The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces captured an American-Saudi dual citizen last September suspected to be a member of the Islamic State. Because of his citizenship, he was quickly transferred to Defense Department custody and is being held in Iraq. After nine months of detention and litigation over this U.S.
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[Update: Several people reached out after I posted last night, drawing attention to the fact that al-Mourabitoun (also spelled al Murabitun) apparently reunited with AQIM after its initial separation from the group. On the other hand, others reached out to point to indications that the particular leader at the center of the current storm—al Sahraoui—may still lead a splinter faction that resisted/resists the return to the AQIM fold.
Every unhappy terrorist movement is unhappy in its own way, and the global jihadist movement is no exception. Disagreements over targeting, tactics, organization and the fundamental question of what it means to be a good Muslim have plagued the movement since its inception and remain a source of weakness.
A pretty remarkable development in today's House Appropriations markup on the Defense Appopriations bill. For many years, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) has been putting forward amendments intended to repeal or sunset the 2001 AUMF. They normally do not go anywhere. This morning she moved one that would terminate the 2001 AUMF in 240 days, and lo-and-behold the majority went along with it. It passed with only Kay Granger (R-TX) opposing.
Perhaps Guantanamo Won't Get New Detainees After All? An Update on Efforts to Capture Islamic State Leaders
Yesterday, Eric Schmitt had a story in the New York Times providing a rare glimpse into the ongoing activities of the “Expeditionary Targeting Force” (“ETF”).
Early Sunday evening, a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Air Force Su-22 that had just completed a bombing run targeting US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Raqqa region. The episode raises important questions under the U.N. Charter (see Adil Ahmad Haque’s analysis here). But what about U.S. domestic law?
In the midst of all the U.S. domestic and Trump coverage, it’s worth noting a front-page Wall Street Journal story from ten days ago on the French government targeting French citizens fighting for ISIS in Iraq.
As several colleagues noted last week, Representative Adam Schiff has revived his effort to get Congress to replace the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs with a new “Consolidated AUMF” that would explicitly name the Islamic State (he had a similar bill in the last Congress, which Jack endorsed here). What follows below is a section-by-section analysis of H.J. Res.
Three weeks ago, a U.S.-led coalition made up of Iraqi military units, Kurdish Peshmerga, Sunni tribal groups and Iran-backed Shiite militias began the campaign to liberate Mosul from ISIL control. Home to as many as 1.5 million Iraqis, Mosul is the country’s second largest city and represents ISIL’s last major Iraqi stronghold.
Police in New Jersey have located and arrested Ahmad Khan Rahami, the prime suspect in the Chelsea and New Jersey bombings. Rahami fired on the officers who found him, striking two of them and then being shot himself (in the shoulder, possibly). He is now in custody and receiving medical care at a hospital in Newark. And now officials face an important—and potentially quite controversial—set of decisions regarding how to go about interrogating Rahami.