The following are some of this week's reports from the MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) Project, which translates and analyzes content from sources monitored around the clock, among them the most important jihadi websites and blogs. (To view these reports in full, you must be a paying member of the JTTM; for membership information, send an email to [email protected] with "Membership" in the subject line.)
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On October 2, 2014, Al-Qaeda in Yemen (AQAP) released a communique stating that in its ongoing efforts to fight the operations rooms and spy networks that aid the American drones in their attacks on its fighters, the organization has successfully carried out a "quality operation" to apprehend the officer Rashid 'Abdallah Mahdi Al-Habashi, "one of the top security men" who is a member of the main national security council and who since 2010 has headed national security in Hadhramaut and is one of its founders.
Iraqi intelligence sources reported that the Islamic State's (IS) leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, recently arrived in Mosul after fleeing the Syrian IS stronghold of Raqqah. They also claimed that Al-Baghdadi was accompanied by the IS high command.
A Twitter user, has been active on Twitter since November, 2013, and says he is a member of a small group of foreign fighters, mostly likely tied to Jabhat Al-Nusra (which he refers to as "JAN" in his Tweets). However, Abu Dirar tweeted a link to a video of what he described as "my old group when they were still independent", which links to a YouTube video of the Uzbek jihadi group Jama'at Sabri, which has since sworn fealty to the Islamic State).
Based on his tweets, he appears to be a U.S. citizen of Somali origin: In December 2013, he tweeted: "I'm not nationalistic but I get a little more happy whenever I run into brothers from Somalia in Sham [Syria]. May Allah open both lands for us!" He also has several tweets defending and supporting the Somali group Al-Shabaab. On September 27, following coalition air strikes in Syria, he tweeted: "The US bombed our house, killed 11 brothers, 4 Syrians, 3 Dutch & 4 Brits, who's [sic] only crime is fighting the butcher Bashar... They missed me the only American citizen that was staying in the house. What constitution allows the killing of US citizens... who fight in foreign lands against a so called 'enemy' of US, if we committed a crime don't we have the right to a fair trial? #US #JN"
In a video posted on the Internet on September 30, 2014, Sheik Nasr bin Ali Al-Ansi, a spokesman for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, said, in response to the attacks by the U.S.-led coalition: "[Fighters] on all fronts must attack the U.S. and its interests wherever they may be." He further said: "These follies of America will constitute the final nail in its coffin."
Following are excerpts:
Sheik Nasr bin Ali Al-Ansi: "The Islamic nation is now witnessing a ferocious and unprecedented campaign by the forces of global heresy, in their second world war against our Islamic nation, under the pretext of the war on terror."
On September 26, 2014, online supporters of the Islamic State (IS) started a social media campaign aimed at curbing IS supporters from irresponsibly posting any information about the IS which could be later on used by its enemies to target its fighters, and to refrain from leaking any IS statements prior to their official release by the group. The campaign was circulated on Twitter using an Arabic Hashtag. This appears to be a response to an IS statement published earlier this month banning its members from videotaping its operations.
Several days after its launch, the campaign shifted into a counter-offensive mode as well, as IS supporters began rallying their followers to gather and share information about IS enemies, including the Nusairis, Shi'ites, and "Crusaders," supposedly to share with the IS.
On October 1, 2014, the IS information department in the Al-Raqqa Governorate released a video on jihadi forums and on YouTube titled "Interviews about the Global Alliance against the IS". The video, some 7 minutes long, is a compilation of street interviews with individuals who seem to be IS fighters and supporters in IS-controlled Al-Raqqa. The interviewees, who all speak with their face unmasked, state with confidence that America will be defeated in Syria as it was previously defeated in Iraq.
Following are excerpts:
Interviewer: "What is your message to the Byzantine dog Obama and to his allies?"
ISIS fighter: "By Allah, even if planet Earth in its entirety united to fight the Islamic State, they would not harm the Islamic State in any way, because any force that is not divine is a fleeting force. We, on the other hand, draw our strength from Allah."
On September 30, 2014, an initiative to end the fighting between jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq was posted on the Minbar Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad (MTJ) website. The initiative, which was conceived in response to the coalition attack on jihad groups in Iraq and Syria, namely the Islamic State (IS) and Jabhat Al-Nusra (JN), was signed by a number of prominent Salafi-jihadi clerics including Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi. According to the initiative, jihadi groups had to reach a truce no later than the night of Arafah – the night before Eid Al-Adha (October 4, 2014).
The signatories condemned the coalition attack in Syria and Iraq, calling it a "Crusader attack" against "our Muslim brothers in Al-Sham [Syria] and Iraq," and against Muslims in general and Islam as a whole. They also called on "all factions in Al-Sham and Iraq" to end their fighting in an attempt to "spare the blood of the mujahideen."
A jihadist account on Twitter has posted images of a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or drone) that it claims Taliban militants had seized in the Pakistani tribal region of Waziristan.
On September 27, 2014, Jabhat Al-Nusra (JN) released a nine-minute video message by its spokesman, Abu Firas Al-Suri, in which he comments on the U.S.'s airstrikes against the group. He says that the attacks were part of the unbelievers' war against Islam and that they will not stop JN in its quest to establish an Islamic state in Syria. He also decries Arab countries' complicity in the attacks and promises there will be consequences.
On September 29, 2014, the Islamic State (IS) released the third part in the series titled "Lend Me Your Ears" featuring British hostage John Cantlie's discussion of President Obama's September 10 speech where Obama enumerated the four-staged U.S. strategy to degrade and destroy IS. The 5:34-long message was released on the Shumoukh Al-Islam forum.
Bahraini IS members
In a 14-minute video titled "A Message to the Bahraini People," four Islamic State (IS) members, apparently of Bahraini origin, address several messages to the Sunnis of Bahrain. They call on Sunni soldiers to renounce the regime and cease collaborating with it; emphasize the importance of performing hijra and nafir [emigration to the Islamic State and fighting for Islam]; warn the Sunnis to beware the Shi'ites, and call on them to boycott the parliamentary elections.
Following are rare images of slain Al-Qaeda commander Ilyas Kashmiri, which were posted by a jihadist Twitter account. The Twitter account that published the images owes allegiance to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan led by Mullah Mohammad Omar. It tweets jihadist texts, images and videos from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, and also from other parts of the world.
On October 2, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban shadow government) issued a statement from Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar in which he doesn't mention either the Islamic State led by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi or the U.S. military action in Syria, but notes that American interventions in the Muslim world are due to its failed policies.
The annual statement was issued on the eve of Eid Al-Adha (the feast of sacrifice), which will be marked across the Islamic world on October 5. In the statement, Mullah Omar vows to continue to fight until the foreign military presence in Afghanistan is eliminated and the country returns to Islamic sharia rule.
The statement comes as the new government in Kabul has inked the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States, under which about 12,000 U.S. will receive authorization to remain deployed in Afghanistan after until 2024. Some troops from partner NATO countries are also expected to remain in the country.
On September 30, a jihadist Twitter account posted images from a new terror training camp established by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
On September 27, a jihadist account on Twitter posted links to nearly 150 YouTube videos from Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Khorasan (Afghanistan-Pakistan region).
Governor Amir Mohammad Akhunzada (image: Pajhwok)
Amir Mohammad Akhunzada, the governor of Afghanistan's southwestern Nimroz province, has said that Iran and Pakistan are providing "all-out support" to the Taliban to carry out terror attacks in Afghanistan, according to an Afghan website.
Islamic State, led by Abu Bakr Al-Baghadi, tweets in Urdu
Below is a list of 100 prominent jihadi accounts on Twitter focused on South Asian countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.
The Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and which is also known by its Arabic acronym "Daish," is active in several regions of Afghanistan, according to a Pashtu-language Afghan newspaper.
Samiun Rahman (Image courtesy: The Daily Star)
Security officials in Bangladesh have arrested a Bangladesh-origin British citizen who flew in six months ago to recruit jihadists for Syrian terror groups, according to a Bangladeshi daily. On September 29, a court in Dhaka sent the Briton, Samiun Rahman aka Ibn Hamdan, to a three-day police custody. Monirul Islam, joint commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told journalists that Samiun came to Dhaka in February to recruit jihadists from Bangladesh and Myanmar.