February 1, 2012 (PAKISTAN): Pakistan said it killed an al-Qa`ida-linked Azerbaijani national in Kurram Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. As reported by Dawn, “The militant, identified as Aslanov Zaur, was among the six foreign militants who were killed during clashes with security forces in the Jogi area of Central Kurram Agency…The passport (passport number 3503893), issued from the Azerbaijani capital Bakku in February 2009, shows Zaur belonged to the city of Sumaqyit, located at a distance of 31 kilometers from the capital and was born on September 25, 1981…The travel documents also reveal that he had entered the city of Astar, the capital of Gilan province of Iran on March 26, 2009 (evident from the entry stamp), and since than [sic] had gone underground. He is suspected to have entered Afghanistan and then Pakistan through unfrequented routes.” – Dawn, February 4

February 2, 2012 (IRAQ): Militants bombed an Asiacell equipment building near Mosul, Ninawa Province, disrupting mobile phone service in some areas. According to Reuters, “The attackers, some of whom wore military uniforms, held guns to the heads of security guards late on Thursday and planted four large explosives in the building, which houses routing and switching equipment.” – Reuters, February 3

February 2, 2012 (PAKISTAN): Taliban militants ambushed a police patrol in Lakki Marwat District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, killing three officers. – Dawn, February 2

February 2, 2012 (PHILIPPINES): Philippine’s military killed 15 al-Qa`ida-linked militants in an airstrike on a rebel camp on Sulu Island in the southern Philippines. At least two of the dead were allegedly from Jemaah Islamiya. Authorities believe that among the dead was Malaysian bomb expert Zulkipli bin Hir (also known as Marwan), although they have yet to find his body. Later reports suggested that Bin Hir escaped the attack, but was badly wounded. – Reuters, February 2; AP, February 3; New York Times, March 13

February 3, 2012 (SOMALIA): Kenya’s military bombed a convoy of al-Shabab fighters in Dalayat village in southern Somalia, killing an estimated 100 militants. – Reuters, February 4

February 5, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at a police parking lot in Kandahar city, killing at least seven people. “Kandahar had been relatively quiet for months, but there have been a series of suicide bombings since Jan. 11, when there was a foiled attack on the police headquarters,” explained the New York Times. “An official for the Afghan intelligence department in Kandahar said that informers and captured insurgents have told investigators recently that the city is in insurgents’ cross hairs. Taliban commanders have been ferrying would-be suicide bombers to the city and organizing attacks, the intelligence official said.” – New York Times, February 5

February 5, 2012 (PAKISTAN): A military convoy was hit by a roadside bomb in Kurram Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, killing one Pakistani soldier. – RFE/RL, February 5

February 6, 2012 (UNITED STATES): Chicago cab driver Raja Lahrasib Khan pleaded guilty to providing material support to a terrorist group. According to Bloomberg, “A naturalized U.S. citizen, Khan, 58, was arrested in March 2010 after his son was apprehended at a London airport carrying $700 of $1,000 in marked $100 bills that a U.S. undercover agent had given the cab driver for delivery to Ilyas Kashmiri. Kashmiri was allegedly an ally of the al-Qaeda terror network and a fighter in the movement to expel Indian forces from Kashmir, the disputed territory between Pakistan and India and where Khan was born. He was reportedly killed in a U.S. missile strike last year. Khan today admitted meeting Kashmiri twice in Pakistan.” – Bloomberg, February 6

February 6, 2012 (UNITED STATES): Somali-American Ahmed Hussein Mahamud, 27, of Westerville, Ohio, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Mahamud admitted raising money to send Minnesota men to Somalia to join al-Shabab. As stated in the Associated Press, “Mahamud admitted that from 2008 through February 2011, Mahamud and others conspired to provide money and people to al-Shabab, knowing the group was a designated foreign terrorist organization. Specifically, Mahamud said that in the summer of 2008, he and others told members of Minnesota’s Somali-American community that they were raising money for a local mosque or for orphans in Somalia. Instead, Mahamud said, the $1,500 went toward airline tickets for men who would eventually go to Somalia.” – AP, February 7

February 6, 2012 (YEMEN): Three suspected al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula militants escaped from a prison in southern Abyan Province. – Yemen Post, February 7

February 7, 2012 (NIGERIA): A suicide bomber reportedly detonated an explosives-laden vehicle outside a military barracks near the northern city of Kaduna. A spokesman for Boko Haram claimed responsibility. The spokesman also claimed credit for an attempted attack on an air force base. – Global Post, February 8; BBC, February 8

February 8, 2012 (PAKISTAN): A U.S. drone strike killed 10 Pakistani Taliban militants in North Waziristan Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. – Los Angeles Times, February 9

February 8, 2012 (SOMALIA): A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle near the popular Hotel Muna in Mogadishu, killing at least 15 people. Officials blamed al-Shabab for the attack. – RTTNews, February 8; Voice of America, February 8

February 9, 2012 (GLOBAL): Al-Qa`ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri released a new statement saying that the Somali-based group al-Shabab has officially joined al-Qa`ida. – Voice of America, February 9

February 9, 2012 (UNITED KINGDOM): A British judge sentenced nine men, all British Muslims, to prison for their involvement in al-Qa`ida-inspired plots to bomb the London Stock Exchange, as well as to establish a terrorist training camp. The prosecution said that although the men were not members of al-Qa`ida, they were inspired by the terrorist group as well as the sermons of Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-`Awlaqi. – AP, February 9

February 9, 2012 (TURKEY): A potential female suicide bomber died in Istanbul after explosives she was carrying detonated. She appeared to be the only casualty. Authorities suspect that she belonged to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). – AFP, February 10

February 9, 2012 (PAKISTAN): A U.S. drone strike killed Badur Mansoor, a top Pakistani Taliban commander who was also reportedly serving as an al-Qa`ida operative. The attack occurred in North Waziristan Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. – Los Angeles Times, February 9

February 10, 2012 (UNITED STATES): Federal prosecutors in the United States released new details about the Christmas Day terrorist plot in 2009, alleging that Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-`Awlaqi directed and approved it. “Awlaki’s last instructions to him [Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab] were to wait until the airplane was over the United States and then to take the plane down,” the court papers said. Al-`Awlaqi was killed by a U.S. drone in Yemen in 2011. – Reuters, February 10

February 10, 2012 (UNITED STATES): A federal judge sentenced Mohammed Wali Zazi to four and a half years in prison on charges that he obstructed a terrorism investigation and intentionally misled authorities. Mohammed Wali Zazi is the father of Najibullah Zazi, the convicted would-be suicide bomber who plotted to detonate explosives in New York City subways. – CNN, February 10

February 10, 2012 (SYRIA): Suicide bombers in two explosives-laden vehicles targeted security compounds in Aleppo, killing 28 people. According to the Associated Press, “The morning blasts in Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city, ripped apart the facades of the local headquarters of the Military Intelligence Directorate and a barracks of the Security Preservation forces. At the Directorate, windows were shattered and a large crater was torn into the pavement outside the entrance…Security officials said suicide bombers in explosives-packed vehicles tried to smash through the entrances of both sites.” It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack. – AP, February 10

February 11, 2012 (SYRIA): Gunmen assassinated a Syrian general, Issa al-Kholi, outside his home in Damascus. – Bloomberg, February 12

February 12, 2012 (GLOBAL): Al-Qa`ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri released a new video message expressing support for the uprising in Syria. Al-Zawahiri urged Muslims in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq to join the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s “pernicious, cancerous regime.” – Voice of America, February 12

February 13, 2012 (UNITED KINGDOM): Abu Qatada, who at one time was allegedly al-Qa`ida’s senior operative in Europe, was released on bail from a high security British prison. The European Court of Human Rights told the United Kingdom to release Qatada because he had not been charged with a crime. The British government, however, cannot deport Abu Qatada to his native Jordan because the court believes that the Jordanian government will torture him for information. He will be kept in virtual house arrest. – NBC News, February 13; New York Daily News, February 13

February 13, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): The Taliban announced that Mullah Obaidullah Akhund, one of their top officials, died in a Pakistani prison almost two years ago. According to the Los Angeles Times, Mullah Akhund, who died in March 2010, “had been a senior lieutenant of Mullah Mohammed Omar, the movement’s supreme commander, and served as the Taliban defense minister during their reign over Afghanistan in the 1990s. He was also one of Osama bin Laden’s main allies within the Taliban during the time when the two organizations were closely linked.” – Los Angeles Times, February 13

February 13, 2012 (SOMALIA): Al-Shabab insurgents held rallies across Somalia to celebrate their acceptance into al-Qa`ida. Al-Qa`ida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri announced the merger of the two groups on February 9. – AFP, February 13

February 14, 2012 (THAILAND): An Iranian man blew off both his legs in a failed bombing in Bangkok. According to ABC News, “an Iranian named Saeid Moradi was in a rented house in downtown Bangkok when a cache of explosives detonated, apparently by accident, taking off a section of the roof. Thai police say that Moradi, wounded by the explosion, tried to flag down a cab on the street.” After the cab driver refused to take Moradi, he “allegedly threw a grenade at the taxi, injuring the driver, and started running. When he tried to hurl a second grenade at police, the bomb bounced off a tree. It exploded near Moradi and took off his legs.” Authorities are investigating why the Iranian man had explosives in his house. – ABC News, February 14

February 14, 2012 (YEMEN): A suicide bomber detonated his explosives in front of a Yemeni election committee office in Aden. The bomber was the only casualty. – Reuters, February 14

February 15, 2012 (UNITED STATES): A U.S. judge sentenced Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to down a U.S. aircraft on Christmas Day 2009, to multiple life sentences. According to Agence France-Presse, “Abdulmutallab showed no emotion as Judge Nancy Edmunds handed down the maximum sentences for the eight counts to which he pleaded guilty in October [2011], which amount to four consecutive life sentences and an additional 50 years behind bars.” – AFP, February 15

February 16, 2012 (SYRIA): U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that the recent terrorist bombings in Damascus and Aleppo “had all the earmarks of an Al-Qaeda-like attack…And so we believe Al-Qaeda in Iraq is extending its reach into Syria.” He added, “Another disturbing phenomenon that we’ve seen recently, apparently, is the presence of extremists who have infiltrated the [Syrian] opposition groups. The opposition groups in many cases may not be aware that they’re there.” – AFP, February 16

February 16, 2012 (PAKISTAN): A suicide bomber attacked Pakistani volunteers part of a pro-government militia in Upper Dir District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, killing one person. – Dawn, February 16

February 16, 2012 (PAKISTAN): Two U.S. drone strikes targeted militants in North Waziristan Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Approximately 13 militants were killed. – Dawn, February 16

February 16, 2012 (PAKISTAN): A suicide bomber targeted a police vehicle in Peshawar, injuring five policemen. – The Nation, February 16

February 17, 2012 (UNITED STATES): The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Amine El Khalifi, a Moroccan, after he attempted to bomb the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The man, however, never posed a danger as he was carefully monitored by authorities as part of an undercover sting operation. He was arrested in a parking lot near the Capitol wearing what he thought was an explosives vest, as well as a MAC-10 gun that authorities rendered inoperative. El Khalifi had been living in Alexandria, Virginia, and was unemployed, according to officials. – Chicago Tribune, February 17; New York Times, February 17

February 17, 2012 (PAKISTAN): A suicide bomber killed at least 26 people outside a mosque in a Shi`a neighborhood in Kurram Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. – Reuters, February 17

February 17, 2012 (SOMALIA): A car bomb tore through a police compound in Mogadishu, destroying part of the facility’s perimeter wall. Two people were wounded. – AFP, February 18

February 19, 2012 (IRAQ): A suicide bomber in a vehicle detonated explosives outside a police academy in Baghdad, killing 15 people. Most of the victims were reportedly students applying to join the police force. – AFP, February 19

February 20, 2012 (YEMEN): Al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula announced that a senior member of the group, Tariq al-Dahab, died in a bloody family feud. – AP, February 20

February 21, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): Afghan President Hamid Karzai invited the Taliban for direct talks with his government. “In order to realise the objectives of the peace process, I invite the leadership of the Taliban to engage in direct talks with the Afghan government,” Karzai said in a statement. – AFP, February 21

February 23, 2012 (IRAQ): A wave of attacks targeting mostly Shi`a Muslims killed at least 55 people. The attacks hit six different provinces. The al-Qa`ida-linked Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility. – Voice of America, February 23; New York Post, February 23; AP, February 24

February 23, 2012 (PAKISTAN): A car bomb tore through a bus station in Peshawar, killing 13 people. – Dawn, February 24

February 23, 2012 (NIGERIA): Nigeria’s military chief claimed that the Islamist sect Boko Haram has ties to al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb. His statement marked the first time a top security official in Nigeria linked the group to al-Qa`ida. – AFP, February 23

February 24, 2012 (IRAQ): Al-Qa`ida in Iraq released a statement warning that a coming war between Sunni and Shi`a Muslims in Iraq was inevitable. – AP, February 24

February 24, 2012 (PAKISTAN): Taliban suicide bombers attacked a police station in Peshawar, killing four officers. – AP, February 24

February 25, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A gunman shot to death two U.S. military advisers inside a heavily guarded ministry building in Kabul. According to one press report, “The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Interior Ministry attack, saying it was retaliation for the Quran burnings, after the U.S. officers—a lieutenant colonel and a major—were found dead on the floor of an office that only people who know a numerical combination can enter, Afghan and Western officials said.” – Seattle Times, February 25

February 25, 2012 (PAKISTAN): Pakistani authorities began to demolish the house in Abbottabad that served as the home for al-Qa`ida chief Usama bin Ladin until he was killed there by U.S. forces. – ABC News, February 27

February 25, 2012 (YEMEN): Hours after the newly-elected Yemeni president was sworn in, a suicide bomber drove a vehicle into the gates of a presidential palace in the port city of Mukalla, killing at least 26 people. Al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility. – Reuters, February 25; CNN, February 29

February 26, 2012 (UNITED STATES): U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned against arming rebels in Syria. “We really don’t know who it is that would be armed,” she told reporters. “Are we supporting Al-Qaeda in Syria? Hamas is now supporting the opposition. Are we supporting Hamas in Syria?” Clinton contrasted the situation in Syria with Libya, saying, “This is not Libya, where you had a base of operations in Benghazi, where you had people who were representing the entire opposition.” – AFP, February 26

February 26, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): Eight U.S. soldiers were wounded during a violent protest outside a U.S. forward operating base in Kunduz Province. The soldiers were injured after a protestor reportedly threw a grenade into the compound. – NBC News, February 26

February 26, 2012 (NIGERIA): A suicide bomber in a vehicle detonated explosives outside a church in the central city of Jos, killing at least three people. Boko Haram claimed responsibility. According to the BBC, “The bombing sparked a riot by Christian youths, with reports that at least two Muslims were killed in the violence.” – Australian Broadcasting Corporation, February 27; BBC, February 26

February 27, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber in a vehicle killed at least nine people at Jalalabad airport in eastern Afghanistan. The airport also serves as a forward operating base. The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility. – BBC, February 27; Guardian, February 27

February 28, 2012 (PAKISTAN): Gunmen disguised in military fatigues forced 18 Shi`a Muslim men off buses in Kohistan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The men were then executed. – AFP, February 27

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive updates from CTC.

Sign up