al qaeda

When Qatar’s royal family was looking for advice on charitable giving, it turned to a well-regarded professor named Abd al-Rahman al-Nu’aymi. The 59-year-old educator had a stellar résumé that included extensive fundraising experience and years of work with international human rights groups.

It's tempting in wartime to dehumanize your enemy, especially when that enemy is a militant who may have killed innocent women and children. But al-Qaeda militants have families, too. The BBC's Shaimaa Khalil just returned from Yemen, where she had access to a family that has produced three al-Qaeda militants, all brothers.

Aid agencies paid Somalia's al-Shabab militants for access to areas under their control in the 2011 famine, according to a joint report by two think tanks. In many cases al-Shabab insisted on distributing the aid and kept much of it for itself, the report says. Some of the groups are still paying al-Shabab to operate in the large parts of Somalia it still holds, it adds.

Syria’s moderate rebels have launched a social campaign to win support from civilians to quell growing influence by al-Qaeda-linked militant groups in opposition-held areas, a newspaper reported Monday. “We realized that in order to fight al-Qaeda we need to counter them not just militarily but on the social side as well,” a senior adviser to the Supreme Military Council told The Independent newspaper.

Niger's president is pushing for the creation of multinational African brigades — notably with Libya — to boost border security in lawless zones where jihadist fighters roam. Mahamadou Issoufou says Niger is "no sanctuary for terrorists" but believes many jihadist fighters have taken refuge in the south of neighboring Libya after French forces ousted al-Qaida-linked militants from a teetering Mali earlier this year.

After being publicly sacked by al Qaeda leader Aymann al-Zawahiri and accidentally beheading a fighter from one of their main allies in Syria, it’s fair to say the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)’s PR campaign has suffered in recent weeks. So, like any half decent group of militant extremists, they obviously want to address this slip. Unfortunately, a traditional media outreach is very difficult for them, given ISIS’s policy of kidnapping journalists. So they've turned, like many before them, to social media.

Concerned by the attempts of Al Qaeda and its global affiliates to attract more Americans and other Westerners, the State Department is stepping up its online efforts to combat violent extremists’ recruiting of English speakers. The campaign is starting at a time when intelligence officials say dozens of Americans have traveled or tried to travel to Syria since 2011 to fight with the rebels against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Two Islamist groups in Nigeria have been added to the State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations for killing thousands of people and threatening Westerners in West Africa, U.S. officials said Wednesday. Boko Haram and a splinter group, Ansaru, were named to the federal roster of terrorist groups after U.S. officials determined that they had received training and some financing from the Al Qaeda affiliate in North Africa.