January 1, 2012 (KENYA): Suspected al-Shabab-affiliated gunmen shot at New Years revelers at two bars in northeastern Kenya, killing five people. – Australian Broadcasting Corporation, January 2

January 1, 2012 (PAKISTAN): A bomb ripped through a shop in Salarzai town of Bajaur Agency in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The blast killed an anti-Taliban militiaman. – Dawn, January 1

January 1, 2012 (PAKISTAN): A roadside bomb killed three Pakistani soldiers in Baluchistan Province. – AFP, January 1

January 2, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): As reported in USA Today, “U.S. military deaths in the Afghanistan War declined in 2011, the first drop in four years, amid a string of battlefield successes against Taliban insurgents by U.S. and other coalition forces…The number of U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan totaled 405 last year, down 18% from 2010…Overall allied deaths, including U.S. forces, totaled 545 in 2011, down from 699 in 2010.” – USA Today, January 3

January 2, 2012 (PAKISTAN): According to an article in Pakistan’s The News International, “the year 2011 saw a steep decline in the number of suicide attacks committed across [Pakistan]…The break-up of the causalities [from suicide attacks] since 2002 include: 27 killings in 2002; 69 in 2003; 89 in 2004; 84 in 2005; 161 in 2006; 765 in 2007; 893 in 2008; 949 in 2009; 1167 in 2010 and 612 in 2011.” – The News International, January 2

January 3, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid announced that the group is prepared to open a political office in Qatar for the purpose of negotiating “with the international community” on Afghanistan. According to the Guardian, “The office is intended to provide a venue for Taliban officials to carry out talks with US and other negotiators without fear of assassination or arrest by NATO or the Afghan government.” – Guardian, January 3

January 3, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber on a motorcycle attacked a convoy of Afghan police in Kandahar Province, killing at least four children. – UPI, January 3; Voice of America, January 3

January 3, 2012 (PHILIPPINES): A Philippine military commander told reporters that at least five foreign militants—with potential links to transnational jihadists such as members of al-Qa`ida—are hiding in the remote jungles of Jolo Island in Sulu Province, located in the southern Philippines. The militants are allegedly led by U.S.-trained Malaysian engineer Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan. As explained by the Associated Press, “U.S. troops have been providing training, intelligence and other noncombat help to underfunded Filipino troops for years to help crush local Abu Sayyaf militants and the foreign extremists they shelter, including members of the Indonesia-based militant network Jemaah Islamiyah.” – AP, January 3

January 5, 2012 (GLOBAL): The U.S. State Department designated the al-Qa`ida Kurdish Battalions (AQKB) as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity. According to the State Department, “Established in 2007 from the remnants of other Kurdish terrorist organizations, AQKB has sworn allegiance publicly to other terrorist groups, including al-Qaida and al-Qaida in Iraq. Operating along the border between Iran and Iraq, AQKB believes the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government are traitors and has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks against Kurdish targets in Iraq.” – U.S. Department of State, January 5

January 5, 2012 (UNITED STATES): The U.S. State Department announced the creation of the Bureau of Counterterrorism that will “lead in supporting U.S. counterterrorism diplomacy and seek to strengthen homeland security, countering violent extremism, and build the capacity of partner nations to deal effectively with terrorism.” – UPI, January 5

January 5, 2012 (IRAQ): Militants launched coordinated attacks against Shi`a in Iraq, killing approximately 72 people. At least 27 people were killed in two attacks in Baghdad, while 45 people were killed in Karbala. – AP, January 5

January 5, 2012 (PAKISTAN): The Pakistani Taliban announced the execution of 15 kidnapped Pakistani soldiers in revenge for military operations against them. The soldiers were originally kidnapped in Tank District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province on December 23. The bodies, found with gunshot wounds and signs of torture, were discovered in Hangu District. – Reuters, January 5

January 6, 2012 (SYRIA): A suicide bomber killed 26 people in Maidan district of Damascus. The Syrian government later blamed the blast on al-Qa`ida. – Reuters, January 6

January 6, 2012 (SOMALIA): The Kenyan military said it killed at least 60 al-Shabab fighters in the town of Garbaharey in Somalia’s Gedo area. – Voice of America, January 7

January 7, 2012 (UNITED STATES): U.S. authorities charged Sami Osmakac of plotting a suicide attack in Tampa Bay, Florida. Osmakac, 25-years-old and a naturalized U.S. citizen from Kosovo, was charged after arming what he thought was a 100-pound car bomb. According to U.S. authorities, Osmakac wanted to punish the United States for alleged mistreatment of Muslims. – Orlando Sentinel, January 9

January 7, 2012 (PHILIPPINES): Abu Sayyaf Group militants blew up a bridge used by government troops and villagers in Patikul town of Sulu Province, located in the southern Philippines. According to press reports, “The militants have bombed a number of bridges on Jolo to derail military offensives and government responses to terrorist attacks. One of these was the Kandayok bridge in Panamao town, which was bombed on January 4.” – AP, January 8; Philippine Inquirer, January 8

January 8, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): An Afghan soldier shot at U.S. military personnel while they were playing volleyball in Qalat, the capital of southern Afghanistan’s Zabul Province. One U.S. soldier was killed, and the militant was fatally shot. – Voice of America, January 9

January 9, 2012 (UNITED STATES): U.S. authorities charged Craig Benedict Baxam, a 24-year-old former U.S. Army soldier, with attempting to travel to Somalia to join the militant group al-Shabab. He was apprehended on January 6 at Baltimore-Washington International Airport as he returned from a failed attempt to reach Somalia. – CNN, January 10

January 10, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): Three Taliban fighters stormed a government building in Sharan, Paktika Province. Two policemen and all of the assailants were killed. – BBC, January 10

January 11, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A teenage suicide bomber tried to assassinate the Kandahar police chief, but detonated his explosives early. The bomber managed to enter the police station after saying he was a resident who wanted to file a complaint. The bomber was killed, while a policeman was injured. – Reuters, January 11

January 11, 2012 (KENYA): The Somali militant group al-Shabab launched a cross-border raid into Kenya, killing four police officers. They also kidnapped three people thought to be local government officials. – AFP, January 13

January 12, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber in a vehicle killed the governor of Panjwai district in Kandahar Province. Two of the governor’s sons, as well as his two guards, were also killed. According to the BBC, the governor “had recently persuaded several groups of Taliban militants to stop fighting and be reconciled with government forces.” – BBC, January 12

January 13, 2012 (UNITED STATES): A U.S. federal judge sentenced Kareem Ibrahim to life in prison for joining a failed plot to bomb John F. Kennedy Airport in 2007. – AP, January 14

January 13, 2012 (SOMALIA): The Somali militant group al-Shabab paraded two Kenyan hostages around the Gedo region, saying, “These people were captured from the enemy during a raid carried out inside Kenya by mujahidin fighters.” – AFP, January 13

January 14, 2012 (IRAQ): A suicide bomber dressed as a policeman targeted Shi`a pilgrims to the west of Basra, killing at least 53 people. – Reuters, January 14

January 14, 2012 (PAKISTAN): Militants attacked a police office in Dera Ismail Khan city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, killing at least nine people. – Dawn, January 14

January 15, 2012 (IRAQ): Gunmen wearing explosives belts entered a police building in Ramadi, Anbar Province, killing four people. According to Reuters, “One of the attackers detonated his explosive belt at the entrance to the police building and others tried unsuccessfully to take hostages but were turned away by intense gunfire from security forces inside…Three of the gunmen were killed by police gunfire and three blew themselves up, the last after he was cornered by security forces on a rooftop.” – Reuters, January 12

January 15, 2012 (PAKISTAN): Pakistani intelligence officials said that intercepted radio communications suggest that the leader of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, Hakimullah Mehsud, may have been killed in a U.S. drone strike on January 12. The Taliban, however, denied the report. – AP, January 16

January 16, 2012 (YEMEN): A group of al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants took control of Rada, a town 100 miles south of Sana`a. The militants overran Yemeni army positions and freed at least 150 inmates from the town’s prison. – AP, January 16

January 17, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): Taliban fighters assassinated a member of the Dand district council in Kandahar Province. The official was killed while praying at a mosque. – AP, January 18

January 17, 2012 (PAKISTAN): The Pakistani Taliban assassinated Mukarram Khan Aatif, a reporter for Voice of America, as he was praying in northwest Pakistan. A Pakistani Taliban official later said, “All reporters of Voice of America are our targets and should resign; otherwise we will kill them.” Voice of America is a radio service financed by the U.S. government. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Aatif worked for Deewa Radio, a Voice of America service that was set up in 2006 to broadcast in the Pashto language to the people of Pakistan’s seven tribal areas along the Afghan border…Voice of America’s local contributors, called stringers, are mostly villagers who may hold second jobs in schools or shops or do similar work for the Pakistani news media; they are often attracted to the American-financed services because the pay is relatively high. But they can be susceptible to violent intimidation from either the radical Islamist groups or the Pakistani government soldiers operating in the area.” – New York Times, January 18

January 18, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed 12 people in Kajaki district of Helmand Province. – AP, January 18

January 19, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber in a vehicle detonated explosives near the gate of the Kandahar Airfield, killing seven civilians. – Voice of America, January 19

January 19, 2012 (PAKISTAN): A Pakistani security official told reporters that the country will soon reopen supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan. Those routes have been closed since a NATO cross-border attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November 2011. The official, however, said that Pakistan will now impose tariffs on the roads. – Reuters, January 19

January 19, 2012 (SOMALIA): A suicide bomber killed six people at a refugee camp in Mogadishu. – BBC, January 19

January 20, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): An Afghan soldier reportedly shot to death four French soldiers in Kapisa Province. – Reuters, January 21

January 20, 2012 (NIGERIA): A series of coordinated bomb and gun attacks targeted security forces in Kano, killing approximately 150 people. According to Agence France-Presse, “The city of Kano, the largest in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north, erupted in chaos, with some 20 explosions heard and gunfire ringing out as eight police and immigration offices or residences were targeted. It was not immediately clear who was behind the violence, though previous such attacks in Nigeria’s north have been blamed on Islamist group Boko Haram. Police confirmed eight areas had been targeted, including state police headquarters and a regional police base. A secret police office was also hit along with a passport office and immigration building.” One of the blasts was from a suicide bomber. – AFP, January 20; Los Angeles Times, January 21

January 21, 2012 (IRAQ): The Iraqi Interior Ministry said that Iraqi forces killed a senior leader affiliated with al-Qa`ida in Iraq outside Mosul, Ninawa Province. During the operation, authorities arrested 19 other people, including foreign fighters. According to al-Jazira, “The interior ministry said on Saturday that Majeed Hassan Ali, also known as Abu Ayman, the ‘governor’ of Mosul for the Islamic Emirate of Iraq, was killed after police acted on intelligence to launch an operation on a hideout in the village of Rufaila.” – al-Jazira, January 21

January 21, 2012 (SOMALIA): Gunmen kidnapped an American man in the northern Somali town of Galkayo shortly after he left the airport. According to the Associated Press, “Galkayo is on the border between the semiautonomous northern region of Puntland and a region known as Galmudug. It is ruled by forces friendly to the U.N.-backed Somali government…A minister from the Galmudug administration said the kidnapped man is an American engineer who came to Somalia to carry out an evaluation for building a deep water port in the town of Hobyo.” – AP, January 21

January 21, 2012 (SOMALIA): A drone aircraft reportedly killed a British member of al-Shabab in Mogadishu. The man, identified as Bilal al-Barjawi, was reportedly stripped of his British citizenship approximately 12 months earlier. According to the New York Times, “They [al-Shabab] said he was of Lebanese descent and had grown up in West London.” Al-Barjawi may have been a close associate of slain al-Qa`ida operative Fadil Harun (also known as Fazul Abdullah Mohammad), who was killed last year in Somalia. – AFP, January 21

January 23, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): According to Reuters, a negotiator for the outlawed Hizb-i-Islami group in Afghanistan said that U.S. and Afghan officials have shown flexibility during secret talks to help end the country’s war. “Hizb-i-Islami, which means Islamic Party, is a radical militant group which shares some of the Taliban’s anti-foreigner, anti-government aims, and has widespread national support,” Reuters explained. – Reuters, January 23

January 24, 2012 (NIGERIA): Niger’s foreign minister said that members of the Nigerian sect Boko Haram received explosives training from al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb at camps in the Sahel region. – Reuters, January 25

January 24, 2012 (ALGERIA): An Algerian newspaper reported that three members of an al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb cell were recently arrested after plotting to ram U.S. or European ships in the Mediterranean with an explosive-laden boat. – ABC News, January 24

January 24, 2012 (YEMEN): Fighters from al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula agreed to withdraw from the Yemeni town of Rada, which they overran on January 16. Reports suggested that “tribal mediators succeeded in convincing the militants to accept the release of 15 of their members held by Yemen authorities without trial in return for evacuating Rada.” – AFP, January 24

January 24, 2012 (SOMALIA): An al-Shabab suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden truck into an Ethiopian army base in Beledweyne. The number of casualties was not known. – Voice of America, January 24

January 25, 2012 (UNITED STATES): U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters that despite the deaths of Usama bin Ladin and Anwar al-`Awlaqi, the al-Qa`ida network remains a “real threat to the United States.” Panetta also said, “we’re confronting Al-Qaeda in Pakistan. We’re confronting the nodes of Al-Qaeda in Yemen, in Somalia, in North Africa…and obviously whatever Al-Qaeda links are involved in Afghanistan.” – AFP, January 25

January 25, 2012 (IRAQ): The Islamic State of Iraq released a statement saying that the United States withdrew its troops from Iraq “because its economic and human losses were unbearable. America’s bankruptcy and collapse is imminent. This is the real reason behind the withdrawal.” – AP, January 25

January 25, 2012 (SOMALIA): U.S. Navy Seals rescued two foreign aid workers who have been held captive in Somalia for three months. The soldiers were dropped into Somalia and freed American Jessica Buchanan and Dane Poul Thisted. The Seal team killed nine of the captors. – BBC, January 25

January 26, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber in a vehicle targeted a Western convoy in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province. Four Afghan civilians were killed. – Los Angeles Times, January 26

January 27, 2012 (IRAQ): A suicide bomber in a vehicle attacked a funeral procession in a predominately Shi`a neighborhood of Baghdad, killing at least 28 people. – Wall Street Journal, January 28; AP, January 27

January 27, 2012 (PAKISTAN): Unidentified militants fired rockets at an elite Pakistani military academy in Abbottabad, near the compound that housed Usama bin Ladin. There were no casualties and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.  – New York Times, January 27

January 29, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): As stated in Voice of America, “Afghan Taliban negotiators are meeting with U.S. officials in Qatar for a series of discussions aimed at building trust between the two sides ahead of the upcoming peace talks.” – Voice of America, January 30

January 30, 2012 (NORWAY): Norway convicted two men over an al-Qa`ida plot to attack a Danish newspaper that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad. According to the Telegraph, “The Oslo district court sentenced alleged ringleader Mikael Davud, to seven years in prison and co-defendant Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak to three and a half years.” – Telegraph, January 30

January 31, 2012 (YEMEN): The U.S. military launched an airstrike against al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in Yemen, killing an estimated four AQAP commanders. – Washington Post, January 31; UPI, February 1

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