Situation Update

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School Massacre a Sign of Taliban's Desperation but also Violent Capability

At least 141 people have been killed in a Pakistani Taliban attack on a school in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar. The attack clearly demonstrates that the Pakistani Taliban remains a deadly and potent threat, despite having been weakened by ongoing military operations and recent infighting.

Islamic State Threat Grows in South Asia at Pakistani Taliban's Expense

Several senior members of the Pakistani Taliban declared on October 10 that they were defecting and proclaiming allegiance to the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. The move was remarkable because it implied a renunciation of allegiance to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

Maps and Graphics

  • Multiple crises throughout the world—in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, and now Israel—have pulled attention from growing violence in East Africa. Al Qaeda’s group in Somalia, al Shabaab, now has an operational reach that covers all of the Horn of Africa.

  • Degrading al Qaeda leadership is central to American counterterrorism strategy, but the leaders today are not the same as they were in 2001. Al Qaeda leaders are no longer necessarily connected by formal networks and many operate outside of any formal affiliation to the al Qaeda network.

Daily News Brief

Iran News Round Up

  • Teaser: President calls for improved Tehran-Ankara relations; multi-service exercises to take place I the Persian Gulf next week; Chief of Staff of the Office of the Supreme Leader highlights Iran’s conventional military power; Velayati calls Sydney hostage-taking incident a vulgar plan to gain intelligence; Turkish president to visit Tehran next month.

Pakistan Security Brief

  • Afghan President, ISAF commander assure Army chief support in combatting terrorists; Security forces identify militants involved in Peshawar attack, register cases against 16 top TTP commanders; U.S. willing to assist Pakistan in the wake of Peshawar attack, says Pentagon spokesperson; PTI chief announces end to country-wide protests in the wake of Peshawar attack; President Mamnoon Hussain rejects 17 mercy appeals for death penalty convicts; Pakistan military airstrikes kill 57 militants; Five TTP militants killed in Karachi raid; IED kills three FC personnel in Bajaur Agency; Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General warns of potential jailbreaks by militants; Anti-terrorism court grants bail to alleged mastermind of Mumbai 2008 terror attacks, India reacts strongly; IMF approves disbursement of $1.1 billion loan to Pakistan.

Gulf of Aden Security Review

  • Yemen: Parliament gives vote of confidence in newly-appointed cabinet; Fifth Military District head survives assassination attempt; AQAP detonates targeting military patrol in Shibam, eastern Yemen. Horn of Africa: Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM forces arrest suspected al Shabaab militants in Bay region; FBI sentences US citizen for financing al Shabaab.