March 7, 2016 Special Dispatch No. 6340

Following MEMRI's Exclusive Publication Of ISIS Fighter's Letter To Al-Baghdadi, ISIS Activists Protest Breach Of Security

March 7, 2016
Special Dispatch No. 6340

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

MEMRI's exclusive publication of the letter by Gazan ISIS fighter Abu 'Abdallah Al-Muhajir, in which he complained to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi about the cooperation between ISIS-Sinai and Hamas, caused a stir among the organization's  operatives in Sinai and its supporters in Gaza. (For the letter, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6334, Exclusive: Letter By ISIS Fighter To Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Reveals ISIS-Sinai's Ties To Hamas, March 2, 2016).

After MEMRI exposed the letter and published a comprehensive translation of its contents, ISIS operatives in Sinai accused Gaza-based social media activists of breaching internet security and promised to hold them accountable for their indiscretion.

Abu 'Abdallah Al-Muhajir himself removed the letter from and replaced it with a clarification, in which he did not retract his claims he had made in his letter but rather reiterated them. He wrote that he was sorry the letter had been widely distributed and used to defame ISIS. However, he was pleased that the issue had been brought to the attention of "concerned parties" in the organization, and expressed confidence that Al-Baghdadi would take care of the problem. Abu 'Abdallah also lashed out at the pro-ISIS media group Al-Nusra Al-Maqdisiyya for criticizing him, and challenged it to disprove the truth of the letter's contents.

Posting A Screenshot Of MEMRI's Report, ISIS-Sinai Activist Slams Those Who Wrote And Disseminated The Letter

On February 29, 2016, a supporter of ISIS-Sinai on Twitter who calls himself Al-Muhajir (@almohajer_3bk) rebuked the author of the letter and those who had disseminated it - specifically the Tameh Al-Ghazawi Twitter account (@t4560xcvx), which was the first to post the letter but later removed it.[1] Al-Muhajir wrote that "the publication of lies, the spreading of false rumors, and neglect of the monotheists' security" are a mark of shame that will stick to all those who wrote the letter and spread it.  

On March 3, he added: "The Tameh Al-Ghazawi account belongs to the Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center.[2] The Center [will be held responsible for] participating in the dissemination of lies and false rumors until it issues a clarification about this."

Posting a screenshot of the MEMRI report about the letter alongside a screenshot of Tameh Al-Ghazawi's  post, he wrote of Tameh Al-Ghazawi: "He is [like] the man who goes out of his house and tells a lie that spreads [beyond] the horizons. [For every illness there is cure] except for foolishness which tires whoever tries to cure it. Copies [of this post have been sent]  to the Ibn Taymiyyah Center and to Tameh Al-Ghazawi."

The administrators of the Tameh Al-Ghazawi account replied on Facebook: "The strongest response to those who make shrill [complaints] is not answering them [at all]. Since they represent themselves only[3] - the caravan moves on..."[4]

Al-Muhajir's March 3 post features a screenshot of MEMRI's report on the letter

Al-Muhajir replied: "I do not expect any response from you, for you are merely a tool. My message is [addressed] to the one who is behind you, and both he and you know [what I'm talking about]. Rest assured, the matter will not remain like this [i.e., without a response]."

The Letter's Author: Had We Known The Letter Would Be Used To Defame ISIS, We Would Have Practiced Restraint

As stated, Abu 'Abdallah Al-Muhajir removed his letter from and posted a clarification in its stead. He wrote: "I published the letter on behalf of my brothers and in support of our oppressed brothers in Gaza. It was a form of sincere advice to the Caliph of the Muslims, and a as a public mention of evil by one who has been wronged [Quran 4, 148].

"However, we cannot allow it to be used as an instrument to defame the Islamic State. We renounce before Allah anyone who used our letter and our complaint to defame the Islamic State... I was astonished when the brothers told me that this webpage [i.e., the letter on] had been viewed thousands of times. The tragedy is that Israeli websites have copied the words in order to defame the Islamic State. This is what we were afraid of. This is precisely why we wrote the complaint and the letter, so that the [Islamic] State will not be sorry when the matter develops and spreads, and after it grows and it becomes impossible to correct.

"For that reason [we] removed the [letter of] complaint... after we learned that... it had reached the concerned parties and after we made sure that the matter would be completely resolved, with Allah's permission, by the Caliph Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, may Allah protect him.

"I repeat and reiterate: the goal [of the letter] was to deliver the brothers in Gaza from the oppression and marginalization they are suffering, and put an end to the illegitimate ties with the Ikhwani [i.e., Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated] apostate Hamas movement. Had we known that the matter would be used to defame the Islamic State, we would have practiced restraint and advised our brothers [in Gaza] to endure the Sinai Province's transgression against them [i.e., its ties with Hamas], and we would not have opened the door for maligning the Islamic State. May Allah forgive the [Sinai] Province and pardon it, for it is responsible for everything  that has happened, due to its odd, illegitimate deeds, first and foremost [the act of] betraying the people of tawhid [monotheism] in Gaza, abandoning them and establishing ties with [Hamas, which is] the enemy of Allah and their own enemy."

Abu 'Abdallah Al-Muhajir concludes his clarification by lashing out at the pro-ISIS Gazan media group Al-Nusra Al-Maqdisiyya, which rebuked him for publishing the letter: "Sadly, Al-Nusra Al-Maqdisiyya took the stance of a deceiver who conceals the truth and covers up violations of the shari'a of which he is well aware... [Acts of] covering up [transgressions] and [spreading] propaganda are the complete opposite of supporting the Caliphate State. The matter goes beyond slandering me as an individual and accusing me and my migrant brothers [Gazans who went to Syria to join ISIS] of lies and fabrications... In short, I address Al-Nusra Al-Maqdisiyya, who rushed to create a flashy poster to defame me and my brothers, the authors of the complaint, and say to you: If you are sincere in what you published in response to the complaint, then my brothers and I challenge you to a mubahala [a traditional verbal duel in which each side invites Allah to curse the party that is lying]..."

[1] The letter was later disseminated elsewhere, including by Al-Qaeda supporters.

[2] Founded in 2011, The Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center is a media group that serves the Salafi-jihadi movement in Gaza.

[3] This is a direct reference to Al-Muhajir, whose Twitter profile description reads "I represent myself only."

[4], March 3, 2016.


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