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Periodical Review – Summary from the Jihadi Forums – The First Half of July 2016

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This report summarizes notable events discussed on jihadist Web forums during the first half of July 2016. Following are the main points covered in the report:

In honor of Eid al-Fitr, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, the leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, stresses the Emirate’s obligation to work toward the liberation of Afghanistan from foreign – especially US – control. According to him, jihad is the way to achieve this goal but caution must also be taken not to harm innocent civilians and not to attack public areas.

Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al-Qaeda, praises the Uyghur mujahideen from eastern Turkestan (Xinjiang Region in western China) for their contribution to the struggle against the Alawite, secular, Shi’ite Crusader campaign in the arena of jihad in Afghanistan. According to him, the Turkestani fighters are a symbol and role model for the Muslim Nation, both for their determination in fulfilling the obligation of jihad and for their efforts to maintain unity among the ranks of the mujahideen. In his opinion, considerable importance must be ascribed to building and cultivating the system of jihad, dawah and the recruitment of Muslims in Turkestan against the Chinese regime in light of the brutal persecution that they suffer at its hands, and he calls on the Turkestani mujahideen to focus efforts on this issue.

Abu Hamza, a member of Al-Qaeda, and the son of Sheikh Osama bin Laden, threatens to take revenge on the US and its allies for killing his father and for the persecution of Muslims in various Muslim countries.

Abu Yahya al-Hammam, Emir of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in the Sahara, emphasizes that his organization is determined to continue its war against French forces due to their invasion of Mali, and he threatens to attack French and American areas both within and outside of Mali. In addition, al-Hammam calls on jihadist groups in the Sahel region to unite and join forces in the battle against the French army and the local army forces that are collaborating with it, and warns local power groups not to cooperate with the regimes in the area. In addition, al-Hammam appeals to Muslims in Mali and praises them for standing strong against the French invasion, and stresses that Mali must be liberated from foreign control.

Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, continues its PR campaign in honor of Ramadan about the importance of fulfilling the obligation of jihad during the month. For example, France and Spain were mentioned as places where battles were fought between Muslims and local residents in early Islam.

Asim Umar, the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, emphasizes that India’s Hindu population is considered an enemy of the Muslim Nation due to their lack of faith in Allah and their efforts to clear India of a Muslim presence, as evidenced by the rise of Modi as Prime Minister of India thanks to incitement against Muslims.

Twelve prominent sages serving as representatives of various Salafi-jihadist factions in Syria, including Al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and others, announce the establishment of an Islamic legal body called the “Assembly of Al-Sham Scholar”. In their vision, the role of the new body is to serve as source of Islamic authority on issues concerning the Syrian arena, to publish fatwas concerning general issues and to unite the ranks of the mujahideen by, among other things, establishing a court to settle disputes between factions.

Abu Ubaidah, the leader of Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen, makes a pubic speech for the first time since being appointed leader of the organization two years ago. In his speech, he calls on his fighters to battle against African Union forces in southern Somalia, claiming that their goal is not to maintain peace in the region but rather to plunder Somalia’s resources. Abu Ubaidah also accuses Turkey of attempting to perpetuate Somalia’s primitiveness and refers to it as an enemy state.

The Islamic State publishes a video regarding the structure of the Islamic Caliphate and the role of its various institutions. According to him, the establishment of the Caliphate reflects the fulfillment of the dream of Muslims and their success in thwarting the efforts of the enemies of Islam who try to prevent it.

The Islamic State in Bangladesh intensifies its propaganda activities among the Muslim residents of Bangladesh, and calls on Muslims in Bangladesh to fulfill the obligation of jihad and fight against the infidel Bangladesh regime. In addition, the organization claims responsibility for a series of assassinations of Hindu religious figures and Christian preachers.

The East Africa Front, which supports the Islamic State, declares that it is committed to eliminating heretics from East African countries, including Tanzania and Zanzibar. In addition, the organization calls on jihad fighters from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda who belong to Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen to defect and join the East Africa Front.

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