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Periodical Review – Summary from the Jihadi Forums – The Second Half of May 2014

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

  • Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of Al-Qaeda, again emphasizes that ISIS is an affiliate of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the ISIS, previously swore allegiance to the leader of Al-Qaeda and is therefore obligated to honor his pledge. Al-Zawahiri also calls for an end to the bloodshed among the various jihadist factions in Syria, and for the different groups to focus instead on fighting against the enemies of Islam and on settling disputes by turning to special shari’a courts.
  • Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, founder of the Salafi jihadist movement in Jordan, publishes a religious ruling criticizing the ISIS and calling it a deviant organization that fearlessly acts against the mujahideen and tarnishes the image of jihad. Therefore, al-Maqdisi calls [on the public] not to join the organization, to reject it and to show favor to the Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.
  • Abu ‘Amir al-Naji, a member of Al-Qaeda, criticizes the reproach of the organization voiced by several former members as well as their praise of the ISIS.
  • Ahrar al-Sham and other Islamic factions in Syria express support for, and commitment to, the “Syrian revolution’s Covenant of Honor” according to which war against the Syrian regime and the ISIS must be sanctified. Various jihad fighters criticize this covenant, claiming that it is vague and seemingly tainted by the West.
  • The ISIS publishes a propaganda video titled, “Clang of Swords”, which elicits an extensive media response. The video documents various terrorist activities carried out by ISIS members, including the execution of soldiers in the Iraqi army, kidnappings, assassinations, raids on homes of “Awakening” movement members, and the destruction of military vehicles using explosives.
  • The Al-Nusra Front, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda in Syria, announces the establishment of the “Ba’s Institute for Military Production and Development”, an organized body to be responsible for the production and development of weapons for jihad fighters in Syria.
  • Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) calls on Muslims in Libya to defend their honor and the religion of Islam from the aggression of General Haftar, the ruler of Libya, who commenced “Operation Karama” to eliminate terrorist hubs in the country. According to the organization, the operation constitutes a Zionist-Crusader conspiracy supported by Egypt and financed by the Gulf States, which must be immediately thwarted.
  • Sheikh Abdul Karim Krymsky, the Deputy Emir of the Al-Muhajirun wal-Ansar Army, a Chechen Salafi-jihadist organization in Syria, calls on Muslims in the Crimean Peninsula to wage jihad against Russia as a result of its annexation of the land and to mark the 70th anniversary of the expulsion of the Muslim minority from the Crimean Peninsula.
  • Ansar al-Tawhid fil-Hind, an Indian Salafi-jihadist organization with ties to Al-Qaeda, publishes a video in which it calls on global leaders around the world, especially in the Middles East and Southern Asia, to attack India and Indian targets around the world.

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