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.)
Note to media and government: For a full copy of these reports, send an email with the title of the report in the subject line to [email protected]. Please include your name, title, and organization in your email.
A California-based Muslim is publicly sharing on Twitter his intention to travel to Syria to join the jihad. He communicates with fighters from both the Islamic State (ISIS) and Jabhat Al-Nusra (JN) to discuss doing so; at this time, he is unsure about which jihad group to join. He hinted that if his efforts to reach Syria are unsuccessful, he will turn to militancy on U.S. soil.
Following are details about him:
Journey To Jihad
On November 24, 2014, he tweeted, "Using Twitter now to document my journey to jihad fisibillilah'![If god wills it]."
In a video-clip posted on the Internet on November 26, students at the Jamia Hafsa women's seminary in Islamabad, Pakistan, conveyed a message congratulating Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi on the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate and calling upon the mujahideen to avenge the death of Sheik Osama Bin Laden.
Following are excerpts:
Female students, wearing a black niqab covering their faces and bodies, address the camera, against the background of a large ISIS flag
Student: "We thank Allah for bestowing upon us the good tidings of ISIS. We praise Allah, who granted us the Emir of the believers, Mullah Muhammad Omar, and the Caliph of the Muslims, Sheik Abu Bakr Al-Husseini Al-Quraishi Al-Baghdadi.
"This is a message from the students of Jamia Hafsa, addressed, first of all, to our brothers the mujahideen in the Islamic State, and to all mujahideen in general."
British Islamist Mizanur Rahman (a.k.a. Abu Baraa) recently came out in support of the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning, saying: "In the original rules [of Islam] any capable kafir man is a combatant." The family of Alan Henning contests his killing, they should take their evidence and witnesses to the shari'a court in the Islamic State, he said. The video was posted on the Internet on October 22, 2014.
ISIS fighters and supporters continue to take advantage of the events in Ferguson to threaten the U.S. and agitate on social media. The Following are examples:
On November 25, 2014, ISIS fighter Abu Dujana tweeted a photo of a knife with the caption, "For how long will you let these govts oppress u. Draw ur knives and show them a response!! #FergusonDecision #IS."
ISIS enthusiast Minddvision wrote, "Accept islam & give bayah [allegiance] to Caliphate & then we will send u soldiers that don't sleep! #IS #Ferguson #Anonymous".
On December 4, 2014, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a video threatening to kill Luke Somers, a U.S. national it is holding hostage. The video features a message by senior AQAP official Nasser Al-Ansi, followed by a message from Somers pleading for help. It was released by the official Twitter account of AQAP's media company, Al-Malahem, and comes several days after U.S. and Yemeni commandos carried out a rescue operation in Yemen in which several hostages were freed, but not Somers.
The following are the main points of the video:
Al-'Ansi begins his message by listing the U.S. government's "crimes against Muslims", including "its boundless support for the Zionist occupiers, its military support of the barbaric attacks on our Muslim people in Gaza... [and] its crimes and massacres in Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq. Also, its actions today under the leadership of the criminal Obama: a crusader air-strike campaign against the Muslims in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sinai and Waziristan.
A female Islamic State (ISIS) supporter from the West, whose Twitter alias is Muslimah4Life, recently immigrated to Syria. Judging from her British spelling, and the fact that she frequently retweets comments by radical British Islamic preachers Abu Baraa and Anjem Choudraym, she is probably from Britain.
It appears that, though she is newly arrived in Syria, she has a circle of Western women friends. On November 29 she tweeted, "Alhamdulilah made it to the land of Khalifah and also met one of the akhawat[sisters] from Twitter". On December 1 2014 she posted a photo of several women (presumably she and her friends) presenting their passports, from the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia.
Abu Rumaysah, a British Muslim with apparent ties to radical clerics Anjem Choudray and Abu Baraa, recently moved to Syria with his family. His tweets in which he boasted of outsmarting the British intelligence services went viral in the jihadi online community.
In his first tweet, from November 24, 2014, he wrote: "Alhamdulilah (all praise be to Allah) that He (and only He) facilitated a path for me and my family to live in the Islamic State." Later that day he wrote: "Inshaa'allah we will defeat the final Crusade. USA and her allies are on their last legs. The Islamic State is here to stay."
He added, "What a shoddy security system Britain must have to allow me to breeze through Europe to the Islamic State. #Tawakkul. My Lord (Allah) made a mockery of British intelligence and surveillance. Make hijrah (emigrate), Muslims. Place your trust in Allah."
On December 1, 2014, a 3:39-minute video allegedly showing the shooting of Danish national Thomas Hopner in Saudi Arabia was released online. According to various media reports, Hopner was shot in the shoulder on Saturday in Riyadh by an unknown assailant as he left work in his vehicle.
The video is titled "The Beginning of the Rain - Operations of the Islamic State Supporters In the Land of Al-Haramayn [i.e. Saudi Arabia]."
The video features at its beginning the logo of the Al-Battar media foundation, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) media arm. It continues with segments from previously released audio messages from ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad Al-'Adnani, in which they call upon ISIS supporters to target Christians and Jews in Saudi Arabia, and on Muslims in the West to target Westerners, respectively.
Areeb Majeed (image courtesy: khabar.ibnlive.in.com)
Areeb Majeed, a 23-year-old youth from Mumbai who was recruited by and joined the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS), has been arrested after his return to India on November 28. Previous media reports had said that Arif aka Areeb Majeed was killed in fighting for the ISIS in Iraq. Areeb and three other Muslim youths from Kalyan, a suburb of Mumbai, went in May this year as part of a group of Shi'ite pilgrims to Iraq and joined ISIS.
Below is the copy of a first-person statement by Areeb Majeed, as translated from a Hindi-language Indian website:
"I was influenced by ISIS, [and] wanted to fight for it. For this purpose, I tried to prepare 43 students of my polytechnic institute [where Arif Majeed studied for an engineering degree] but ultimately only three of my friends agreed. Through a website, we tried to establish contact with ISIS. The person with whom we established contact through this website was also an Indian. He told us the path to join the ISIS."
In the past week, operatives and online supporters of the Islamic State (ISIS) have reiterated the call for what they call a media blackout on all information related to ISIS' fighting in Iraq or Syria, and especially in Kobane (Ain Al-Arab). The order for a blackout came as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that dozens of ISIS fighters had been killed and that the Kurdish YPG units were making gains in the city. ISIS supporters even launched a hashtag, #MediaBlackout, to stress the importance of maintaining the blackout.
For example, an ISIS fighter calling himself ÔÇ£Muhammad Al-AmirÔÇØ [Muhammad the Commander] tweeted: ÔÇ£Very urgent: the brothers in Ayn Al-Islam [ISIS's name for Kobane] have demanded not to spread any news on Ayn Al-Islam, especially now. Please abide by this. Copy this tweet and spread it.ÔÇØ
On December 3, 2014, the media company of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Homs released a 6-minute video documenting the organization's capture of the Al-Sha'er oil field in late October. The video shows an attack on a Syrian army position (including graphic images of killed Syrian soldiers), and also the downing of a Syrian army jet in the course of the battle.
This video-clip, posted on the Internet on November 25, 2014, shows Sharif Al-Safouri, Commander of the FSA Haramain Battalion, and other leading FSA commanders clashing with Jabhat Al-Nusra over "booty" taken from the Syrian regime army. This incident led to Sharif Al-Safouri being arrested by Jabhat Al-Nusra in July, after which Jabhat Al-Nusra released a video in which Al-Safouri "confessed" to collaboration with Israel.
Following are excerpts from the November 25 video:
Haramain Battalion Commander Sharif Al-Safouri : "In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Prayers and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad. As we were loading the booty taken from the Bashar Al-Assad regime... We in the Haramain Battalion were loading the booty, along with the Murabiteen Battalion and the Al-Sabatten Battalion. Then we were attacked by Jabhat Al-Nusra people, who brandished their weapons in our faces.
"They brandished their weapons at their Muslim brothers. Everybody here can attest to that."
FSA fighter: "Say: 'Allah Akbar!'"
FSA fighters: "Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar!"
Sharif Al-Safouri: "This is the commander of the Murabiteen Battalion."
On November 26, 2014 the Egyptian jihadist group Ajnad Misr released via its Al-Kinana media wing an 11-minute- long video titled "[Securing] Life Via Blood Revenge". The video documents in detail attacks the group carried out against Egyptian security forces in recent months. The film also includes threats that the group will continue its attacks on the security forces, as long as they continue to commit crimes against their own people.