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June 3, 2007 Special Dispatch No. 1609

Islamist Websites Monitor #103-107

June 3, 2007
Special Dispatch No. 1609

Islamist Websites Monitor No. 103

Mujahideen in Ain Al-Hilweh Establish a New Jihad Group to Fight against the Lebanese Government

On May 23, 2007, Islamist websites posted a communiqué by a group of mujahideen from the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain Al-Hilweh in Lebanon. The communiqué, which was issued by GIMF, accuses that the Lebanese government and military are massacring Muslims in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr Al-Bared in the north of the country. It is further stated that the U.S. and the Saudi regime have sanctioned the massacre, which indicates that it is "part of a crusade against Islam and the Muslims."

The message then announces the establishment of a jihad group in Ain Al-Hilweh which will retaliate for the "disgusting crimes [committed] in the Nahr Al-Bared refugee camp," and threatens the Lebanese government that the "fighting will spread if the Crusaders and apostates continue their attacks [against] our people in the north." The communiqué warns the Fatah members in Lebanon not to fight against the organization Fath Al-Islam, "otherwise we will fiercely attack [the Fatah activists]... in Ain Al-Hilweh." The message ends with a call on all Muslims in the Lebanese refugee camps to pick up their arms and defend Islam and Muslims.

Fath Al-Islam Calls on Muslims throughout the World to Join It in the Battle against the "Enemies of Allah"

On May 21, 2007, Islamist websites posted a communiqué by the Lebanese Palestinian organization Fath Al-Islam. In the message, Fath Al-Islam identifies itself as a Salafi organization[1] and calls on the Muslims throughout the world to help it in its war against the "enemies of Allah," who, it threatens, are about to meet a tragic and bitter end.

The following are excerpts:

"This is a call to the soldiers of Allah wherever they be... Your brothers ask you to help them and support them in every possible way... Our way is [the way] of the Koran and of the Prophet's Sunna, according to the Salafi tradition of the Islamic nation...

"[Enemies] from all over the world have attacked us just because we have raised the banner of monotheism... Oh descendents of the [Muslim] conquerors, hurry up and show the world what support for Allah [looks like] when you are joined in battle by someone who [fights] at your side, and by someone who is willing to sacrifice himself in order to help you...

For you, enemies of Allah, [we have] an announcement that will upset you: We swear that a most difficult battle awaits you... We will bring so much death upon you that a plague will seem desirable [to you]... You are the essence of depravity and evil, and your fate will be similar to that of the People of the Sabbath [i.e., the Jews]...

Our [Muslim] brothers, if you are weary of hearing words of condemnation and blame... and you long to hear the sound of the swords of the Lions [i.e., the mujahideen]... come and help us in any way you can.

And you, apostate leaders and minions of the Devil... the knights of Allah have reached you, and they are attacking you [everywhere], from the land of Al-Sham[2] to Jerusalem, and all over the world. The hour of revenge has come. The head of heresy will soon be cast down and we will step on the necks of the infidels..."

In New Video, Al-Zawahiri Eulogizes Taliban Commander Mullah Dadullah

On May 23, 2007, Al-Qaeda's media production company Al-Sahab posted a 6-minute video by Ayman Al-Zawahiri in which he eulogizes Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah, recently killed in Afghanistan. The video, which is accompanied by English subtitles, shows a still image of Al-Zawahiri and footage of Dadullah, while Al-Zawahiri's message is heard in the background.

Following are its main points.

Al-Zawahiri first praises the courage of Dadullah, whom he calls "the leader of martyrdom-seekers," saying that he "died amongst his troops while leading an attack against the Crusaders and their helpers, aimed at purging the soil of Afghanistan of their defilement." Next, Al-Zawahiri assures the mujahideen that Dadullah's death does not mean the death of jihad, since Dadullah left behind him "hundreds of martyrdom-seekers who anxiously await the order to attack the Crusaders and their helpers." He adds that, "if the [death] of the Emir of the martyrdom-seekers, Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, marked the beginning of the dreadful collapse of the Americans in Iraq, then the martyrdom of... Mullah Dadullah shall break the back of the Crusaders... in Afghanistan and hasten their imminent defeat..." Lastly, Al-Zawahiri addresses Mullah Omar, saying: "[Though] the martyrdom of your brother Dadullah is hard on the Muslims, it heralds [our] victory."

The video can be viewed at:

http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ClipMediaID=868795&ak=null

Below are images from the video:

[1] Salafism is the tradition of following in the footsteps of the early believers of the Prophet Muhammad's generation.

[2] Historically, the area known as Al-Sham covered Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.


Islamist Websites Monitor No. 104

Audio Message by Emir of Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad in Syria

On May 27, 2007, Islamist websites posted a 45-minute audio message by Abu Jandal, the Emir of the jihad group Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad in Syria. The following are the main points of the message.

In the first part of his address, Abu Jandal presents the organization's guiding principles. He declares, for example, that the group regards jihad as a religious duty which exists even "in the absence of an Imam or an Islamic state." The goal of jihad, he adds, is first of all to liberate the Sunnis in Syria from the "decades-long, malicious occupation by the Nusairi [i.e. the Alawis], which... has violated the sanctities of Islam and the [Muslims'] honor [as part of] an evil plan concocted by the Nusairi Hafez Al-Assad... The killing of a Nusairi takes precedence over the killing of all other [unbelievers], since their heresy is confirmed by all Muslim scholars."

In the second part of the message, Abu Jandal addresses the Sunnis in Syria, urging them to fight the "Nusairi regime" in order to render the religion of Allah supreme. He cites various legal authorities who assert that unbelief is worse than civil strife (fitna), and says: "There is no point in talking to the Nusairis, [since] they understand only the language of raids, assassinations and violation of sanctities... [This is evident from] the massacres of Hama and Halab [Aleppo], and [especially] from the suppression of the Kurdish rebellion, during which the evil Syrian troops and intelligence [services] killed demonstrators using live ammunition."

Next, Abu Jandal addresses Muslim scholars affiliated with the Syrian regime, and criticizes them for cooperating and fraternizing with Syrian officials who were involved in the killing of Sunnis in Syria. He warns the Mufti of Syria, Ahmad Hasun, not to cooperate with the regime since the latter will only betray him as it did many other dignitaries. Abu Jandal also makes a death threat against the members of the Syrian intelligence agencies. He states that their end is near, and calls their attention to the fate of the National Guards in Iraq who are killed every day by the soldiers of the Islamic State of Iraq.

In the final and most lengthy part of the message, Abu Jandal addresses Syrian President Bashar Assad, denouncing his religious and political policies and threatening him with a lengthy guerrilla war. He says: "You [Assad] are an infidel, because you have passed laws... [that are different from those of] Allah... because you have permitted what is forbidden and forbidden what is allowed... You must be killed because you fought Allah, His Messenger and the believers..." Abu Jandal accuses Assad of opening the borders to Shi'ites from Lebanon and Iraq while closing them to Sunni Palestinians and Syrians "fleeing from the hell in Iraq." At the end of the message, he elaborates on the corrupt nature of the Alawi regime, naming specific officials and describing their crimes.

Commander of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan: "Our Current Plan Is to Spur the Muslims to Kill Jews and Crusaders"

On May 26, 2007, Islamist websites posted a 42-minute video presenting an interview with the new commander of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, Sheikh Mustafa Abu Yazid, known as Sheikh Sa'id. The video was produced by Al-Sahab and is subtitled in English. It introduces Abu Yazid as a fighter who arrived in Afghanistan in 1988, took part in the establishment of Al-Qaeda in 1989, and is a member of the organization's Shura Council. The following are excerpts from the interview:

Abu Yazid states that "the condition of jihad in Afghanistan is steadily improving. During the winter, the jihad fighters trained and prepared their ranks for an attack on the oppressing enemy. [The attack will take place in the summer], which will be a season of victory for the jihad fighters and defeat for the Crusader enemies... The support for the jihad fighters among the [Afghan] population is almost absolute, especially in the southern and eastern provinces... [There are] hundreds of volunteers for martyrdom operations..."

About the jihad fighters' current plans, and about the deaths of Al-Qaeda leaders and its effect on the organization, Abu Yazid says: "The Islamic [lands] are occupied from East to West... In this situation, jihad becomes the personal duty of each and every Muslim... Our current plan is to spur all the Muslims in all the Islamic lands to kill Jews and Crusaders... Jihad will continue until the Day of Judgment, and the martyrdom of a few commanders will not stop us... Al-Qaeda absorbs the losses and [replaces] the commanders [that are killed]."

In response to the claim that Al-Qaeda's popularity is steadily waning, Abu Yazid says: "Those who say this must understand that Al-Qaeda is not an isolated party or an entity separate from the [Islamic] nation. On the contrary, [Al-Qaeda] is the nation itself, which trains and educates its sons to produce lions of jihad whose role is to crush the enemy of the Islamic nation: America."

Next, Abu Yazid calls on the jihad fighters to unite their ranks, "for in unity lies the strength needed for victory." He advises them to "be patient and to persist in the path [of jihad], whatever the hardships, since it is the path of truth taken by the Prophet Muhammad." He also advised them "to be fierce with the infidels but merciful among themselves [i.e., towards the Muslims]." Addressing the jihad fighters in Iraq, he advises them to learn a lesson from what happened in Afghanistan and join their brothers in the Islamic State of Iraq even before the invaders withdraw.

Finally, Abu Yazid addresses the American people and says: "Islam is a faith of mercy and peace, but only towards those who are [themselves] merciful and want peace. Towards the infidels... and towards arrogant tyrants like Bush and his administration, it is a religion of might, power and determination... Since you have begun to realize the sort of hell and death that [Bush] is leading you to, we call on you to continue exerting pressure on him... for your own sake and your own safety. We also call upon you to join the Islamic faith, since it is the true faith."

The video can be viewed at http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ClipMediaID=883567&ak=null.

Below are images from the video:

Message by Abu Laith Al-Libi

On May 24, 2007 Al-Qaeda's media company Al-Sahab posted an 11-minute video by Sheikh Abu Laith Al-Libi, Al-Qaeda's commander in Afghanistan, titled "Countering the War of Imprisonment." Abu Laith's address – which is subtitled in English and is accompanied by still images of Abu Laith and of the imprisoned Islamist sheikh Abd Al-Rahman – is part of an Islamist campaign to release mujahideen held in prisons around the world.

Abu Laith states that the "infidels" are waging a "war of prisons and captivity" against the mujahideen, and are incarcerating large numbers of Muslims as part of a deliberate policy to gain, through "coercion and repression," what they have failed to gain through "debate and persuasion." Next, he describes what he calls the harsh conditions at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and Baghram prisons. He urges the Muslims to follow the Prophet's tradition of redeeming prisoners of war by paying ransom, or by exchanging them for soldiers captured on the battlefield or for people kidnapped for that purpose "on a road, in a valley, or on a mountain trail." He declares that Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is willing to exchange prisoners with any government or army that is holding mujahideen in custody. Among the imprisoned mujahideen he mentions Abu Qatada Al-Falastini, Sheikh Omar Abd Al-Rahman, Sheikh Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi, Sheikh Suleiman Al-Alwan and Sheikh Abu Mundhir Al-Sa'adi.

The video can be viewed at:

http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ClipMediaID=877084&ak=null

Al-Zawahiri: Dadullah's Death – Good Tidings for Victory

In a new video message, Al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri warns the U.S. and NATO that "if the martyrdom of... Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi was the beginning of the dreadful breakdown of the Americans in Iraq, the martyrdom of... Mullah Dadullah shall break the back of the Crusaders... in Afghanistan, and hasten their imminent defeat..."

On Islamist Websites, Solidarity With Fatah Al-Islam In Lebanon

The Islamist websites are expressing solidarity with the Fatah Al-Islam organization in Lebanon. For example, www.al-boraq.com posted, on its home page, a banner congratulating Fatah Al-Islam, while www.alnusra.net posted, at the top of its home page, a communiqué calling on jihad preachers in Lebanon to help their jihad-fighting brothers in the Nahr Al-Bared camp, because "the infidel Lebanese army is destroying houses of Allah in the Nahr Al-Bared camp and is killing Muslims [even though] their blood is forbidden."


Islamist Websites Monitor No. 105

A Poem by Al-Maqdisi on the Occasion of His Father's Death

On May 29, 2007, an Islamist website posted an Arabic poem written by Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi, the mentor of Al-Zarqawi and a spiritual leader of the jihadist salafist movement who is currently imprisoned in Jordan. In the poem's preface, Al-Maqdisi explains that he wrote the poem after the Jordanian authorities refused to let him either visit his dying father or speak with him on the phone. The poem, which was composed after his father's death, is titled "A Return Forward." In it, Al-Maqdisi describes his refusal to accept a purported offer made to him by the authorities:

"They said: 'Renounce [your views]; many sheikhs [already] have... What was appropriate for years no longer pleases our enlightened generation. Renounce [your views], and you will be generously rewarded with material [benefits]. In return, you shall [also be granted unlimited freedom to] speak [publicly]. Media... Internet, and TV will broadcast it... and if [you do] not, prison cells and affliction [shall be your reward]. Your father is sick and you shall not see him, and if he dies, it [shall be] your crime."

Al-Maqdisi's alleged reply was: "Prison is sweeter to me, and his darkness is light [for me]... My suffering for the sake of religion is sweet... [Though] my duty towards my family is dear [to me], [my] duty towards religion takes priority..."


Islamist Websites Monitor No. 106

Al-Sahab Video of Commander of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan Abu Yahya Al-Libi Criticizes Saudi Government

On May 30, 2007, the Al-Qaeda media company Al-Sahab posted a 44-minute video of Abu Yahya Al-Libi, a commander of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan who escaped from Baghram prison in 2005. In the message, titled "The Monotheism of the House of Saud... [Versus] True Monotheism," Al-Libi responds to the April 26, 2007 crackdown on Islamists in Saudi Arabia, and to the April 28, 2007 fatwa by the Saudi mufti accusing the Islamists arrested in the crackdown of rebelling against the legitimate ruler.

Al-Libi criticizes the mufti for the denouncement, which he says was based on "false information from the Saudi Interior Ministry" – information which, according to Al-Libi, was meant to satisfy the Americans by demonstrating the Saudis' commitment to fighting terrorism. Al-Libi calls upon the mufti to answer several questions truthfully, and then reconsider whether those who were arrested were indeed "sectarian deviants," as he claimed. The questions were:

"Did the conduct of these young people deviate from what Imam Muhammad Ibn 'Abd Al-Wahhab intended?

"Was [their conduct] informed by the religion of Islam or by that of the U.N.?"

"[Is theirs] a religion of submission to shari'a, or a religion of ruling according to the [U.N.] Security Council?"

In the last part of the address, Al-Libi concludes that the arrested Islamists are not rebels but "true" monotheists who have fulfilled the religious duty of opposing an impious Muslim regime that has deviated from the true path of Allah and collaborated with the infidels against the Muslims.

The video, which is accompanied by English subtitles, can be viewed at: http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ClipMediaID=889930&ak=null

The ISI's Brigade of Hand Grenades

On May 30, 2007, Islamic websites posted a 45-minute film, produced by the ISI media company Al-Furqan. The film, titled "Those Who Long for Death for the Sake of Allah," focuses on the activity of the ISI's "Heat Grenades" brigade. The following are the main points of the film:

The film opens with a title, read out by an announcer who explains that "heat grenades" are "anti-tank hand grenades of Russian manufacture that work on the principle of melting by heat." The announcer goes on to describe the grenades' construction and their activation mechanism.[1]

The film takes the form of an interview by Al-Furqan with the soldiers of the brigade, seen masked and sitting in a semicircle holding rifles, with grenades arranged in front of them. The soldiers answer the interviewer's questions on the brigade's activity, telling him, among other things, that "[the aim] of our operations is to strike at certain vehicles that are difficult to get to... After removing the pin and getting close to the target, the lone [jihad fighter] aspires to aim the grenade at the vehicle in order to reap, by means of it, the heads of the infidels... The feeling after the operation is good, [it is] joy and triumph."

Finally, when the interviewer asks what they undertake to do for Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi, one of the brigade members states: "We undertake [the following] to Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi and Abu Hamza Al-Muhajir: We, your soldiers, swear an oath to death. We will not be silent and we will not rest until we make our enemy drink from the cup of death until he is saturated. To live a life of lions, even for a single hour, is in our eyes more honorable than to live a hundred hours of a life of sheep... There is no point in a life in which the honor of our women is harmed... and our religion is treated basely. "

The film includes still photos of the brigade's operations in the Salah Al-Din district and the Baghdad district, showing jihad fighters lying in wait at the side of a road, and when a U.S. vehicle approaches, throwing grenades at it and running away shouting "Allah Akbar."

Also included in the film are readings of jihad verses from the Koran, and excerpts of audio recordings by Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi, Abu Hamza Al-Muhajir, and Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi urging listeners to go out to wage jihad and to "saturate the land with the blood of the infidels."

The film can be viewed at: http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ClipMediaID=888952&ak=null.

Below are images from the film.


[1] A separate posting on the Islamist websites clarifies that these are RKG-3 anti-tank grenade.


Islamist Websites Monitor No. 107

Video of Abducted BBC Journalist Alan Johnston

On June 1, 2007, Islamist websites posted a five-minute video of abducted BBC journalist Alan Johnston, produced by the Palestinian organization Jaysh Al-Islam, which has taken responsibility for his kidnapping. In the video, Johnston first states that he is being treated well by his abductors. Next, he says that during his three-year stay in the region, he has witnessed the extreme suffering caused by the Israelis to the Palestinian people, and adds that the situation in Iraq is even worse. He also mentions Afghanistan, and denounces Britain's military cooperation with the Americans. In the last part of the video, Jaysh Al-Islam reiterates its demand that the British government release all the Muslim prisoners in its custody, first and foremost Abu Qatada Al-Falastini.

The clip can be viewed on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lmAtazuadY

Below is an image from the video:

Sheikh Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi Declares Hunger Strike in Jordanian Prison

On June 1, 2007, Islamist websites reported that Sheikh Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi[1] declared an indefinite hunger strike five days ago, to protest against his "illegal arrest" in July 2005 by the Jordanian authorities,[2] and his detainment since then without an indictment. Al-Maqdisi demanded to be brought before a National Security court.

(http://al-hesbah.org/v/)

[1] Al-Maqdisi is regarded as one of the leading thinkers of the global Salafi jihad movement, and as the spiritual mentor of the late Al-Qaeda in Iraq commander Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi. He was arrested on July 5, 2005, only one week after the end of his previous incarceration.

[2] It should be mentioned that, according to Al-Jazeera TV reports, Al-Maqdisi began his hunger strike two weeks ago.

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