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.
On December 6, 2013, "Muslim-Al-Britani," aka Hamayun Tariq, a 38-year-old jihadi from England who is currently fighting with ISIS in Syria, created a new Twitter account to replace his previous account that had been deleted. His old account was shut down after he used it to post instructions for making bombs. The new account gained over 400 followers within several days before it was closed down as well.
Last month, three British nationals, known as Abu Sumayya, Abu Hajer and Abu 'Abdallah, carried out suicide attacks in Iraq's Salah Al-Din governorate.
Abu Sumayya Al-Britani, thought to be the first British suicide bomber, detonated a car bomb in the Iraqi city of Baiji on November 7, 2014, killing Iraqi soldiers and officers. According to the British Sunday Times, his real name was Kabir Ahmed, and he was a 31-year-old father of three from Derby.
Kabir Ahmed, aka Abu Sumayya Al-Britani, with his children
On December 10, 2014, a prominent Islamic State (ISIS) online supporter and information propagator tweeted that the French citizen known by the Alias Abu Anas Al-Faransi carried a suicide bombing in Iraq. Online jihadi sources report the attack took place near the town of Huiesh, just west of Samarra, on the highway between Tikrit and Baghdad in the Salah Al-Din district. The operation was carried out with a car bomb and the target was Shi'ite militia forces; other specifics are unknown at this point.
On December 12, 2014 the Al-Hayat Media Center, the official media wing of the Islamic State (ISIS) specializing in productions for non-Arabic speakers, released a German-language music-video with English subtitles. This is the second time that ISIS has officially released a music-video in German. The 5-minute song is based on an Arabic song previously released by ISIS; it has the same title ("Our State Is Victorious") and the same tune and refrain, but the lyrics are slightly different. The recurring phrase "Our State Is Victorious" is sung in Arabic (dawlatuna mansoura).
The song is accompanied by a compilation of scenes from Syria and Iraq: foreign fighters pledging allegiance to ISIS and burning their passports, combat scenes, celebrations and street demonstrations in ISIS-controlled cities, and other images glorifying ISIS and its fighters.
In a video message that was posted online on December 4, 2014, Islamic State (ISIS) commander Abu 'Ali Al-Shishani threatened to kidnap the women and children of Lebanese soldiers, as well as Shi'ite women and children, in response to the arrest of his wife and two young children two days prior in Tripoli, Lebanon. Al-Shishani also called upon ISIS to abandon the negotiations over the abducted Lebanese serviceman it currently holds.
On December 11, 2014, the media company of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Kirkuk Province released a video in which ISIS fighters are seen picking up a spy drone. The incident occurred in an area near Kirkuk where there is currently fighting between ISIS and Peshmerga forces. It should be mentioned that the drone resembles the Israeli-manufactured Elbit Systems Skylark; ISIS claims that its fighters shot it down.
On December 11, 2014, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a video message from one of its senior officials, Nasser Al-Ansi, in which he spoke of the failed U.S. attempt to rescue American hostage Luke Somers, and presented AQAP's version of the events that led to Somers' death. Al-Ansi expressed frustration that the U.S. had refused to negotiate with AQAP for Somer's release, and held President Obama responsible for this, claiming that he had "signed [Somer's] death warrant." He also boasted that a small number of AQAP and tribesmen had bravely repelled the American Special Forces raid.
On December 8, 2014, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a video interview with one of its prominent officials, Nasser Al-Ansi. The 43 minutes interview, which AQAP dubbed as its "First International Press Conference," features Al-Ansi answering questions that were submitted to AQAP by various Arab and Western journalists. The interview touches on a variety of topics including AQAP's operations, strategy, and status in Yemen, particularly in light of U.S. Houthi activities there. The relationship between AQAP and the Islamic State (ISIS) following the latter's declaration of a caliphate and its attempt to garner support from the mujahideen in Yemen, are also touched upon in the interview.
On December 5, 2014, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a nine-minute video documenting some of the group's operations against Houthis in Al-Bayda Governorate in Yemen. The video features prominent AQAP official Nasser Al-Ansi, who says that AQAP's attacks against the Houthis thus far have been only the beginning of a larger battle that will come afterwards. Al-Ansi also calls upon the mujahideen to target Houthis whenever they have an opportunity to do so.
Following the second failed U.S. attempt to rescue American captive Luke Somers, who was held by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the organization's supporters responded to the affair on social media. Most expressed satisfaction over the operation's failure, and one, called Al-Batar Al-Dhamari, also provided details about the operation, claiming that three American soldiers were killed in it and another was taken prisoner.
In a series of posts on his Twitter account, Al-Batar Al-Dhamari wrote that AQAP had managed to thwart the U.S. raid thanks to tribal forces from the Shabwa region that had joined ranks with it, and also thanks to AQAP's clever handling of the affair.
On December 11, 2014, Ansar Al-Shari'a, also known as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), posted a message on its official Twitter account "Ansar Al-Shari'a News", in which it claimed responsibility for the Grad missile attack on American forces in an airbase in southern Yemen.
In an 8:57-minute video posted on the Internet on November 29, Bengali jihadists in Khorasan, Afghanistan build an Al-Qaeda center and conduct on camera interviews calling on Muslims to join them, citing the benefits of the jihadi life. The video contains shots of the surrounding scenery and of the various food available for the mujahideen there. The video also shows the center's solar panels, which provide "24-7 electricity (no hassle of paying bills)."
According to a Hindi-language website, Pakistani terrorists who launched multiple attacks in India's Jammu & Kashmir state last Friday had brought ready-to-eat food along with arms and ammunition from Pakistan. The terrorists launched attacks on four targets in Kashmir in the early morning of Friday, December 5, in which 11 Indian soldiers and paramilitary troops were killed. Six Pakistani terrorists were killed in the attacks. The attacks came amid a five-phase state election process underway in Kashmir that has seen large turnout of voters.
The leading Pakistani newspaper "The News on Sunday" recently published a review of a landmark book on Islamic history by 9th century Islamic writer Abu Jafar Muhammad Jarir al-Tabari. The book, known popularly as Tareekh-e-Tabari, is an authentic multi-volume book of history taught in madrassas and other centers of Islamic learning.
In the review, noted Pakistani writer Dr. Tariq Rahman focused on Tabari's study of Kharijite movement in Islam and compared it with the modern-day jihadist movements, arguing that the two are identical movements based on the belief in Takfir, i.e. the idea that a Muslim committing a major sin is outside Islam and should be killed.
Arguing that today's youth are susceptible to the message of modern-day Kharijites like the Taliban, Dr. Rahman also observed: "The young are susceptible to listen to narratives about violence because they are filled by a vague sense of the moral bankruptcy of the elite [in the Muslim world], both local and global. While this [intellectual] bankruptcy is a fact, the way to deal with it is by evolution, by education, by reform and not by promoting militancy whether in the name of religion or in any other name."
Following are excerpts from the review by Dr. Tariq Rahman:
"The Khawarij Or Kharijites (Sing. Khariji) i.e. Those Who Are Outside (The Ummah) Were Supporters Of Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib, The Fourth Caliph Of Islam, In The Battle Of Siffin In Present-Day Syria In 657"
"On the eve of 8th of Muharram (November 2, 2014), when the city of Lahore was already tense as the Ashura was about to begin, a suicide bomber killed 60 people and injured about 80 people near the Wagah border. Between 2003 and this year, about 25,463 people have been killed. Pakistan is facing a life threat. Has Muslim society faced such threats before? For answers one may turn to the original sources such as the Tareekh-e-Tabari. This is a compilation of narratives by Abu Jafar Muhammad Jarir al-Tabari (839-923) who was born in Iran and whose work on the exegesis of the Koran as well as history is highly reputed.