ISIS Weekly Glorifies Senior Commander Killed In U.S. Drone Attack In Kunar, Afghanistan: 14 Months After His Death, His Body Had Not Decomposed

December 3, 2021

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On December 3, 2021, the Islamic State (ISIS) released issue 315 of its weekly Al-Naba' newspaper, which included an edition of "Story of a Martyr," a periodical section usually devoted to paying tribute to a slain senior commander. [1]

The newest issue commemorated Muhammad Amin, a.k.a. Khadem, describing him as a commander who operated in Afghanistan's Kunar region, where he fought against the Taliban and U.S. forces.

Like previous entries in the section, the piece began by emphasizing the importance of Islamic education during childhood, asserting that Khadem showed commitment to Islam at a tender age.

Born in 1406 Hijri[2] in Nangarhar, Afghanistan, Khadem "was raised with a love of religion from an early age, thanks to his sound nature and good surroundings. He was eager to learn to recite the Quran when he was six years old. He began studying shari'a sciences in the village of [Mano] in his region, where he completed elementary school," said the story.

The piece added that Khadem traveled to Pakistan, where he enrolled at university to expand his knowledge of Quran and other religious sciences. After graduation, he started teaching Quran and Hadith and advocating for Tawhid (monotheism), it said.

Discussing the early signs of Khadem's jihadi inclinations, the newspaper highlighted that "during that time [when he was in Pakistan], Muslims were experiencing hardship, due to the invasion of the American Crusaders. Khadem was saddened to see the conditions of Muslims, and so he supported them with what he could, and was grew thirsty for jihad and its activities. He was an admirer of those who joined the ranks and path [of jihad]," it said.

After realizing that religious studies should be put into practice, the piece said he decided to return to his hometown in Afghanistan, adding that after receiving military training in 2005, Khadem joined the Taliban and fought in Chaparhar.

He then joined ISIS and pledged allegiance to the group's top leader at the time, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. He fought under ISIS's banner in several areas of Nangarhar, including Shinwar, Tora Bora, Khugyani, Kot, Momand, and Haska Meina.

Khadem lost several members of his family, the story continued, during the bombardment campaign against ISIS, including his brother, Bilal, his brother-in-law, Abdullah, and his sister and his sister-in-law in Chaparhar and Gorgori (Deh Bala). In addition, it said, Khadem's third brother and nephew were captured.

He then was appointed as a military commander for ISIS in Kunar, and fought the Taliban in Korengal, Kandigal, and Shorak: "After failing to advance towards Kunar, the Taliban allied with the Crusader forces, who were bombing the mujahideen's sites there via air and land, allowing the Taliban to advance on the ground. [...] As a result, [Khadem] became a target for this demonic alliance, [and] they sent out their spies to get their hands on him and track his movements, leading to his death by an unmanned aircraft on Rajab 2, 1441[3] Hijri."

The article claimed that when the Taliban entered Kunar a year later, they dug up Khadem's grave and tried to desecrate the body, but were amazed to find that his body had not decomposed. The article noted that the Taliban targeted Khadem because he had stopped them from taking over the region. A photo of Khadem's face was included, allegedly depicting his unearthed body, a year after he was buried.

"But the story of [Khadem] did not stop with his death! When the Taliban gained control of Kunar after the U.S. air campaign, the most wicked of them dug up Khadem – May Allah accept him – and took out his body, [motivated by] hate and enmity. This was 14 months after his death. His body looked the same as when he was first buried, a Karamah[4] from Allah."

This kind of narrative is often used by jihadi groups to sway recruits and operatives to follow the footsteps of such "martyrs" in order to win Allah's blessings, and to encourage them not to fear death.

A photo allegedly showing Khadem's body one year after he was buried


[1] Telegram, December 3, 2021.

[2] According to the Gregorian calendar, 1406 Hijri falls between 1985-1986.

[3] February 26, 2020.

[4] Supernatural wonders bestowed by Allah upon His faithful worshipers.





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