Monthly ReportSummary of Information on Jihadist WebsitesMarch 2018
- Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al-Qaeda, gives three different speeches:
In the first speech, he threatens to attack France and teach it a lesson due to its involvement in the internal affairs of North Africa and the Sahel region. In the video, al-Zawahiri calls on Muslims in North Africa to attack the French in the Sahel region, and to continue the way of their fathers who fought against other colonial invaders throughout history. In addition, he calls on Muslim nations to continue their activities against the tyrannical regimes as they did during the Arab Spring.
In the second speech, Ayman al-Zawahiri refers to the East Africa region as an area that Islam has reached throughout history thanks to publicity and dawah. According to him, Muslims in East Africa and Egypt were able to join forces against the Crusader enemy because they were loyal to the Ottoman Empire. However, as he sees it today, Muslims in East Africa are unable to defend their territory due to several factors, including: the blurring of the obligation to wage defensive jihad against the invading infidel due to the passivity preached by the Sufi movement. According to him, the Sufi movement is largely responsible for the weakening of Muslims, and is nurtured by the West and Ethiopia because it is perceived as an ally that could help weaken Islam. Political corruption, internal conflicts and the pursuit of forbidden money led to the destruction of the concept of jihad. In addition, al-Zawahiri accuses Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, of trying to undermine the unity among the ranks of Muslims and the mujahideen, and to destroy Osama bin Laden’s enterprise.
In the third speech, Ayman al-Zawahiri emphasizes that the United States continues to be considered the primary enemy of Muslims and Islam due to, among other things, its war in Afghanistan, its defense of Israel, its betrayal of the Palestinians, its leadership of the Crusader campaign against Muslim lands, etc. In addition, he condemns Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. He stresses that no grain of Palestinian land should be abandoned, nor should other lands formerly under Muslim rule, such as the Philippines. In his view, the Muslim Nation must fight the United States and wage jihad against it everywhere in the world, just as the US is fighting against Muslims everywhere.
- Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden and a senior leader in Al-Qaeda, accuses the Saudi regime of being unable to defend the two holy sites of Islam, Mecca and Medina, and the Sunnis in Yemen from the expansion of Shi’ite Iran in the region. According to him, this situation requires Sunnis in the Arabian Peninsula to demonstrate responsibility, and to rebel against the Saudi regime in order to replace it and defend themselves from Iran’s aggression.
- Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) launches a new periodical titled, “Madad”, in which it praises the Muslims’ war against the Jews in Israel and calls for adherence to jihad in order the liberate Palestine and Al-Aqsa Mosque. He praises Ahmad Jarrar, who headed the assassination cell of an Israeli rabbi, and calls on Muslims in Israeli to emulate him by killing Israelis.
- Sheikh Abu Mus‘ab al-Wudud w’Abd al-Malim Drukdal, the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), harshly criticizes the armed factions in Syria because of the split and the rift between them – a negative trend that, according to him, delays victory in the battlefield against the enemies of Islam. He notes that “jihad has gone from strength to weakness, from glory to disgrace, and from harmony to separation, victory has distanced itself from you”. In addition, he accuses the factions of abandoning the struggle against the enemy for the sake of mutual skirmishes between the factions, and warns that a continuation of this trend undermines the willingness to adhere to jihad.
- Abu Yahya al-Hammam, the deputy leader of Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin and a senior leader in AQIM, warns countries of the Sahel (Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Mali) not to take part in the military campaign initiated by France against jihad fighters in the Sahel region or any other region, lest they face the consequences.
- Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin, a Salafi-jihadist umbrella organization in Mali affiliated with Al-Qaeda, claims responsibility for a terrorist attack against the French Embassy and Burkina Faso’s military headquarters in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, which was carried out to deter the regime from cooperating with France in its military campaign in the Sahel region.
- Many jihad factions in Syria announce that they are joining Horas al-Din, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda in Syria. According to the factions, the oaths of allegiance that were made to Horas al-Din reflect a desire to unite the ranks of jihad fighters, defend the Muslims Nation, fight against the enemies of Islam and elevate the word of God.
- The Islamic State in Khorasan Province (Afghanistan) encourages immigration to Afghanistan while criticizing the Taliban for not implementing shari’a in the areas under its control.
- The Islamic State in Sinai Province claims that the military campaign by the Egyptian army and its president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, against the organization in Sinai is a failed operation. In addition, the organization calls on Egyptian army and police to defect and join the ranks of the IS, and threatens to attack the Egyptian presidential elections at the end of March.
This article is part of the RED-Alert project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation Programme under grant agreement No 740688.