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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Following are excerpts from a video showing ISIS opening a 'media point' information booth in Mayadeen, Syria, that was posted on the Internet November 5, 2014.
Umm Ubaydah, a Briton of Somali descent, is married to an Albanian member of the Islamic State (ISIS) who is fighting in Syria, and is apparently residing in Syria with him. She maintains an active presence on Tumblr, and recently opened a new Twitter account after her previous one was shut down.
Umm Ubaydah uses her accounts to spread pro-ISIS propaganda and provide information for women who want to follow her example and immigrate to Syria. She also chronicles what life is like as a citizen of the Islamic Caliphate, especially for women; speaks of her circle of friends and of fellow-immigrants she has met in Syria; praises the actions of ISIS and of other mujahideen, and even expresses a desire to fight and to die as a martyr. Recently she mentioned a phenomenon that has not received much attention in the Western media, namely the return of jihadi women from Syria to the West.
The following is a sampling of her recent Twitter posts:
Umm Ubaydah: My Goal Is "To Help Those Wanting To Make Hijrah"
Umm Ubaydah states explicitly that her goal in maintaining her online presence is to do da'wah (Islamic proselytizing) and to aid and inspire those who wish to make hijra (i.e., immigrate to Syria). The first post on her new Twitter account reads: "So I decided to come back [online] for the sake of daw'ah and to annoy the kuffar [infidels] and promote inSha Allah. #AlKhanssaa #ImBackObama."... On a later occasion she wrote: "Can I ask of a simple request... Spread this account in sha Allah. I'm keeping it as a form of daw'ah and to help those wanting to make hijrah."
EXCLUSIVE: Statement By Al-Qaeda In The Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) Describes America As 'Head Of Snake', Says: 'Targeting The Interests Of The Enemy [America] Worldwide Through The Global Movement Of Jihad Is The Way'
On November 4, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) released a statement urging jihadi groups in the Middle East to unite in order to fight the U.S.-led coalition's war against the jihadists in Syria and Iraq.
AQIS, whose establishment was announced by Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri in early September, reiterated that America is its main target as it is the head of the current international system of states, which it described as Kufr (unbelief).
The AQIS statement was issued by its spokesman Usama Mahmood. Following is the text of the AQIS statement:
"The Latest American Aggression On Iraq And Syria Has Once Again Proved That America Is The Head Of Kufr (Infidels) And A Leader Of Tyrannical System"
"All praise is due to Allah and may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah.
"The latest American aggression on Iraq and Syria has once again proved that America is the head of Kufr (infidels) and a leader of tyrannical system which comprehends the defense of oppression and oppressors to be its very obligation. Thousands of Muslims were martyred by the indiscriminate bombardment of Israel on Gaza but America didn't move, instead aided the Israeli oppression militarily and monetarily. Barrel bombs to chemical weapons were used against the Syrian Muslims but America was not budged; instead the mujahideen in Syria were pronounced as terrorists. The wicked America formed an international alliance to attack Iraq and Syria at a time when Israel and its coalition of the tyrants felt threatened by the jihadi resurgence in the Ummah."
On November 6, 2014, the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) media company Al-Malahim released the first installment in a video interview with one of its senior officials, Nasser Al-Ansi. The video, 55 minutes in duration, was distributed via the Al-Malahim representative on Twitter. In the video, Al-Ansi addresses a wide range of topics, including the international coalition's attacks on the Islamic State and on Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria, the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S.-Iran détente, the situation in Yemen and more. Al-Ansi reiterates AQAP's call for jihadi groups to attack Western targets wherever possible in reprisal for the U.S.-led attacks in Iraq and Syria, and urges Muslims living in the West to carry out lone-wolf attacks.
On November 3, 2014, Egyptian media published a communique attributed to the Sinai-based jihadi organization Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis, in which the group allegedly declared officially that it was joining the Islamic State (ISIS). The communique, which included the group's alleged oath of fealty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, stated that Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis was taking this step in order to unite Muslims as well as to fulfill the religious obligation to accept the authority of the caliph, and called on other jihadi organizations to follow suit and officially join ISIS.
On November 2, 2014, the Al-Hayat information center, which is identified with the Islamic State (ISIS), posted a six-minute video on YouTube titled "A Message from Brother Abdul Muhammad Al-Russi." In the video, which is in Russian with Arabic and English subtitles and is aimed at "Russian-speaking Muslims," an ISIS member, "Muhammad Al-Russi," attacks Muslims who make do with prayer alone and fail to observe the commandment to wage jihad. He rejects criticism of ISIS by its rivals, and, addressing "brothers and sisters" who are being "held in the prisons of the tyrannical rulers," asks them to be patient because they will soon be freed. He also urges all Muslims to hasten to fulfill the commandment to emigrate to join the Muslim state before it is too late.
On October 29, 2014, Abu Osama Al-Karar, a senior member of the Islamic State (ISIS)-affiliated forum Alplatformmedia.com, posted a French-language guide to help speakers of that language join the forum and publish materials on it. The guide was posted in a special section of the forum that is devoted to material in French. Its publication coincides with the increasing closure of pro-ISIS accounts on many social media platforms, and with other efforts by jihadi networks to increase online security for users.
On October 30, 2014, the information office of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Homs issued an illustrated report on the organization's recapture of the strategic gas production facility in Al-Shaer, east of Homs. According to the report, ISIS has captured all 20 check points that the Syrian army had set up to defend this facility. During the fighting dozens of Syrian soldiers were killed, and those who remained withdrew to the town of Al-Juhar, leaving behind large quantities of gear that were captured by ISIS, including tanks, armored vehicles, heavy equipment, submachine guns, ammunitions, Kornet missiles and a Kornet launcher.
According to a November 2, 2014 report in Al-Hayat, in addition to capturing the gas production facility, ISIS has captured large parts of the nearby gas and oil fields . The report also noted that the facility supplies most of the gas to many areas in Syria, including the capital Damascus.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaatul Ahrar (TTPJA), a terror group that claimed responsibility for the November 2 suicide bombing at the Pakistan-India border post Wagah, promotes its jihadi activities and issues threats on Twitter.
The TTPJA is a major terror outfit led by Omar Khalid Khorasani, who along with his comrades, was expelled from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for challenging the leadership of TTP emir Maulana Fazlullah. The Twitter is operated by Ehsanullah Ehsan, the spokesman of TTPJA, who has previously worked as TTP spokesman.
Following are excerpts from a Pakistani media report that profiles all major leading jihadist organizations as well as their splinter groups, and yet another class of terrorist groups backed by the Pakistani military:
1. Leading Pakistan-Based Jihadist Organizations
Al-Qaeda (AQ) – "Al-Qaeda Regards Pakistan As A 'Dar-Ul-Kufr Wal Harb' (Abode Of Disbelief And War); It Classifies The Rulers As 'Apostates' Against Whom It Is Obligatory To Rebel And Fight"
"AQ is not just a conventional group but the fountainhead of a violent ideology. The organization was founded at the end of the 1980s by Osama bin Laden while he was in Afghanistan/Pakistan waging war against the Soviets. According to Al-Qaeda literature, the organization's ultimate goal is to establish a hardline global caliphate. It seeks to fight America and her 'apostate' allies in the Muslim world. While the organization maintains a relatively low profile in Pakistan, it is behind much of the coordination between different jihadi groups in a bid to channelize and streamline the effort.
"In contrast with many other jihadi groups, the overwhelming majority of their cadres in Pakistan are university graduates hailing from well-off urban families. Al-Qaeda regards Pakistan as a 'Dar-ul-Kufr Wal Harb' (abode of disbelief and war). It classifies the rulers as 'apostates' against whom it is obligatory to rebel and fight.
"Al-Qaeda considers Shias as disbelievers 'in the garb of Islam.' As such, the militant organization considers it permissible to shed the blood of Shia Muslims and confiscate their wealth. However on strategic grounds, the Al-Qaeda chief has advised the operatives not to engage minority groups anywhere in a confrontation unless 'absolutely required' such as in Syria and Iraq. The organization rejects the concept of nation-states. It seeks to expand the theatre of war, topple governments in Muslim countries and form a global caliphate."
The Indian Navy put its warships on alert after input from the country's intelligence agencies that warned of a terror threat to the Kolkata Port, according to media reports.
The threat to the Indian warships comes just a few weeks after Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) said that the goal of its September attack at the Karachi dockyard was to take control of a Pakistan Navy ship and use it launch attacks on Indian and U.S. ships on the high seas.
Two Indian Navy warships – INS Khukri and INS Sumitra – that had docked at Kolkata for Navy week celebrations have gone back to sea, according to a report on the Indian website NDTV.com. The report quoted a defense ministry statement as saying that the warships were "withdrawn for undisclosed operational reasons."
Three Pakistan-based militant organizations claimed responsibility for the November 2 suicide bombing at the Wagah border (on the Pakistani side of the Pakistan-India border) near Lahore, that killed more than 60 people and wounded nearly 100 others.
According to a report in The News daily, "The claims were made one after the other. The Jundallah group was the first to take responsibility. It was followed by the Jamaatul Ahrar, the breakaway faction of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). And finally, a group introducing itself as the TTP’s Mahar Mehsud faction phoned reporters to claim responsibility for the attack."
A second report in The News, from which excerpts are given below, examined the character and history of Jundallah, which is mainly seen as an anti-Shia terrorist organization, although several militant groups of the same name exist in Pakistan:
"[Jundallah Had] Claimed Responsibility For Killing 10 Foreign Climbers (On June 23, 2013) At A Base Camp Of The Nanga Parbat, The Second Highest Mountain In Pakistan After K-2"
"Jundallah (the Army of Allah), which has claimed responsibility for the November 2 bloody attack at Wagah border post, is one of the dozen-plus anti-Shia franchises of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), that operate under different names in different parts of the country."
As part of an agreement with Russia, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban umbrella organization) has released a Russian pilot who was captured by the Taliban last year.
Below is the text of an October 30 statement regarding the prisoner release, published by the Islamic Emirate on its website:
"Powel Petrinko, a Russian pilot who was captured on … 21/04/2013 (Gregorian) by mujahideen during an operation in Logar province's Azra district along with 8 Turks and 2 Afghans, as well as a helicopter, has been released by the Islamic Emirate along with his Afghan counterpart on Wednesday 29/10/2014."
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Thousands of people turn out to watch the flag-lowering ceremony at Wagah border every day
Below are excerpts from editorials in Pakistani dailies, examining the jihadi terrorist threat to Pakistan after a suicide bomber killed over 60 people and wounded nearly 100 others on October 2 inside the Pakistani side of a border post at Wagah, on the Pakistan-India border near Lahore.
The suicide bomber, who possibly could not reach his main target due to enhanced security measures, struck at a parking lot as thousands of people were returning from the flag-lowering ceremony that takes place at the Pakistan-India border post every day. Three separate militant groups - Jundallah, Mahar Mehsud faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Jamaatul Ahrar - claimed the attack.
The claim by Jamaatul Ahrar, which was recently expelled from the TTP, appears authentic, and the group has promised to release a pre-recorded video of the suicide bomber who carried out the Wagah border attack.
"With The Dreadful Spectre Of The Islamic State Making Its Presence Felt In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa [Province] Through Pamphlets, There Is Now A Plethora Of Non-State Actors Who Are Well Motivated, In Many Cases Well Trained And Funded"
Following are excerpts from an editorial in The Express Tribune daily:
"The device that wreaked havoc at Wagah was a suicide bomb of 10-15kg and was laced with nails and ball-bearings to maximize the damage. The arms and legs of the person thought to be the bomber have been recovered. The location of the bombing was significant as well, with tensions running high between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control [LoC, which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan], and it was clearly calculated to exacerbate those tensions. There may well now be an adverse fallout on India-Pakistan relations as a result of this attack. There have been reports that intelligence agencies had shared information with the police about a possible attack, but it was clearly not taken seriously."