQAP Threatens Saudi Arabia: “Echo of the Epics,” Thirteenth Issue
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) threatened attacks in Saudi Arabia in a statement included in the thirteenth issue of its e-magazine, “Echo of the Epics” (Sada al-Malahem).
- About SITE
Executive Director of the SITE Intelligence Group
Rita Katz is the Executive Director and founder of the SITE Intelligence Group, the world’s leading non-governmental counterterrorism organization specializing in tracking and analyzing online activity of the global extremist community. Ms. Katz has tracked and analyzed global terrorist and jihadi networks for over two decades, and is well-recognized as one of the most knowledgeable and reliable experts in the field.
Ms. Katz has infiltrated terrorist fronts undercover, testified before Congress and in terrorism trials, and briefed officials at the White House and the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and Homeland Security. Her investigations and testimony have driven action by several governments against terror-linked organizations and individuals. She has provided counterterrorism training sessions to military leadership, intelligence analysts and law enforcement agents from numerous government agencies in the U.S. and abroad. She has led numerous workshops for non-governmental organizations and academic audiences.
For her unique contributions to FBI counterterrorism investigations, Ms. Katz received special recognition from FBI Director Robert Mueller for her "outstanding assistance to the FBI in connection with its investigative efforts."
Outlets to profile Ms. Katz have included the New Yorker, the New York Times, and 60 Minutes. Her commentary on the recruitment, financing, and operations of terrorist organizations regularly appears in leading media outlets such as The New York Times. Reuters, CNN, and The Huffington Post. She is also a regular contributor to The Washington Post, VICE News, The International Business Time, and other publications.
Born in Iraq and a graduate of Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University, Ms. Katz is fluent in Arabic.
The multi-lingual staff at SITE has years of experience in the research and analysis of terrorist networks, including monitoring jihadist propaganda, studying trends within the online jihadist community, and understanding how jihadist groups utilize the Internet.
SENIOR ADVISERSBruce Hoffman
Professor Bruce Hoffman has been studying terrorism and insurgency for more than thirty years. He is currently a tenured professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Washington, DC. Professor Hoffman previously held the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation and was also Director of RAND's Washington, DC Office. A revised and updated edition of his acclaimed 1998 book, Inside Terrorism, was published in May 2006.Rohan Gunaratna
Rohan Gunaratna is Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies in Singapore. He holds a masters degree in international peace studies from Notre Dame, US, where he was Hesburgh Scholar and a doctorate in international relations from St. Andrews, where he was British Chevening Scholar. He is the author of 12 books including Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror, published by Columbia University Press, an international bestseller.
SITE Intelligence Group is committed to eradicating all forms of violent extremism and terrorism. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination against any religion, nationality, race, or language, and we strongly feel that such discrimination only exacerbates a cycle of radicalization and violence.
- ISI Names New Top Officials
The Shura Council of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), the al-Qaeda front in Iraq, announced the names of its new top officials in a statement issued on jihadist forums on May 15, 2010.
- AQAP Claims Suicide Bombing Targeting British Ambassador
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed the April 26th suicide bombing in Sana’a, Yemen, which targeted the British ambassador to Yemen, in a communiqué issued on jihadist forums on May 11, 2010.
- American Shabaab Member Recites Jihadi Chant
A recital of an English-language jihadi chant attributed in part to Omar Hammami (AKA Abu Mansour the American), an American member of the Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement in Somalia, was distributed on jihadist forums on May 10, 2010.
- Jihadist Distributes Pictures of Ramzi bin al-Shibh
A jihadist distributed a collection of nine pictures of Ramzi bin al-Shibh on jihadist forums on August 15, 2010. Shibh is an al-Qaeda member who is suspected of helping plan the September 11th attacks, and is detained at Guantanamo Bay.
- Afghan Taliban Denies Restricting Press Freedom
The Afghan Taliban criticized a report by Reporters Without Borders that placed its leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, on its list of “Predators of Press Freedom.”
- Video Allegedly from Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Claims Times Square Attack
A video allegedly released by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed the attempted bombing in Times Square in New York City on May 1, 2010. The video, posted to YouTube, contains an audio message attributed to Qari Hussein Mehsud, an official in TTP and organizer of its suicide bombing squad, played over anti-American images. English subtitles were also provided.
- Hakimullah Mehsud Appears in New Video from Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Promises Attacks in America
Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who was believed to have been killed in January 2010, appears in a new 9 minute video uploaded to the internet alleged to have been recorded on April 4, 2010, after his supposed death. Subtitled in English, the video bears the mark of Umar Studio, the TTP's media arm.
- Awlaki Incites For Jihad In Audio Speech
Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical cleric suspected of providing spiritual support to Fort Hood shooting suspect, Nidal Hasan, spoke in an English-language audio speech inciting Muslims in the US and the West to commit actions similar to those of Nidal. Excerpts from the speech, titled, “A Call to Jihad,” were aired by CNN on March 17, 2010, and the entire 12 minute, 37 second recording became available on Islamist and jihadist forums on March 20.
- Usama bin Laden Warns Against Executing Khalid Sheikh Muhammad
Usama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, addressed a message to the American people in an audio released on jihadist forums on June 14, 2010, giving warning about the US potentially executing Khalid Sheikh Muhammad. The audio came in a 1 minute, 30 second video produced by al-Qaeda’s media arm, as-Sahab, and showed only a still picture of bin Laden.
- Zawahiri Addresses Message to Turkish Muslims
Ayman al-Zawahiri addressed an audio speech to Turkish Muslims in an video released on jihadist forums on August 14, 2010. The audio speech, entitled, “A Message to the Turkish Muslim People,” came in a 19 minute, 53 second video produced by al-Qaeda’s media arm, as-Sahab.
- Yazid Urges Support of Jihad, Claims India Attack for al-Qaeda in Kashmir
Al-Qaeda’s media arm, as-Sahab, released a posthumous audio from Mustafa Abu al-Yazid urging support of jihad and claiming that the bombing in Pune, India, on February 13, 2010, was carried out by al-Qaeda in Kashmir. He added that Ilyas Kashmiri leads that group. The audio was released in a 26 minute, 17 second video, and is titled, “He Who Equipped a Raider, Raided.”