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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AQAP Mufti Ibrahim Al-Rubaish
In April 2012, 'Abdallah Al-Sa'd, a prominent Saudi religious scholar, issued a fatwa in which he warned the mujahideen in Yemen to avoid harming Muslims and their property, and emphasized that "what is being done by some people in Yemen's Zanjibar, 'Aden and Abyan [provinces] contravenes the directives of the Koran and the Sunna, angers Allah, and arouses forbidden fitna." Al-Sa'd urged the mujahideen in Yemen to "cleave to the path of the Prophet Muhammad, and to implement Allah's religion and perform da'wa wisely... in a way that will help [the mujahideen] themselves and the Muslims [at large]."
The fatwa evoked a response from the Mufti of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Saudi mujahid and former Guantanamo prisoner Ibrahim Al-Rubaish. In a letter to Al-Sa'd dated July 30, 2012, he explained that the mujahideen have no choice but to fight the Yemeni government, because the latter refuses to implement the shari'a. Moreover, this government has joined forces with the enemies of Islam in the so-called war on terror, sending Yemeni soldiers and tribesmen to wage a "cruel war" against the mujahideen, and it even allows the American drones to "fly in its airspace and kill whoever they wish," he says.
On October 26, 2012, the jihadi forum Shumoukh Al-Islam published a communiqué from Abu 'Abdallah Al-Hamawi, commander of the "Ahrar Al-Sham" ("Syrian Liberation") Brigades, in which he greeted the mujahideen in Syria specifically, and the Muslim ummah in general, on the occasion of 'Eid Al-Adha (which falls this year on October 26-29). He noted that despite the heavy price the Syrian people was paying, "the buds of victory have become a torch lighting the roadsides and strengthening the hands of the mujahideen," adding that the latter would cling to their path until oppression and tyranny were done away with.
On October 28, 2012, the jihadi website Shumoukh Al-Islam posted what it described as exclusive pictures from Jabhat Al-Nusra's "Fatih" camp. Fatih is said to be a training camp in Syria where the group trains its fighters. The pictures show dozens of masked men training with weapons, including an anti-aircraft gun.
The following is a selection of pictures posted on the website:
The Al-Maqreze Center For Historical Studies in London, run by Dr. Hani Al-Siba'i, a member of the shari'a council for the jihadi website Minbar Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad, published an October 21, 2012 fatwa by Sheikh Abu Mundhir Al-Shinqiti, another member of the shari'a council, concerning the duty of Sunni Muslims to fight the Alawites. In his fatwa, Al-Shinqiti rules that the Alawites are not Muslims, and that it is the duty of all Muslims to fight them. He says that the Alawites are committed to the hatred of Muslims and Islam, and that since the dawn of history they have persecuted the Sunnis and joined forces with the enemies of Islam. He stresses that this duty to fight Alawites refers not only to a war against the current Syrian regime or the Ba'th party, but a war against the entire Alawite sect because, he states, "Syria will see no revival of Islam unless it rids itself of this infidel sect."
Following are excerpts from Al-Shinqiti's fatwa:
Al-Shinqiti begins by saying that one of tragedies of Islam today is that apostate sects are considered an inseparable part of the Islamic Ummah. Therefore, he says, there are those who work to hide the truth about the principles of the Alawite faith despite the horrors they inflict upon Islam and Muslims, and demand that the Alawites be treated the same as Muslims. He explains that in light of this reality, he has decided to expose the truth regarding the Alawites' heretical faith and their hatred of Islam.
Over the past 24 hours, online jihadis on top Al-Qaeda forums have joined the millions worldwide following the latest developments regarding Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to cause unprecedented damage in many states along the eastern coastline of the U.S. Online jihadis have expressed joy over the hurricane's arrival, with some describing it as punishment from Allah against the U.S. for the release last month of the U.S.-produced anti-Islamic film "Innocence of Muslims."
On October 24, 2012, the National Assembly of Pakistan (the country's lower house of parliament) released an updated list of 48 militant organizations as well as extremist religious and political groups that were banned by the Pakistani governments during past 12 years. Almost all of these groups, listed below, are active in Pakistan today. Of those on the list, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) is the military arm of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), which has rebranded itself as Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) and functions openly. Similarly, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operates under the name of its charity wing Jamaatud Dawa (JuD). After LeT and JuD were outlawed by the United Nations Security Council, the group rebranded itself as a charity called Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF).
The events of October 24 in the Cairo district of Nasr City have raised concerns in Egypt over the presence of jihadi and even Al-Qaeda affiliated cells in the country. New information has since surfaced regarding the Egyptian connection to the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. On October 24, 2012, Egyptian police raided an apartment in Nasr City, a sweep that evolved into a gunfight with a terrorist cell leaving the dweller of the apartment dead. The latter, a Libyan national, is said to have been involved in the Benghazi attack. The Libyan was part of a larger cell that included a number of non-Egyptians. So far, Egyptian authorities have captured eight members of this cell, among them a Tunisian and an officer in the Egyptian army.