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.
The London-based Saudi daily Al-Hayat reports that the Jordanian authorities have arrested numerous members of the Salafi-jihadi stream throughout the country, after many Salafi-jihadis infiltrated Syria to join the jihad there. Among those arrested is Al-Qaeda operative Raed Hijazi, aka Abu Ahmad Al-Amriki ("the American"), a Jordanian of Palestinian origin who holds U.S. citizenship, whom the Jordanian authorities have described as "one of the most dangerous people currently working for Al-Qaeda."
A new Twitter page claiming to be the official page of Al-Malahem, the media company of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has posted a message in AQAP's name claiming responsibility for the December 5, 2013 attack on the headquarters of Yemen's Defense Ministry in Sana'a, in which dozens of people were killed.
Seven Islamist groups announced the formation of "The Islamic Front", an alliance aimed at toppling Bashar Al-Assad's regime and replacing it with an Islamic state in Syria . The new alliance, announced Friday, November 22, 2013 in a clip aired on Al-Jazeera TV,, includes the following groups: Ahrar Al-Sham, Jaish Al-Islam, Liwa' Al-Tawhid, Liwa' Al-Haqq, Suqour Al-Sham, Ansar Al-Sham and the Kurdish Islamic Front. Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate,, Jabhat Al-Nusra, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria remain outside the new alliance.
Suqour Al-Sham's leader Ahmad 'Issa Al-Sheikh, was appointed to head the Islamic Front's shoura council; Jaish Al-Islam's leader Zahran 'Aloush, was appointed it’s the alliance's military commander; and Aharar Al-Sham's leader Hassan 'Aboud will serve as its political director.
Ahmad 'Issa Al-Sheikh reading the Islamic Front's founding statement. Source: AFP, November 22, 2013.
The jihad group "Katibat Al-Ummah Al-Islamiyya" has posted a message on Twitter taking responsibility for the assassination of Hizbullah senior official Hassan Al-Laqis on the night between December 3 and 4, 2013.
On December 2, 2013, the website of KavkazCenter, which is affiliated with the Caucasus Emirate, published a video titled "Appeal By Tatarstan Emir Abdallah" in which the emir claims responsibility for the November 16 rocket attack on the Nizhnekamskneftekhim petrochemical plant in the city of Nizhnekamsk in Tatarstan. The video was also posted on YouTube on December 1.
In the video, Abdallah calls himself emir of Bulgaristan, which the video's description says includes Tatarstan and the Idel-Ural region. He states that in 2013, the mujahideen of Bulgaristan carried out many operations on Russian soil, including derailing freight trains, blowing up gas and oil pipelines, destroying power supply lines, and killing infidels from the security forces.
Kashmir's Dukhtaran-e-Millat Chief: 'Some People From Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Came To Me From Saudi Arabia; They Told Me They Belonged To Al-Qaeda And Wanted To Start Ghazwa-e-Hind From Pakistan'
In a recent interview, Asiya Andarabi, who is the leader of the secessionist Islamist Kashmiri women's group Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of the Muslim Nation), said that the "jihad" being waged in Pakistan is haram, or forbidden in Islam. Dukhtaran-e-Millat, active in Indian Kashmir since 1989, stands for the secession of Kashmir from India and its inclusion into Pakistan.
Andarabi said that a member of Al-Qaeda had contacted her requesting her to extend support for participation of Kashmiris in the jihad underway in Pakistan for the enforcement of Islamic shari'a. "I was told that a journalist from a Saudi newspaper wanted to interview me, but when we met he said that he belonged to Al-Qaeda and also patronizes the Tehreek-e-Taliban active in Pakistan," she said, according to the Pakistani Urdu daily Roznama Dunya.
Below are excerpts from an Indian media report noting that the Pakistan-based jihadi organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is using an exclusive Skype-type application developed by Pakistani military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to plan terror attacks:
"The increasing use of an exclusive and underground Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) application by suspected terrorists has sent alarm bells ringing among the Indian security establishment which believes it to be a creation of the Pakistani spy agency ISI.
"The clandestine, Skype-like application being used by suspected terrorists is hosted on anonymous servers, hidden behind security walls that operate underground and cannot be intercepted through legal means. 'The only way to intercept these conversations is to hack them, but they are highly secured due to high-grade encryption. We are finding it difficult to crack it,' said a security official.
On November 27, 2013, an announcement was made on the Shabakat Al-Iraq Wal-Sham, which is a jihadi forum associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), announcing the launching of the Asrar Al-Ghurabaa' project. The project, which, according to the announcement, was launched by the dawla (i.e. ISIS) mujahideen and their supporters, facilitates the exchange of secure communications among individuals.
The Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF) released a statement warning jihadis from using the newly-released encryption program Asrar Al-Ghurabaa', which was officially released several days earlier on a jihadi forum associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), and promised jihadis the means to exchange secure communication among each other.
In Pakistan, where activists of Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party have been recently protesting against the U.S. drone strikes by stopping U.S. and NATO supplies going to Afghanistan through Pakistani territory, several Islamic scholars have offered sharia-based justification for stopping the NATO supplies.
The first sharia-based justification for stopping NATO supplies was offered just days after the November 1 killing of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) emir Hakimullah Mehsud in a U.S. drone strike. According to a report on the website of The Express Tribune daily, the clerics called for stopping NATO supplies and the destruction of the U.S. drones flying over Pakistan.
These clerics included: Maulana Saleemullah Khan, president of Wafaq ul-Madaris al-Arabia; Mufti Mohammad Rafi Usmani, president of the Jamia Darul Uloom Karachi; Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani, vice president of the Jamia Darul Uloom Karachi; Dr. Abdul Razzaq Sikandar of Jamiyat-ul-Uloom al-Islamiya Binori Town; Maulana Qari Mohammad Hafeez Jalandhari and other Islamic scholars.
In a new video, the Afghan Taliban commander for Kunar province of Afghanistan challenges the U.S. to engage in a ground battle and claims that there are more than 20,000 Taliban fighters in the province, which borders Pakistan.
The 58-minute Pashtu-language video, titled "Signs Of Divine Support," was prepared by Al-Emara Jihadist Studio of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban shadow government. The video features Taliban fighters targeting Afghan and U.S.-led forces and their bases in direct and indirect attacks in different districts of Afghanistan's restive Kunar province, which borders Pakistan's tribal district of Bajaur Agency.
Former TTP Spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan Creates New ID On Facebook, Posts: 'This Apostate Army [Of Pakistan], Leaving Its… Ideology, Began A New Era Of Atrocities On Muslims In Defense And Persistence Of Anti-Islam Ideologies'
Ehsanullah Ehsan, the former spokesman of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who now works as part of a TTP team of fighters led by Commander Omar Khalid Khorasani, has created a new Facebook ID under the name Sajjad Momand.
Omar Khalid Khorasani is the TTP's emir for Mohmand Agency. Following the appointment of Maulana Fazlullah as the new emir of TTP, Khorasani's video statements have appeared without the TTP logo, leading to speculation that he might be unhappy over not being named to succeed Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike on November 1, 2013.
Pakistan released more than 50 Taliban leaders in a year and most of them rejoined the jihad against the U.S. in Afghanistan, according to an Urdu-language daily.
"Meanwhile, the Pakistani government has freed three more Afghan [Taliban] leaders, including: Mullah Abdul Ahad Jahangirwal, former advisor of Mullah Omar; Mullah Abdul Mannan, former governor of Helmand [province of Afghanistan]; and Mullah Younus, the former military commander," Urdu daily Roznama Ummat wrote in a report.
The latest issue of the English-language magazine Azan, published by the Taliban in Khurasan (Afghanistan-Pakistan region), contains an encryption-based software key to recruit potential jihadis from the Western countries. The issue of Azan, the fourth since it began publishing early this year, was released by a jihadi website.
Recently, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban's shadow government in the country) published a statement analyzing the U.S. drone policy and arguing that the U.S. has lost hopes of winning wars militarily, leaving the battleground to the mujahideen to roam around. This Taliban view is similar to that of slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who argued, after the U.S. exit from Somalia, that America could no longer risk its soldiers.
The statement also notes that the militant commanders reduce their public profile in order to avoid drones. "Any [jihadi] leaders that suspect being targeted by drone planes inevitably retract their public profile and instead delegate their operational duties to other less known associates. In other words, most of those targeted by these drone strikes are operational commanders. The targeting of these commanders cannot disrupt any of their activities because these commanders always nurture several delegates who are able to take over," it says.
The Taliban statement adds: "The disadvantages of these drone strikes, however, stem from two fatal weaknesses. Drone strikes are inherently unreliable and indiscriminate. Drones are unreliable because they rely on either ground-fed reports or aerial surveillance for identifying potential targets. Ground-fed intelligence is cumbersome, slow and prone to inaccuracies. Aerial surveillance is even more unreliable."
Following is the text of the statement:
"After More Than A Decade Of Waging War And Committing Atrocities, The U.S. Has Finally Come To Realize That Their Military Adventures Have Proved Nothing Short Of A Debacle"
"In recent years we have seen an intensification of the Americans' reliance on drone warfare. This report examines the reasons for this new-found strategy and the prospects for its future use. After the 9/11 attacks on American soil, the American politicians embarked on a series of aggressive campaigns. They imagined that they will win a quick and successive series of campaigns in the Islamic world and thereby permanently change the geo-strategic scale in their favor. Instead, after more than a decade of waging war and committing atrocities, the U.S. has finally come to realize that their military adventures have proved nothing short of a debacle. The U.S. military finds itself neck deep in a quagmire and incapable of pulling themselves out of it. The aggressive wars the U.S. has waged in Afghanistan and elsewhere has left the U.S. militarily exhausted, financially bankrupt, and politically discredited."
On November 24, 2013, after four days of discussion, Afghan delegates attending the Loya Jirga (the council of elders) in Kabul approved the text of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between Afghanistan and the United States. The BSA provides legal authority and immunity to U.S. soldiers who will remain deployed in Afghanistan after 2014. The agreement is yet to be signed by President Hamid Karzai.
In a statement, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban's shadow government led by Mullah Omar) condemned the proposed agreement, arguing that it is just another document aimed at keeping the Afghan nation under American slavery. Following is the text of the statement:
"Just as we had said previously, the farce Loya Jirga was convened in Kabul by the stooge Karzai regime in order to protect American interests. All its participants were government employees or active American stipendiary; decisions were preordained; it did not recognize things such as creed, nation or interests and with its historical treachery, it clearly proved that these known faces are submissive to American decrees and ready for every kind of treason and dishonor all the while labeling such steps as national interests."
Militants in the Pakistani tribal region
Quoting unidentified Pakistani security officials, a leading newspaper reports that local members of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistani (TTP) in Pakistan's Faisalabad city were tasked with kidnapping members of Shia and Ahmadi Muslim communities to raise funds.
Following are excerpts from the report:
"The plan... [to kidnap Ahmadi and Shia Muslims] was revealed by five militants during their interrogation by intelligence agencies. The five alleged TTP terrorists – Usman Ghani alias Talha of Jameel Town, Ghulam Mohammadabad and Ali Azam alias Farooq of Razabad, Mubashar Nadeem alias Bao of Chak Jhumra, Usman of Lahore and Shahzad Ali of Gurunanakpura – had been produced... by the police at a press conference on Nov 5."
Several retired officials from the Pakistani intelligence have been recently recruited by Middle Eastern countries such as the UAE and Qatar, according to an Urdu daily.
Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Shuja Pasha, the former chief of Pakistani military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), whose services were obtained by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently, has now been appointed as the "Regional Chief" of the UAE's secret agency.