May 9, 2007 Special Dispatch No. 1572

Islamist Websites Monitor # 91-95

May 9, 2007
Special Dispatch No. 1572

Islamist Websites Monitor No. 91

Islamist Video: "Top Ten Operations [Carried Out] by the Knights of the Islamic State of Iraq"

On April 26, 2007, two Islamist forums posted a 20-minute clip titled "Top Ten Operations [Carried Out] by the Knights of the Islamic State of Iraq." The clip shows footage of 10 terrorist operations, taken from videos produced by the ISI media company Al-Furqan. Included are excerpts from the film showing the February 6, 2007 downing of a U.S. Apache helicopter in the Al-Anbar district, and excerpts from a video showing a mujahid crawling under a U.S. tank to plant a bomb (originally posted on Islamist websites on March 18, 2007).

In addition to the "top ten operations," the clip includes footage of other attacks on U.S. tanks and mine-protected vehicles.

It should be mentioned that the jihad group Ansar Al-Sunna recently issued a video titled "Top 20 Al-Ansar [Operations]."

The link for the clip is available from MEMRI upon request.

Below is an image from the clip:

Islamist Websites Monitor No. 92

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb Denies Second-in-Command Killed

In an April 27, 2007 communiqué, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (formerly the GSPC) denied announcements by the Algerian government that Samir Saioud, recently killed by the Algerian military, was the organization's second-in-command. The message stated that Saioud, known as Abu Mus'ab, was merely a fighter and member of the organization's liaison committee, and that he was not in any way involved in the recent bombings in Algeria. The message also mockingly denied the Algerian government's recent claims that the commanders of Al-Qaeda in Algeria are under siege and that most of them had been killed. Such statements, said the communiqué, make the government look like "a drowning man clutching at straws."

Below are images of Abu Mus'ab which accompanied the communiqué:

Taliban Releases Kidnapped Frenchwoman, Grants Extension on Ultimatum to France

In a communiqué posted April 28, 2007 on Islamist websites, the Taliban announced that it had released the French aid worker Céline, who was kidnapped on April 3, 2007. The message also granted an extension to the Taliban's ultimatum to the French government, saying: "We know that the elections... are underway in France, and that the French people are preoccupied right now. Therefore, we... extend the [ultimatum] by a week... in order to give [them time] to meet our demands, [which are] to withdraw [the French] forces from Afghanistan... [and to] accept our offer of an exchange of prisoners and hostages."

The communiqué also calls on France and on the rest of the world to renew relations with the Taliban, stating that the Taliban's image has been distorted by human rights organizations who accused it of violating women's rights, when in reality the Taliban has been always been committed to peace and to "a dignified existence for women."

To underscore the last point, the communiqué is accompanied by an English message (see below), addressed to Céline but directed to the West in general. This message characterizes the Taliban's operations against the Western forces as self defense, and emphasizes that Céline's release, and the treatment she received at the hands of the Taliban, clearly demonstrate the Taliban's commitment to women's rights.

The following is the English message that was posted with the communiqué:

Sunni Iraqis Avenge Death of Yazidi Woman Allegedly Stoned to Death After Converting to Islam

Over the past week, Islamist websites have been reporting on the killing, apparently on April 14, 2007, of a young Yazidi Kurdish[1] woman in Mosul. According to the reports, a crowd of Yazidis stoned her to death after she converted to Islam in order to marry a Muslim. Many writers on Islamist websites designated the woman a martyr and demanded that her death be avenged.

On April 24, 2007, Sheikh Abu Basir Al-Tartusi (one of the prominent thinkers of the Salafi school, to which Al-Qaeda adheres) posted a fatwa on his website saying: "Anyone who participated in the killing and stoning of this young woman will be killed, no matter how large [the number of people involved]... In [committing] this crime, the heretic Yazidi sect violated its commitment to the Muslims in Iraq, and the Muslims are therefore no longer obliged [to protect it]."

On April 26, 2007, the Al-Qaeda-founded Islamic State of Iraq issued a message stating that its men had killed 26 Yazidis in the region where the incident took place. The message explained that they were killed in revenge for the death of this woman and for the death of all Muslims killed by these "impure [Yazidis]," and as part of the Plan of Honor declared by ISI Commander Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi.

[1] The Yazidis are a religious sect founded by a Muslim mystic in the 12th century, and named after the seventh-century Umayyad Caliph Yazid. The sect, whose members are found in various parts of the Middle East and Asia, is considered heretic by many Sunnis since its doctrine combines elements from Islam, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeanism, Judaism and Christianity.

Islamist Websites Monitor No. 93

Islamist Video: Interview with an Al-Qaeda Commander in Afghanistan

On April 28, 2007, Islamist websites posted a 43-minute video featuring an interview with Sheikh Abu Laith Al-Libi, who is introduced in the film as "one of the leaders of Al-Qaeda in Khorasan, [Afghanistan]." The film was produced by Al-Qaeda's media company Al-Sahab and is accompanied by English subtitles. The following are the main points of the interview.

Abu Laith states that the long-term goal of jihad is to establish Islam throughout the world, while its short-term goal is to rescue the Muslims from the oppression to which they are subject. About the jihad in Afghanistan, he says that after five years of fighting, the mujahideen are close to victory, while the enemy is fleeing – all thanks to the jihad fighters' "perseverance, steadfastness, sacrifice, and daring." Moving on to the topic of Iraq, he states that the Sunni jihad fighters in that country are not waging a sectarian war but merely reacting to the "Shi'ite crimes" and defending the Sunnis.

Abu Laith also addresses the claim that the jihad fighters have no real stake in the Palestinian problem, and that their occasional mention of this issue is nothing but propaganda aimed at gaining the sympathy of the Islamic nation. He denies this accusation, saying: "All our preparations and all our jihad around the world are preparation and training for the fight against the Jews in the Al-Aqsa mosque."

Abu Laith calls on the clerics to "come to the fronts of jihad and lead their brothers and pupils." He adds that global jihad has completed its first phase and has entered the second phase of establishing an Islamic state and setting out the framework of its basic principles.

Finally, Abu Laith calls on the Muslims, and especially on the jihad fighters throughout the world, to unite their ranks, and then addresses the Muslim youth, saying: "Jihad is your way and the jihad commanders are your commanders... Do everything they instruct you to do... [Waging] jihad and fighting the infidels are the greatest privileges in this era."

The video can be viewed at:

Below is an image from the video:

ISI Denies Reports of Abu Hamza's Death

On May 1, 2007, Islamist websites posted a communiqué by the ISI, which was founded by Al-Qaeda in Iraq, denying reports that its commander Abu Hamza Al-Muhajir has been killed.

The communiqué, issued by the "ISI Information Ministry," states that these reports stem from the Iraqi government's wish to cover up its defeat at the hands of the jihad fighters.

The following are excerpts from the message:

"It seems that the Shi'ite Al-Maliki government must [now] resort to spreading lies in the media... in order to cover up its failure to stop the blows of the jihad fighters... This government has announced that the apparatuses of apostates and collaborators have wounded the jihad fighter Sheikh Abu Hamza Al-Muhajir and killed his aide [in a location] north of Baghdad... [But the fact is that] Sheikh Abu Hamza Al-Muhajir is still wandering [free] in the Islamic State of Iraq, and fighting the enemies of Allah under the banner of Commander of the Believers Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi and [as a soldier in] the army of the Islamic State...

"These false reports by the [Iraqi] government – which have been denied even by its American masters – reflect its bankruptcy and frustration...

"Know that the army of the Islamic State [of Iraq] is not [based on] one man but on many men – some who have already departed from this world and others who are still awaiting [death]..."

Islamist Websites Monitor No. 94

"A Warning Call": A Video Message by Abu Yahya Al-Libi to Hamas

On April 29, Al-Sahab, Al-Qaeda's media production company, posted a 36-minute video message by Abu Yahya Al-Libi, Al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan, titled "Palestine: A Warning Call." In his message Al-Libi focuses on Hamas' strategic choice to prefer a political course over jihad. Al-Libi describes Hamas' choice as a dangerous "slippery slope," which causes deception and "fata morgana," dangers that can only be neutralized by an unequivocal return to jihad.

In referring to Hamas' recent political dialogue with Russia, Al-Libi mockingly asks: "Have the tyrant Putin and his... political party become more protective... of Palestine and the Palestinians' interests than the mujahid Sheikh Ayman Al-Zawahiri?... Has this criminal... who destroyed an Islamic country, annihilated an entire nation in Chechnya, and drove it to the valleys and deserts... become closer to you than the people who proved their... loyalty to Allah, His Messenger and to the believers...?"

Al-Libi accuses Hamas of being disloyal to its Islamic goals. If Hamas is indeed committed to rendering the word of Allah supreme, claims Al-Libi, why does it "engage in a limping policy, [sit] under the dome of the polytheist legislative council, and conduct meetings with the leaders of the unbelievers...." He challenges Hamas, "Inform us – what Islam do you refer to? Which shari'a do you intend to implement... according to your claims?

Al-Libi ends his message by directly addressing the Al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing, which he describes as "faithful to the martyrs who displayed the most beautiful example of sacrifice..." He urges it to disobey Hamas' political leadership and to resume jihad. "It is your right," explains Al-Libi, "to demand answers to the following questions: What do Hamas political leaders wish to achieve and what goals do they pursue?"

Below is an image of Al-Libi taken from the film.

Islamist Websites Monitor No. 95

Jihad Organizations in Iraq Establish New Front

On May 2, 2007, three prominent jihad organizations (Al-Jaysh Al-Islami, Jaysh Al-Mujahideen, and Jama'at Ansar Al-Sunna), which are opposed to the Islamic State of Iraq, announced on Islamist websites the establishment of a new umbrella organization called "The Jihad and Reform Front." It is stated that the three groups have agreed to cooperate in matters of policy, general shari'a questions, positions vis-à-vis major developments, military operations, and the issuing of communiqués. The message, addressed to numerous sectors inside and outside Iraq (including Muslim scholars, imams, jihad groups, academics, the media, and the various Iraqi tribes), calls upon them to join the new front and to support it in its effort to end the occupation in Iraq, implement shar'ia, and purge the country of evil.

The following are some the new front's main principles, as presented in the message:

The purpose of jihad is to use sufficient force to repel the attacker without using excessive violence.

All jihad operations must target the occupiers and their helpers, and not innocent people.

Anything that harms and hinders jihad shall be eliminated.

Jihad efforts will focus on the battle against the primary enemy and will not be sidetracked into secondary battles.

The mujahideen are the protectors of Islam and of the Muslims. Consequently, among their first priorities are protecting the Muslims, their property, and their honor.

The Front will distinguish between immutable laws that do not depend on time and place and secondary policies which do depend on time and place.

The front does not recognize the elections in Iraq, nor does it acknowledge any agreement formed by the Iraqi government or the laws that it passes.

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