Western-Based Jihadi Ideologue, Jihadis In Syria And Gaza Celebrate Death Of Iranian President Raisi In Helicopter Crash: Incident 'Deliberate,' Death Of Potential Khamenei Successor To Supreme Leader Position 'A Great Gain' For Israel And The West

May 20, 2024

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On May 19, 2024, a helicopter crash in a mountainous and forested area northwestern Iran killed leading Iranian politicians including: President Ebrahim Raisolsadati, better known as Ebrahim Raisi; Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian; representative of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei in Tabriz, Ayatollah Hashemi; and governor-general of East Azerbaijan province Malek Rahmati have been confirmed dead in a helicopter crash.

Iran-backed groups in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Gaza, including Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), expressed condolences considering the deaths of the top Iranian officials as a major loss for the Islamic Republic and eulogized Raisi as a leader who backed the oppressed people of the region. Sunni jihadis in Syria and elsewhere celebrated the death of the Iranian president and his foreign minister, considering the incident to be a divine revenge for the people of Syria.

The following describes reactions from Salafi jihadi figures based in the West, Syria, and Gaza, to the death of Iranian President and senior Iranian officials.

Al-Qaeda Ideologue Hani Al-Siba'i Opposes Eulogizing Shi'ite "Murderers" As Martyrs

On May 20, London-based Egyptian Al-Qaeda ideologue Hani Al-Siba'i re-posted a lengthy article he had published on December 27, 2023, criticizing Hamas' tribute to slain Brigadier General Sayyed Reda Al-Moussawi, reminding readers that the slain commander was one of the IRGC's most senior commanders in Syria and a well-known murderer. Likening Al-Moussawi's death to that of Raisi, Al-Siba'i noted that similar statements disrespected Sunnis in Syria, saying mockingly: "Whenever a human demon dies, they offer him a certificate of martyrdom."[1]

Raisi's Death Is A Result Of The Steadfastness Of Gaza And The Mujahideen

On May 19, the prolific jihadi Telegram channel "Abu Abdullah Al-Naqadi" commented on the incident, saying that these officials would not have been dead "had it not been for the steadfastness of Gaza and the bravery of the mujahideen there."[2] In a related post, the channel praised the fact that even if it had allied with the "mujahideen" in the Gaza Strip, Iran did not take such steps to support Muslims, but rather to surround itself with barricades and to drain the resources of their enemy [Israel] and ours."[3]

Death Of Khamenei's Successor "Great Gain For The West" And Israel

On May 20, Telegram channel "Abu Abdullah Al-Naqadi" wrote: "It is known and expected that Raisi may have ascended to the position of Supreme Leader after Khamenei, and therefore, Raisi's rise to such position is not received positively by the Zionists in the first place. He was the one who supervised the tunnel network in Lebanon and spent huge sums of money to do it. He expanded Iran's relations with Russia, offering them what no one else could have done in its war against the West, let alone his strong support for Hamas in fighting the Zionists." "The loss of such a person is a great gain for the West," the post concluded.[4]

Sunnis Eagerly Await Similar Photo Of Soleimani's Ring

On May 19, jihadi Telegram channel "Bilal Al-Hajr" posted a cartoon of a dead man's hand with a ring on it, drawing a comparison with a similar photo of the hand of Qasem Soleimani following the U.S. airstrike near Baghdad Airport on January 2, 2020. The post reads: "Sunnis all around the world eagerly await the photo of Raisi's ring. May Allah heal our chests by killing him and tearing him apart, Oh Lord of the worlds."[5]

Saudi Cleric: "A Nuclear Nation" Incapable Of Locating Its Missing President

On May 20, Saudi-born independent Syria-based jihadi cleric 'Abdullah Al-Muhaysini posted a photo of the site of the crash, saying that Iran is crying not over its dead, but over the "scandal" and failure to determine the location of the crash. He commented, sarcastically: "Is it possible that a nuclear nation, or [a nation] about to become one that has advanced technologies in manufacturing missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles does not have the technology to find its missing president!"[6]

Pro-Al-Qaeda Bot Condemns Muslim Brotherhood's Empathy

Commenting on a message on X by the Muslim Brotherhood's (MB) media spokesman Sohayb Abdulmaqsood, praying for the safety of Raisi, the pro-Al-Qaeda bot harshly criticized the MB for dividing and misguiding the Islamic ummah, adding: "What is even more trivial is that the corrupt MB [branch] in Syria is celebrating the death of Raisi."[7]

Tyrants Are Substituted But "Sunni Jihad" Must Continue

On May 20, "From Idlib," a Telegram channel supporting jihadis in Syria, wrote that the demise of oppressors by divine punishment does not mean abstaining from working and continuing jihad, adding: "This tyrant will be succeeded by another, and there must be a Sunni jihad that would uproot the tree of tyranny from its roots and rids the oppressed servants of Allah of the evil of the Rafidites [derogatory term for Shi'ites] and their crimes." The post further praised Allah for the demise of Raisi, beseeching him that to be slain is the fate that befalls all tyrants who rule Muslim countries, especially Egypt's President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi, Syria's Bashar Al-Assad, Emirati President Muhammad Bin Zayed, and Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.[8]

In a related post, the channel posted photos showing rebels in Idlib distributing sweets in celebration of the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.­­[9]

A group of men eating foodDescription automatically generated

The Incident Is "Deliberate" And Iranian Parties Colluded With Israel To Eliminate Khamenei's Successor

On May 19, "Uss Al-Sira' Fi Al-Sham The Roots Of Conflict In Syria," an anti-Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Telegram channel run by a former member of Jabhat Al-Nusra, a dismantled branch of Al-Qaeda in Syria, wrote that the death of the Iranian president will not result in any changes, since Raisi was an ordinary person, while all powers are centered in the hands of the Supreme Leader. On the question of why the president's helicopter crashed while the other two did not, the channel argued that the incident was "deliberate" and the aircraft "was subjected to interference from a secret Israeli military base in Azerbaijan." The channel further claimed the existence of inside parties in the Iranian regime who colluded with Israel, because Raisi was being prepared to be Khamenei's successor, and that former President Rafsanjani's son had accused Raisi of participating in the assassination of former President Rafsanjani.

"The biggest winner from his death, if confirmed, is Mojtaba Khamenei, son of the Supreme Leader," it added.[10]

Caption in photo: "Congratulations on the demise of the Iranian criminal Raisi; Gaza express joy over the death of the killers of Muslims"

Gazans In Rafah Celebrate Death Of Raisi, Who Served On "Death Commissions"

On May 20, a Gaza-based Salafi jihadi known as Majdi Al-Moghrabi shared a video of himself with a group of people distributing sweets, saying: "Despite the pain and wounds we are experiencing in Gaza, we cannot fail to participate with our brothers in [Iran's] Ahwaz, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria, as well as all Muslims the joy over the demise of the murderous criminal thug Raisi, the leader of the death commissions, and a group of criminals with him."[11]


[1] Telegram, May 20, 2024.

[2] Telegram, May 19, 2024.

[3] Telegram, May 19, 2024.

[4] Telegram, May 20, 2024.

[5] Telegram, May 19, 2024.

[6] Telegram, May 20, 2024.

[7] Telegram, May 20, 2024.

[8] Telegram, May 20, 2024.

[9] Telegram, May 20, 2024.

[10] Telegram, May 19, 2024.

[11] Telegram, May 20, 2024.

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