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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Egyptian security services in northern and southern Sinai are on alert for possible attacks by jihadi elements on foreign tourists in the peninsula. Security sources noted that several government cars had recently been stolen in the area, and might be booby trapped and used in perpetrating such attacks. All security forces have been instructed to raise their level of alertness to prevent jihadi elements from carrying out attacks during the Islamic holiday season.
On October 24, 2012, Al-Qaeda's media company, Al-Sahab, released the 11th installment in a series of recordings by Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri titled "Message of Hope and Glad Tidings to Our People in Egypt." In it, Al-Zawahiri mentions the issue of Muslim prisoners in Guantanamo and elsewhere, including Sheikh 'Omar 'Abd Al-Rahman aka "the Blind Sheikh," and says that Al-Qaeda is seeking to kidnap additional Westerners, following the kidnapping of American citizen Warren Weinstein in 2011, to be used in any future prisoner exchanges. Al-Zawahiri says that Al-Qaeda calls on all Muslims to kidnap citizens of Western countries are at war with Islam to the same end. The current installment, released on top jihadi forums in two parts, 1:18:25 and 00:58:10 in duration, respectively, is dated Shawwal 1433 (August-September 2012).
On October 24, 2012, the Somali Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen published a statement regarding radical cleric Abu Hamza Al-Masri, whom Britain recently extradited to the U.S. The statement called upon the Muslims in both these countries to work for Al-Masri's release, and promised Britain it would "suffer the consequences of its sinful act."
On October 24, 2012, the Syrian jihadi group Jabhat Al-Nusra released a communiqué on the Shumoukh Al-Islam forum challenging the planned 'Eid Al-Adha ceasefire, which was offered by UN envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi. Earlier today, Brahimi said that both the Syrian regime and most opposition factions had agreed to the ceasefire. In its statement, Jabhat Al-Nusra questioned Brahimi's mission in Syria it is entirety, and said that his mission thus far has been limited to empty statements and a few public appearances.
On October 22, 2012, Al-Masira TV, which is owned by the Houthi movement, aired exclusive footage of a shipment being offloaded from a U.S. military aircraft in Sana'a International Airport. The channel then followed a military truck transporting the offloaded shipment through the city, until it reached its destination near the Sheraton Hotel, which is close to the U.S. embassy.
In a new audio message titled "Events And Insights," the commander of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Sa'id Al-Shihri (aka Abu Sufyan Al-Azdi), addresses some of the recent events in Yemen, primarily the mujahideen's withdrawal from some areas in the south of the country that were under their control. Al-Shihri states that the "apostate" Yemeni forces joined the Americans in an all-out war against Ansar Al-Shari'a (i.e., the mujahideen), and forced them to withdraw in order to protect the lives and property of the Muslims. However, he assures his audience that the withdrawal was only temporary, a tactic in a type of guerilla warfare called "hit and run."
On October 19, 2012, the London based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that senior Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) cleric Sheikh Abu Al-Zubair, aka 'Adel Al-'Abab, was killed in a drone strike targeting two cars in Al-Sa'eed directorate, in Yemen's Shabwa province, on October 4, 2012.
On October 19, 2012, the Mauritanian news agency Agence Nouakchott D'Information (ANI) published an interview with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's (AQIM) newly-appointed commander for the Sahara region, 'Okasha Jamal, aka Yahya Abu Al-Humam. In the interview, Abu Al-Humam spoke of the recent talk of military action against jihadists in Azawad as part of an ongoing "Crusader" campaign by the West against Islam. He sent a threatening message to the French government and President Francois Hollande regarding the French hostages being held by his group, saying that refusal to negotiate with AQIM will bring about their deaths.
Multiple media sources have reported that Mokhtar Belmokhtar, aka Khalid Abu Al-Abbas aka "Al-A'war" ("the one-eyed"), has refused to step down from the leadership of the Al-Mulathameen Masked Men Brigade, after being discharged by Abu Mus'ab 'Abd Al-Wadoud, leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
On October 21, 2012, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) released a statement on the top jihadi forums addressed to the "rational" element of the Islamic movement in Tunisia in general (presumably its rational leaders), and the ruling Al-Nahda party in particular. AQIM says that its message should not be interpreted as a call upon Tunisians to clash with the Al-Nahda party, but rather should be considered a warning to the Islamic movement as a whole – which AQIM notes it is also part of – not to fall prey to the traps of the enemies of Islam. AQIM also addresses the internal battles and divisions within the various Islamic movements in Tunisian, and urges them to unite and "direct all of our arrows" at the enemies of Islam instead.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban's shadow government) recently released a video, showing Taliban fighters targeting NATO and Afghan troops, armored vehicles, and military bases mostly in Afghanistan's Khost, Paktia, and Paktika provinces, which are considered a hotbed of the Haqqani Network. The 1:08-hour video, which is titled "De Ghazyano Karwan" (The Convoy of Heroes), was produced by the Manba-ul-Jihad (Source of Jihad), a media production house of the Cultural Commission of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban's shadow government). The video was posted on the U.S.-based website archive.org and linked from a Taliban website. A section of the video which is sub-titled "The Jihadist Atomic Furnace" shows two vehicle-borne suicide bombers and a dismounted bomber targeting foreign forces' bases and NATO troops in Paktia, Khost, and Logar provinces of Afghanistan. In another section, titled "The Fall Of Modern Technology," the video shows the militants conducting approximately 20 Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks against Afghan and NATO troops and their convoys.
On October 24, 2012, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban's shadow government) issued the annual statement of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha (the feast of sacrifice). In the statement, Mullah Omar reiterates the known Taliban positions regarding jihad and urges Afghan securitymen to cooperate with the mujahideen. The statement of Mullah Omar, who is considered Emir-ul-Momineen (Leader of the Faithful), is dated October 23 and, because the Taliban websites have been down over the past few days, was released on the Alvizier.iea page on Facebook, which is known to belong to a genuine Taliban representative. Eid-ul-Adha will be celebrated across the Islamic world for three days, beginning October 26. 2012. Mullah Mohammad Omar issues annual statements on Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.