Friday, May 29, 2015

Airstrikes Deny ISIL Forces Tactical Advantages



From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, May 29, 2015 – U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Bomber and fighter aircraft conducted four airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Hasakah, three airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units, destroying an ISIL supply cache, an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Kobani, one airstrike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

-- Near Baghdadi, three airstrikes struck an ISIL fighting positon and land features denying ISIL a tactical advantage.

-- Near Beiji, five airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and land features denying ISIL a tactical advantage, destroying five ISIL vehicles, two ISIL excavators, an ISIL armored personnel carrier and an ISIL armored vehicle.

-- Near Fallujah, three airstrikes struck land features denying ISIL a tactical advantage, destroying an ISIL boat, an ISIL river crossing point and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Makhmur, three airstrikes struck an ISIL fighting positon and an ISIL staging area, destroying an ISIL excavator.

-- Near Ramadi, one airstrike destroyed two ISIL fighting positons.

-- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck an ISIL large tactical unit and land features denying ISIL a tactical advantage, destroying five ISIL buildings and two ISIL heavy machine guns.

-- Near Tal Afar, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL mortar positon, destroying an ISIL fighting positon, an ISIL roadside bomb, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL mortar system.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group's ability to project terror and conduct operations, officials said.

Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Bahrain, Canada, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Military Airstrikes Continue Against ISIL in Syria, Iraq


From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, May 28, 2015 – U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Attack and fighter aircraft conducted six airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Hasakah, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL trench system, destroying four ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, three airstrikes struck three ISIL crude oil collection points.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

-- Near Baghdadi, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL homemade explosives cache.

-- Near Huwayjah, an airstrike struck an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Beiji, three airstrikes destroyed five ISIL vehicles, an ISIL building and an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Fallujah, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying two ISIL heavy machine guns, two ISIL armored vehicles and an ISIL vehicle bomb.

-- Near Kirkuk, an airstrike struck an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Makhmur, an airstrike struck an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Mosul, five airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL checkpoint and an ISIL staging area, destroying two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL armored vehicle and an ISIL trench system.

-- Near Ramadi, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb.

-- Near Sinjar, three airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units, destroying three ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL mortar position and an ISIL sniper position.

-- Near Tal Afar, an airstrike struck land features denying ISIL a tactical advantage.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group's ability to project terror and conduct operations, officials said.

Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Bahrain, Canada, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Senior Member of Al-Qaeda Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Kill U.S. Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and Providing Material Support to Al-Qaeda



Defendant Tried to Lure American Solders to a Compound in Afghanistan that Was Rigged with Explosives; Also Facilitated the Entry of an American Citizen into Al-Qaeda

Earlier today, Saddiq al-Abbadi, 40, a Yemeni national, pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder U.S. nationals abroad, providing and conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaeda and using a machine gun in furtherance of those crimes.

The guilty plea was announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Acting U.S. Attorney Kelly T. Currie of the Eastern District of New York and Assistant Director in Charge Andrew G. McCabe of the FBI’s Washington, D.C., Field Office.  Today’s guilty plea proceeding took place before U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York.  At sentencing, al-Abbadi faces a maximum of life imprisonment.

“With the guilty plea entered today, Saddiq al-Abbadi will be held accountable for conspiring to kill Americans overseas and providing material support to al-Qaeda,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.  “Seeking to identify, thwart and hold accountable those who target U.S. citizens and interests around the world will remain a top priority of the National Security Division.”

“The defendant was a high-level al-Qaeda operative with ties to the terrorist group’s senior leadership in both Pakistan and Yemen,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Currie.  “He fought in battles against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, tried to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan by luring them to a compound rigged with explosives, and helped an American citizen gain entry to al-Qaeda.  We stand resolute in our commitment to bring to justice those who would try to harm members of our military or who assist al-Qaeda’s efforts to kill Americans at home or abroad.”

“With today’s guilty plea, Al-Abbadi admitted to directly supporting the mission of a designated terrorist organization through planning an operation designed to kill U.S. forces and for engaging in recruitment efforts on behalf of al-Qaeda,” said Assistant Director in Charge McCabe.  “This plea is due in no small part to the many FBI Special Agents, intelligence analysts, and linguists from the Washington and New York Field Offices as well as our interagency and international partners who spent countless hours investigating terrorism actors and al-Abbadi’s actions.  The FBI will not rest until we find and hold accountable those who provide support to terrorist groups and ensure that they are brought to justice.”

According to court filings, al-Abbadi traveled from his home country of Yemen to Iraq where, from approximately late 2005 through early 2007, he fought alongside al-Qaeda affiliated battalions against U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.

In early 2008, al-Abbadi traveled to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan in order to fight for al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  While in the FATA, al-Abbadi – who had longstanding ties to senior members of al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based affiliate known as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – engaged directly with senior al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan, including Sheikh Saeed al-Masri, the then-third ranking member of al-Qaeda.

During the late spring and summer of 2008, Al-Abbadi crossed from Pakistan into Afghanistan for the purpose of fighting and killing members of the U.S. military stationed in Afghanistan.  In June 2008, he planned an operation designed to lure U.S. forces to a compound in Ghazni, Afghanistan, that was rigged with explosives set to detonate upon their entry.  When U.S. forces arrived at the compound, they found rocket-propelled grenades and artillery rounds littered about.  One soldier observed wiring running from the exterior gate to the inside of the compound and recognized the trap.  The military evacuated and subsequently leveled the compound.

In addition to fighting against the U.S. military, al-Abbadi used his connections with al-Qaeda’s leadership to help U.S. citizen Bryant Neal Vinas gain entry into al-Qaeda.  Vinas had traveled to Pakistan from Long Island, New York, in the hopes of joining al-Qaeda and fighting against U.S. military forces in Afghanistan.  As a result of al-Abbadi’s assistance, Vinas was allowed to join al-Qaeda.  After participating in al-Qaeda’s military training program, Vinas developed a plan with senior al-Qaeda external operations leadership to conduct an attack on the Long Island Railroad in New York.  Vinas was arrested before he could carry out this attack.

Assistant Attorney General Carlin extended his grateful appreciation to the FBI.  The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zainab Ahmad, Michael P. Canty and Douglas M. Pravda of the Eastern District of New York, with assistance provided by Trial Attorney Josh Parecki of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section and by the Office of International Affairs.