Islamic State - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Islamic State

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ISIS liaison to Abu Sayyaf killed in Sulu clash

Nov 23, 2019 - 12:56 PM

Talha Jumsah or Abu Talha is an ISIS-trained bomb expert who 'served as an instructor to the ASG in the fabrication of more lethal and destructive IEDs' used in suicide bombings, says Joint Task Force Sulu

BOMB EXPERT. Talha Jumsah or Abu Talha is killed in a clash with the government troops in Sitio Tubig Amu, Barangay Tanum, Patikul, Sulu  on November 22, 2019.  Photo from Joint Task Force Sulu

DNA tests on Sulu suicide bombers confirm Abu Sayyaf’s ISIS links – military

Nov 14, 2019 - 9:06 PM

The foreign suspects killed in separate incidents in Sulu were ISIS terrorists working for the Abu Sayyaf's Sawadjaan faction, the military says

SUICIDE VESTS. These explosive vests were recovered from 3 suspected suicide bombers killed in a clash with Philippine Army troops in Indanan, Sulu, on November 5, 2019. Photo from AFP Joint Task Force Sulu

Turkey says it captured sister of dead ISIS leader

Nov 05, 2019 - 10:18 PM

A senior Turkish official says the arrest could be 'an intelligence gold mine'

CAPTURED. This handout undated picture taken and released by the press service of the Turkish government shows Rasmiya Awad, believed to be the sister of slain Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was captured in the northern Syrian town of Azaz by Turkish security officials, seen in an unknown location. HANDOUT / TURKISH GOVERNMENT / AFP

1 Filipino, 2 Egyptian ‘suicide bombers’ killed in army clash in Sulu – AFP

Nov 05, 2019 - 9:59 PM

Philippine Army troops intercepted the 3 suspects, believed to be from the Abu Sayyaf Group, at a checkpoint in Indanan town on Tuesday afternoon

SUICIDE VESTS. These vests with 'explosives and triggering devices' were recovered from 3 suspected suicide bombers who were killed in a clash with Philippine Army troops in Indanan, Sulu, on November 5, 2019. Photo from AFP Joint Task Force Sulu

ISIS claims responsibility for deadly Mali attacks on 50 soldiers

Nov 03, 2019 - 1:18 PM

The strikes underscore the fragility of an area straddling several West African countries battling increasing jihadist violence that has claimed hundreds of lives

ISIS names Baghdadi successor, threatens U.S.

Oct 31, 2019 - 11:49 PM

The Islamic State jihadist group also names its new leader as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi

CONFIRMED. This still image from video released by the US Department of Defense on October 30, 2019, shows smoke rising from the compound of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria after it was destroyed in the US raid on October 26, 2019. AFP PHOTO/US Department of Defense

'Hero' dog to get a White House homecoming – Trump

Oct 31, 2019 - 9:51 PM

According to the US account, Conan was injured chasing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi into a dead end tunnel in his Syrian hideout, where the cornered ISIS leader detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and two children

'HERO.' This undated image released by the US Department of Defense on October 30, 2019, shows the military dog who sustained minor injuries during the Al-Baghdadi raid. The dog has returned to duty, according to the Pentagon. AFP PHOTO/US Department of Defense

Pentagon releases video, photos of Baghdadi raid

Oct 31, 2019 - 8:54 AM

The US Defense Department releases a grainy black-and-white footage of troops approaching on foot the high-walled compound in northwestern Syria where Baghdadi was holed up

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - OCTOBER 30: U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, speaks as a picture of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is seen during a press briefing October 30, 2019 at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. Gen. McKenzie and Hoffman spoke to the media to provide an update on the special operations raid that targeted former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Idlib Province, Syria. Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP AFP

Trump says Baghdadi's top replacement also killed

Oct 29, 2019 - 11:27 PM

But US President Donald Trump does not identify the person or give more detail on how he was killed

TRUMP. In this file photo, US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 20, 2019. File photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP

ISIS chief Baghdadi buried at sea by U.S. military

Oct 29, 2019 - 8:35 AM

The US military basks in success after the eliminating the founder and spiritual guide of the Islamic State group, capping a years-long campaign to crush the Sunni Muslim extremist organization

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - OCTOBER 28: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley hold a news conference at the Pentagon the day after it was announced that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. raid in Syria October 28, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. The leader and self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State, al-Baghdadi reportedly blew himself up with explosives when cornered by a U.S. Special Operations team at his compound in Syria. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Revenge attacks by pro-ISIS groups ‘very likely’ after Baghdadi killing – analyst

Oct 28, 2019 - 7:31 PM

The death of ISIS' top leader in the Middle East may shift extremists' attention closer to home as they try to avenge his death and assert their influence, says leading terrorism analyst Rohan Gunaratna

TERRORIST KILLED. An image grab taken from a propaganda video released on July 5, 2014 by al-Furqan Media allegedly shows the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, addressing worshippers at a mosque in the ISIS-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Al-Furqan Media/Handout/AFP

Death of ISIS leader Baghdadi ‘just a momentary setback’ – Lorenzana

Oct 28, 2019 - 1:40 PM

The killing of ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by US Special Forces may be a 'severe blow' to the terror group but ISIS-linked terrorists in the Philippines will continue to be a threat, the defense chief and the military say

SECURITY OFFICIALS. This file photo shows Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Noel Clement at the Senate on September 30, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Trump wins big with Baghdadi death – and intends to milk it

Oct 28, 2019 - 8:31 AM

Trump – threatened by a snowballing impeachment threat in Washington and stung by widespread criticism of his overall Syria policy – needs the victory to be his

DONALD TRUMP. US President Donald Trump makes a major announcement October 27, 2019 the White House in Washington, DC. Photo by Jim Watson/ AFP

Trump confirms death of ISIS leader Baghdadi

Oct 27, 2019 - 9:21 PM

(4th UPDATE) 'He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much better place,' Trump says in a televised broadcast announcing the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the world's most wanted man

ISIS head Baghdadi believed dead after U.S. strike in Syria

Oct 27, 2019 - 1:14 PM

(5th UPDATE) US media cites multiple government sources as saying Baghdadi may have killed himself with a suicide vest as US special operations forces descended

BELIEVED DEAD. In this undated and unlocated TV grab taken from a video released by Al-Furqan media, the chief of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears for the first time in 5 years in a propaganda video in April 2019. Photo from AFP

More than 100 Islamic State prisoners have escaped in Syria – US envoy

Oct 24, 2019 - 7:27 AM

'We would say the number is now over 100. We do not know where they are,' James Jeffrey, the State Department point man on Syria

James Jeffrey, State Department special representative for Syria engagement and special envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, testifies before the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 23, 2019. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP

U.S. says it counts on Turkey, Kurds to fight an ISIS resurgence

Oct 23, 2019 - 8:24 AM

'If they are not forced to face off against each other, we can rely on both of them against ISIS,' US Special Representative for Syria and the anti-ISIS coalition James Jeffrey tells a US senate panel

THE ISIS FIGHT. James Jeffrey, State Department special representative for Syria engagement and special envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, testifies during a hearing before Senate Foreign Relations Committee October 22, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP

Social media app TikTok removes ISIS propaganda videos

Oct 22, 2019 - 4:39 PM

An employee at TikTok says about 10 accounts were removed for posting the videos

Erdogan vows no ISIS fighters will escape Syria

Oct 15, 2019 - 3:52 PM

'We will ensure that no ISIS (Islamic State) fighters leave northeastern Syria,' Erdogan writes in the Wall Street Journal

ERDOGAN. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during the extended meeting with provincial heads of ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in Ankara, Turkey, on October 10, 2019. Photo by Adem Altan/AFP

ISIS families escape Syria displacement camp – Kurds

Oct 13, 2019 - 5:49 PM

(UPDATED) Kurdish authorities have given repeated warnings that the fighting could facilitate an ISIS resurgence

MILITARY ASSAULT. Smoke billows from the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad on October 12, 2019, as Turkey and its allies continue their assault on Kurdish-held border towns in northeastern Syria. Photo by Bakr Alkasem/AFP

Civilians flee as Syria Kurds battle Turkish invasion

Oct 11, 2019 - 12:13 AM

(UPDATED) The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 60,000 people have been displaced in less than a day

CIVILIANS. Syrian Arab and Kurdish civilians arrive to Tall Tamr town, in the Syrian northwestern Hasakeh province, after fleeing Turkish bombardment on the northeastern towns along the Turkish border on October 10, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

U.S. takes custody of two 'high-value' jihadists from Syria Kurds

Oct 10, 2019 - 9:07 AM

(UPDATED) 'I can confirm that we've taken custody of two high-value ISIS individuals from the SDF,' says a US defense official, referring to the Islamic State group and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces

COMBO) This combination of pictures created on February 11, 2018 from two handout images provided by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on February 10, 2018 shows captured British Islamic State (IS) group fighters El Shafee el-Sheikh (L) and Alexanda Kotey (R), posing for mugshots in an undisclosed location. Two "high-value" jihadists held by Syrian Kurds have been taken into US custody and moved out of the country, a defense official said on October 9, 2019, as reports identified them as notorious British fighters dubbed "The Beatles." Handout / Syrian Democratic Forces / AFP AFPForum

Iraq, Syria reopen major border crossing retaken from ISIS

Sep 30, 2019 - 11:07 PM

It is the only crossing between the two countries controlled by Syrian regime forces on one side and Iraqi federal authorities on the other

Members of the Syrian security forces gather at the border-crossing between Albu Kamal in Syria and Al-Qaim in Iraq, taken from the Syrian side in the eastern region of Deir Ezzor, on September 30, 2019. Photo by AFP

Singapore detains Indonesian maids for 'funding ISIS'

Sep 24, 2019 - 2:21 PM

It is the latest case of allegedly radicalized foreign domestic helpers arrested in Singapore, and the government says it highlighted the continued appeal of the jihadists' 'violent ideology'

Turkey says Syria Kurds withdrawal 'must be confirmed'

Aug 30, 2019 - 11:43 PM

As part of the US-Turkey deal to create a 'safe zone' in northern Syria, a joint operations center was set up and there will be joint patrols. Turkey hopes the patrols would start 'as soon as possible.'

CONFIRMATION? This file photo shows Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar looking on before posing for a family picture during the NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels on June 27, 2019. File photo by Aris Oikonomou/AFP

Fears in U.S. of bad peace deal with the Taliban

Aug 18, 2019 - 9:52 AM

In tweets, interviews, and op-ed pieces in newspapers, Americans caution against bringing home the 14,000 United States troops in Afghanistan

WITHDRAWAL WOES. In this photo taken on June 6, 2019, US soldiers look out over hillsides during a visit of the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General Scott Miller at the Afghan National Army checkpoint in Nerkh district of Wardak province. Photo by Thomas Watkins/AFP

Nigeria insists Boko Haram 'defeated' after 10-year insurgency

Jul 31, 2019 - 11:33 PM

'The position of the Nigerian government is that the Boko Haram terrorism has been degraded and defeated. The real Boko Haram we know is defeated,' says Nigeria's presidency

BUHARI. In this file photo, President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari looks on as he attends the opening ceremony of the 2019 World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, at the King Hussein Convention Centre at the Dead Sea, in Jordan on April 6, 2019. File photo by KhalilMazraawi/AFP

Germany extradites Bosnian linked to Paris attacks to Belgium

Jul 30, 2019 - 12:00 AM

The unnamed 39-year-old is accused 'of abetting a terrorist organization linked to the terror attacks, including on the Bataclan concert hall, on November 13, 2015 in Paris'

PARIS ATTACKS. This file photo taken on November 17, 2015 shows a miniature Eiffel tower, candles, and flowers at a makeshift memorial outside Le Carillon cafe, in tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks in which 130 people were killed and another 413 injured. File photo by Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

Suicide attacks emerge in Philippines under ISIS influence

Jul 02, 2019 - 7:29 PM

Security analysts say the apparent suicide bombings in the country over the past 12 months are a worrying escalation of militancy driven by the influence of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia

RUBBLE. A bombed-out mosque stands in what was the main battle area in Marawi City. Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

AFP: 'High possibility' Sulu blasts were suicide attacks

Jul 02, 2019 - 4:54 PM

(UPDATED) Investigators have also yet to determine whether any of the attackers were Filipino

STILL HESITANT. AFP Spokeperson BGEN. Edgar Arevalo at a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo on Thursday, November 29, 2018, on issues of Mandatory ROTC and Martial Law extension. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Suicide bombing? Attack on Sulu military camp similar to Jolo Cathedral blast

Jun 29, 2019 - 3:24 PM

The military identifies Abu Sayyaf Group leader Hatib Sawadjaan as the mastermind of the attacks. He pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

BLAST SITE. Twin bombings hit a military camp in Indanan, Sulu, on June 28, 2019. Sourced photo

ISIS claims suicide attack on Sulu military camp

Jun 29, 2019 - 11:30 AM

(UPDATED) ISIS claimed the bombing was the work of two suicide attackers, according to Rita Katz, the director of SITE Intelligence Group which monitors jihadist activities worldwide

SUICIDE BOMBERS? ISIS has claimed responsibility for the twin bombings on a military camp in Sulu, supposedly carried out by these two local affiliates. Screengrab from Twitter page of Rita Katz

U.N. rights chief urges states to repatriate families of ISIS fighters

Jun 24, 2019 - 5:28 PM

In her opening address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Michelle Bachelet insists that countries must take responsibility for their nationals caught up in Syria's drawn-out war

ON ISIS. In this file photo, Chilean High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet speaks during a press conference in Caracas on June 21, 2019. File photo by Cristian Hernandez/AFP

Islamic State make first claim of Mozambique presence – SITE

Jun 05, 2019 - 6:20 PM

But an insurgency expert who has declined to be named says Islamic State are unlikely to have direct contact with the local fighters

Bangladeshi jailed 42 years for ISIS-inspired attack on Australian host

Jun 05, 2019 - 4:24 PM

Momena Shoma admits to engaging in a terrorist act after stabbing Roger Singaravelu in the neck with a kitchen knife just 8 days after arriving in Australia

Iraq sentences all 11 French ISIS suspects to death

Jun 04, 2019 - 8:23 AM

A Iraqi court sentences to death two more French nationals for joining the Islamic State group, leaving all 11 Frenchmen transferred from Syria facing the gallows

A picture shows a courtroom at Baghdad's Karkh main appeals court building in the western sector of the Iraqi capital on May 29, 2019 where French jihadists accused of belonging to the Islamic state are being tried. The Baghdad court sentenced a Frenchman to death for joining the Islamic State group, bringing to seven the number of French jihadists on death row in Iraq. SABAH ARAR / AFP

ISIS threat on Marawi now low, but military keeps eye on remnants

May 23, 2019 - 5:14 PM

Abu Dar, the last remaining leader of the Islamic State-linked group Maute Group, was killed in military operation in Lanao del Sur in March

SURRENDERED. In this file photo from May 11, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte leads the inspection of the firearms surrendered by the ISIS-Maute Group at the Capitol Gymnasium in Sacayo, Marawi City. Malacañang photo

Malaysia foils ISIS-linked plot, seizes explosives

May 13, 2019 - 7:19 PM

The suspects – a Malaysian who led the group, two Rohingya from Myanmar and one Indonesian – are detained last week in raids around Kuala Lumpur and in eastern Terengganu state

U.S. says 13 suspected ISIS members killed in Somalia airstrike

May 10, 2019 - 4:52 PM

The strike is carried out in the Golis Mountains in northern Somalia, where 3 ISIS militants were killed in April

More Sri Lanka attacks feared as Muslims condemn Easter bombs

May 03, 2019 - 10:04 PM

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe hopes normality will return by Monday, May 6, when public schools reopen after an extended Easter vacation

Sri Lanka names Easter suicide bombers

May 01, 2019 - 11:44 PM

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera confirms that two of the luxury hotels were bombed by two brothers from a wealthy Colombo family involved in spice exports

STANDING GUARD. Security personnel stand guard outside St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo on April 22, 2019, a day after the church was hit in series of bomb blasts targeting churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. File photo by Jewel Samad/AFP

ISIS chief refers to Syria defeat in first video in 5 years

Apr 30, 2019 - 12:40 AM

(UPDATED) In the video released by ISIS' Al-Furqan media arm, the man said to be Baghdadi refers to the monthslong fight for ISIS' final redoubt Baghouz, which ended in March

ISIS CHIEF. In this undated and unlocated tv grab taken from a video released by Al-Furqan media, the chief of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears for the first time in 5 years in a propaganda video. AFP PHOTO / SOURCE / AL-FURQAN

15 die as Sri Lanka forces raid Islamist hideout – police

Apr 27, 2019 - 2:38 PM

The 3 men set off explosives killing 3 women and 6 children inside what was believed to an Islamist safe house near the eastern town of Kalmunai, Sri Lanka

RAID. Soldiers evacuate an injured child after they raid what believed to be an Islamist safe house in the eastern town of Kalmunai on April 27, 2019. AFP Photo

Israel tells citizens to leave Sri Lanka over 'concrete threat'

Apr 25, 2019 - 9:36 PM

The recommendation from Israel's counterterrorism bureau says it is issuing the travel warning after consultations with security and foreign ministry officials

AFTERMATH. Sri Lankan security personnel and police investigators look through debris outside Zion Church following an explosion in Batticaloa in eastern Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019. Photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachichi/AFP

Sri Lanka admits 'major' lapse over deadly Islamist blasts

Apr 24, 2019 - 8:22 PM

Police have so far arrested 58 people, all Sri Lankans, and security remains heavy, with bomb squads carrying out several controlled explosions of suspect packages

'MAJOR' LAPSE. Security personnel stand guard near St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo on April 24, 2019, 3 days after a series of bomb blasts targeting churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP

ISIS claims Sri Lanka bombings, releases photo of attackers

Apr 23, 2019 - 7:22 PM

(UPDATED) The massive casualty toll would make the Easter attacks the deadliest overseas operation claimed by ISIS since the group proclaimed its worldwide caliphate in mid-2014

TRAGEDY. Sri Lankan security personnel walk through debris following an explosion in St Sebastian's Church in Negombo, north of the capital Colombo, on April 21, 2019. File photo by STR/AFP

Syria's Kurds call for international court to try ISIS jihadists

Mar 25, 2019 - 8:36 PM

(UPDATED) In this way, 'trials can be conducted fairly and in accordance with international law and human rights covenants and charters,' the Syria Kurdish administration says

ISIS IN SYRIA. Men suspected of being Islamic State fighters wait to be searched by members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces after leaving the ISIS group's last holdout of Baghouz, in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 22, 2019. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Jihadists emerge from tunnels to surrender after 'caliphate' falls

Mar 25, 2019 - 9:52 AM

(UPDATED) An AFP reporter says he saw dozens of people – mostly men – file out of the battered jihadist encampment in the remote village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border to board pickup trucks

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walk in the village of Baghouz in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border on March 24, 2019, a day after the Islamic State (IS) group's "caliphate" was declared defeated by the US-backed Kurdish-led SDF.  Delil souleiman / AFP

Philippines hails fall of last ISIS territory

Mar 24, 2019 - 9:40 AM

But the Philippines, where ISIS influence persists, says the fight 'is not over'

VICTORY AT LAST. A female fighter of the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) flashes the victory gesture while celebrating near the Omar oil field in the eastern Syrian Deir Ezzor province on March 23, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Macron says ISIS defeat removes 'significant threat' to France

Mar 23, 2019 - 8:44 PM

'But the threat remains and the fight against terrorist groups must continue,' French President Emmanuel Macron says