OSINT – Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)

SEA Pages:

Ello: https://ello.co/syrianelectronicarmy

Instagram: @Official_SEA2

Pinterest: OfficialSEA.

Twitter: @Official_SEA16

VK: vk.com/syrianelectronicarmy

Web: http://sea.sy/index/en

Youtube: SEAOfficialChannel.https://www.youtube.com/user/SEAOfficialChannel/feed

Government:

Department of Homeland Security. “Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 19, 2015.

State Department. “Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 19, 2015.

Think Tanks / Academic:

AEI. “Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 15, 2015.

Brookings. “Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 15, 2015.

CFR. “Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 15, 2015.

CRS. “Geopolitical and Cyber Risks to Oil and Gas.” November 14, 2013. Accessed January 15, 2015.

CRS. “Cyber Operations in DOD Policy and Plans: Issues for Congress.” January 5, 2015. Accessed January 15, 2015.

CSIS. “Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 15, 2015.

CTC. “Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 15, 2015.

  1. Understanding the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA).” April 24, 2013. Accessed January 18, 2015.

ICG. “Syria.” Accessed January 15, 2015.

Infowar Monitor. “The Emergence of Open and Organized Pro-Government Cyber Attacks in the Middle East: The Case of the Syrian Electronic Army.” May 30, 2011. Accessed January 18, 2015.

TRAC. “Syrian Electronic Army.”  Accessed January 15, 2015.

Global Media:

Al Jazeera. Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 15, 2015.

BBC. Syrian Electronic Army” Accessed January 15, 2015.

BBC. “Who is the Syrian Electronic Army?” April 25, 2013. Accessed January 18, 2015.

CNN. Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 18, 2015.

CNN. What is the Syrian Electronic Army?” August 28, 2013. Accessed January 18, 2015.

Foreign Policy. “Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 18, 2015.

The Guardian. “Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 18, 2015.

NPR. Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 18, 2015.

NPR. Outage Summer: What To Know About The Syrian Electronic Army.” August 27, 2013. Accessed January 18, 2015.

NYT. Hunting for Syrian Hackers’ Chain of Command.” May 17, 2013. Accessed January 18, 2015.

NYT. Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 19, 2015.

Reuters. Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 19, 2015.

VICE News. “Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 19, 2015.

VOA. Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 19, 2015.

WaPo. “Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 19, 2015.

Wired. Syrian Electronic Army.” Accessed January 19, 2015.

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OSINT – Jundallah

Also Known As: People’s Resistance Movement of Iran (PMRI); Jonbesh-i Moqavemat-i-Mardom-i Iran; Popular Resistance Movement of Iran; Soldiers of God; Fedayeen-e-Islam; Former Jundallah of Iran; Jundullah; Jondullah; Jundollah; Jondollah; Jondallah; Army of God (God’s Army); Baloch Peoples Resistance Movement (BPRM)

Description:  The United States designated Jundallah, a paramilitary Sunni Salafi sect on the borders of Iran and Pakistan, as a FTO on November 4, 2010. Its leader, Abdolmalek Rigi, was captured and executed by Iranian authorities.

Targets: Key targets of Jundallah include Iranian military and civic members, as well as civilians.

Activities: Jundallah has executed numerous attacks against its targets, including bombings and hostage taking.

Diplomacy: Jundallah has been known to have contacted leaders of the Islamic State. Iranian and Western media sources alleged Western intelligence agencies may have assets within Jundallah.

Strength:  Estimated to be 500 – 2,000 personnel.

AO: Balochistan (Iranian-Pakistani border).

Funding and External Aid:  Unknown

Jundallah's AO, courtesy of the BBC

Jundallah’s AO, courtesy of the BBC

Local Media:

Al Monitor. Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

Associated Press of Pakistan. Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

The Daily Times. Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

Dawn. Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

Fars. Politics.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

The Frontier Post. Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

The International News. Islamic State and Jundallah meeting creates ripples.” November 14, 2014. Accessed January 8, 2015.

The International News. Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

IRNA. Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

ISNA. Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

The Nation. Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

Press T.V. Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

Tehran Times. Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

Global Media:

Al Jazeera. Jundallah: Iran’s Sunni rebels.” June 20, 2010. Accessed January 8, 2015.

BBC. Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

BBC. Profile: Iran’s Jundullah militants.” June 20, 2010. Accessed January 8, 2015.

BBC. “US lists Iran group Jundullah as terrorists.” November 3, 2010. Accessed January 8, 2015.

CNN. Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

Foreign Affairs. “Tehran’s Take.” July/August 2009. Accessed January 8, 2015.

Foreign Policy. “Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

The Guardian. “Iran bombing: Profile of Sunni group Jundallah.” December 15, 2010. Accessed January 8, 2015.

NPR. Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

NPR. A Look At Extremist Group Jundallah.” October 20, 2009. Accessed January 8, 2015.

The New Yorker. Preparing the Battlefield.” July 7, 2008. Accessed January 8, 2015.

NYT. Getting Close to Terror, but Not to Stop It.” November 8, 2014. Accessed January 8, 2015.

NYT. “Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

PBS Frontline. Who supports Jundallah?” October 22, 2009. Accessed January 8, 2015.

The Telegraph. US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran.” February 25, 2007. Accessed January 8, 2015.

VOA. Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

WaPo. “Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

Think Tanks / Academic:

AEI. “Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

Brookings. “Iran’s Terrorism Problem.” November 21, 2013. Accessed January 8, 2015.

Brookings. “Jundullah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

CFR. “Iran’s Ethnic Groups.” November 29, 2006. Accessed January 8, 2015.

CRS. “Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses.” December 17, 2014. Accessed January 8, 2015.

CRS. “Terrorism and Transnational Crime: Foreign Policy Issues for Congress.” June 11, 2013. Accessed January 8, 2015.

CSIS. “Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

CTC. “Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

ICG. “Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

LWJ. “Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

SITE. “Jundallah.” September 21, 2013. Accessed January 8, 2015.

SWJ. “Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

TRAC. “Jundallah.” Accessed January 8, 2015.

Government:

DIA. “Annual Threat Assessment.” February 11, 2014.

State Department. “Jundallah.” 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

State Department. “JUNDALLAH.” Chapter 6: Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Country Reports on Terrorism 2013.

OSINT – Shining Path

Also Known As: SL; Sendero Luminoso; Ejercito Guerrillero Popular (People’s Guerrilla Army); EGP; Ejercito Popular de Liberacion (People’s Liberation Army); EPL; Partido Comunista del Peru (Communist Party of Peru); PCP; Partido Comunista del Peru en el Sendero Luminoso de Jose Carlos Mariategui (Communist Party of Peru on the Shining Path of Jose Carlos Mariategui); Socorro Popular del Peru (People’s Aid of Peru); SPP

Description:  The United States designated Shining Path, a Peruvian Maoist guerilla group, Abimael Guzman, a FTO on October 8, 1997.

Targets: Key targets of Shining Path include Peruvian military and civic leaders.

Activities: Shining has executed numerous attacks against its targets, including raids and bombings. Shining Path members have destroyed telephone towers and government vehicles, and have picked off lone Peruvian soldiers. Its current leader is Victor Quispe Palomino (also known as Comrade Jose).

Diplomacy: Shining Path is known to work in concert with Peruvian DTOs.

Strength:  Estimated to be approximately 300-500.

AO: Peru, centralized in the Apurimac, Ene, and Montaro River Valley (VRAEM)

Funding and External Aid:  Shining Path is funded by TNOC, mostly by acting as mercenary protection for Peru’s narcotics trade.

Shining Path AO, courtesy of InSight Crime

Shining Path AO, courtesy of InSight Crime

Local Media:

Andina. Sendero Luminoso.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

El Comerico. Sendero Luminoso.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

Peruvian Times. Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

La Republica. Sendero Luminoso.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

Global Media:

Al Jazeera. Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

BBC. Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

CNN. Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

CNN. Shining Path rebels stage comeback in Peru.” April 21, 2009. Accessed January 7, 2015.

Foreign Affairs. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

Foreign Policy. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

The Guardian. “Peru fears new generation will follow Shining Path’s road to violence.” July 25, 2012. Accessed January 7, 2015.

NPR. Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

NYT. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

Reuters. Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

VICE News. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

VOA. Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

WaPo. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

Think Tanks / Academic:

AEI. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

Brookings. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

CFR. “Shining Path, Tupac Amaru.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

CSIS. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

CTC. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

FAS. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

ICG. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

InSight Crime. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

The National Security Archive. “The Search for Truth: The Declassified Record on Human Rights Abuses in Peru.” August 28, 2003.

TRAC. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

Government:

Congressional Record. PERU AND THE CAPTURE OF ABIMAEL GUZMAN (Senate – October 02, 1992).” Accessed January 7, 2015.

DEA. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2014.

Defense Department. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

DHS. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

DIA. “Annual Threat Assessment.” February 11, 2014.

Justice Department. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

State Department. “Shining Path.” Accessed January 7, 2015.

State Department. “AL-SHABAAB.” Chapter 6: Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Country Reports on Terrorism 2013.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “Final Report.” 2003.

OSINT – ELN

Also Known As: Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional; National Liberation Army

Description:  The United States designated ELN as a FTO on October 8, 1997. ELN originated as an armed Marxist group in 1964, which extorted gas and oil companies. Later, FARC transformed into a DTO. The group is lead by “Gabino,” a.k.a. Nicolas Rodriguez.

Targets: ELN tends to target members of the Colombian Government and the Fuerzas Militares de Colombia. FARC will also engage targets of opportunity in Colombia, such as Americans or Canadians.

Activities: ELN has actively placed mines to deter the Colombian military forces from pursuing them. ELN has also engaged Colombian infantry and propeller aircraft with small arms fire.

Diplomacy: ELN has worked in concert with FARC against the Colombian Government.

Propaganda: ELN members wear a characteristic bandana with half red and half black, with ELN written in white.

 Strength:  Estimated to have 2,000 fighters with numerous supporters

AO: Colombia (mountainous and rural regions in the North on the Venezuelan border)

Funding and External Aid:  FARC uses TNOC, such narcotics smuggling, kidnapping for ransom, and extortion, to fund its operations.

ELN rebels on patrol, courtesy of Colombia Politics

ELN rebels on patrol, courtesy of Colombia Politics

Local Media:

Colombia Politics. ELN.”  Accessed January 5, 2015.

Colombia Reports. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

El Colombiano. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

El Espectador. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

Nuevo Diario. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

El Nuevo Siglo. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

La Republica. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

Semana. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

El Tiempo. ELN” Accessed January 5, 2015.

Global Media:

Al Jazeera. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

BBC. Profiles: Colombia’s armed groups.” August 29, 2013. Accessed December 26, 2014.

Foreign Affairs. “ELN.” 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

The Guardian. “Kidnap revisited: how I met my former captor.” January 26, 2011. Accessed January 5, 2015.

NPR. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

NYT. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

Reuters. National Army of Liberation (ELN).” Accessed January 5, 2015.

VICE News. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

VOA. ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

WaPo. “ELN.” 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

Think Tanks / Academic:

AEI. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

Brookings. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

CFR. “FARC, ELN: Colombia’s Left-Wing Guerrillas.” December 1, 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

CRS. “Colombia: Background, U.S. Relations, and Congressional Interest.” November 28, 2012. Accessed December 26, 2014.

CRS. “Peace Talks in Colombia.” April 3, 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

CRS. “Terrorism and Transnational Crime: Foreign Policy Issues for Congress.” June 11, 2013. Accessed December 26, 2014.

CSIS. “ELN.” Accessed December 26, 2014.

CTC. “ELN.” Accessed December 26, 2014.

FAS. National Liberation Army.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

ICG. “Colombia.” 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

In Sight Crime. “ELN.” Accessed December 26, 2014.

Stanford University. “ELN.” Mapping Militant Organizations. 2012.  Accessed December 26, 2014.

STRATFOR. “Colombia’s New Counterinsurgency Plan.” March 29, 2012. Accessed December 26, 2014.

TRAC. “ELN.” Accessed December 26, 2014.

Wilson Center. “The FARC and Colombia’s Illegal Drug Trade.” November 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

Government:

DEA. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

Defense Department. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

Defense Department. “Hagel Reaffirms U.S. Commitment to Partnership With Colombia.” October 11, 2014. Accessed January 5, 2015.

DIA. “Annual Threat Assessment.” February 11, 2014. Accessed January 5, 2015.

Embassy of Colombia, Washington, D.C. “U.S.-Colombia Security Partnership.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

State Department. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

State Department. “FARC.” Chapter 6: Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Country Reports on Terrorism 2013. Accessed January 5, 2015.

VOA Spanish. “ELN.” Accessed January 5, 2015.

OSINT – IS

Also Known As: Islamic State; Islamic State in Iraq; Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham; ISIS; ISIL; Daesh

Formerly Known As: al-Qa’ida Group of Jihad in Iraq; al-Qa’ida Group of Jihad in the Land of the Two Rivers; al-Qa’ida in Mesopotamia; al-Qa’ida in the Land of the Two Rivers; al-Qa’ida of Jihad in Iraq; al-Qa’ida of Jihad Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers; al-Qa’ida of the Jihad in the Land of the Two Rivers; al-Tawhid; Jam’at al-Tawhid Wa’al-Jihad; Tanzeem Qa’idat al Jihad/Bilad al Raafidaini; Tanzim Qa’idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn; The Monotheism and Jihad Group; The Organization Base of Jihad/Country of the Two Rivers; The Organization Base of Jihad/Mesopotamia; The Organization of al-Jihad’s Base in Iraq; The Organization of al-Jihad’s Base in the Land of the Two Rivers; The Organization of al-Jihad’s Base of Operations in Iraq; The Organization of al-Jihad’s Base of Operations in the Land of the Two Rivers; The Organization of Jihad’s Base in the Country of the Two Rivers; al-Zarqawi Network; AQI

Description:  The United States designated AQI as a FTO on December 17, 2004. AQI/ISI/ISIS/IS follows a Sunni Islamic extremist ideology, and is trying to legitimize its territorial holdings and governance in Syria and in Iraq as a caliphate for all true Muslims.

Targets: Key targets of IS include Iraqi Security Forces, Assad Regime Forces, Syrian Free Army troops, and anti-ISIS coalition members.

Activities: Abu Bakr al Baghdadi had pursued an expansive strategy for IS. He pushed a strategy of “Breaking Down the Walls” in 2012, in which ISI troops freed prisoners in Iraq and compelled the men to join his organization. He then led “A Soldier’s Harvest,” an assassination program against Iraqi Security Forces in 2013. In January 2014, ISIS troops exploited the chaos of the Syrian Civil War, and security Raqqa, which became the capital of the Islamic State. ISIS then attacked from Syria into Northern and Western Iraq, and took over Mosul and Ramadi, and left Baghdad in a vulnerable position. The next flashpoint became Kobani in October 2014, as IS troops fought Kurdish militias, such as the YPG, PKK, and the peshmerga, supported by American airstrikes.

Diplomacy: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi merged his insurgent group in Iraq with Al-Qaeda in late 2004, forming Al-Qaeda in Iraq. After Zarqawi’s death in 2006, his successors, Abu Omar Baghdad and Abu Ayyub al-Masri, remained the organization as the Islamic State in Iraqi, giving the group grassroots legitimacy in Iraq. American airstrikes killed Abu Omar Baghdad and Ayyub al-Masri, leading to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi taking over ISI in 2010. Baghdadi attempted to merge ISI and the Nusra Front as ISIS in April 2013, which the Syrian affiliated AQ group acrimoniously rebuffed. In February 2014, AQ Central cut ties with ISIS because of the group’s sheer brutality. After ISIS conquered Mosul in June 2014, the group rebranded itself as IS. IS had been known to attack Syrian regime forces, Kurdish militias, and FSA troops. IS has been known to work pragmatically with the Nusra Front, especially after American airstrikes against both groups in Syria in September 2014.

IS's diplomacy, courtesy of START

IS’s diplomacy, courtesy of START

Leadership: IS is currently led by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, also known as Caliph Ibrahim. Most of his key lieutenants were either detained with Baghdadi in Camp Bucca or former Saddam-era Baathist military personnel.

IS Leadership, courtesy of PBS

IS Leadership, courtesy of PBS

Propaganda: IS’s psychological operations wing is “Al-Hayat.” IS’s is also feared for its public beheadings of Western prisoners (Foley, Sotloff, Haines, Henning, and Kassig). IS’s has also used social media, such as its “Glad Tidings of Dawn” app for Twitter and Facebook pages to recruit foreign fighters, disseminate information, and even raise funds.

Strength:  Estimated to be around 20,000 – 31,500 personnel. Moreover, there are approximately 15,000 foreign fighters in the Syrian Civil War for the various factions.

AO: Syria and Iraq, with regional actors in Egypt (Ansar Beit al-Maqdis), Libya (Barqa), and Algeria (Jund al-Khilafah).

Funding and External Aid:  IS uses TNOC, such as oil smuggling, kidnapping for ransom, extortion (such as the robbery of the Bank of Mosul), and commodities smuggling to fund its operations, generating $1-$2 million in revenue per day.

ISIS's AO, courtesy of the NYT

ISIS’s AO, courtesy of the NYT

Local Media:

Aswat al-Iraq. ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Azzaman. Islamic State.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Hurriyet. ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Iraqi News. ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

National Iraqi News Agency. ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Rojava Report. ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Syrian Times. ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Zaman. ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Global Media:

Al Jazeera. ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

BBC. What is Islamic State.” September 26, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CNN. ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Foreign Affairs. “ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Foreign Policy. “ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

The Guardian. “ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

NPR. ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

NYT. “ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

PBS. ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Reuters. Islamic State.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

VICE News. “ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

VOA. Islamic State.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

WaPo. “ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Think Tanks / Academic:

AEI. “Islamic State.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Brookings. “Islamic State.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

CFR. “Islamic State.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

CFR. “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.” August 8, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CRS. “Al Qaeda-Affiliated Groups: Middle East and Africa.” October 10, 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

CRS. “Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for U.S. Policy.” Accessed December 26, 2014.

CRS. “American Foreign Fighters and the Islamic State: Broad Challenges for Federal Law Enforcement.” September 19, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CRS. “Considerations for Possible Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State.” September 16, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CRS. “Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights.” October 29, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CRS. “The “Islamic State” Crisis and U.S. Policy.” December 8, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CRS. “The Islamic State in Egypt: Implications for U.S.-Egyptian Relations.” December 18, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CRS. “The Islamic State in Syria and Iraq: A Possible Threat to Jordan?” August 28, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CRS. “Turkey-U.S. Cooperation Against the “Islamic State”: A Unique Dynamic?” October 21, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CRS. “U.S. Citizens Kidnapped by the Islamic State.” October 17, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CRS. “U.S. Military Action Against the Islamic State: Answers to Frequently Asked Legal Questions.” September 9, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CSIS. “Islamic State.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

CTC. “Islamic State.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

ICG. “Islamic State.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

ISW. “Islamic State.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Jihadology. “Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

SITE. “ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

The Soufan Group. “Foreign Fighters in Syria.” June 2, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

The Soufan Group. “The Islamic State.” October 28, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

Stanford University. “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.” Mapping Militant Organizations. November 4, 2014.  Accessed January 4, 2015.

START. “The Evolution of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL): Relationships 2004-2014.” June 2014. Accessed January 5, 2014.

TRAC. “ISIS.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Government:

Defense Department. “OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

DIA. “Annual Threat Assessment.” February 11, 2014.

NCTC. “Al-Qa‘ida in Iraq (AQI).” Accessed January 4, 2015.

State Department. “Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

State Department. “Al-QA’IDA IN IRAQ.” Chapter 6: Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Country Reports on Terrorism 2013.

OSINT – Al-Qaeda Central

Also Known As: AQ; Al-Qa’ida; al-Qa’eda; Qa’idat al-Jihad (The Base for Jihad); formerly Qa’idat Ansar Allah (The Base of the Supporters of God); the Islamic Army; Islamic Salvation Foundation; The Base; The Group for the Preservation of the Holy Sites; The Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places; the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders; the Usama Bin Laden Network; the Usama Bin Laden Organization; al-Jihad; the Jihad Group; Egyptian al-Jihad; Egyptian Islamic Jihad; New Jihad

Description: Al-Qaeda was an international Islamic extremist terrorist organization. “The Base” was founded by Osama Bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri after the routing of Soviets from Afghanistan in 1988. The United States designated AQ as a FTO on October 8, 1999, following an AQ declaration of war in 1998 for violating Muslim holy lands because of the deployment of American personnel in Saudi Arabia for the Persian Gulf War. Osama Bin Laden was killed by DEVGRU personnel on May 2, 2011, and Al-Zawahiri took over the organization.

Targets: Key targets of the AQ include Western (the ‘far’ enemy) and secular Muslim (the ‘near’ enemy) military, civic, and citizens members.

Activities: The Taliban has executed numerous attacks against its targets, with an emphasis on high profile bombings. Key pre-9/11 attacks included the 1998 Embassy Bombings and the 2000 U.S.S. Cole Bombing. During the 9/11 attacks, 19 AQ operatives crashed 4 planes into American targets, including the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, killing around 3,000 Americans. Major foreign attacks included the 3/11 Madrid Training Bombing 7/7 Bus Bombings in the U.K. Major thwarted attacks included the attempted shoe bombing, underwear bombing, and ink canister bombing.

Diplomacy: Al-Qaeda has spawned numerous regional sects, including AQAP, AQIM, AQI, and Al-Shabaab. Al-Qaeda has been known to promote best practices with other Islamic extremist groups.

Strength:  Cadre is estimated to be severely degraded, with a number of a few hundred. Regional affiliates and like-minded persons number in the tens of thousands.

AO: Global regional affiliates, centralized on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Funding and External Aid: Al-Qaeda is primarily funded by donations from like-minded persons from the Middle East.

Al-Qaeda Global Map, courtesy of the Economist.

Al-Qaeda Global Map, courtesy of the Economist.

Local Media:

Afghan Islamic Press. Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Afghanistan Times. Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Associated Press of Pakistan. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed November 25, 2014.

Bakhtar News. Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Daily Times. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed November 25, 2014.

Dawn. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed November 25, 2014.

The Friday Times. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed November 25, 2014.

The Frontier Post. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed November 25, 2014.

Khaama Press. Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

The Nation. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed November 25, 2014.

The News International. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed  November 25, 2014.

Pajhwok. Al-Qaeda.” November 25, 2014.

Tolo. Al-Qaeda.” November 25, 2014.

Global Media:

Al Jazeera. Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

BBC. Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

CNN. Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

Foreign Affairs. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

Foreign Policy. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

The Guardian. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

NPR. Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

NYT. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

Reuters. Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

VICE News. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

VOA. Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

WaPo. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

Think Tanks / Academic:

AEI. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

Brookings. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

CFR. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

CRS. “Al Qaeda-Affiliated Groups: Middle East and Africa.” October 10, 2014. Accessed December 26, 2014.

CRS. “Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for U.S. Policy.” Accessed December 26, 2014.

CRS. “Al Qaeda: Profile and Threat Assessment.” August 17, 2005. Accessed January 5, 2014.

CRS. “Al Qaeda: Statements and Evolving Ideology.” July 9, 2007. Accessed January 5, 2014.

CSIS. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

CTC. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

FAS. “al-Qa’ida (The Base).” Accessed January 5, 2014.

ICG. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

ISW. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

Jihadology. “Al-Qa’idah.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

SITE. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

Stanford University. “Al-Qaeda.” Mapping Militant Organizations. Accessed January 5, 2014.

TRAC. “Al-Qaeda Central.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

Government:

Defense Department. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

DIA. “Annual Threat Assessment.” February 11, 2014.

NCTC. “Al-Qa‘ida.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

State Department. “Al-Qaeda.” Accessed January 5, 2014.

State Department. “Al-Qa’ida.” Chapter 6: Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Country Reports on Terrorism 2013.

OSINT – Afghan Taliban

Also Known As: The Students; The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan; Quetta Shura

Description: The Taliban is a Pashtun Islamist political party in Afghan, which governed the country with a draconian interpretation of Shariah law between 1996-2001, and provided Al-Qaeda with a safe-haven to plot attacks against the United States. A key institution of the Taliban is conservative madrassas on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, which indoctrinate potential fighters.

Targets: Key targets of the Taliban include Afghan and Pakistani military and civic members, as well as ISAF targets of opportunity.

Activities: The Taliban has executed numerous attacks against its targets, including cross border raids and bombings. The terrorist group has been known to assault its high value targets in Kabul, including the U.S. Embassy, the Presidential Palace, and ISAF Headquarters, as noted in the April 15, 2012 attacks.

Diplomacy: The Taliban’s leadership, such as its chief Mullah Omar, has a mutually beneficial relationship with AQ. The Taliban receives ideological guidance and best practices from AQ, while the Taliban governed areas provides AQ with a safe-haven. Moreover, the Taliban is able to work pragmatically with other Pshtun groups on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The Taliban has also conducted joint operations with the Haqqani Network.

Strength:  Estimated to be around 20,000

AO: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Funding and External Aid:  The Taliban uses TNOC, such as extortion and narcotics trafficking, to fund its operations.

Afghan Taliban's AO, courtesy of the NCTC

Afghan Taliban’s AO, courtesy of the NCTC

Local Media:

Afghan Islamic Press. Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Afghan War News. “Quetta Shura Taliban (QST).” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Afghanistan Times. Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Associated Press of Pakistan. “Taliban.” Accessed November 25, 2014.

Bakhtar News. Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Daily Times. “Taliban.” Accessed November 25, 2014.

Dawn. “Taliban.” Accessed November 25, 2014.

The Friday Times. “Taliban.” Accessed November 25, 2014.

The Frontier Post. “Taliban.” Accessed November 25, 2014.

Khaama Press. Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

The Nation. “Taliban.” Accessed November 25, 2014.

The News International. “Taliban.” Accessed  November 25, 2014.

Pajhwok. Taliban.” November 25, 2014.

Tolo. Taliban.” November 25, 2014.

Global Media:

Al Jazeera. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

BBC. Taliban Conflict.” November 24, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

BBC. Who are the Taliban?” November 1, 2013. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CNN. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Foreign Affairs. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Foreign Policy. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

The Guardian. “Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

NPR. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

NYT. Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Reuters. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

VICE News. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

VOA. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

WaPo. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Think Tanks / Academic:

AEI. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Afghan Analyst Network. Accessed January 4, 2015.

Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit. Accessed January 4, 2015.

Brookings. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

CFR. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

CFR. “The Taliban in Afghanistan.” July 4, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CRS. “Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy.” December 2, 2014. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CRS. “Islamist Militancy in the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Region and U.S. Policy.” November 21, 2008. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CRS. “Major Islamist Militant Groups in Pakistan.” February 2013. Accessed January 4, 2015.

CSIS. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

CTC. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

ICG. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

ISW. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Jihadology. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

SITE. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

Stanford University. “Taliban.” Mapping Militant Organizations. November 28, 2012. Accessed January 4, 2015.

TRAC. “Taliban.” Accessed December 26, 2014.

Government:

Defense Department. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

DIA. “Annual Threat Assessment.” February 11, 2014.

ISAF. Accessed January 4, 2015.

NCTC. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

State Department. “Afghan Taliban.” Accessed January 4, 2015.

State Department. “Afghan Taliban.” Chapter 6: Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Country Reports on Terrorism 2013.