The Critical Threats Project releases a weekly update and assessment on the al Qaeda network.
- Salafi-jihadi militants killed four U.S. soldiers in an ambush on a joint American-Nigerien patrol on October 4. The soldiers were part of a 12-man team advising the Nigerien counterterrorism unit. The attack highlights the growth of Salafi-jihadi groups in the Sahel that seek to harm American interests. [Read CTP’s assessment of ISIS in the Sahel from November 2016.]
- ISIS resumed offensive operations in Libya. Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked a courthouse in Misrata, the home of the forces that ousted ISIS from its Libyan stronghold in Sirte last year. The Misrata bombing is ISIS’s first explosive attack in a populated area since the loss of Sirte. ISIS may activate more latent attack cells to degrade security in Libyan cities. [View the ISIS in Libya storystream on criticalthreats.org.]
- Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga withdrew from re-run presidential elections. Odinga’s withdrawal risks plunging the country into a constitutional crisis if incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta’s term expires before elections occur. Holding elections without an opposition candidate will invalidate election results and may lead to civil conflict.