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Periodical Review – Summary from the Jihadi Forums – The First Half of January 2015

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This report summarizes notable events discussed on jihadist Web forums during the first half of January 2015. Following are the main points covered in the report:

  • Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claims responsibility for an attack that was carried out against the French satirical weekly magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in Paris. According to the organization, the attack was carried out in revenge for dishonoring the Prophet Muhammad by publishing an insulting caricature of his image. Many jihadist organizations, including Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Islamic State, applauded the attack, justified it and called on Muslims in the West, especially in France, to continue a wave of attacks of this kind. The announcement is published following a period of several months in which Ayman al-Zawahiri was not heard from.
  • Approximately ten jihadist organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan swear allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic Caliphate, following talks between the group leaders to appoint Hafiz Sa‘id Khan Orkzai as the leader of a new organization to represent al-Baghdadi in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • ‘Ali Abu Muhammad al-Daghistani, Emir of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate, issues a scathing criticism of the Islamic State and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and accuses them of trying to sow division among the ranks of the mujahideen in the Caucasus. According to him, jihadists in the Caucasus who swore allegiance to al-Baghdadi are doing so due to ignorance of shari’a.
  • The Islamic State continues to publish horrific videos. A new video in Russian titled, “Uncovering an Enemy Within” documented the execution of two Russian spies by a child soldier in the organization. Efforts also continue to strengthen the image of the Islamic State as an organization capable of imposing law and order in the areas under its authority, as demonstrated in a video documenting the lives of residents in Mosul, narrated by kidnapped journalist, John Cantlie.
  • Jihadist Web forums publish an interview with Majd al-Din al-Misri, the General Manager of Ajnad Misr. According to him, the goal of the organization is to implement shari’a in Egypt through the use of jihad, with the current emphasis on fighting against the Egyptian regime and not against minority groups.

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