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.
Following are excerpts from an interview with Jabhat Al-Nusra Commander Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani. The interview – the first ever to be held with Al-Joulani – was conducted by Tayseer Allouni, the former Al-Jazeera bureau chief in Kabul, who had been detained in Spain for seven years over charges of collaboration with Al-Qaeda. He was released following a European court ruling on January 17, 2012. The interview with Al-Joulani was aired by Al-Jazeera on December 18, 2013.
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: "In Jabhat Al-Nusra, we adhere to the shari'a, the Koran, and the Sunna. We strongly condemn whoever accuses the public of heresy. We believe that Muslim societies are indeed mostly Muslim. We believe that Syrian society is mostly Muslim. In Turkey, most of the society is Muslim, and the same goes for Egypt. This is the rule. We condemn whoever says that heresy is at the core of these societies. We punish whoever commits this [takfir] without knowledge and guidance from Allah."
On December 17, 2013, a group calling itself The Marwan Hadid Brigades published a communiqué in which it claimed joint responsibility with Jabhat Al-Nusra in Lebanon for a rocket attack on a Hizbullah outpost in the Hermal area in Lebanon which took place the previous day. The two groups claimed that the attacks came as a response to Hizbullah’s intervention in Syria and its repression of Sunnis in Lebanon.
Flag reads 'Jabhat Al-Nusra in Lebanon'
On December 11, 2013, the website Fisyria posted a video featuring two commanders from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS): 'Omar Al-Shishani, formerly the commander of Jaysh Al-Muhajireen Wal-Ansar and now the ISIS commander in northern Syria, and Abu Jihad, whom the video describes as the emir of Dana and deputy emir of Idlib. In the video, titled ''Omar Al-Shishani and Abu Jihad on the Latest Developments in Syria – Part I,' the two explain that Jaysh Al-Muhajireen Wal-Ansar has joined ISIS and pledged allegiance to ISIS commander Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
The following are the main points of the video.
'Omar Al-Shishani (left) and Abu Jihad
Addressing all those who care about situation in Syria and of the Islamic nation, 'Omar Al-Shishani states that he and the members of his group, Jaysh Al-Muhajireen Wal-Ansar, have joined ISIS and pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, and therefore Jaysh Al-Muhajireen Wal-Ansar no longer exists. He notes that some 70 group members who belong to the Caucasus Emirate have not yet pledged allegiance to Al-Baghdadi, because they previously pledged allegiance to Abu 'Uthman (Dokka Umarov) and are therefore awaiting instructions from him. He concludes by beseeching Allah to give the brothers and sisters an opportunity to come to 'this honorable land' (Syria).
On December 13, 2013, the Global Islamic Jihad Forum (GIMF) released what it said was the first video in a series called 'Al-Rahma Fi Bilad Al-Sham' about daily life in Al-Sham (Syria). In the video, German jihadi Abu Talha Al-Almani discusses current conditions in Syria and the problems experienced by the local people. He says that the purpose of the series is to provide the Muslim brothers with firsthand information from Syria.
Abu Talha in the video
In the video, Abu Talha, speaking in German, greets the sisters and brothers in Europe, Germany, America, France, Russia and all over the world. He says that there are many places in Syria with no electricity and that Allah has supplied him and his comrades with a generator, so they will be able to continue their da'wa work and 'let the brothers and sisters around the world know what is happening in Al-Sham.' He states that is very important to conduct da'wa with the local people, and says that every day they go out and speak with the brothers about Islam, democracy, and shari'a.
On December 10, 2013, a new encryption program called 'Amn Al-Mujahid ('The Mujahid's Security') was released on top jihadi forums. The entity behind the release is the Al-Fajr Technical Committee (FTC).
The FTC was established in September 2012. It aims at developing and improving jihadis' technical knowledge and capabilities to achieve superiority over the enemy is the fields of media and propaganda. The FTC declared previously that it operates overtly, and jihadis are able to contact it via its accredited accounts on Al-Fida' and the Shumoukh Al-Islam forums.
'Amn Al-Mujahid joins a list of other encryption programs, including encryption programs used for instant messaging and one for use with mobile phones, which jihadis employ in their communications. Up until the current FTC's release, the leading body in developing and releasing encryption programs has been the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF).
The Kuwaiti news website alraimedia.com recently reported that Nasr Al-'Insi, a Yemeni Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) figure, has been recruiting individuals from the Gulf region, especially from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, via Facebook. Al-'Insi also communicated with those recruits via email and over the phone.
The report, citing a Yemeni security source, said that Al-'Insi had good 'persuading' skills vis-à-vis enticing new recruits.
Al-'Insi, says the report, might have been appointed as deputy for Nasser Al-Wuhaishi, AQAP's leader, after Al-Wuhaishi's former deputy Sa'id Al-Shihri was killed in a U.S. drone strike earlier this year.
Recently, a workshop was announced on the Shumoukh Al-Islam forum dedicated to teaching the use of Rapidleech, a script that is used to download material from websites. Jihadis have held at least two previous Rapidleech workshops since 2011. The current workshop will have limited seats, and will run for about a month, said the announcement.
Jihadis rely heavily on uploading Al-Qaeda and other jihadi material to Youtube, the Internet Archive library (archive.org), the Dailymotion website, and other similar websites. They have also long realized the importance of maintaining a steady flow of jihadi material being posted on the above-mentioned websites, especially since such material is frequently flagged or removed shortly after being released.
According to an Indian media report, a new terrorist group calling itself Tehreek-e-Taliban Hindustan (TTH, or Movement of the Indian Taliban) has emerged, with its sole purpose being to wage jihad in India.
A report noted that the Indian intelligence agencies have sent a report to the federal ministry of home affairs, noting that the TTH's activities were 'observed in the Aurangabad region of Maharashtra [state of which Mumbai is the capital].'
On December 15, 2013, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a video recorded message that was directed at Yemeni soldiers. In the video, AQAP presents its compassionate treatment of Yemeni soldiers it captured, but later decided to release after they declared their repentance, in contrast to the Yemeni government and military establishment's careless attitude towards those same soldiers. AQAP says that it has the capabilities, if it desired, to send trucks loaded with tons of explosives to every government ministry and army base in the country; however, it hoped that people heed its call to disengage the government and its military establishment from the battle between AQAP and U.S.
On December 11, 2013, Yemeni television released security camera footage of the December 5 attack on the ‘Ardi hospital in the Defense Ministry compound in San’a, in which 52 people were killed. The footage shows masked gunmen storming the hospital while firing weapons and throwing hand grenades at civilians, including at women and children.
In a December 15, 2013 post, a Shumoukh Al-Islam forum member, "Abu Sa'id Al-Najdi," discusses the disparity between the rocket capability of the mujahideen versus that of the Syrian army and Hizbullah, citing Internet and other sources and providing diagrams. He says that since the mujahideen cannot neutralize Syrian Air Force elements by systematically targeting senior commanders – as they do in Yemen – they need to bombard Syrian army bases with heavy rockets, except that they do not yet possess them. He then calls on the mujahideen to upgrade their rockets and explains how to do so by using ammonium nitrate as a rocket propellant oxidizer instead of potassium nitrate.
The Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), an Uighur jihad group, has released the eleventh installment of its video series “Express Mail”, dedicated to military training and gear. The current video, 06:42 minutes in duration, provides instructions for manufacturing IEDs using phosphorus extracted from matches and aluminum. It shows TIP members preparing the materials for the IED and assembling it.
Alarabiya.net, citing Iraqi security sources, reports that dozens of "dangerous" Al-Qaeda activists, including death row inmates sentenced for terrorism involvement in terrorism and Islamic State of Iraq And Syria (ISIS) activists, fled the Baiji police station in Salah Al-Din Governorate in Northern Iraq.
According to a media report, Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan has accused a leading American courier company of silently widening its network across Pakistan.
A report by Jasarat, a leading daily newspaper published by Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, stated: "United Parcel Service (UPS), which has been providing courier services to the U.S. Army and other important American departments, has quietly widened its network in Pakistan."