Telegram Channel Supporting Shi'ite Militias in Iraq Publishes Photograph Of Al-Nujaba Supporters Allegedly On Israel-Lebanon Border

print
May 20, 2021

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

On May 19, 2021, the Sabereen News Telegram channel, which supports the pro-Iranian Shi'ite militias in Iraq and boasts 100,000 subscribers, published a photograph of supporters of the Al-Nujaba movement on a motorcycle flying an Al-Nujaba flag and decorated with a photograph of Qasem Soleimani, the former commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The supporters are wearing civilian clothes and their faces are obscured by their helmets. Lebanese soldiers can be seen near the motorcycle. The post which accompanies the picture reads: "Supporters of the Iraqi Al-Nujaba movement deployed on motorcycles across from the Zionist settlement of Misgav Am on the Lebanon-Palestine border."[1]

Several hours later the channel released an approximately one-minute-long video clip showing two motorcycles flying Al-Nujaba movement flags and looking out over what appear to be Israeli populated areas. Next, the motorcycles are shown traveling along roads in Lebanon. The post published with the video says that the clip is a response to claims by what Sabereen News describes as "Islamic State (ISIS) supporters" on Twitter who wrote that the previously-posted photograph was fake. It asserts that the clip was filmed opposite Misgav Am, from where the motorcycles continued to the area that overlooks Metulla.[2]

It should be noted that as of writing, the photographs and the video clip had not been posted on the Al-Nujaba website or on its official Telegram channel.

Whether or not the photograph is genuine, it is part of the considerable efforts being invested by the pro-Iranian Shi'ite militias in Iraq, who are guided by Iran, to establish a connection between themselves and the Palestinian resistance factions, so as to co-opt the Palestinian-Israeli conflict into the "axis of resistance." This is also an aspect of the psychological war they are waging against Israel.

Ever since the outbreak of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinian factions on May 10, 2021, senior members of the Al-Nujaba movement have declared their readiness and willingness to fight alongside the Palestinians against Israel. Similar sentiments were voiced by other Iraqi militias.[3]

Moreover, the head of the Hizbullah Brigades political bureau phoned the secretary-general of the Islamic Jihad, Ziyad Al-Nakhaleth, as well as the head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, and expressed his organization's willingness to support the Palestinian people in every way and to dedicate his resources to strengthening the firm stand of the Palestinian people against the Zionist aggression.[4]

On May 16, the Sabereen News channel posted the words of the commander of Al-Hashd Al-Sha'abi (Popular Mobilization Units, PMU), who asserts that Shi'ite fighters have assembled to assist the Palestinians. The commander does not indicate where the operatives have assembled, while the channel notes that the fighters "were sent to open a front in an undisclosed location to support the Palestinian people." [5]

 

The Cyber & Jihad Lab

The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

Read More