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.
By: Steven Stalinsky, R. Sosnow and M. Khayat
By all accounts, 2018 was a good year financially for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Amazon made record profits in 2018, and on January 7, 2019, it was announced that it is now the most valuable public company in the world. For the second year in a row, Bezos ranks as the richest man in modern history. Additionally, as part of Amazon's expansion this past year, it announced that it was opening new headquarters in New York City and in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C., and that it was set to spend some $5 billion on content for its Prime Instant Video, holding talks with Viacom's Paramount Pictures and Sony. As usually happens with major online platforms and tech companies whose ever-expanding services jihadi groups have found ways to exploit, Amazon's Drive platform, designed for storing and sharing photos, videos, PDFs, and other forms of content, has been adopted by the Islamic State (ISIS), Al-Qaeda, and other organizations as a stable and reliable platform for disseminating their content. After uploading this content to Amazon Drive, they share the links to it with their followers and sympathizers, primarily using the encrypted messaging app Telegram, terrorists' "app of choice."
Speaking at a public rally in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad, radical Islamic cleric Maulana Abu Jindal Hasaan said: "[We] are always prepared to follow the emir-ul-mujahideen [leader of the mujahideen, i.e., Maulana Masood Azhar]. India will soon beg for talks [on Kashmir] due to the sacrifices of the mujahideen."
Radical Pakistani cleric Mufti Rafeeq Ahmed told a large rally in the town of Ghotki in Pakistan's Sindh province: "Due to the blessings of jihad, today America is begging the Afghan mujahideen for talks. Jihad must be waged for a life of dignity and for freedom from oppression."
To mark Kashmir Unity Day on February 5, 2019, Pakistani jihadi organization Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) held rallies in at least 50 towns of Pakistan and Pakistani Kashmir, according to a report in the Urdu weekly Haftroza Al-Qalam. An audio speech of Maulana Masood Azhar, the emir of JeM, was played at these rallies.
On February 19, 2019, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) media outlet published a poster claiming that ISIS operatives in the Idlib region had raided a military position belonging to Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and captured some of the rival jihadi group's fighters, while the other HTS fighters fled.
On February 20, 2019, a pro-ISIS media outlet distributed a poster captioned in French and English in response to the stabbing attack that occurred in Marseilles, France on the previous day.
On February 14, 2019, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) media outlet warned ISIS fighters operating in the desert of eastern Homs Governorate in Syria not to use a new road the Syrian military had recently opened in the area.
On February 19, 2019, the Islamic State (ISIS) in Sinai released a set of 15 images documenting a raid on an Egyptian army position south of the neighborhood of Safa near Al-Arish International Airport in Sinai, Egypt.
Issue 169 of the Islamic State (ISIS) weekly Al-Naba', which was released on February 14, 2019, eulogized a fighter named Abd Al-Malik Al-Dagestani aka Abu Muhammad, who joined the group in Sinai, Egypt, and died fighting.
On February 13, 2019, an audio production foundation affiliated with Al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a jihadi nasheed condemning the Islamic State (ISIS) and calling on the "lions of Sunnah" to destroy ISIS.
On February 20, 2019, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated media outlet released a five-minute video accusing the Islamic State (ISIS) in Yemen of targeting innocent Muslims. Tilted "God Testified That They Are Liars," the video is the fifth installment in a series attacking ISIS activity and operations in Yemen.
On February 15, 2019, the Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen-affiliated Shahada news agency reported that three U.S. servicemen and five Somali Special Forces members were killed the same day in an attack in southern Somalia.
On February 15, 2019, the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Jama'at Nusrat Al-Islam Wal-Muslimin (The Group for Support of Islam and Muslims – GSIM) claimed responsibility through its official media outlet, Az-Zallaqa Media Foundation, for a February 9 suicide attack against French forces in Timbuktu, Mali.
On February 15, 2019, a group on Telegram which specializes in "uncovering the truth about [Abu Bakr] Al-Baghdadi's Kharijites" posted links to five of its WhatsApp groups and asked for support.
On February 15, 2019, Malhama Tactical, a group of Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) supporters who provide military training in Syria's Idlib region, released an eight-minute video showing the training exercises of members of Katibat Al-Ghuraba, a group of Uyghur fighters in Syria.
On February 16, 2019, the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) released a video of a nasheed (Islamic religious chant) in the Uyghur language that urges Muslims, especially those living in East Turkestan (China's Xinjiang region), to engage in jihad for the sake of Allah and to elevate His religion above all else.
In a Friday sermon at a mosque in the town of Mirpur in Pakistani Kashmir, Islamic cleric Maulana Muhammad Umair said: "Muslims! Consider jihad as Allah's blessing and virtue." Maulana Umair is associated with Pakistani jihadi group Jaish-e-Muhammad.
In an audio speech whose transcript was published by the Urdu weekly Haftroza Al-Qalam, Maulana Masood Azhar, emir of Pakistani jihadi organization Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), tells his audiences that jihadi fighters' "efforts will not go useless. And Kashmir will be free and together with it will become the cause of the freedom of the Muslims of entire India..."
On February 18, 2019, one of the websites of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization) reported that at least 72 Afghan security personnel, including 49 soldiers and 18 military policemen, had defected from the Afghan government and joined the Taliban.
On February 20, 2019, the Taliban released a statement that accused the U.S. and Afghan militaries of destroying a historic Quranic school and called on its fighters to target sensitive intelligence centers and "planning nests of evil of the invaders."
On February 18, 2019, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization) said that its fighters had captured a U.S. drone in Afghanistan's Farah province.
On February 20, 2019, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization) rejected U.S. Central Command commander Gen. Joseph Votel's statement that the Islamic State (ISIS) is a threat to America from the soil of Afghanistan. Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate, accused the general of issuing such statements to mislead the American public, who may want to end the U.S. war in Afghanistan.