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 March 21, 2013, the Gazan Salafi-jihadi group Majlis Shura Al-Mujahideen released a statement on top jihadi forums in which it took responsibility for that day's rocket attacks against the city of Sderot, Israel. The attacks, the statement said, were in response to President Obama's visit to Israel.
In the statement, the group warned President Obama that he would have no security until "the armies of unbelief" exit the Arabian Peninsula and the Muslims live securely in the Muslim world.
The website syriasteps.com reported on March 18, 2013, citing "sources in the Tunisian Salafi movement," that a 10-year-old fighter called "Al-Farouq Al-Tunsi" has been killed in an attack by the Syrian army on a Jabhat Al-Nusrah (JN) camp. According to the report, the boy was with his father, who has been fighting JN's ranks since September 2013.
On March 17, 2013, the jihadi forum Shumoukh Al-Islam initiated an online campaign against drone attacks. The campaign includes the distribution of a 20-page PDF pamphlet titled "The American Drones – Facts and Figures," produced by the forum's women's section, the Hafidat Safia (Daughters of Safia) Workshop.
The pamphlet presents data on drone attacks; quotations from articles and books; and statements by Yemeni and Pakistani civilians, all accompanied by diagrams and illustrations and dealing mostly with civilian deaths. In addition, the pamphlet contains a list of U.S. military bases in the Middle East and Africa from which military drones are allegedly launched. It also claims that drones endanger civilian aviation.
The pamphlet condemns the use of drones as a human rights violation, stressing civilian casualties and even quoting the U.S. Constitution and the poet Robert Frost. At the same time, it glorifies jihad and the jihad fighters "killed in the path of Allah," and threatens the U.S. with revenge. Its final page features an illustration of the U.S. Congress in flames, accompanied by the slogan "there is no other way… except jihad."
On March 12, 2013, Yemeni journalist 'Abd Al-Razzaq Al-Jamal, who specializes in covering Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), posted on his Facebook page an interview he conducted with Sheikh Mamoun bin 'Abd Al-Hamid Hatem, whom he describes as an AQAP scholar of da'wa and a prominent tribal sheikh in the Ibb Governorate in southern Yemen. In the interview, Hatem says that the U.S. is trying to crush the Yemeni tribes because they support the mujahideen and advocate the implementation of the shari'a, and that the American attacks only increase the population's support for the mujahideen. He accuses Saudi Arabia of giving the Americans access to the Arabian Peninsula and of abetting them in their "Crusader war" against the mujahideen and the shari'a worldwide. He objects to negotiations between the mujahideen and the "collaborating" Yemeni government, and says that only war will decide between Truth and Falsehood. Finally, he calls on the Sunnis to wake up and confront the Houthis, who pose "a great danger to the religion and faith," otherwise "their flames will destroy society as a whole."
Sheikh Mamoun bin 'Abd Al-Hamid Hatem (right) with Journalist 'Abd Al-Razzaq Al-Jamal
On March 15, 2013, a new video message by Austrian mujahid Muhammad Mahmoud, aka Abu Usama Al-Gharib, was posted on the jihadi forum Shumoukh Al-Islam. In the video, titled "[I Trample] The Crusader Citizenship Underfoot," Abu Usama, one of the founders of the jihad group Millatu Ibrahim, renounces his Austrian citizenship and burns his passport.
The video is one in a series of messages implicitly calling on Muslims living in the West to emigrate to Muslim countries. In it, Abu Usama condemns democracy and the "evil ways" of the "Crusaders", and says that he has no part in the Austrian culture, mentality, unbelief and polytheism, or in any Western system or ideology.
He also declares war on the EU and America, saying that the principle of "the Community of Abraham" (Millat Ibrahim) entails "eternal hostility and hatred for the infidels", and vows to "slaughter these dogs" and "chop off their heads". As he burns his passport, he pledges to bring the same fire to "cities, trains, streets, houses, parliaments and courts" in the countries of the infidels, while the film shows footage of the Cologne Cathedral and of Al-Qaeda's Madrid, London and 9/11 attacks.
It should be noted that, after the banning of his group in Germany, Abu Usama traveled to Egypt, apparently intending to continue to Libya and establish a propaganda center there – a plan which never came to fruition. According to the German journalist Florian Flade, German intelligence believes he is now in Syria seeking to liaison with Jabhat Al-Nusrah.
Abu Usama burning his Austrian passport
In a video posted on YouTube on March 17, 2013, a Chinese convert to Islam who is participating in the war against the Assad regime in Syria delivers a message to the Chinese government. The speaker, introduced as Yusouf Bo Wang, says that he converted to Islam four years ago after reading Sayyed Qutb's book Milestones (Ma’alim fi al-Tareeq) online. Later he traveled to Libya to learn Arabic, and joined the Libyan revolution when it started, and after that he came to Syria and joined the Mujahideen Brigade. The latter is part of the jihad group Liwa' Al-Mujahideen, known to be operating in northern Syria.
On March 17, 2013, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) issued a statement on top jihadi forums in which it said it was in dire need of support, including in men and equipment, to continue its fight against France in Northern Mali, and against the apostates (i.e. Algerian government) in northern Algeria. AQIM cautioned Muslim men, especially those in Tunisia, to carefully weigh their decision in making hijra, since it could end up emptying such countries of the forces needed to oppose the secularists' agendas there.
The Islamist group Ansar Dine claimed in a communiqué that France is poisoning wells and using depleted uranium bombs in its military campaign in northern Mali.
According to the communiqué, which was distributed in the town of Gossi, French and Malian forces have been using depleted uranium bombs in their bombing campaign on the caves of the Ifoghas mountains. Ansar Dine further claimed that "French and Malian troops have poisoned a number of wells in the areas near the Ifoghas and Azwagh mountains." A former senior commander in Ansar Dine said that "The poisoning of wells comes as the temperatures in the area are rising and the demand for water is increasing." He added that this was "a new tactic aimed at strengthening the siege on hundreds of militants from the militant groups such as Al-Qaeda, MUJAO and Ansar Dine."