This report summarizes notable events discussed on jihadist Web forums during The First Half of…
This report summarizes notable events discussed on jihadist Web forums during the first half of October 2015. Following are the main points covered in the report:
- Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al-Qaeda, emphasizes that his organization strives to establish an Islamic Caliphate, but that it will be achieved gradually and in an intelligent manner that will a broad support base. In his opinion, the strengthening of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan and the Islamic Emirate in the Caucasus is guaranteed to pave the way to the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate. In addition, he again emphasizes that the Islamic Caliphate led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was established in sin and not according to the path of the Prophet Muhammad, and therefore it is not legitimate and oaths of allegiance to him are not valid.
- Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri accuses Iran and Shi’ites of joining the Western powers fighting against the Sunnis out of a desire to strengthen their power in the region and to weaken the power of the Sunnis. According to him, Iran and the Shi’ite militias, such as the Houthis in Yemen, present a real danger to the personal security of the Sunnis and, therefore, Muslims must support the mujahideen in any way possible in order to stem the trend of their increasing power and thwart their scheme to weaken the Sunnis.
- Sheikh Hussam ‘Abd al-Rauf, a senior Al-Qaeda leader, eulogizes Abu Baseer al-Wuhayshi, a former AQAP leader, and claims that fighters belonging to Al-Qaeda in Yemen are operating in a complicated reality characterized by unstable security that contributes to the strength of the organization. The presence of weak rivals in Yemen, such as the Houthis, as a result of the civil war and circumstances enabling the recruitment of Sunni tribes to the ranks of the organization due to the Houthi danger underlie the strengthening of the organization. In addition, al-Rauf swears allegiance to the new leaders of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan, Akhtar Mansoor.
- Jihad fighters in Syria condemn Russian intervention in Syria and its support for the Alawite regime. Abu Mohammad al-Julani, the leader of A-Nusra Front, calls on all jihadist factions in Syria to unite against the backdrop of Russian intervention in Syria, and he calls on the mujahideen in the Caucasus to attack targets inside Russia. In addition, he offers a monetary reward to anyone who delivers the heads of Bashar al-Assad and Hassan Nasrallah. In this context, a group of Salafi-jihadist clerics in Syria issue a fatwa obligating every Muslim to help in the battle against the Russians in Syria.
- The Islamic State and all of its branches intensify their PR activities on the topic of recruiting Muslims to the ranks of the organization in the Somali arena. In this context, IS fighters appeal to jihad fighters in Somalia, especially members of Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen, to swear allegiance to the Islamic Caliphate led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
- Sheikh Khalid bin Umar Batarfi, a senior AQAP leader, issues an explicit condemnation of the phenomenon of suicide attacks targeting mosques as a result of an attack that was carried out by an IS fighter at a Houthi mosque in Sana’a. Batarfi emphasizes that his organization is opposed to this trend due to, among other reasons, the possible presence of innocent Sunnis, babies and children in these mosques. According to him, the war against the Houthis needs to be waged in army bases, houses and other places where they are located but not mosques.
- Abu Muhammad al-‘Adnani al-Shami, the spokesman for the Islamic State, claims that the organization is still strong despite the battle against its enemies on various fronts. In addition, he warns the Muslim rebel factions battling against the organization to cease their acts of hostility against it and to accept the dictates of the Islamic Caliphate.
- The rift between Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, characterized by mutual de-legitimization, continues with all the more vigor. For example, Al-Qaeda supporters repeat the accusation that the IS allows the killing of innocent Muslims by defining them as infidels and perpetuates the rift among the ranks of the mujahideen.
- Jihadist organizations and writers identified with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State on forums and social networks call for attacks against Jews throughout the world, and encourage knife attacks by Israeli Arabs against Jews in Israel. For example, Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen, Al-Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, and the Egyptian Al-Murabitun, which supports Al-Qaeda, call on Muslims around the world to wake up, take initiative and act to liberate Al-Aqsa Mosque and other occupied territories in Palestine through the use of armed jihad against all Jews around the world, whether they are civilians or not.
- The Islamic State publishes a video in praise of the integration of the gold dinar into the financial life of territories under IS control. According to him, the currency’s integration helps weaken the western economy that attempts to use its money exert control of many countries in the world.