January 4, 2020 Special Announcements No. 859

Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) Weekend Summary: Week of December 28, 2019-January 4, 2020

January 4, 2020
Special Announcements No. 859

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.


EXCLUSIVE: Head Of Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq Militia: The Punishment For Killing Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis Will Be The Complete Elimination Of The American Military Presence In Iraq

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

Responding to the death of Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, deputy-head of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), and Qassem Soleimani, head of the Qods Force in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), who were killed January 2, 2020 by missiles fired at their vehicle, Sheikh Qais Khaz'ali, heads of the Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq militia, threatened that the price for the death of Al-Muhandis would be the complete expulsion of the Americans from Iraq, and that the price of Soleimani's death would be the complete demise of Israel.


EXCLUSIVE: Al-Naba' Article Counsels ISIS Fighters To Exhaust Their Enemies By Forcing Them To Remain On High Alert

On December 19, 2019, in light of Iraq's state of alert due to ISIS attacks, an article was published in Al-Naba' titled: "A State of Intense Alert Is Also A Goal of The Mujahideen." According to the article, ISIS fighters should keep the organization's enemies in a constant state of defensiveness and high alert in order to exhaust them, thus causing their collapse and preventing them from initiating attacks against ISIS.


EXCLUSIVE: Afghan Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid: 'The Islamic Emirate Has No Intention Of Declaring A Ceasefire'

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

On December 30, 2019, Associated Press (AP) reported that 5,000 Taliban prisoners will be freed as part of a deal between the U.S. and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization).  The AP report, quoting a Taliban official familiar with the U.S.-Taliban talks in Qatar, states that the release of the Taliban prisoners "has been written in to the peace agreement," which is to be signed sometime soon.


EXCLUSIVE: Jihadi Social Media – Account Review (JSM-AR): Facebook User Near Arizona Border Posts Content From Jihadi Clerics And Interacts With Fellow Jihadis On Facebook

Platform: Facebook


EXCLUSIVE: Formerly Incarcerated ISIS Supporter Originally from Philadelphia, Praises ISIS, Abu-Bakr Al Baghdadi On Facebook Online Incitement - Account Review

The following information is based on a general overview of a social media account demonstrating an affinity for the ideology of the Islamic State.

Platform(s): Facebook


EXCLUSIVE: New Video From Its Supporters Depicts ISIS Urban Warfare Raid And Retreat Tactic

A pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Telegram channel has released the first in a series of videos titled "The Temporary Capture of Cities as a Modus Operandi for the Mujahideen."


EXCLUSIVE: In Part I Of New Da'wah Series, Al-Qaeda Leader Al-Zawahiri Presents Detailed Arguments Against Atheism

On December 27, 2019, the media arm of Al-Qaeda released a video featuring the group's leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri presenting a lengthy argument against atheism, which he describes as an "ancient phenomenon that seeks to undermine Islam and its creed."


Al-Qaeda Commemorates 9/11 Attacks In Its 'One Ummah' Magazine

On December 31, 2019, Al-Qaeda’s media wing, released the third issue of its One Ummah [Ummah Wahidah] magazine. The 110-page magazine, released in PDF format on Al-Qaeda channels online, is dedicated to the commemoration of the 19th anniversary (according to the Hijri calendar) of the 9/11 attack.


Al-Shabab Releases The 18th Installment Of Its 'Punish Them Severely In Order To Disperse Those Who Are Behind Them' Series, Documenting Raids In Lower Shabelle

On December 30, 2019, the Al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen (Al-Shabab), released the 18th installment of its video series "Punish Them Severely In Order To Disperse Those Who Are Behind Them," documenting three separate raids on what it describes as military bases of the "Western-backed Somali government militias," in Lower Shabelle, which is in southern Somalia.


Al-Shabab Takes Responsibility For Mogadishu Bombing That Killed Dozens Of Bystanders, Apologizes For Harming Muslims But Clarifies: Protecting Islam Is More Important Than Preserving Human Life

Following the deadly December 28 bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia by the Somali Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen, the group took responsibility for the attack and apologized for killing "Muslims" but vowed to continue its jihad and emphasized that protecting Islam takes precedence over protecting lives.


Financial Distress Of Hurras Al-Din Revealed In Confrontations With Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS)

Mid-December 2019 saw another outbreak of tensions and confrontation between operatives of Hurras Al-Din, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda, and operatives from Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), which culminated in mutual arrests by the two organizations.


ISIS Operative Documents Jihad In The Philippines

Several messages, pictures, and videos describing the situation of ISIS fighters in the Philippines were published on an account believed to be managed by an ISIS media operative claiming to be in the Philippines.


Niger Arrests Two Turks Coming From Istanbul Via Turkish Airlines On Charge Of Supporting ISIS

On December 25, 2019, Al-Arabiya published a report saying that Niger's National Security Service arrested "three terrorists," including two Turkish citizens and a local collaborator, flying from Turkey on Turkish Airlines.


ISIS Claims Rocket Attack On US Base In Eastern Syria

On December 27, 2019 the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on a military base of the US-led international coalition near the Al-Omar oil fields in Syria's Deir Ezzor province.


ISIS Creates New Blog To Distribute Official Material

On December 9, 2019, the Islamic State's (ISIS) official media outlet began to post its material on a new blog created on the popular Blogger platform.


New Pro-ISIS Media Operation Focuses On ISIS News From West Africa

On December 24, 2019, an Islamic State (ISIS) supporter shared a message in French, English, and Arabic on several channels of the ISIS Rocket.Chat server, inviting fellow supporters to follow a new account dedicated to the activity of the Islamic State in West Africa on an open-source social media platform.


Pro-ISIS Media Group Releases Video Highlighting Multiple ISIS Attacks Against Israel


On December 31, 2019, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) media group released a video highlighting multiple attacks carried out by ISIS affiliates in Sinai against Israel. According to the video, titled "The Allegations of the Agitators Under The Feet Of The Monotheists," which was published on the encrypted chat applicant Riot, this video was meant to refute the claims that ISIS did not carry out attacks against the State of Israel.


Ahead Of New Year's Celebrations, Pro-ISIS Media Outlet Threatens Attacks In New York City

On December 30, 2019, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) media outlet published a poster on Telegram showing an armed fighter walking in what appears to be Times Square in New York with a Christmas tree on his right and bloodstained text reading: "Kill them whenever you find them."


ISIS Media Operatives Launch New Group On Facebook Messenger

As part of their attempts to bolster the Islamic State (ISIS) presence on the internet, ISIS media operatives are making intensive efforts to launch groups on various online platforms. In recent days the ISIS's official news agency, which disseminates ISIS publications, launched a group on Facebook Messenger.


Afghan Website: ISIS Fighters Move From Eastern Afghanistan Into Herat Province Along Border With Iran

On December 24, 2019, an Afghan news website reported that Islamic State (ISIS, or Daesh) fighters from ISIS's Khorasan Province have recently moved into Afghanistan's north-western province of Herat after they were defeated by the Afghan security forces in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar and Kunar.

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