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

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

  • Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al-Qaeda, announces the establishment of a new Al-Qaeda branch in the Indian subcontinent. According to him, the new branch is meant to focus on spreading the faith in the Oneness of God, liberating occupied Muslim lands, revitalizing the institution of the Caliphate, and supporting persecuted Muslims in the Indian subcontinent. Sheikh Assem Omar, the leader of the new branch, and Usama Mahmoud, the spokesperson for the branch, clarify that they are loyal to al-Zawahiri and that they will work for the sake of the Muslim people in the Indian subcontinent who are being persecuted by the regimes.
  • The spokesperson for Al-Qaeda, Sheikh Sheikh Hussam Abd al-Rauf, claims that there is a false propaganda campaign being waged against Al-Qaeda and its leader, Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri. According to him, despite all of the unfounded analyses and forecasts, the organization continues to maintain its power and its control of its branches, and to expand into new arenas of jihad. According to him, local regimes are collaborating with foreign forces hostile to Islam, with the goal of repressing the civil revolutions known as the Arab Spring and thwarting the efforts of the mujahideen to impose shari’a. In light of this, al-Rauf calls on Muslims to resist the local regimes.
  • The Islamic State threatens to harm American and British citizens if members of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq are attacked by coalition forces. This threat manifested itself in the execution of several Western journalists, including the Jewish American journalist, Steven Sotloff, who were beheaded in order to send a message to the United States and to Britain that its citizens would pay a steep price for their aggression.
  • Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda in Somalia, officially announces the death of its leader, Sheikh Mokhtar Abu-Zubayr, who was killed in the beginning of September 2014. In response to his death, the organization calls on Muslims in Somalia to fulfill their duty and take steps against the campaign of aggression being carried out by the Christians against Islamic countries. The organization emphasizes that Abu-Zubayr’s death will not affect jihad in Somalia and that it would continue will even greater vigor.
  • Various jihadist organizations, including the Al-Nusra Front, eulogize the leader of Ahrar al-Sham, a Salafi-jihadist organization in Syria, who was killed by unknown sources. In the jihadist discourse, the Islamic State is blamed for the assassination.

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