Al-Qaeda Central (AQC) Bulletin Calls To Help Palestinians By Attacking U.S. And Israeli Interests, Rebelling Against Arab Rulers

May 12, 2021

The following reports are now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

In recent weeks, tensions have been high between Palestinians and Israelis in Jerusalem, due to a confluence of factors, including the month of Ramadan; the Iran-sponsored Qods Day (May 7); Israel's Jerusalem Day (May 10); the planned eviction of Arab families from the predominantly Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah near Jerusalem's Old City; and a new phenomenon of young Arabs posting TikTok videos showing and encouraging assaults on Jews.

Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, mostly in the Al-Aqsa Mosque area but also in other locations in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, resulted in the injury of hundreds of Palestinians and dozens of Israeli police officers, and in the arrests of dozens of Palestinians. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), as well as the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Gazan militia Jaysh Al-Ummah Al-Salafi, responded to these events with heavy rocket barrages against Israel, provoking massive Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip.[1]

Jihad organizations and their supporters responded to the events with invective against Israel and praise for the attacks against it. They also encourage the Palestinians to intensify their violence, and urge Muslims worldwide to attack Jewish and Israeli interests.[2]

On May 12, 2021, As-Sahab Foundation, the official media outlet of Al-Qaeda Central (AQC), released Issue 34 of its Al-Nafir "awareness raising leaflet."[3] The bulletin, titled "Al-Aqsa under the Protection of the Descendants of Al-Bara' bin Malik," declares that Muslims are capable of waging jihad even with limited military capabilities and urges Muslims to attack and kill Jews and Americans, to protest and rebel against Arab rulers, and to boycott American and Israeli products.

The above image shows the cover of the Al-Nafir bulletin, titled "Al-Aqsa under the Protection of the Descendants of Al-Bara' bin Malik"

The bulletin begins by decrying the "aggressions of the sons of Zion" against worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, claiming that these actions of "the brothers of apes and pigs" demonstrate the Jews' "hidden hatred to Muslims and their wish to uproot them for Jerusalem to establish their so-called temple on the ruins of the stolen Al-Aqsa," alleging that Israel is preparing to expel Palestinians in a repeat of "the two Nakbas of '48 and '67."

Al-Nafir compares the current situation of the Muslim world to the circumstances which prevailed during the period of Israel's establishment and at the time of the 1967 Six-Day War, claiming that now as then, there is "an ummah which suffers from traitorous rulers who have gained power over her and sold their religion and selves to the Zionists and Western governments in return for the protection of their thrones," citing the recent normalization agreements several Arab countries have signed with Israel as evidence of their treachery.

At the same time, asserts the bulletin, there is a "world in collusion with the sons of Zion, which provides them with money, weapons, men, and even medicine," alleging that Western governments gave Israel priority in receiving vaccines for COVID-19 because "they value the sons of Zion's standing in the front line in the confrontation with Islam and Muslims."

The bulletin condemns most Muslim scholars and thinkers for "abandoning […] the heroic mujahideen in Jerusalem and on the other battlefronts of the confrontation with unbelief and tyranny" and refraining from "calling for jihad, speaking the truth before the tyrants, and urging the ummah and its leaders to revolt against every occupier, traitor, and collaborator," mentioning the head of Egypt's Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, as one of the scholars who sufficed with "weeping for the fate of their institutions."[4]

Al-Nafir complains that "the scholars, preachers, and reformers who publicly speak the truth and support the causes of their ummah" have been imprisoned, while the mujahideen, who "fight here and there while their eyes are on Jerusalem" are victims of a "raging war."

The bulletin also lashes out at the "depraved media which has occupied the minds of the ummah during the month of prayer vigils and fasting with [television] series of fornication and debauchery, […] programs making war on religion, […] propaganda which defames the mujahideen […] and subjection to oppression and acceptance of tyranny."

Al-Nafir praises the "heroes at the battlefront of Jerusalem" for showing the rest of the Muslim world that "the ummah still has youths and elders, men and women, who sacrifice their lives for their religion and holy places." Mentioning the Companion of the Prophet Muhammad, Al-Bara' bin Malik, who famously risked his life by asking his fellow soldiers to place him on a shield, hoist it on their spears, and throw him into a garden where the enemy army had taken shelter, thereby opening the gate to the garden and letting the Muslim army enter, the bulletin praises a similar case which supposedly happened recently in confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli security forces.

It relates that Al-Bara's "descendant in our times asked his friends to carry him on their shoulders – because they did not have spears – and they threw him onto a group of Zionists armed to the teeth with all kinds of weapons," acclaiming this Palestinian youth for proving that one does not need advanced weapons to wage jihad against Israel. Al-Nafir condemns Dr. Ahmad Al-Raysuni, head of the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), for saying in a recent television interview: "I and you are not capable of jihad, because jihad now needs missiles and airplanes,"[5] declaring that "what the Jerusalemite murabiteen have done and what the mujahideen in the battlefields of jihad do proves that these statements have no place in the hearts of the Muslim youth."

Images in the Al-Nafir bulletin depict a Palestinian youth being thrown at Israeli security forces

The bulletin quotes a 2002 statement by Osama bin Laden, in which he praises the then-ongoing "Al-Aqsa Intifada," making this point: "These momentous events are the blessed jihad that has continued its march toward the desired objective and the promised day. It has come to expose the feeble statement and refuted argument […] 'What can we do? There is nothing we can do! It is not up to us!' […] In view of the bloody events that our nation is subjected to, everyone is today required to take up jihad and serious action. […] The least that anyone of these leaders who cannot act because of these regimes' pressures and terrorism can do is to give way to others with courageous capabilities who are capable of bringing about the change and putting things right."[6]

The bulletin urges Muslims: "O Islamic ummah, rise up against oppression and tyranny, against injustice and aggression, against humiliation and degradation, for bread is not dearer to us than our religion, money is not more precious to us than our honor, and death is not more difficult for our senses than a life of humiliation and debasement. The means are feasible and available for every individual of our ummah." The bulletin advises Muslims to engage in "popular demonstrations and civil disobedience until the collapse of the traitorous governments" and to kill the "imams of unbelief and hypocrisy, who have apostatized from their religion and betrayed their ummah."

AQC further urges attacking American interests worldwide, particularly in Arab countries, boycotting American and Israeli products, and "killing Americans and Jews with gunshots, stabbing with a knife, throwing rocks, etc." The bulletin also asks Muslims to "support the mujahideen, stand behind them, encourage them, and pray for them."

The bulletin concludes by expressing support for the Palestinians in their struggle against Israel, praising them for "demonstrating day after day to the entire ummah that the religion and holy sites are precious, and that blood and lives must be sacrificed for them." AQC declares to Palestinian Muslims: "Continue with Allah's blessing and go forth with His guidance and success. We continue on the path of jihad and remain as we have always been. Your blood is our blood, your honor is our honor, your children are our children, and the blood of [Muhammad] Al-Durrah and his brothers will not have been shed in vain. By Allah, whom there is no god but He, we will defend you and not fail you until victory is achieved and Palestine becomes Islamic once again or we taste [martyrdom]."



[3], May 12, 2021.

[4] See El-Tayeb's recent Facebook posts condemning Israel for its treatment of Palestinians:,May 8, 2021;

[5], April 19, 2021.

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