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April 9, 2018

By Pieter Van Ostaeyen

Separating Facts from Fiction about Belgium’s Oldest Foreign Fighter, Bassam Ayachi

On April 4, 2018 French media reported that the 72 year old Shaykh Bassam Ayachi was arrested in the north of France on March 27. The media portrayed him as “the oldest Belgian Jihadi”, as “the mentor of generations of Belgian Jihadi’s” and above all as “one of the main recruiters for Belgian foreign fighters who left for the war in Syria”. In 2012 Flemish newspaper De Standaard even called him “the personification of radical Islam in our country.” His actual story is a bit more nuanced however, and this brief article aims to separate the fiction from the facts.

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June 20, 2017

By Rao Komar

The al-Tanf Bombing: How Russia Assisted ISIS by Attacking an US Backed FSA Group with Cluster Bombs

Russia’s intervention in the Syrian Civil War has been controversial to say the least. For instance, Russia has denied bombing hospitals and clinics in rebel held parts of Syria and then blamed the US for the bombings despite evidence to the contrary. Adding to the list of controversies involving the Russian intervention in Syria, in this…

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September 2, 2016

By Christiaan Triebert

Who Killed Adnani? An Open Source Survey

  On August 30, 2016, ʻAmāq News Agency announced the death of the 39-year old Ṭaha Subhī Falaḥa (1977), better known as Abū Muhammad al-‘Adnānī (Arabic: أبو محمد العدناني‎‎; hereafter simply referred to as ‘Adnani’), the chief spokesperson for the so-called Islamic State (IS). The killing of Adnani is a significant blow for IS, given…

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