March 1, 2011 (GLOBAL): Al-Qa`ida operative Ibrahim al-Rubaysh, a Saudi national and former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, released a 10-minute audio message offering his views on the fall of the Tunisian government in January 2011. Al-Rubaysh said that he was “happy” with the fall from power of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, but he warned another “tyrant” would take his place if Tunisians do not create a state based on Shari`a (Islamic law). Al-Rubaysh is believed to be based in Yemen. – ABC News, March 1

March 1, 2011 (UNITED STATES): U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt “are an extraordinary setback for al Qaeda.” The revolutions show “the lie to al Qaeda’s claims that the only way to get rid of authoritarian governments is through extremist violence,” Gates said. According to CBS News, “Gates said that the revolutions were also ‘a major setback for Iran’ because the restraint of the Egyptian and other militaries ‘contrasts vividly’ with Iran’s typically violent response to anti-government protests.” – CBS News, March 1

March 1, 2011 (YEMEN): Prominent Yemeni cleric Abdul Majid al-Zindani joined protestors in Yemen calling for the removal of President Ali Abdullah Salih. Al-Zindani, a radical cleric who was once a mentor to Usama bin Ladin, told demonstrators that “an Islamic state is coming [to Yemen].” He said that Salih “came to power by force, and stayed in power by force, and the only way to get rid of him is through the force of the people.” – New York Times, March 1

March 1, 2011 (PAKISTAN): Pakistani Taliban militants killed four local tribesmen in North Waziristan Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The militants accused the tribesmen of spying for the United States. – AFP, March 1

March 1, 2011 (PHILIPPINES): Philippine authorities arrested a suspected Abu Sayyaf Group member who was involved in the kidnapping of ABS-CBN reporter Ces Drilon. The suspect, Sali Said, was apprehended in Sulu Province. – ABS-CBN, March 2

March 2, 2011 (GERMANY): A gunman opened fire on U.S. airmen in Frankfurt, killing two American soldiers. The suspect, Arid Uka, is a Muslim, Kosovo Albanian. As reported by CBS News and the Associated Press, “Uka, a devout Muslim nicknamed Abu Reyann, reportedly yelled ‘God is great’ in Arabic as he boarded and opened fire on a bus loaded with U.S. airmen Wednesday on their way from their base in England to serve in Afghanistan.” – CBS News, March 3

March 2, 2011 (PAKISTAN): Gunmen assassinated the only Christian member of Pakistan’s cabinet, Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, in Islamabad. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Bhatti, a Roman Catholic, was an outspoken critic of Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which makes it a crime to utter any derogatory remarks or insult in any way the prophet Muhammad, the Koran or Islam.” – Los Angeles Times, March 3

March 3, 2011 (UNITED STATES): Two New Jersey men pleaded guilty to conspiring to link up with the al-Shabab terrorist group in Somalia. The men, Mohamed Hamoud Alessa and Carlos Eduardo Almonte, admitted that “they had engaged in combat simulation in New Jersey by using paintball guns and computer software,” according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger. “They also said they purchased hydration systems and tactical clothing and other equipment in preparation for joining the militant group.” The men, however, did not have actual contacts with anyone in Somalia and were infiltrated by an undercover U.S. law enforcement agent. – Star-Ledger, March 4

March 3, 2011 (IRAQ): A suicide bomber blew himself up in a bank in Haditha, Anbar Province, killing nine people. Three policemen were among the dead. – AFP, March 3

March 3, 2011 (PAKISTAN): A bomb exploded in Hangu District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, killing three police officers and four civilians. The bomb was targeted at a police vehicle. – AP, March 3

March 4, 2011 (PAKISTAN): A bomb destroyed two oil tankers near the Torkham border crossing in Khyber Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The oil tankers were bound for NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan. – Dawn, March 4

March 4, 2011 (GAZA STRIP): Hamas security forces arrested a commander of an al-Qa`ida-linked group in Gaza on February 28. The commander, Hesham al-Sa’eedni, is believed to be an Egyptian citizen and a member of the group Tawhid and Jihad. According to Reuters, “Hamas, which has in the past denied any al Qaeda presence in Gaza, has been trying to keep other Islamist groups in check following a devastating Israeli military offensive in 2009.” – Reuters, March 4

March 6, 2011 (YEMEN): Suspected al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) gunmen killed four Yemeni soldiers in Marib Province. The soldiers, members of the elite Republican Guard, were ambushed, and the militants managed to escape after the attack. – Christian Science Monitor, March 6

March 7, 2011 (AFGHANISTAN): U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters that the United States is “well positioned” to begin withdrawing some U.S. troops from Afghanistan in July. He also said, however, that a substantial U.S. military force would remain in the country. “As I have said time and again, we are not leaving Afghanistan this summer,” Gates said. – New York Times, March 7

March 7, 2011 (AFGHANISTAN): The U.S. military announced that 900 Taliban leaders have been captured or killed in the past 10 months in Afghanistan. – USA Today, March 7

March 8, 2011 (SCOTLAND): Police arrested Ezedden Khalid Ahmed al-Khaledi, a 30-year-old foreign national of Kuwaiti origin, in Glasgow on suspicion of having links to Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, who blew himself up in Stockholm on December 11, 2010. Al-Khaledi was arrested in the Whiteinch area of Glasgow under the Terrorism Act. – Sky News, March 8; Telegraph, March 8; The Local, March 11; Guardian, March 14

March 8, 2011 (PAKISTAN): The Pakistani Taliban detonated a car bomb at a fuel station in Faisalabad, Punjab Province, killing at least 24 people. The attack appeared to target the regional offices of Pakistan’s main intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate. The militants may have hoped to create an explosion large enough to destroy surrounding government buildings. – Denver Post, March 8; Los Angeles Times, March 9; CNN, March 8

March 9, 2011 (PAKISTAN): A suicide bomber attacked a funeral near Peshawar, killing at least 36 people. The funeral was for a relative of a pro-government, ethnic Pashtun tribal elder. The elder, Hakeem Khan, had raised a tribal militia (lashkar) to fight the Taliban. It was not clear whether the elder was killed in the explosion. – Reuters, March 9

March 10, 2011 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber on a motorcycle assassinated the police chief for Kunduz Province. Four other people were also killed in the attack. – Daily Times, March 12

March 11, 2011 (YEMEN): A Yemeni security official said that suspected gunmen from al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula killed four Yemeni security personnel in Hadramawt Province. – AFP, March 11

March 12, 2011 (AFGHANISTAN): A roadside bomb killed four civilians in Kandahar Province. – AFP, March 13

March 12, 2011 (IRAQ): Militants ambushed and killed seven Iraqi soldiers in Mosul, Ninawa Province. According to the New York Times, “The soldiers, unarmed and wearing civilian clothes, were riding in a Kia minibus when two sedans pulled up and blocked their path. Four gunmen carrying automatic rifles jumped out of the cars, opened fire and then sped off down a dirt road.” – New York Times, March 12

March 12, 2011 (SOMALIA): Burundi announced that it is sending 1,000 more troops to the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia. – Reuters, March 12

March 13, 2011 (IRAQ): A sticky bomb attached to a car killed an off-duty policeman near Mosul, Ninawa Province. – Reuters, March 13

March 13, 2011 (PAKISTAN): A U.S. aerial drone fired missiles on a vehicle carrying militants near Wana in South Waziristan Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The militants, however, reportedly escaped the strike. – AFP, March 12

March 13, 2011 (PAKISTAN): A U.S. aerial drone killed at least six suspected militants near Miran Shah in North Waziristan Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. – Voice of America, March 13

March 13, 2011 (SOMALIA): According to the Washington Post, “About 50 African Union peacekeepers based in Somalia have died in clashes with militants linked to al-Qaeda over the past two weeks, suggesting a dramatic escalation in the fight for the Somali capital of Mogadishu.” Analysts believe that the 8,000-member peacekeeping force is the main factor preventing the al-Shabab terrorist and insurgent group from defeating Somalia’s transitional government. – Washington Post, March 13

March 14, 2011 (GERMANY): German prosecutors formally charged Rami Makanesi with membership in a terrorist organization. Makanesi, a 25-year-old German-Syrian, was arrested by Pakistani security services in June 2010 and extradited to Germany in August 2010. Authorities allege that he trained and fought with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Prosecutors believe that Makanesi planned to return to Germany to raise money for al-Qa`ida, as well as be available for other terrorist operations. – AP, March 14

March 14, 2011 (AFGHANISTAN): A Taliban suicide bomber dressed as an army recruit detonated explosives among a crowd of people outside an Afghan military recruiting center in Kunduz. At least 36 people, including five children, were killed by the explosion. – New York Times, March 14

March 14, 2011 (IRAQ): A suicide bomber in an explosives-laden vehicle attacked an Iraqi Army base in Diyala Province, killing at least nine soldiers. – BBC, March 14

March 15, 2011 (AFGHANISTAN): A bomb ripped through the office of a school headmaster on the outskirts of Jalalabad city in Nangarhar Province, killing the man. The Taliban denied responsibility. – AFP, March 15

March 17, 2011 (EGYPT): Egypt’s governing military council released Muhammad al-Zawahiri, the brother of al-Qa`ida second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri, from prison. Muhammad had been in prison for a decade on charges of conspiracy to overthrow the government. He was extradited to Egypt in 2000 from the United Arab Emirates. As stated by the New York Times, Muhammad al-Zawahiri “is the latest high-profile Islamist to be freed. Last Friday, the government released Abboud and Tareq al-Zomor, two Islamic Jihad leaders imprisoned in connection with the 1981 assassination of President Anwar el-Sadat.” On March 19, just two days later, authorities re-arrested Muhammad al-Zawahiri. – New York Times, March 17

March 17, 2011 (LIBYA): The United Nations Security Council agreed to establish a “no-fly zone” over Libya.    – New York Times, March 17

March 18, 2011 (UNITED KINGDOM): A British judge sentenced Rajib Karim to 30 years in jail for plotting to kill hundreds of people by blowing up an airplane bound for the United States. Karim, a 31-year-old from Bangladesh, worked for British Airways and was in contact with Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-`Awlaqi. – AP, March 18

March 20, 2011 (PAKISTAN): Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur warned Pakistani authorities that if U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan Agency did not come to a halt, he would end his peace deal with the government. – Dawn, March 20

March 21, 2011 (AFGHANISTAN): A Taliban representative ordered cell phone companies in Helmand Province to turn off their networks “from tonight and until further notice.” According to Agence France-Presse, “He gave no reason for the move, but Taliban militants regularly demand that mobile phone companies switch off their networks, threatening to destroy antennae if they fail to comply. The insurgents fear that NATO-led forces can track them through phone signals and the order often comes at nightfall, when coalition operations against the Taliban are most common.” By March 23, all mobile telephone networks in Helmand were switched off. – AFP, March 21; BBC, March 23

March 21, 2011 (PAKISTAN): Taliban militants killed four tribesmen after accusing them of spying for the United States in North Waziristan Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. – Dawn, March 21

March 21, 2011 (MALI): Al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is demanding at least 90 million euros for the release of four French hostages held since September 2010. AQIM also reportedly wants a number of AQIM prisoners released, including some held in France. – AFP, March 21

March 22, 2011 (SPAIN): A Spanish court cleared Mohamed Omar Dehbi, a U.S. citizen of Algerian origin, of charges that he transferred funds to an al-Qa`ida cell. The judge said that there was no evidence linking Dehbi to terrorism funding. – Wall Street Journal, March 22

March 22, 2011 (AFGHANISTAN): German, French, British and U.S. diplomats cited evidence of Iran supplying rockets to the Taliban in Afghanistan. A British official said, “Detailed technical analysis together with the circumstances of the seizure leave us in no doubt that the weaponry recovered [in Afghanistan] came from Iran, despite the fact that they were crudely doctored to make it look as though they originated in a country represented on this council.” – Bloomberg, March 22

March 23, 2011 (IRAQ): A roadside bomb wounded two policemen in Ramadi, Anbar Province. – Reuters, March 23

March 23, 2011 (IRAQ): A bomb attached to a car killed a driver working for the Iraqi Electricity Ministry in Baghdad’s Hurriya district. – Reuters, March 23

March 23, 2011 (ISRAEL): A bomb exploded near two buses in Jerusalem, wounding at least 20 people. – Haaretz, March 23

March 23, 2011 (SYRIA): Syrian police shot and killed at least 15 anti-government protestors in Daraa. – AP, March 23

March 24, 2011 (UNITED STATES): The U.S. State Department designated Ibrahim Hassan Tali al-Asiri as a terrorist with links to al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Al-Asiri has been identified as AQAP’s chief bomb-maker, and he is suspected of creating the explosive device that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to use on a U.S.-bound airliner in December 2009. – Fox News, March 24

March 25, 2011 (PAKISTAN): Militants attacked a convoy of vehicles carrying members of an anti-Taliban Shi`a tribe in Kurram Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, killing eight people. – Reuters, March 25

March 26, 2011 (AFGHANISTAN): Taliban fighters kidnapped 40 men, who may have been either police officers or police job applicants, in Kunar Province. – New York Times, March 28

March 26, 2011 (IRAQ): Gunmen using silencers killed a police colonel in Ramadi, Anbar Province. – Reuters, March 27

March 26, 2011 (IRAQ): Gunmen killed an off-duty Iraqi Army lieutenant near his home in Mosul, Ninawa Province. – Reuters, March 26

March 27, 2011 (AFGHANISTAN): At least one Taliban suicide bomber killed more than 20 people at a road construction base in Paktika Province. – New York Times, March 28

March 28, 2011 (IRAQ): A roadside bomb wounded a police captain in Mosul, Ninawa Province. – Reuters, March 29

March 28, 2011 (IRAQ): Gunmen killed four people at a goldsmith shop in Baghdad. – Reuters, March 28

March 28, 2011 (IRAQ): A roadside bomb targeted Mohammed al-Shemari, one of Baghdad’s deputy governors. He was not injured, although three civilians were wounded. – Reuters, March 28

March 29, 2011 (CANADA): Canadian authorities arrested Mohamed Hassan Hersi just before he was to board an airplane in Toronto bound for North Africa. Police allege that Hersi, a Canadian citizen, was headed to Somalia to join the terrorist group al-Shabab. – Reuters, March 31

March 29, 2011 (AFGHANISTAN): The Taliban took control of Waygal district in Nuristan Province. Afghan authorities “confirmed the police had fled their barracks and district government buildings in town of Waygal…leaving the Taliban in what he [police commander] said was temporary control of the district.” – New York Times, March 30

March 29, 2011 (IRAQ): Approximately eight militants attacked a local government building in Tikrit, Salah al-Din Province, killing 58 people. According to the BBC, “Gunmen wearing military uniforms over explosives belts blew up a car outside the council headquarters to create a diversion. Then they charged into the building and shot more than a dozen people, including three lawmakers who were killed by a single gunshot to the head. The standoff ended only when the attackers blew themselves up in what was one of the bloodiest days in Iraq this year.” The whole incident lasted more than four hours. On April 2, the Islamic State of Iraq took credit for the operation. – BBC, March 30; AFP, March 30; Reuters, April 2

March 29, 2011 (IRAQ): A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in the northwestern Baghdad district of Kadhimiya, wounding five people. – Reuters, March 30

March 29, 2011 (LIBYA): U.S. Admiral James Stavridis, the NATO supreme allied commander in Europe, said that intelligence reports on the leaders of the Libyan opposition show “flickers” of al-Qa`ida, but not enough to indicate a serious terrorist presence. – Wall Street Journal, March 29

March 30, 2011 (GLOBAL): Al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released the fifth issue of its English-language online magazine Inspire. In an article titled “The Tsunami of Change,” Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-`Awlaqi rejected suggestions that the revolutions sweeping across the Arab world will weaken al-Qa`ida: “The outcome doesn’t have to be an Islamic government for us to consider what is occurring to be a step in the right direction. Whatever the outcome is, our mujahideen brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the rest of the Muslim world will get a chance to breathe again after three decades of suffocation.” He offered a series of rebuttals to statements made by Western analysts, such as: “Peter Bergen believes that Al Qaeda is viewing the events with glee and despair. Glee yes, but not despair. The mujahideen around the world are going through a moment of elation and I wonder whether the West is aware of the upsurge of mujahideen activity.” – Christian Science Monitor, March 30

March 30, 2011 (PAKISTAN/INDONESIA): Pakistani authorities announced the arrest of Umar Patek, one of Indonesia’s top terrorism suspects. Patek, a member of Jemaah Islamiya, is wanted for his role in the 2002 Bali bombing. Although Patek was captured in Pakistan earlier in 2011, this was the first announcement that he was in custody. – BBC, March 30

March 30, 2011 (PAKISTAN): A suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed six people by a police checkpoint near Swabi town east of Peshawar. The explosion occurred just minutes before the arrival of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the leader of Jamiat-i-Ulama-i-Islam-Fazlur. Rehman is considered a hard line Islamist leader and an outspoken critic of the United States. – AFP, March 30

March 31, 2011 (PAKISTAN): A suicide bomber attacked a police van in Charsadda, killing at least 12 people. It appears that it was an attempted assassination of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the leader of Jamiat-i-Ulama-i-Islam-Fazlur. It was the second suspected assassination attempt against Rehman in two days. After the attack, Rehman’s political party blamed the Central Intelligence Agency and “Blackwater” for the assassination attempt. – Los Angeles Times, April 1; Christian Science Monitor, March 31

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