3:04 PM, May 5, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The United States is offering big pay outs to anyone who has "information" on key ISIS leaders. "The U.S. Department of State's Rewards for Justice Program is offering rewards for information on four key leaders of the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The Secretary of State has authorized rewards of up to $7 million for information on ‘Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli; up to $5 million each for information on Abu Mohammed al-Adnani and Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili; and up to $3 million for information on Tariq Bin-al-Tahar Bin al Falih al-‘Awni al-Harzi," reads a press release from the State Department.
"Established in 2004 as 'al-Qaida in Iraq' and later known as the 'Islamic State of Iraq,' ISIL has recruited thousands of followers from across the globe to fight in Iraq and Syria, where ISIL members continue to commit gross, systematic human rights abuses, including mass executions, persecution of individuals and entire communities on the basis of their identity, killing and maiming of children, rape, and numerous other atrocities.
"In April 2013, ISIL’s current leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also known as Abu Du’a, publicly declared that the Islamic State of Iraq was operating under the moniker of ISIL. ISIL has since asserted publicly that it is the true inheritor of Usama bin Ladin’s legacy."
The State Department provides more details on the wanted terrorists:
‘Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli is a senior ISIL official who rejoined ISIL following his release from prison in early 2012. He traveled to Syria where he has worked with an ISIL network. He originally joined al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) in 2004 and served as AQI leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s deputy and as AQI emir of Mosul, Iraq. The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated al-Qaduli as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order 13224 on May 14, 2014.
Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, whose birth name is Taha Sobhi Falaha, is a senior leader of and official spokesman for ISIL. He is the main conduit for the dissemination of ISIL messages, including its declaration of ISIL’s creation of an Islamic caliphate. In public statements, al-Adnani has repeatedly called for attacks against Westerners and has vowed “defeat” for the United States. The U.S. Department of State designated al-Adnani as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on August 18, 2014.
Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili has served as a senior ISIL commander and Shura Council member. Batirashvili has overseen an ISIL prison facility in al-Tabqa where ISIL possibly held foreign hostages, has worked closely with ISIL’s financial section, and has managed ISIL operations in the Manbij area of Syria. In May 2013, he was appointed ISIL’s northern commander of operations in Syria’s Aleppo, al-Raqqah, Latakia, and northern Idlib provinces. The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Batirashvili as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on September 24, 2014.
Tariq Bin-al-Tahar Bin al Falih al-‘Awni al-Harzi was one of the first terrorists to join ISIL and has served as an ISIL official operating in Syria. He has helped to raise funds from Gulf-based donors for ISIL and has recruited and facilitated the travel of ISIL fighters. He was named ISIL’s leader for the border region between Syria and Turkey. As of late 2013, al-Harzi was chief of ISIL’s suicide bombers, overseeing ISIL’s suicide bomber facilitation pipeline. Al-Harzi also has procured and shipped weapons from Libya and Syria for ISIL operations in Iraq. On September 24, 2014, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated al-Harzi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
If found, "contact the Rewards for Justice office via the website, e-mail (email@example.com), phone (1-800-877-3927), or mail (Rewards for Justice, Washington, D.C., 20520-0303, USA). All information will be kept strictly confidential."
10:27 PM, Jan 14, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Department of Defense announced this evening that five more terrorists have been transferred from Guantanamo Bay. This time, four have been transferred to Oman and one to Estonia. Here's the press release announcing the release to Oman:
Detainee Transfer Announced
The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Al Khadr Abdallah Muhammad Al Yafi, Fadel Hussein Saleh Hentif, Abd Al-Rahman Abdullah Au Shabati, and Mohammed Ahmed Salam from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to Oman.
10:01 PM, Jan 13, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The White House won't be calling jihadists adherents to "radical Islam." At least, that's the reasonable take away from this extraordinary exchange the White House press secretary had today with a reporter:
Then apologizes.7:24 AM, Jan 6, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
The year began on a rough note for the U.S. State Department's Think Again, Turn Away anti-terror program. On January 1, the State Department used the program's official Twitter account to tweet a photo collage accompanied by the message, "Entering 2015, taking time to honor some of terror’s many victims of 2014 and their families – RIP." However, none of the individuals appearing in the photos are believed to be dead, but rather held captive by terrorists.
'Obama’s Foreign Policy Is on the Ballot'9:01 AM, Oct 27, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Republican National Committee announced today a new ad campaign arguing "Obama's Foreign Policy Is on the Ballot" in next week's election.
Here's the ad:
4:55 PM, Sep 23, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The attacks on ISIS targets in Syria will do damage. And the enemy may look for ways to retaliate. Troubling news, in that regard comes from Justin Sink who writes in The Hill:
Sep 1, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 47 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
On Tuesday, August 19, an American citizen, James Foley, was savagely killed. The group of jihadists known as ISIL had previously killed and brutalized tens of thousands of non-Americans. But they killed Foley because he was an American. They titled the grotesque video of this particular act of barbarism “A message to America.”
10:47 AM, Jul 13, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Attorney General Eric Holder has a "lot of sleepless nights," reported ABC News this morning. Chief among his concerns? The threat of "homegrown violent extremists."
Asked the ABC News reporter, "Is that threat," like the Boston Marathon bombing last year, "any less serious?"
2:21 PM, Jun 16, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The War on Terror may be over but the warriors seem to be keeping busy. Which could mean that those already in captivity should be kept there and that space should be available as more are captured.
Mosul has fallen, and al Qaeda is on the march towards BaghdadJun 23, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 39 • By MAX BOOT
Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, has long been hard for the central government to control because of its combustible mix of Arabs and Kurds. The first time I visited Mosul was in August 2003 when a tenuous calm was maintained by the 101st Airborne Division. Its commander, a then-obscure two-star general named David Petraeus, had on his own initiative opened the Syrian border to trade, struck deals with Syria and Turkey to provide badly needed electricity, restored telephone service, and held elections to elect local leaders.
7:00 AM, Jun 2, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Several men who served with Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan say Bergdahl deserted in 2009 before being captured by the Taliban. Bergdahl's release this weekend as part of an exchange with the U.S. for five top Taliban operatives who were being held in Guantanamo Bay has prompted those servicemen to speak out. Jake Tapper at CNN reports:
3:42 PM, May 31, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
The Obama administration announced today that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been held by the Taliban for several years, has been freed from his captors.
11:09 AM, May 8, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Boko Haram, the militant group responsible for the recent kidnapping of 276 girls in Nigeria, was not designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the State Department until November of 2013 despite a long record of violence. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has now come under fire, as reported by Josh Rogin at the Daily Beast, for resisting calls for the FTO designation for Boko Haram during her tenure at the State Department. Rogin says that "[t]he refusal came despite the urging of the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, and over a dozen senators and congressmen." But in 2012, even U.S. State Department diplomats in Nigeria seemed mystified about why the government was "reluctant" to issue the designation.
7:36 AM, Feb 26, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
News broke this week that under a plan released by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the United States Army will be reduced to its smallest force since before World War II. Though not directly related to that plan, another announcement this week by the Defense Department gives, perhaps, a taste of what those cuts may look like. Plans are underway for massive cuts to the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), the organization that has led military's efforts to combat a weapon of choice among insurgents and terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world. JIEDDO's current staff of 3,000 will be reduced to 1,000 by the end of this fiscal year, and further plans could see the number fall as low as 400 down the road.
3:22 PM, Jan 22, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Olympics – ancient and modern divisions – were intended to be celebrations where men laid down their arms and engaged in competitions that did not end with bodies strewn across the landscape. The intentions were noble but the games – especially those of today – were inevitably corrupted by the usual things. Politics, avarice, commercialism, drugs …