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 18, 2016, the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed it had killed a U.S. soldier in an attack on the village of Khaniz, north of Raqqah in Syria, on December 17. The claim, published by the A'maq news agency on Telegram, was attributed to a "security source."
An Islamic State (ISIS) supporter on Facebook appears to be living in Camden, New Jersey, openly expresses his support for ISIS on his page. According to information he provides on Facebook, he was once incarcerated, and has mentioned that he still visits prisoners. It appears that he brings his imprisoned friends radical Islamic materials.
Issue 60 of the Islamic State (ISIS) weekly Al-Naba' featured an article celebrating the December 19, 2016, terrorist attack in Berlin, which ISIS had claimed responsibility for the following day. Titled "One Of The Caliphate Soldiers Runs Over 50 Crusaders Using A Truck In Germany," the article praised the attacker for storming a "market packed with Crusaders," and killing "12 Crusaders and injuring 48 others."
By: R. Green
The relationship between Hamas in the Gaza Strip, including its internal security and military wing, and ISIS in Sinai and its supporters in Gaza, has taken a downturn in recent weeks, which was embodied by Hamas conducting a wave of arrests of Salafi-jihadi activists in the strip, and ISIS taking steps to prevent goods from being smuggled into Gaza from Sinai. The downturn is the result of understandings reached between Egyptian intelligence and the Hamas government in Gaza, and Hamas's concern regarding a possible Salafi-jihadi uprising. However, despite the rising tensions, their collaboration did not cease entirely, and according to various elements, especially in the Egyptian regime, ISIS Sinai continues to receive support from Hamas in Gaza, which also included the supply of the explosives used in the December 11, 2016, Coptic Church attack in Cairo.
On December 18 and 19, 2016, several Telegram channels promoted a debate titled "Traits Of The Kawarij – Is the Islamic State Kawarij" featuring Australian Sheikh Abu Omar and Saudi Sheikh Asim Haitham from Al-Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
On December 15, 2016, Humza Ali, 20, a trainee bricklayer from Birmingham, UK was found guilty of attempting, in January 2015, to travel to Syria and join the Islamic State (ISIS). He had reportedly trained for terrorist combat at a paintballing center, and had told an undercover agent that his mother had confiscated his passport.
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On December 19, 2016 a Christmas market in Berlin was the target of a terror attack using a truck as a deadly weapon. 12 people were killed and dozens of wounded when the driver plowed through the crowd of bystanders. The Islamic State (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda have continually incited their followers, specifically Muslims in Europe and the West, to use this tactic to attack non-Muslims. Several reports published by MEMRI in 2016 warned of this specific threat. The method was most recently advocated in the latest issue of the ISIS magazine Rumiyah, published on November 11, 2016, in English, German, French, Urdu and other languages.
By: A. Agron*
The persecution of the minority Rohingya Muslims in the Buddhist-majority Myanmar, which jihadis refer to as Burma, by the government and by Buddhists, has been ongoing for decades. There are roughly one million Rohingya Muslims in this country with a total population of about 50 million. The clashes that are taking place in Myanmar are between the Rohingya militants and the Myanmar government forces.
On December 20, 2016, the Islamic State (ISIS) news agency A'maq claimed responsibility for yesterday's deadly attack in Berlin, in which a man drove a truck into crowds at a Christmas market in the city, killing 12 and injuring scores of others.
On December 20, 2016, the Islamic State (ISIS) published a communiqué claiming responsibility for the December 18 attack in Karak, Jordan. The communiqué named the four perpetrators, provided details on the attack and praised them for attacking "apostates" and citizens of the "crusader coalition" [i.e. the international anti-ISIS coalition] and vowed further attacks on "the nations of the Crusader coalition." The claim was distributed on ISIS channels on Telegram. Nine Jordanian security officers and one Canadian citizen were killed in the attack.
On December 19, 2016 a video was posted on YouTube showing Canadian citizen Joshua Boyle and U.S. citizen Caitlan Coleman together with their two young children. The four are currently being held hostage in Afghanistan after being abducted there in 2012. The two young boys were born while the couple was held in captivity. Facing the camera and periodically reading from a note, the couple sends a message in English to the U.S. President and his government asking them to take the demands of the group holding them seriously, to accept them, and to expedite negotiations for their release, or else they will be harmed and punished. The two healthy looking boys are sitting on their father's lap.
On December 21, 2016, the official ISIS news agency A'maq released a short video featuring three fighters in Ninawa province, Iraq, praising recent attacks claimed by ISIS in Chechnya, Jordan, and Germany,and calling on the "monotheists" worldwide to immigrate to the Islamic State or carry out attacks in the countries where they live.
On December 15, 2016, the Islamic State (ISIS) Khurasan (Afghanistan) province published several images of the wreckage of a reconnaissance drone, allegedly belonging to the U.S. military, that it said it downed in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan.
On December 16, 2016 the pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Al-Yaqeen Media Foundation Telegram channel released a video titled "3D Infographic: 2 Months Since The Battle Of Mosul." The video incorporates 3D graphics and evokes the style of modern videogames, projecting various statistics of ISIS's alleged accomplishments onto scenes from the battle.
On December 21, 2016, a manual of encryption and PC security tips was circulated on a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) channel. The manual was in the form of a PDF labeled "readme." The guide offers step-by-step instructions on installing and using TrueCrypt – software that creates encrypted files on a computer – and CCleaner – a computer registry and junk-clearing utility – and also briefly covers making a kind of homemade fake weapon that "will weigh about 1-2 kg less than an AK47."
On December 16, 2016, the media office of the Islamic State (ISIS) in West Africa released a pictorial report showing the religious police inspecting merchandise in a local market near Lake Chad, flogging a man accused of being a drug dealer, and burning packs of cigarette.
On December 15, 2016, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) released, via Al-Qaeda's Al-Sahab media foundation, a video nasheed titled "How Unfortunate You Are," calling on Pakistani soldiers to leave the military and join Al-Qaeda in its fight against the infidels.
On December 16, 2016, the Syrian branch of the Uyghur jihad organization Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), released several pictures showing its fighters who are stationed in the Al-Ghab Plain, northwest of Hama, Syria.
On December 19, 2016, a video released by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) highlights the brutality of Pakistani government and security forces against the Baloch people in Pakistan's Balochistan province, as well as various TTP attacks on Pakistani forces, including targeted killings and IED and martyrdom operations, in the past year.
On December 14, 2016, the Taliban issued a statement on its website introducing its leader, Mullah Haibatullah (also spelled Hibatullah) Akhunzada. Akhunzada was appointed as the leader of the Afghan Taliban in May 2016 following the death of his predecessor, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan. The statement provides biographical information about Akhunzada, such as his family background, religious qualifications, and other notable professional distinctions, among others. Below are the main points of the statement. The original English-language statement has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization.