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Periodical Review – Summary from the Jihadi Forums – The Second Half of May 2016

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

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan announces the death of its leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, as a result of a US drone strike, and the appointment of the organization’s new leader, Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada. As a result of the announcement, members of the Emirate and some Al-Qaeda branches give eulogies in Akhtar Mansour’s memory. Meanwhile, members of the Taliban in Afghanistan swear allegiance to the new leader of the Emirate.

Abu Muhammad al-‘Adnani, the spokesman for the Islamic State, calls on supporters of the organization to help it carry out terrorist attacks on western soil using any means and provides permission for the killing of all civilians in the west. In addition, al-‘Adnani accuses rebel factions in Syria, including Al-Nusra Front, of joining the infidel forces and collaborating with the US and coalition forces.

Abu Abdullah al-Shami, a member of Al-Nusra Front’s Shura Council, accuses the US of foiling the Syrian revolution and supporting the Alawite regime. According to him, this trend only serves to encourage the organization’s fighters to keep fighting. In addition, al-Shami calls on all jihad factions in Syria to continue jihad until they achieve their goals.

Al-Nusra Front is waging a PR campaign against Russian involvement in Syria. This campaign is characterized by presenting Russia’s “war crimes” against the civilian population in Syria as well as opinion polls against it, and more.

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Haqq, leader of the Turkistan Islamic Party, emphasizes the great importance of his organization in Syria and explains that the arena of jihad in Syria is one in which its members acquire tools and knowledge to help them fight against the Chinese regime once they return to their homeland in Xinjiang in western China. In addition, he explains that he does not recognize the Islamic Caliphate of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and he scorns the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan for splitting from the Taliban in Afghanistan and joining the Islamic Caliphate.

Khalid ‘Umar Batarafi, a senior leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, claims responsibility for the assassination of the governor of Aden who was in charge of security in the city. According to him, the organization continues to maintain its power and operate in the area despite its withdrawal from the city of Al-Mukalla and the air strikes by coalition forces. In addition, Batarafi criticizes the Emirate for its battle against the organization’s fighters in Hadramawt Province, accuses the US of attempting to create a new reality in Yemen, and accuses the Houthis of attempting to try to eliminate the Sunni presence in the area.

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