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Periodical Review – Summary from the Jihadi Forums – The First Half of July 2014

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This report summarizes notable events discussed on jihadist Web forums during the first half of July 2014. Following are the main points covered in the report:

  • Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State, declares the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate under his leadership and calls on jihad fighters to concentrate their efforts on fighting against the Shi’ites and on continuing the assault on Shi’ite strongholds in Baghdad and southern Iraq. The declaration of the establishment of the caliphate provokes divided reactions among jihad fighters. On the one hand, many jihadist organizations, including Jama‘at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in West Africa swear allegiance to al-Baghdadi and to the Islamic Caliphate. On the other hand, many senior and junior jihadists, including Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi (a senior member of the Salafi-jihadist movement in Jordan), criticize the declaration, claiming that it is illegal and that the Islamic Caliphate did not receive a broad consensus in the Muslim Nation. In light of this development, several jihadist organizations, including Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), renew their oath of allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of Al-Qaeda.
  • The Islamic State launches a new magazine called Dabiq in honor of the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate. The magazine includes apocalyptic messages heralding the end of days and the victory of Muslims in the battlefield against the infidel forces.
  • The emir of Al-Nusra Front in Qalamoun threatens to take revenge on members of Lebanese Hezbollah in Shi’ite villages. In addition, the emir vows to release prisoners from Rumiyya Prison in Lebanon and from other prisons.
  • Operation ‘Protective Edge’ in the Gaza Strip leads Palestinian Salafi-jihadist militants in the Gaza Strip to take part in the launch of rockets into Israeli civilian cities. In addition, global jihadists express solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against Israel.

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