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 November 13, 2014, the pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Twitter account published a document on behalf of the Islamic State Treasury Department in which it announced that ISIS has approved a new currency, and that it plans to start minting it soon. The move, said the document, came in response to Caliph Ibrahim's (Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi) directives on the matter. The new currency, it added, aims at freeing Muslims from their subjugation to the "tyrannical monetary system," which, it said, had deprived and drained Muslims from their wealth for the benefit of the Jews and Crusaders.
According to the document, following Al-Baghdadi's directives, the ISIS's Treasury Department studied the idea thoroughly, and presented a comprehensive proposal on the matter to the Shura Council, which approved it.
The currency, it said, will be divided into three categories: gold, silver, and copper coins. The gold coins will feature the dinar category, and will appear in one and five dinars values; the silver coins will feature the dirham category, and will appear in one, five, and ten darahim values; and the copper coins will feature the fils category, and will appear in ten and twenty fils values. All coins will also bear "The Islamic State" and the "Caliphate Upon The Path Of Prophet hood" Arabic inscription on one side, while the other face will include various images of Islamic relevance.
In a November 8 interview with the UAE channel Alaan TV, former Mufti of Al-Qaeda, Abu Hafs Al-Mauritani, said that the caliphate declared by ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi does not meet the terms dictated by the shari'a. Abu Hafs criticized ISIS for its massacres of Shi'ites, killing of civilians, and slaughtering of journalists, and added that the split of ISIS from Al-Qaeda was anticipated.
On November 12, 2014, Al-Malahem, the media company of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), released a 8-minute video interview with senior AQAP official Jalal Bal'id Al-Marqashi, aka Hamza Al-Zinjibari, in which he emphasizes that AQAP fighters, aided by Sunni tribesmen, recently scored impressive military successes against the Houthis in Yemen. He also claims that the organization has intelligence confirming the existence of a secret pact between the Americans and the Houthis to fight AQAP, and that this pact is already being implemented on the ground.
On November 7, 2014, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a 12-minute audio recording by the group's leader Nasser Al-Wuhaishi. In it, Al-Wuhaishi notes the ongoing U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying that it signifies the Afghan people's victory and the U.S. defeat. Al-Wuhaishi says that the U.S. has failed to learn from its past mistakes, and has decided to enter yet another Crusader war in Iraq and Syria, and that the U.S. will be defeated in that war as well. Al-Wuhaishi warns Americans against supporting the current U.S. war in Iraq and Syria, saying that doing so will only push them toward the abyss. Al-Wuhaishi also calls upon the mujahideen in Syria and Iraq to unite against their enemy.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has recently announced that it will be accepting questions via Twitter to be featured in an upcoming interview with Nasser Al-Ansi, a top AQAP official.
Al-Ansi recently appeared in a video interview series, in which he stressed the need to target the U.S., among other things. AQAP announced that it is soliciting questions via Twitter for the third part in Ansi's interview series. AQAP further provided its followers to submit their questions on Twitter within 72 hours.
On November 9, 2014, the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) media company Al-Malahim released the second part of a video interview with one of its senior officials, Nasser Al-Ansi. In this part of the interview, which was 43 minutes in duration, Al-Ansi continued to attack the Houthis, saying that were collaborating with Yemeni and American military forces against the mujahideen, in the framework of an alliance between the West and Iran. He acknowledged that the jihad organizations were having difficulties initiating operations against Israel, but noted that the mujahideen were successfully carrying out attacks on the "Crusaders" and that striking the Americans was the same as striking the Jews.
On November 4, 2014, the Islamic State (IS) released a video showing a rocket manufacturing workshop it was operating in Al-Falluja, Iraq. The shop, per the video, produces a number of rockets, including Al-Fath and Al-Khilafa rockets. It also manufactures valves used in mortars. The shop is one of a number of "developing and manufacturing" workshops that the IS runs in Al-Falluja.
On November 10, 2014, the Jihadi Media Platform forum (alplatformmedia.com) announced its return to function after several days of being offline. The forum attributed its absence to "failed" cyber-attacks by the "enemies of Allah." It also thanked the members in its "technical section" for aiding in the return of the forum to normal function.
In an October 14, 2014 posting, "Ahnad Al-Maghribi," the moderator of the French-language jihadi forum Ansar Al-Haqq, which supports the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), urged fellow jihadis in the West not to surrender to the authorities but to fight them and prepare for martyrdom, because they have a duty to do so, and because "it is better to die than to fail your duty". The moderator, who is probably based in Syria, wrote: "Never allow yourself to be captured by the DCRI [French homeland security services]. Never surrender!" It should be mentioned that, according to reports in the Western media, some French nationals fighting in Syria with Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihad groups were so intimidated by ISIS that they came back to France and surrendered to the authorities. Al-Maghribi's call may be directed, inter alia, at them or at others who might emulate them.
On November 8, 2014, the Islamic State (ISIS) published two images of Abu 'Abdallah Al-Turkestani, a suicide bomber who had carried out a November 7 attack against an Iraqi Army gathering near Baiji, Iraq. No further information was provided as to Al-Turkestani's background. His nickname however might suggest he is from Eastern Turkestan (Xinjiang) in western China.
Jihadis are calling to target Rob O'Neill, the Navy SEAL who allegedly shot Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad compound in May 2011. O'Neill's identity became public a few days ago, and many pictures of him were posted online.
On the Jihadi Media Platform forum (alplatformmedia.com), pictures of O'Neill along with calls to target him were posted by Muwahid Al-Ma'ribi. "Wanted dead or alive by the Islamic State," Al-Ma'ribi wrote. "The American pig…wanted by #The_Islamic_State, dead or alive for killing Sheikh Osama bin Laden," he said.
O'Neill: Wanted Dead or Alive on jihadi forum
Other jihadis responded to Al-Ma'ribi's post. Al-Nasser Li-Dawlata Al-Islam wondered if O'Neill was Jewish: "This killer [i.e. O'Neill] looks Jewish? Allah willing his picture was received by the Islamic State, o Allah, retribution, retribution," Al-Nasser said. Abu Suhaib Al-Shamali, another forum member, threatened that O'Neill, whom he called a pig, "shall be slaughtered…"
On November 9, 2014, the Sinai-based jihadi organization Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis (ABM) released an audio message announcing its official merger with the Islamic State (IS). ABM also pledged allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
On November 8, 2014, the information department of the Egyptian Jihad organization Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis released a seven-minute audio message by its official Abu Osama Al-Masri, titled "A Message to the Soldiers' Families." In it, Al-Masri explains to the families that his organization targets their sons because they serve in an infidel army and kill innocent Muslims on its behalf. He advises the families to remove their sons from the army, or prevent them from joining in the first place, otherwise they would be responsible for their sons' death.
On November 6, 2014, the Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Youm (almasryalyoum.com) reported that the Usood Al-Dawla Al-Islamiyya Fi Ard Al-Kinana (The Lions Of The Islamic State In Egypt), a previously unknown jihadi group, has taken responsibility for the deadly attack on October 24, 2014, against Egyptian security forces south of Sheikh Zuwaid town in Sinai, where 33 Egyptian security personnel have reportedly died.
Yesterday (November 12, 2014) during the afternoon hours an unprecedented maritime terror attack was carried out to against the Egyptian Navy. Four boats surrounded a navy vessel and opened fire on it about 40 miles off the coast of Damietta port.
Image courtesy: Dawn.com (militant commander Mangal Bagh in the center)
Following are excerpts from a Pakistani media report claiming that Pakistani militant commander Mangal Bagh, the chief of Lashkar-e-Islam, is using FM radio transmissions to broadcast jihadist messages and issue threats:
"Despite an all-out operation against militants in Khyber tribal agency, the banned outfit Lashkar-e-Islam's pirate radio is still operational and broadcasting fiery sermons of its chief Mangal Bagh. The militant-cum-criminal from Bara region [of Khyber Agency] issues daily speeches urging people to fight security forces and issuing threats to opponents – even directing his commanders to target politicians opposed to their ideology mostly belonging to the PPP [Pakistan People's Party] and Awami National Party (ANP)."
Using the popular blog-publishing platform Wordpress.com, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has announced appointments of new commanders and the launch of a full-scale war in Pakistan's Khyber Agency.
According to reports posted in English and Urdu, the TTP said on November 7: "TTP’s Supreme Council [Rahbari Shura] makes formal announcement of dismissal of respected Shahidullah Shahid and appointment of new central spokesperson Respected Muhammad Khurasani, today." Shahid recently joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Lashkar-e-Islam chief Mangal Bagh
The following are excerpts from a Pakistani media report which profiled militant commander Mangal Bagh, the chief of jihadi group Lashkar-e-Islam, and assessed the Pakistani military's operation against his jgroup in Khyber Agency, which borders Afghanistan:
"[Mangal Bagh] Was A Truck Driver… He Belonged To The Smallest Of The Eight Sub-Clans Of The Afridi Tribe; He Had No Formal Education But A Few Years In Madrassa"
"[Mangal Bagh] was a truck driver or, according to some, a bus conductor. He belonged to the smallest of the eight sub-clans of the Afridi tribe. He had no formal education but a few years in madrassa. He also spent some time with a secular political party. Then, intriguingly, in less than five years he became a top militant commander. This is Mangal Bagh, the chief of Lashkar-e-Islam militant group, who virtually ruled Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency until June 2008, when he and his armed vigilantes were driven out in a security operation.
"They fled Bara only to regroup in the remote, idyllic valley of Tirah, which has since become a potpourri of militants. Bagh's arrival set off a deadly turf war in the valley strategically located on the confluence of borders of three tribal agencies: Khyber, Orakzai, and Kurram. However, Bagh had largely disappeared from the headlines until mid-October this year, when a military operation, Khyber-I, brought him back into the spotlight."
The following are excerpts from a Pakistani media report which, quoting a report from the provincial government of Baluchistan, warned that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or IS) has recruited 10,000-12,000 members from the Pakistani tribal region:
"[ISIS] Has Offered Some Elements Of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) And Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) To Join Hands In Pakistan"
"The provincial government of Baluchistan has conveyed a confidential report to the federal government and law enforcement agencies warning of increased footprints of militant organization Islamic State (IS), also known by the Arabic acronym 'Daish', in Pakistan. The 'secret information report' … is dated October 31, and states that IS has claimed to have recruited a massive 10,000-12,000 followers from the Hangu and Kurram Agency tribal areas."
Police officials in India's Jharkhand state detained three Muslim youths for wearing t-shirts emblazoned with "ISIS Pakistan", according to an Indian daily.
On November 4, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) published web links for jihadist fighters to download a specially-modified Tor browser which enables users to hide the IP addresses of their computers while accessing the internet.