Al-Shabab Claims Assassination Of CIA Agent In Mogadishu

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January 28, 2020

On January 27, 2020, Shahada News Agency, the media outlet of Somali Al-Qaeda affiliate Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen (also known as Al-Shabab), reported on its Rocket.Chat channel that an Al-Shabab "security division" had recently assassinated an officer allegedly working as a CIA agent in Mogadishu's...

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Jan 27, 2020
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General Hossein Salami IRGC commander-in-chief: If Iran’s Commanders are not Safe, the Enemy's Commanders Will Not be Safe Either

#7764 | 00:45
Source: IRINN TV (Iran)

In a report aired on Iran’s IRINN TV, General Hossein Salami, IRGC commander-in-chief said that if the American officials who have threatened the new IRGC Qods Force commander Ghaani stay alive – they will regret this. He added that if Iran’s commanders face a lack of security, “no enemy commander will have security either.” The report was aired on January 27, 2020

Reporter: IRGC Commander-in-chief reacted to insolent statements by U.S. officials regarding [Qods Force Commander] General Ghaani.

Hossein Salami: If the American officials – those who made threats – stay alive, they will surely regret saying these things. They should take note that if our commanders face lack of security, no enemy commander will have security either.

[…]

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Jan 20, 2020
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Ghassan Salamé head of UNSMIL: “I don’t see any Blue Helmets in Libya Soon”; Libyans will Not Accept Foreign Forces and UNSC have no Appetite for It

#7763 | 02:19
Source: 218 News TV (Libya)

Lebanese academic Ghassan Salamé, head of UNSMIL (UN Support Mission for Libya), was interviewed by 218 News TV on January 20, 2020. Salamé was asked by the interviewer whether disarmament of the Libyan military factions is feasible and whether there would be international oversight for this process. Ghassan Salamé replied that this will happen only if there is a U.N. resolution and the Libyan people are willing to accept it. However, Salamé said that the Libyans are not willing to accept any foreign forces and the U.N. Security Council is not prepared to send forces to Libya, and therefore the Blue Helmets will not be seen anytime soon in Libya. Salamé concluded that “if there is a good political agreement, you don’t need a single man to protect it, but if you have a bad agreement, hundreds of thousands of people will not be enough to protect it.”

 

Interviewer: Do you think it is easy to disarm the various groups on the ground – with each group handing its weapons over to another group? How will such a process be supervised? Even if these groups voluntarily agree to give up their arms – who will supervise this process? Johnson spoke yesterday about a European force. He suggested it.

Ghssan Salamé: Many things have been discussed. The Europeans in particular have been talking more than they should – [Joseph] Borrell, [Boris] Johnson, [Giuseppe] Conte, and others.

Interviewer: Is it nothing but talk that will not lead to an actual outcome?

Ghssan Salamé: Not without a U.N. resolution. Not without acceptance by the Libyans. I personally – Ghassan Salamé – am telling you that based on my modest acquaintance with the Libyans and with the U.N. Security Council – that the Libyans are not willing to accept foreign forces, and that the U.N. Security Council is not prepared to send forces to Libya.

Interviewer: But no armed group is ready to hand over its arms to another group…

Ghssan Salamé: That is another issue. But I’m telling you that I don’t see any Blue Helmets in Libya soon. Whoever thinks that we have agreed on this is wrong. First of all, because I do not think there is acceptance for this in Libya – from both parties, by the way. I also don’t think that there is much appetite in the Security Council for this kind of adventure. I have learned a little from past cases. Let me tell you something. I have learned a very important principle: If there is a good political agreement, you don’t need a single man to protect it, but if you have a bad political agreement, hundreds of thousands of people will not be enough to protect it.

[…]

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Dec 25, 2019
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Former Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher: Economic Reforms in the Arab World Must Be Accompanied by Political Reforms

#7762 | 03:22
Source: Dubai TV

Former Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher said in an interview with Dubai TV that the Arab world should reexamine its economic systems. He said that the Arab world must transition into a system that is based on “production and efficiency” instead of revenue-gathering. Muasher continued to say that this transition can only take place if there is a reform in the political systems that would increase the inclusion of citizens in the decision-making process. When asked if this explains the recent waves of protest in Arab countries, such as Iraq and Lebanon, Muasher said that these protests are a more mature version of the 2011 [“Arab Spring”] protests. He explained that these are peaceful protests, which remain so even when they are met by violence, like in Iraq. Muasher continued to say that in most Arab countries, the end of the 2011 protests came when the regimes told the protesters that they must accept them and their authoritarianism or descend into chaos. However, the protesters now do not accept this dichotomy, saying that they want “third options” that are more secular-civilian and inclusive, and they demand a “serious fight against corruption.” Muasher added that although these demands have all been met with a refusal by the regimes, he does not think that “we can turn the clock back.” He added that the process will not be easy or fast, but every wave of protest is another step towards change in the region. The interview was aired on December 25, 2019.

 

Marwan Muasher: The systems that the Arab world has employed to manage its resources – and even the ruling systems – are in need of a serious reexamination. We cannot continue in the same way as things were in the past. The results are clear before our eyes. We must adopt economic systems that are not based on revenue-gathering, but rather on production and efficiency. This requires changes in legislation, providing the private sector with greater opportunities. It also requires inclusive political systems that will be interested in allowing people to take a bigger part in the decision-making. In the Arab world, we can no longer talk, in my opinion, about economic reforms that are not accompanied by political reforms.

Interviewer: Perhaps this explains the protests in several Arab countries. We see these protests on a daily basis in Lebanon as well as in Iraq. Do you consider this wave of protest more mature than that of 2011?

Marwan Muasher: Without a doubt. If we look at what is going on in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Algeria, and in Sudan – all these [demonstrations] are peaceful. Even when they were faced with violence, like in the case of Iraq, the protests of the people have been peaceful. It is also more mature in the sense that… The first wave [or protests] ended, in many cases, with eh Arab states telling their citizens: Either you accept us and our authoritarianism, or you will face chaos. Now however, it is as if the citizens of those four countries are saying: “From now on, we will not accept this binary division. The choice should not be between you and chaos. We want third options that will be more secular-civilian and more inclusive, and we want there to be a serious fight against corruption.” This is true for all those four countries…

Interviewer: These demands are clear, but does anyone listen? Is there any positive response? Does anyone lend a friendly ear?

Marwan Muasher: They will listen in stages. In many Arab countries, we have seen refusal to listen to the people’s demands. However, I don’t think we can turn the clock back. The change will not be smooth, easy, or fast, but I view every wave of these protests as another attempt by the region to make the governments understand that it is time to reexamine their systems.

[…]

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January 27, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8526

Pro-Iran And Iran-Backed Elements In Iraq Deny Any Responsibility For Attacks On U.S. Targets

January 27, 2020
Iran, Iraq | Special Dispatch No. 8526
On January 27, 2020, Iraqi security sources reported that a rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad had wounded one American and caused damage to property. The attack, the first of many in recent weeks that actually struck the Embassy, came two days after a massive anti-U.S. march organized by the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and by Iraqi populist Shi'ite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr aimed at ending the U.S. military presence in the country. Following the rocket attack and in an attempt to defuse any possible U.S. military response targeting them or their camps, and to further protect Iran from similar attacks, the Iraqi PMU commanders, along with other Iran-backed political leaders, denied any link to an "operation" against U.S targets, saying that such a "reckless" act would only undermine the Iraqi government's efforts of de-escalation in the aftermath of the U.S. drone strike that killed IRGC Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi PMU deputy commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis. This report will examine reactions by the PMU, its affiliates, and pro-Iran Iraqi leaders and Iran-backed forces to the rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy: PMU: 'We Have Nothing To Do With It' The same day, Abu Ali Al-Basri, a senior leader in the PMU, said that "the group that attacked the U.S Embassy in Baghdad" represents only itself and that the PMU does not claim responsibility for any operation [of this kind]." He added: "Some parties are trying to drag the PMU into this case without providing any evidence." He went on to say that the PMU fighters are showing a high level of discipline, noting: "We have meetings with them [PMU fighters] to provide them with instructions. There is a high level of coordination between the PMU and [the Iraqi] security apparatus, and we are keen to maintain that, as like we were instructed by the martyr Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis."[1] PMU logo. [Source: Al-hashed.net] Hizbullah Brigades: 'Attack Embarrasses Iraqi Government' Also on January 27, the PMU member group Hizbullah Brigades issued a brief statement, saying: "The timing of the attack that targeted the U.S. Embassy of Evil is inappropriate; it may embarrass the Iraqi government."[2] Al-Nujaba: 'Targeting the U.S. Embassy Would Subject PMU Leaders To Similar Fate of Soleimani' Even though the PMU member group Al-Nujaba Movement has so far not issued a statement about the attack, its January 27 editorial on its website highlighted its Movement's concern that the attack on the U.S. Embassy might cost the PMU dearly. Titled "Targeting the U.S. Embassy is a reckless act," it said that the attack would provide an excuse for the Americans "to strike senior leaders in the PMU, just as they targeted the two martyrs Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani." It added that the attack on the embassy would embarrass the Iraqi government and push "the Sunni MPs to pursue their plan of forming a Sunni federal region." It concluded by condemning "the armed groups that decided to strike the U.S. Embassy," because by doing so they "they are contributing... to destroying the country."[3] Editorial on Al-Nujaba's website (Source: Alnujaba.com) Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq: 'The Rockets Used In The Attack Have Not Been Used By The Resistance [Groups] For Years Now' Also that day, the Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq movement denied any responsibility for the attack: "The rockets that targeted the Embassy of Evil in Baghdad is not the work of the Iraqi resistance factions." It added that the movement has "confirmed in the past that the resistance factions will not target the embassies and diplomatic missions in Iraq" and that the "the rockets used in the attack have not been used by the resistance [groups] for years now." The statement denigrated the attack on the embassy, saying that had the PMU wanted to target U.S. interests in Iraq, it would have taken much more powerful action. "We have emphasized previously that our response to the assassination of Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis will not be less than the reaction of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the assassination of Haj Qassem Soleimani."[4] PMU Leader Hadi Al-Amiri: 'Government Needs To Work Hard To Protect Embassies' Senior PMU leader Hadi Al-Amir, who also heads Fatah Alliance which is the second-largest political party in Iraq, and is the leader of the paramilitary Badr Organization, accused the Iraqi government of failing to adequately protect the diplomatic missions in the county. He noted in his January 27 statement: "The attack on the U.S. embassy last night is meant to obstruct the departure of foreign forces from Iraq," since "these acts of sabotage will only create a state of discord and thwart the Iraqi sovereignty project." He added: "We reject the attack on the embassies and foreign diplomatic missions in Iraq and we call on the government to work hard to protect diplomatic missions and expose those involved [in perpetrating them]."[5] Hadi Al-Amiri (Source: Alnujaba.com) Ammar Al-Hakim: 'Attack Undermines De-escalation Efforts' Al-Hikma leader Ammar Al-Hakim tweeted a statement the same day, saying that he "rejects any attack against diplomatic missions in Iraq," calling on all parties "to respect the decision of the Iraqi parliament to end the foreign military presence on Iraqi soil." He also noted: "The repeated targeting of diplomatic missions threatens the efforts to defuse the escalation, raises the potential of Iraq turning into a battleground, and undermines the people's calls for reforms."[6] Al-Hakim’s tweet (Source: Twitter.com) Nuri Al-Maliki: 'Iraq Needs To Avoid Escalation' Likewise, former Iraqi prime minister and leader of State Of Law parliamentary bloc Nuri Al-Maliki said in a January 27 statement that he rejected any attack on diplomatic missions in Iraq, and that in "this intense political time, there is a greater need to de-escalate the situation and strengthen Iraq's international relations on the basis of respect and mutual interests."[7] MP Faiq Sheikh Ali: 'Pro-Iran Militias Are Behind This Attack' On his part, Member of Parliament Faiq Al-Sheikh Ali, who is known for his anti-Iran sentiment, tweeted on January 27 that "the militias are malicious and sneaky, they are trembling with fear of America and of their [i.e. the militias'] leaders in Iran – but they harass America with missiles and then disavow their despicable act."   Ali’s tweet (Source: Twitter.com)   [1] Nasnews, , January 27, 2020. [2] Nasnews, January 27, 2020. [3] Alnujaba.com, January 27, 2020. [4] Alghadpress.com, , January 27, 2020. [5] Rudaw.net, January 27, 2020. [6] Twitter.com/Ammar_Alhakeem/status/1221732368626700288, January 27, 2020. [7] Nasnews.com, January 27, 2020.

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Al-Shabab's News Agency Posts Links To New Chatroom and Channel On WhatsApp And TamTam

January 27, 2020

On January 24, 2020, the official news agency of Al-Shabab, Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, posted links to its new WhatsApp chatroom and TamTam channel.

Source: TamTam, January 24, 2020.

 

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January 27, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8525

Iranian IRGC-Affiliated Journalists Claim Taliban Downed U.S. Spy Plane In Afghanistan, Hinting At Iranian Involvement

January 27, 2020
Afghanistan, Iran | Special Dispatch No. 8525
In exclusive reports, Iranian journalists affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) hinted at Iranian involvement in the crash today of a U.S. Air Force plane in the Ghazni region of Afghanistan. IRGC-affiliated Iranian journalist Hossein Dalirian reported that "high-ranking CIA members" were on board the aircraft, and added that it had been struck by a shoulder-mounted "9K32 Strela-2" anti-aircraft missile. Twitter.com/HosseinDalirian/status/1221812041381486594 Additionally, the headline of the January 28 issue of the Iranian regime mouthpiece Kayhan stated: " Taliban Downs American Military Plane, Dozens Of CIA Officers Went To Hell." Kayhan headline, article, and photos on upper right. January 28, 2020. The Taliban statement however, referred to the incident as a crash.  Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban which is currently engaged in peace talks with the U.S. in Doha, Qatar, said in a statement: "At around noon hours today [January 27, 2020], a special operations U.S. aircraft on intelligence gathering mission over Ghazni province crashed in Sado Khelo area of Deh Yak district. The aircraft was destroyed in the crash and all crew along with multiple senior CIA officials killed. It should be mentioned that a number of enemy aircraft and helicopters have been downed by mujahideen in Helmand, Balkh and other provinces of the country in recent days. The wreckage of the plane and corpses of dead are lying at the crash site."[1] The wreckage of the plane. Taliban photo, January 27, 2020. It should be noted that Iran fears a harsh U.S. response for any Iranian strike against Americans. and is attempting to distance itself from anti-U.S. attacks. At the same time, Iran is repeatedly declaring that it intends to deliver a powerful response to the U.S. and that its bombing of the Ain Al-Assad base in Iraq following the January 3, 2020 U.S. killing of IRGC Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani" was just the beginning. It appears that Iran's tactic is to carry out operations against the Americans via its proxies in Iraq and Afghanistan. On January 4, 2020, a Pakistani Urdu-language daily that is considered to be close to the Taliban reported that Soleimani's killing could be avenged in Afghanistan, and that "thousands of volunteers... trained by Gen. Qassem Soleimani are present" there.[2]  The following are reports by Iranian IRGC-affiliated journalists on the plane crash and their hints at Iranian involvement in it, and a warning to the U.S. by IRGC commander Gen. Hossein Salami that U.S. commanders are no longer safe. Iranian Journalists Hint At Iranian Involvement In Downing U.S. Plane In Afghanistan Hassan Soleimani, editor of the IRGC-affiliated Mashregh news website, hinted at Iranian involvement in the downing of the U.S. plane. As soon as the news broke, he tweeted: "We will attack them on the same level as they are attacking us." Twitter.com/HS_Soleimani, January 27, 2020 Additionally, the exiled Iranian journalist Behnam Gholipour, who used to write for the IRGC-affiliated Javan daily, hinted at Iranian involvement. He stated in two tweets: "The American Gulfstream plane was downed in Afghanistan by the Taliban. They say that intelligence officers were on board. This report has not yet been confirmed, but if it is, it is possible that the issue of Iran will also emerge in this case."  Twitter.com/beehnam/status/1221774062567018498 Two hours later, Gholipour tweeted: "The Taliban claims responsibility for the downing of the plane / Fars news agency. [Newly appointed IRGC Qods Force commander Esmail] Qaani has begun at his strong point – Afghanistan." Gholipour is referring to the fact that Qaani, previously Soleimani's deputy, has been in charge of the eastern front of the Iranian expansion – that is, the Afghanistan-Pakistan region – since the 1990s, and has an extensive relationship with the Taliban. Twitter.com/beehnam/status/1221805549366497282 IRGC Commander Salami: The Americans Will No Longer Be Safe Also today, IRGC commander Gen. Hossein Salami warned the U.S. that U.S. commanders were no longer safe: "The Americans, the Zionists, and others must know that if they threaten our commanders, there will be no safe place for their commanders... Our enemies must be careful what they do. If they want to continue this game, our responses will be completely different than they have been in the past, and the scope of the response will [also] be different. They will encounter very new circumstances that they will not be able to control... [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei stressed, in his orders appointing [Qods Force commander Esmail] Qaani, that the Qods Force plan now is to continue the Soleimani-era plan with greater energy..."[3] Qods Force commander Qaani (Source: Tabnak, Iran, January 3, 2020)   [1] See MEMRI JTTM report Taliban Spokesman On U.S. Plane Crash In Afghanistan: 'Enemy Aircraft And Helicopters Have Been Downed By Mujahideen In Helmand, Balkh And Other Provinces... In Recent Days', January 27, 2020. [2] See MEMRI JTTM report Urdu Daily Says Soleimani's Death Could Be Avenged In Afghanistan: 'Thousands Of Volunteers… Trained By General Qassem Soleimani Are Present In Afghanistan', January 8, 2020. [3] Mehr (Iran), January 27, 2020.

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Taliban Spokesman On U.S. Plane Crash In Afghanistan: 'Enemy Aircraft And Helicopters Have Been Downed By Mujahideen In Helmand, Balkh And Other Provinces... In Recent Days'

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January 27, 2020

Zabihullah Mujahid – the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization), which is currently engaged in peace talks with the U.S. in Doha, Qatar – has issued the following statement about an American plane that crashed in Deh Yak, a Taliban-controlled district in Afghanistan's...

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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.

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January 27, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8524

ISIS Spokesman Dismisses Trump's Declarations Of Annihilating ISIS, Declares War On Israel: 'Oh Soldiers Of The Caliphate Everywhere... Go For The Israeli Settlements And Marketplaces; Turn Them Into Lands For Testing Your Weapons... Attack The Jews And Slaughter Them'

January 27, 2020
Special Dispatch No. 8524
The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here. On January 27, 2020, the Islamic State (ISIS) released a new audio speech by its spokesman Abu Hamzah Al-Qurashi, produced by its media arm Al-Furqan and distributed on social media including Telegram and Hoop.[1] In the 37-minute speech Al-Qurashi delivers a defiant message: ISIS is not only surviving, despite the declarations by consecutive U.S. presidents that it was finished, but it is also expanding its war against its enemies and that war now spans the globe. Notable in the speech was Al-Qurashi's declaration of war on Israel, calling on ISIS extensions in the Sinai and Syria to attack it and urging Muslims to thwart the U.S. peace plan referred to as the "Deal of the Century." Urging ISIS fighters to step up their attacks, he called on Muslims everywhere to "emigrate" and join the ISIS branch nearest them. Following are the main points from the speech: "The Infidels Wish To Extinguish The Light Of Allah By Their Continuous Military And Media Campaigns" Abu Hamzah began: "The infidels wish to put out the light of Allah by their continuous military and media campaign against the monotheists, a total war on all fronts. For this they have mobilized their media channels and the turbans of evil, the scholars of the tyrants and the champions of depravity, in order to hurl the most vile faults and accusations against the Islamic State. They distort its true nature and its creed, and its jihad in defense of the religion and the community... "We say to America and to its Arab and non-Arab servants: You have been trying to fight the Islamic State since it was limited to Iraq... you repeatedly declared that you finished it off and you are surprised each time to see, after all of your declarations, the continuance of its activity and the attacks of its soldiers..." The New ISIS Leader "Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashemi Al-Qurashi... Has Taken Upon Himself And Upon The Mujahideen... To Wage War Against The Jews And Regain What They Stole From The Muslims" He then reviewed the history of ISIS and its predecessor groups, from Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi to the establishment of the Islamic State in Iraq under the leadership of Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi and on to its expansion to Syria and its conquests in Iraq under Al-Baghdadi, the declaration of the caliphate, and the global expansion of the "Islamic State." Throughout his review, he repeatedly emphasized the devotion to Bayt Al-Maqdis, Jerusalem, as a symbol for Palestine in its entirety. He then declared: "Today we have begun a new stage in our war against you. The eyes of the soldiers of the caliphate everywhere are still turned toward Bayt Al-Maqdis. In the coming days, with Allah's permission, there will be events that will cause you to forget the horrors you have seen during the time of the previous leaders, Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi, and Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. Our jihad shall continue, with Allah's permission. The honorable, heroic sheikh, the commander of the faithful and the caliph of the Muslims, Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashemi Al-Qurashi has arrived. We pray to Allah that He will torment you, take vengeance upon you and punish you severely. "He [Abu Ibrahim] has taken upon himself and upon the mujahideen in the rest of the [ISIS] provinces, and upon the Muslims in all countries, a new stage, which is to wage war against the Jews and regain what they stole from the Muslims – which will be returned only by a book that guides [the Quran] and a victorious sword – and the conquest of Bayt Al-Maqdis and the passing on of the banner to Muhammad bin Abdallah, the Mahdi, with Allah's permission." "Oh Soldiers Of The Caliphate Everywhere... Go For The Israeli Settlements And Marketplaces; Turn Them Into Lands For Testing Your Weapons... Attack The Jews And Slaughter Them" Calling on ISIS in the Sinai and in Syria to attack Israeli villages with all weapons at their disposal, he said: "Oh soldiers of the caliphate everywhere, especially in beloved Sinai and blessed Syria, go for the Israeli settlements and marketplaces. Turn them into lands for testing your weapons and chemical rockets and other types [of weapons]. To the Muslims in Palestine and all countries: Be a spearhead in the war against the Jews and in thwarting their plans and their 'Deal of the Century.' Pay no heed to the Hamas of apostasy and collaboration and its ilk, the factions of shame, the dogs of Iran and its base, foolish servants. They produce nothing but slogans and condemnations, in the swamps of apostasy and depravity, and offer condolences for the commanders of the Zoroastrians [the Iranians] who tormented the Sunnis, such as the slain Safavid [Iranian] Qassem Soleimani, Allah's curse on him.                 "We call upon you to join the soldiers of the caliphate, who are exerting themselves to remove the borders and the obstacles standing between them and fighting the Jews, who are determined, with Allah's permission, to topple the armies and bring down the thrones, formed by the Crusaders to be a protecting force for the Israelites, and incite their brothers everywhere to attack the Jews and slaughter them, inside Palestine and outside Palestine, and kill them wherever they can find them..." "Oh Tyrants Of America And Worshippers Of The Cross... Are You Not Ashamed To Declare, For The Past 15 Years, That You Have Finished Off" ISIS?  Addressing the governments of the U.S. and its allies, Al-Qurashi dismissed their declarations that they had defeated ISIS: "Oh tyrants of America and worshippers of the Cross: Search for something else in which to rejoice other than your claims of finishing off the Islamic State. We say the dog of the Rum [the Byzantines, the Christian West], Trump: The two dogs who ruled America before you, Bush and Obama, also claimed and declared that they had finished off the Islamic State, on numerous occasions. Are you not ashamed to declare, for the past 15 years, that you have finished off the monotheists? Your war was once limited to Iraq; now, with Allah's grace, it has spread across the world, to Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Sinai, to Libya and Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, to the Caucasus, to West and Central Africa, to Tunisia and Algeria..." "If you include in your calculations that you managed to win a battle, and that the mujahideen withdrew from it, know that the entire matter is in the hands of Allah... Allah is merely testing his worshippers, to differentiate those who are sincere in their jihad from the insincere ones...                                                                                            "Oh fool of the Rum, oh you who showed off your dog in the media and honored him while refraining from mentioned your soldiers and their participation [in the operation to kill Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi]... die in your rage! Your dreams and hopes of finishing off ISIS are nothing but an illusion..." Turning next to address the ISIS fighters, Al-Qurashi commended them for pledging allegiance to the organization's new leader: "Oh lions of the caliphate and bearers of the banner everywhere, we congratulate you for pledging allegiance to the commander of the faithful and the caliph of the Muslims, the jihad fighter, the sheikh Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashemi Al-Qurashi, may Allah protect him." He also made a point of congratulating ISIS's media outlets and activists for pledging allegiance to the new leader and for the continuous efforts in face of the campaign against ISIS in waged by the media and establishment Muslim scholars. ISIS Fighters Must "Double The Activity And Increase The Strikes... Turn The Infidels' Joy Into Funerals, And Lie In Wait For Them Everywhere" Congratulating the ISIS fighters on their attacks to avenge the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, he urged them to redouble their efforts and attacks against ISIS's enemies: "We order you to double the activity and increase the strikes. Write down the targets, draw up plans and boobytrap the roads, lay down IEDs, and spread out snipers and kill with silencers. Turn the infidels' joy into funerals, and lie in wait for them everywhere..." He urged ISIS fighters everywhere to remain steadfast in these times that are so trying for them, particularly mentioning those in Afghanistan. ISIS's War Against Iran Is Not Ended To the "Rafidite" Iran, and by extension the Iraqi government, Al-Qurashi asserted that that ISIS's war against them was not ended, despite their governments' claim of defeating ISIS in Iraq. The conflict in Iraq, he said, had merely entered a new stage, and Iraq's "cannon and planes" would be of no avail in their fight against ISIS. He warned: "Touch your necks and don your shrouds before you go to sleep." He urges them not to be overconfident, saying that the U.S., with whose support the Iraqi militias had previously fought, has begun to "target you and eliminate your defiled commanders" – a reference to the targeted killing of IRGC Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi PMU deputy commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis. Mocking Iran's response to the U.S. strike that killed the two, Al-Qurashi stated: "Your response was nothing more than smashing the glass of the Crusader American embassy in Baghdad, in the manner of your wretched slaves, the apostate Hamas movement, and, like Hizb Al-Lat [a pejorative term for Hizbullah] with the Jews – empty statements and speeches." Ridiculing the Iraqi government's threat to force U.S. troops out of the country as beyond its capabilities, he asked: "Can a lowly, miserable slave like you drive out his Crusader master?" He asserted that the ones truly capable of driving the U.S. out of Iraq are the ISIS fighters, since, he said, they had forced the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq about a decade ago and had "made [the U.S.] army – by Allah's goodness – withdraw from the regions of the Sunnis in their underwear because of their fear of facing them [ISIS fighters]." The Syrian Democratic Forces Are Doomed Addressing "the males of the atheist Kurds, America's hunting dogs and slaves," he stated that their success against ISIS was due only to the support provided by the U.S.-led coalition's airstrikes. The Syrian Democratic Forces, he said, would be doomed after the imminent U.S. withdrawal from Syria, and its attempts to reconcile with the Assad regime and obtain the help of its Russian allies would not protect it from ISIS's vengeance. He went on to warn that the local tribes in Syria that had collaborated with ISIS's enemies by providing information about its operatives would sooner or later face ISIS's vengeance if they did not repent, adding: "We receive the lists of your names from the good people in your areas." ISIS, he promised, would accept the repentance of those who stop collaborating with its enemies, but those who "repent" and are later "apostatized" will be legitimate targets for retaliation. Al-Qurashi also reassured ISIS prisoners that ISIS had not forgotten them and that the organization would do all in its power to obtain their release. He urged them to stand fast and to accept their fate until that happened. Muslims Worldwide Must Immigrate To The Nearest ISIS Province And Join A Military Training Camp Finally, addressing Muslims worldwide, Al-Qurashi urged them to immigrate to the nearest ISIS province and there join one an ISIS military training camp. In conclusion, he exhorted ISIS fighters to not rely on their own strength and abilities and reminded them that no matter how much great their efforts, success and victory come only with the help of Allah. He also cautioned them against getting involved in strife and internal division.   [1] Telegram, January 27, 2020.

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ISIS Spokesman Dismisses Trump's Declarations Of Annihilating ISIS, Declares War On Israel: 'Oh Soldiers Of The Caliphate Everywhere... Go For The Israeli Settlements And Marketplaces; Turn Them Into Lands For Testing Your Weapons... Attack The Jews And Slaughter Them'

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January 27, 2020
The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here. On January 27, 2020, the Islamic State (ISIS) released a new audio speech by its spokesman Abu Hamzah Al-Qurashi, produced by its media arm Al-Furqan and distributed on social media including Telegram and Hoop.[1] In the 37-minute speech Al-Qurashi delivers a defiant message: ISIS is not only surviving, despite the declarations by consecutive U.S. presidents that it was finished, but it is also expanding its war against its enemies and that war now spans the globe. Notable in the speech was Al-Qurashi's declaration of war on Israel, calling on ISIS extensions in the Sinai and Syria to attack it and urging Muslims to thwart the U.S. peace plan referred to as the "Deal of the Century." Urging ISIS fighters to step up their attacks, he called on Muslims everywhere to "emigrate" and join the ISIS branch nearest them. Following are the main points from the speech: "The Infidels Wish To Extinguish The Light Of Allah By Their Continuous Military And Media Campaigns" Abu Hamzah began: "The infidels wish to put out the light of Allah by their continuous military and media campaign against the monotheists, a total war on all fronts. For this they have mobilized their media channels and the turbans of evil, the scholars of the tyrants and the champions of depravity, in order to hurl the most vile faults and accusations against the Islamic State. They distort its true nature and its creed, and its jihad in defense of the religion and the community... "We say to America and to its Arab and non-Arab servants: You have been trying to fight the Islamic State since it was limited to Iraq... you repeatedly declared that you finished it off and you are surprised each time to see, after all of your declarations, the continuance of its activity and the attacks of its soldiers..." The New ISIS Leader "Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashemi Al-Qurashi... Has Taken Upon Himself And Upon The Mujahideen... To Wage War Against The Jews And Regain What They Stole From The Muslims" He then reviewed the history of ISIS and its predecessor groups, from Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi to the establishment of the Islamic State in Iraq under the leadership of Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi and on to its expansion to Syria and its conquests in Iraq under Al-Baghdadi, the declaration of the caliphate, and the global expansion of the "Islamic State." Throughout his review, he repeatedly emphasized the devotion to Bayt Al-Maqdis, Jerusalem, as a symbol for Palestine in its entirety. He then declared: "Today we have begun a new stage in our war against you. The eyes of the soldiers of the caliphate everywhere are still turned toward Bayt Al-Maqdis. In the coming days, with Allah's permission, there will be events that will cause you to forget the horrors you have seen during the time of the previous leaders, Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi, and Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. Our jihad shall continue, with Allah's permission. The honorable, heroic sheikh, the commander of the faithful and the caliph of the Muslims, Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashemi Al-Qurashi has arrived. We pray to Allah that He will torment you, take vengeance upon you and punish you severely. "He [Abu Ibrahim] has taken upon himself and upon the mujahideen in the rest of the [ISIS] provinces, and upon the Muslims in all countries, a new stage, which is to wage war against the Jews and regain what they stole from the Muslims – which will be returned only by a book that guides [the Quran] and a victorious sword – and the conquest of Bayt Al-Maqdis and the passing on of the banner to Muhammad bin Abdallah, the Mahdi, with Allah's permission." "Oh Soldiers Of The Caliphate Everywhere... Go For The Israeli Settlements And Marketplaces; Turn Them Into Lands For Testing Your Weapons... Attack The Jews And Slaughter Them" Calling on ISIS in the Sinai and in Syria to attack Israeli villages with all weapons at their disposal, he said: "Oh soldiers of the caliphate everywhere, especially in beloved Sinai and blessed Syria, go for the Israeli settlements and marketplaces. Turn them into lands for testing your weapons and chemical rockets and other types [of weapons]. To the Muslims in Palestine and all countries: Be a spearhead in the war against the Jews and in thwarting their plans and their 'Deal of the Century.' Pay no heed to the Hamas of apostasy and collaboration and its ilk, the factions of shame, the dogs of Iran and its base, foolish servants. They produce nothing but slogans and condemnations, in the swamps of apostasy and depravity, and offer condolences for the commanders of the Zoroastrians [the Iranians] who tormented the Sunnis, such as the slain Safavid [Iranian] Qassem Soleimani, Allah's curse on him.                 "We call upon you to join the soldiers of the caliphate, who are exerting themselves to remove the borders and the obstacles standing between them and fighting the Jews, who are determined, with Allah's permission, to topple the armies and bring down the thrones, formed by the Crusaders to be a protecting force for the Israelites, and incite their brothers everywhere to attack the Jews and slaughter them, inside Palestine and outside Palestine, and kill them wherever they can find them..." "Oh Tyrants Of America And Worshippers Of The Cross... Are You Not Ashamed To Declare, For The Past 15 Years, That You Have Finished Off" ISIS?  Addressing the governments of the U.S. and its allies, Al-Qurashi dismissed their declarations that they had defeated ISIS: "Oh tyrants of America and worshippers of the Cross: Search for something else in which to rejoice other than your claims of finishing off the Islamic State. We say the dog of the Rum [the Christians], Trump: The two dogs who ruled America before you, Bush and Obama, also claimed and declared that they had finished off the Islamic State, on numerous occasions. Are you not ashamed to declare, for the past 15 years, that you have finished off the monotheists? Your war was once limited to Iraq; now, with Allah's grace, it has spread across the world, to Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Sinai, to Libya and Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, to the Caucasus, to West and Central Africa, to Tunisia and Algeria..." "If you include in your calculations that you managed to win a battle, and that the mujahideen withdrew from it, know that the entire matter is in the hands of Allah... Allah is merely testing his worshippers, to differentiate those who are sincere in their jihad from the insincere ones...                                                                                            "Oh fool of the Rum, oh you who showed off your dog in the media and honored him while refraining from mentioned your soldiers and their participation [in the operation]... die in your rage! Your dreams and hopes of finishing off ISIS are nothing but an illusion..." Turning next to address the ISIS fighters, Al-Qurashi commended them for pledging allegiance to the organization's new leader and encouraged them to step up attacks against ISIS's enemies: "Oh lions of the caliphate and bearers of the banner everywhere, we congratulate you for pledging allegiance to the commander of the faithful and the caliph of the Muslims, the jihad fighter, the sheikh Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashemi Al-Qurashi, may Allah protect him." He also made a point of congratulating ISIS's media outlets and activists for pledging allegiance to the new leader and for the continuous efforts in face of the campaign against ISIS in waged by the media and establishment Muslim scholars. ISIS Fighters Must "Double The Activity And Increase The Strikes... Turn The Infidels' Joy Into Funerals, And Lie In Wait For Them Everywhere" Congratulating the ISIS fighters on their attacks to avenge the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, he urged them to redouble their efforts and attacks: "We order you to double the activity and increase the strikes. Write down the targets, draw up plans and boobytrap the roads, lay down IEDs, and spread out snipers and kill with silencers. Turn the infidels' joy into funerals, and lie in wait for them everywhere..." He urged ISIS fighters everywhere to remain steadfast in these times that are so trying for them, particularly mentioning those in Afghanistan. ISIS's War Against Iran Is Not Ended To the "Rafidite" Iran, and by extension the Iraqi government, Al-Qurashi asserted that that ISIS's war against them was not ended, despite their governments' claim of defeating ISIS in Iraq. The conflict in Iraq, he said, had merely entered a new stage, and Iraq's "cannon and planes" would be of no avail in their fight against ISIS. He warned: "Touch your necks and don your shrouds before you go to sleep." He urges them not to be overconfident, saying that the U.S., with whose support the Iraqi militias had previously fought, has begun to "target you and eliminate your defiled commanders" – a reference to the targeted killing of IRGC Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi PMU deputy commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis. Mocking Iran's response to the U.S. strike that killed the two, Al-Qurashi stated: "Your response was nothing more than smashing the glass of the Crusader American embassy in Baghdad, in the manner of your wretched slaves, the apostate Hamas movement, and, like Hizb Al-Lat [a pejorative term for Hizbullah] with the Jews – empty statements and speeches." Ridiculing the Iraqi government's threat to force U.S. troops out of the country as beyond its capabilities, he asked: "Can a lowly, miserable slave like you drive out his Crusader master?" He asserted that the ones truly capable of driving the U.S. out of Iraq are the ISIS fighters, since, he said, they had forced the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq about a decade ago and had "made [the U.S.] army – by Allah's goodness – withdraw from the regions of the Sunnis in their underwear because of their fear of facing them [ISIS fighters]." The Syrian Democratic Forces Are Doomed Addressing "the males of the atheist Kurds, America's hunting dogs and slaves," he stated that their success against ISIS was due only to the support provided by the U.S.-led coalition's airstrikes. The Syrian Democratic Forces, he said, would be doomed after the imminent U.S. withdrawal from Syria, and its attempts to reconcile with the Assad regime and obtain the help of its Russian allies would not protect it from ISIS's vengeance. He went on to warn that the local tribes in Syria that had collaborated with government forces by providing information about ISIS operatives would sooner or later face ISIS's vengeance if they did not repent, adding: "We receive the lists of your names from the good people in your areas." ISIS, he promised, would accept the repentance of those who stop collaborating with the government, but those who "repent" and are later "apostatized" will be legitimate targets for retaliation. Al-Qurashi also reassured ISIS prisoners that ISIS had not forgotten them and that the organization would do all in its power to obtain their release. He urged them to stand fast and to accept their fate until that happened. Muslims Worldwide Must Immigrate To The Nearest ISIS Province And Join A Military Training Camp Finally, addressing Muslims worldwide, Al-Qurashi urged them to immigrate to the nearest ISIS province and there join one an ISIS military training camp. In conclusion, he exhorted ISIS fighters to not rely on their own strength and abilities and reminded them that no matter how much great their efforts, success and victory come only with the help of Allah. He also cautioned them against getting involved in strife and internal division.   [1] Telegram, January 27, 2020.

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