2019-01-16

Kenya: Terrorists attack hotel in Nairobi.

Long War Journal: Shabaab says attack followed Zawahiri guidelines.
In addition to the jihadists’ general opposition to Israel, the name of the operation is also intended to seize upon President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Indeed, Shabaab claims Trump’s decision was “an attempt to confer legitimacy upon the illegitimate Zionist regime.” Trump and “his cohorts granted the Zionist Jews the approval to desecrate the sanctity of one of Islam’s holiest sites with their filth and vile policies of ethnic cleansing,” the al Qaeda arm’s men write.

Shabaab says that its “Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan Battalion” (or Brigade) was responsible for the assault. That same unit, which is named after an al Qaeda veteran who was killed in 2009, has conducted numerous high-profile operations in the past, including the July 2010 bombings in Kampala, Uganda and the Jan. 15, 2016 raid on an AMISOM base in El Adde, among others. Nabhan, who swore allegiance to al Qaeda’s senior leadership on behalf of Shabaab in 2008, was long wanted by the US for his role in the 1998 US Embassy bombings, as well as attacks in Mombasa, Kenya in 2002. The latter operations targeted an Israeli-owned hotel and airliner.


Arutz Sheva: Terrorists cited Trump, Jerusalem recognition.

The group said in a statement picked up by the SITE monitoring group that its fighters stormed the DusitD2 complex on instructions by Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

"It is a response to the witless remarks of the US president, Donald Trump, and his declaration of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel," said Al-Shabaab.

The East African: American 9/11 survivor Jason Spindler among victims.
An American who survived the 9/11 terror attack is among those who were killed in Tuesday’s terror attack at Nairobi’s 14 Riverside Drive.

Jason Spindler’s mother Sarah Sandler told NBC News that her son “was trying to make positive change in the third world in emerging markets.”

Spindler’s brother, Jonathan, also confirmed the family’s tragic loss via Facebook.

“It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that my brother, Jason Spindler passed away this morning during a terror attack in Nairobi, Kenya. Jason was a survivor of 9/11 and a fighter. I am sure he gave them hell!” Jonathan’s post read.

2019-01-13

Nigeria: Troops retake Baga.

AllAfrica: Nigerian troops retake Baga from Boko Haram.
The military had repeatedly denied that Boko Haram captured Baga after dislodging soldiers of the Nigeria military, including those of the Multi National Joint Task Force. But in the statement issued by the army spokesman, Sani Usman, said troops were able to reclaim the community after a heated gunbattle.
Daily Trust (Abuja): 'A statement from army spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman said the 707 Special Forces Brigade dealt the decisive blow that neutralized several terrorists along that axis. He said, "The Special Forces commenced clearance operations on 28th December 2018, where they cleared Zare, Gudumbali, Kukawa and Cross Kauwa without any resistance from suspected terrorists." Usman said, "Though some of the terrorists attempted to infiltrate troops camp at Monguno, the gallant troops lured them and neutralized many of them and recovered some arms and ammunition."'
This Day (Lagos): 'An Army officer and a soldier were killed while five soldiers wounded as Nigerian military engaged Boko Haram terrorists in a gritty battle that led to the death of over 80 terrorists in different battlegrounds notably in Baga Naval Base, which was recently reclaimed; Cross Kauwa and Monguno in Borno State. This is coming as Nigeria and China signed a N2billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to offer assistance to the Nigerian military in order to strengthen its counter-insurgency measures.'

2019-01-01

2019-01-01

Nigeria: Town of Baga reported seized by Daesh. Long War Journal: 'The Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) reportedly seized the town of Baga in northeastern Nigeria earlier this week. Reports from the region are often murky, and it is possible that ISWA’s men will not continue to hold the town, if they still do. But the group released a series of images today that purportedly document its advances there. The photos show captured spoils, including military vehicles and weaponry, as well as dead Nigerian soldiers. The Nigerian military issued its own statement on recent events, disputing a media report suggesting that Boko Haram had captured the town and pinned down the Army’s forces. The Nigerian military’s statement did not mention ISWA, which has its own footprint in the region. ...'

Ukraine / Russia: Russian moves continue. ISW: 'Russia continues to build up and prepare its military forces for possible offensive operations against Ukraine from the Crimean Peninsula and the east. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has been warning that Russia could conduct such operations at short notice since December 11, 2018. It remains impossible to assess whether Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to launch an offensive or will do so, or whether the visible military preparations are intended to pressure Ukraine and its partners without escalating to additional open conflict. The data suggests that Putin is preparing to attack, although alternative interpretations are possible. One can make reasoned arguments about why it would be unwise for him to attack now (or, indeed, at all). The West should nevertheless focus first on the data itself and the risks that flow from it, rather than on reasoning about Putin’s intentions. ...'

USA / Middle East - analysis: Trump looking for exit. FDD:
... But to say, as Mr. Trump did last week, that IS has been defeated is premature. An estimated 30,000 fighters remain in Syria and Iraq. We must now expect them to revive and rebuild under the leadership of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi whom we’ve not yet tracked down and eliminated.

America’s military presence also has succeeded in preventing Iran’s rulers from establishing a land bridge through Syria into Lebanon – now effectively ruled by Hezbollah, Tehran’s proxy – and on to the Mediterranean.

Useful too: About 90 percent of Syria’s oil lies under territory controlled by the U.S. Those resources will soon replenish Mr. Assad’s coffers, reducing the amount Ayatollah Khamenei spends – an estimated $16 billion annually – to prop up the mass-murdering dictator.

That will leave more money for terrorists and missiles that can deliver nuclear warheads. ...