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Periodical Review – Summary from the Jihadi Forums – The Second Half of June 2015

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

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula officially announces the death of Abu Basir al-Wuhayshi, leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and eulogizes him. Various jihadist organizations identifying with Al-Qaeda praise his contribution to the war efforts against enemy forces, and promise to avenge his death. In his stead, the organization appoints Qasim al-Rimi as the leader of the organization.

Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, official spokesman for the Islamic State, emphasizes the importance of the deaths of martyrs, and the value of their self-sacrifice for God during the month of Ramadan, and calls upon Muslims to increase jihad activity during that month against apostates, Shi’ites, and Muslims who abandoned their faith in Iraq, Syria, and Libya. He calls upon Arabs in Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia to wage an intifada against their tyrannical rulers, and threatens to take revenge against the United States for its attacks on Iraq and Syria. In addition, al-Adnani calls upon all the jihadist factions in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria to stop battling Islamic State fighters.

The Islamic State takes responsibility for a shooting attack carried out by a fighter named Abu Yahya al-Qayrawani on tourists at the beach and in the hotel compound in the Sousse vacation city. Thirty-eight people were killed in the attack, and dozens more were injured. In the statement claiming responsibility, the Islamic State justifies its attack on tourists, since they were citizens of countries in the coalition attacking the Islamic State.

The deputy leader of Afghan Taliban, Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, calls upon the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and his trusted allies, to fight under the protection of the Afghan Taliban, and to end the division between jihadist fighters. In addition, he warns al-Baghdadi not to create new jihadist groups under the auspices of the Islamic State inside Afghanistan, claiming that such a move would harm the jihad efforts and lead to further division. Furthermore, Mansour threatens that all interference by the Islamic State in the matters of the Afghan Taliban would infuriate the Muslims against the organization, and the Taliban would be forced to react to such activities.

Uthman Ghazi, leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, publically criticizes the leader of the Afghan Taliban Movement, Mulla Umar, and expresses his dissatisfaction with the way Umar was conducting himself. According to Ghazi, Mulla Umar is no longer in the best of health, and there are many signs to that effect, such as his organization’s fighters’ inability to conduct face-to-face meetings with Mulla Umar over the last several years. Also according to Ghazi, Umar’s disappearance for so many years is considered “a form of treachery and an act of cowardice that cannot be forgiven”, and this vacuum is destructive for the Muslim people.

The Islamic State issues severe criticism regarding Hamas, due to the latter’s harsh treatment of the Salafis in the Gaza Strip. The last such incident was the killing of Yunus al-Hunar, a Salafi jihadist fighter killed by Hamas security forces when he resisted arrest. A Gazan activist and member of the Islamic State ridicules Hamas and describes it as a body that sanctifies nationalism rather than the laws of Shari’a, and threatens that IS forces are advancing closer to Israel every day.

Al-Qaeda publishes the second issue of the magazine Resurgence, dedicated to the figure Sheikh Adam Yahya Gadahn, a senior leader in the organization and an American citizen, who was killed by drone fire at the beginning of 2015.

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