August 31, 2023 Special Announcements No. 1383

Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) Weekly: August 26-September 2, 2023

August 31, 2023
Special Announcements No. 1383

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 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 Please include your name, title, and organization in your email.


EXCLUSIVE: Jihadis Celebrate Gabon Coup, Latest In Africa, As Sign Of Waning Western Power; Supporters Of Iran-Backed Militias Rejoice Over Rising Influence Of Russia And China; Syrian Jihadis Denounce Both Russia And West, Hope For More Coups Against Arab Regimes

On August 30, 2023, a military junta overthrew Ali Bongo Ondimba, who had served as president of the Central African country of Gabon since 2009, shortly after the announcement of his reelection.


EXCLUSIVE: Salafi-Jihadis Celebrate Death Of Wagner Chief At 'The Hand Of His Boss In Crime'; Pro-Iran Shi'ite Outlets Claim Prigozhin's Death Is Ukraine's 'Main Achievement' In War

On August 23, 2023, Russian state media reported that Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of Russia's Wagner Private Military Company (PMC) was killed when his plane crashed north of Moscow that same day. The crash left no survivors, killing nine  in total, including senior Wagner Group commanders, including Dmitry Utkin, who is believed to have given the mercenary group its name.


EXCLUSIVE: In The Aftermath Of The Coup In Niger, Jihadis Eye Exacerbating Instability In Sahel, Celebrate 'Terrific Gains' In Region, Claim Advent Of Russia-Backed Wagner Group Would Draw Locals Towards Jihadis

By: K. Choukry

Over the past three years, the Sahel and Sahara region has faced significant upheavals, particularly following a series of coups in Mali and Burkina Faso between 2020 and 2022, which further prolonged instability in the region and resulted in entrenched military regimes and emboldened jihadis.


EXCLUSIVE: After French Soldier Killed During Operation In Iraq, Telegram Channels Claim Islamic State (ISIS) Ambush, Supporters Of Iran-Backed Militias Suggest ISIS Not Responsible

A French soldier was killed and several other French and Iraqi soldiers wounded in clashes with Islamic State (ISIS) operatives in Iraq's Salah Al-Din governorate. Telegram channels supporting both ISIS and Iran-backed Iraqi Shi'ite militias spread unconfirmed reports that the ISIS fighters laid an ambush for the soldiers and that a French soldier was captured in the encounter.


EXCLUSIVE: Jihadis, Iran-Backed Militia, Anti-U.S. Social Media Users Question Intention Behind CENTCOM Commanders' Visit To ISIS Family Detention Camps In Syria

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

On August 21, 2023 Army General Michael "Erik" Kurilla, commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), made a previously-unannounced trip to Syria, during which he visited Al-Roj and Al-Hol detention camps, which hold thousands of family members of Islamic State (ISIS) fighters.


EXCLUSIVE: Pro-Al-Qaeda Poster Calls For Assassination Of Saudi Crown Prince In Antisemitic Poster

On August 27, 2023, a user on an Al-Qaeda-operated Rocket.Chat server published a poster calling to "Free Arabia," which incorporated a historical image of Muslim U.S. civil rights movement figure Malcolm X and an antisemitic depiction of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as an orthodox Jew.


EXCLUSIVE: In Attempt To Demonstrate Unity, ISIS Operatives Pledge Loyalty To Abu Hafs – The Organization's Fifth Leader And Third New Leader In Last Year And A Half

By: N. Shulder

On August 3, 2023, the Islamic State announced that its fourth caliph, Abu Al-Husayn Al-Husayni Al-Qurashi, had been killed in a confrontation with Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) in Idlib, and that its spokesman, Abu 'Umar Al-Muhajir, had been captured by HTS. The organization then announced that Abu Hafs Al-Hashimi Al-Qurashi had been selected as its fifth caliph.


Islamic State (ISIS) Weekly: Sahel Province's Morality Police Conduct Executions And Amputations; Extend Influence Into New Parts Of Mali, Where Locals Have Returned Following Displacement By Al-Qaeda Affiliate GSIM

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

Issue 405 of Islamic State (ISIS) weekly magazine Al-Naba', which was published on August 24, 2023, contains a two-page article detailing recent activities of the Islamic State Sahel Province in Niger and Mali. In addition to attacks targeting Nigerien soldiers, the pro-Malian government militia, Imghad Tuareg Self-Defense Group and Allies (Groupe d'Autodéfense Tuareg Imghad et Alliés – GATIA), and a staffer executed for allegedly working for German forces, the article – citing an "exclusive source" – describes how the ISIS province's hisbah (morality police) bureau carried out several executions and amputations of alleged criminals, as well as extended its presence northward into new areas.


ISIS Weekly Editorial Claims Organization Can Weather Any Crisis With Its Wisdom, Patience, Commitment; 'Allah Will Facilitate Means Of Victory'

On August 25, 2023, the Islamic State (ISIS) released Issue 405 of its weekly newspaper Al-Naba', featuring an editorial titled "Allah Is In the Company of the Mujahideen," which asserted that the group will weather any crisis, even if unforeseen, thanks to its patience and commitment to the path of the jihad in service of Allah.


Article In Issue 27 Of ISKP Magazine 'Voice Of Khurasan' Criticizes Sufism: 'This Polytheistic Sect Is Also Preferred By The Enemies Of Islam For Eliminating The Light Of Allah'; 'Sufism Is A Creed Preferred By The Tawagheet [Tyrants] Of The East And The West... [To Prevent] The Establishment Of Prophetic Form Of Islam'

The latest issue of "Voice of Khurasan,"  an English-language monthly magazine published by Al-Azaim Media Foundation, a media outlet linked to the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), which defines itself as a supporting entity for the Islamic State (ISIS), includes the second part of a series of articles criticizing Sufism, arguing that it is being promoted by "enemies of Islam" in the West and the East.


Islamic State (ISIS) Mozambique Province Claims Killing Nine Soldiers And Officers In Two Operations In Northern Mozambique, Totaling Nine Operations Over 55 Days

On August 23, 2023, the Islamic State's (ISIS) official media outlet A'maq News Agency released a statement on Telegram reporting that according to "security sources," on August 22 ISIS operatives carried out a "high-quality ambush" on a mobile patrol of Mozambican forces on the road connecting the villages of Cobre and Quiterajo, in the Macomia district of Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province.


Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP) Claims Capturing And Beheading Eight Christian Civilians In Four Villages In Eastern Democratic Republic Of The Congo (DRC)

On August 26, 2023, the Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP) issued two claims of responsibility for a series of attacks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). According to the first statement, on August 23 ISIS operatives attacked "unbeliever Christians" near the village of Luna, on the road connecting Komanda and Eringite in Ituri province, and captured five of them before slitting their throats.


Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP) Claims Attack On Christian Villages, Killing At Least 20

On August 23, 2023, the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed that on August 21, fighters from its Central Africa Province (ISCAP) attacked gatherings of Christians with various weapons, in villages near Kisanga, in the Beni area of North-Kivu province, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), resulting in the killing of at least 20 Christians


In Pashtu-Language Book, Islamic State Khurasan Province (ISKP) Criticizes Afghan Taliban: 'Jihad Does Not End With Independence Of Afghanistan Only, Until All Islamic Lands Are Liberated'

In a new Pashtu-language booklet, the Islamic State Khurasan Province (ISKP) comments on a new fatwa by an Afghan Taliban mufti and accuses Afghan Taliban leaders of abandoning offensive jihad abroad while limiting defensive jihad inside Afghanistan.


After Clashes Between Kurdish And Arab Elements In Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Islamic State (ISIS) Supporters Claim Arabs Deserve Their Fate For Leading Campaign Against ISIS, Predict They May Join ISIS; Jihadi Telegram Channel Claims Campaign Against Arab Elements Ordered By U.S.

Clashes have broken out between Kurdish and Arab elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) after the SDF leadership reportedly arrested the head of the Arab-majority Deir Al-Zour Military Council (DZMC) – part of the Kurdish-led SDF, which controls large parts of eastern Syria.


Al-Qaeda Affiliate Al-Shabab Claims Three Massive Attacks Against U.S. Forces And U.S.-Trained Somali Special Forces, Including Two Suicide Bombings, Killing More Than 250

On August 25-26, 2023, Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen (Al-Shabab), claimed several assaults, including three major ones: a suicide attack targeting a joint convoy of U.S. forces and U.S.-trained Somali special forces, killing more than 59; a second suicide attack against a base run by Somali special forces and government militias, killing over 178; and an ambush of Somali special forces, killing 14.


Al-Qaeda Affiliate Al-Shabab Claims Regaining Control Of Settlements In Somalia's Middle Shabelle And Galgudud Regions, Claims Government Forces Fled Following August 26 'Crushing Attack'

On August 23, 2023, the Shahada News Agency, the media outlet of Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen (Al-Shabab), released a statement claiming that Al-Shabab fighters regained control of the Runirgod district and its surroundings in Somalia's Middle Shabelle province.


Al-Qaeda Affiliate GSIM Claims Attack Against Timbuktu Military Airport, Alleges It Houses Wagner Group And Malian Soldiers

On August 30, 2023, Al-Zallaqa, the media arm of Al-Qaeda's affiliate in the African Sahel, Jama'at Nusrat Al-Islam Wal-Muslimeen (the Group for Support of Islam and Muslims – GSIM), reported a same-day, "precise" attack in which GSIM fighters, fired mortars against the Timbuktu military airport, in Mali.


Al-Qaeda Affiliate GSIM Claims Attacks In Mali And Burkina Faso Targeting Army Forces, Wagner Group

On August 23, 2023, the Al-Zallaqa Foundation, the official media outlet of Al-Qaeda's affiliate in the African Sahel, Jama'at Nusrat Al-Islam Wal-Muslimeen (the Group for Support of Islam and Muslims – GSIM), released two statements claiming attacks in Mali against the country's army and forces of the Russian Wagner private military company (PMC), as well as in Burkina Faso against that country's military.


Pro-Al-Qaeda Media Outlet Honors Young Turkish Operative Killed In Afghanistan

On August 25, 2023, a pro-Al-Qaeda media group that disseminates jihadi material published a 14-minute video narrating the jihadi journey of an Al-Qaeda foreign fighter of Turkish origin who fought in Afghanistan and was killed in a U.S. airstrike.


After Arrest Of Senior Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Official Abu Mariyah Al-Qahtani On Espionage Charges, Syrian Jihadi Magazine Discusses Shari'a Status Of Spies, Declares They Must Be Killed Or Punished Severely

On August 25, 2023, issue 52 of Balagh monthly magazine, a jihadi publication featuring essays and articles by a group of independent Syrian and foreign jihadi clerics in Syria's Idlib region who oppose Syrian jihadi group Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), was released. The issue includes an editorial titled "Espionage" and a four-page article titled "The [Shari'a] Ruling on Collaborator Spies."


Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham's Al-Fath Al-Mubin Operations Room Releases Statement Detailing Counterattacks Against Attempted Syrian Military Advance South Of Idlib

On August 29, 2023, the Al-Fath Al-Mubin Operations Room of Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) released a statement addressing recent developments on the southern outskirts of Idlib, where the Syrian military and its allies have attempted to retake control of strategic positions in and around the village of Al-Malaja.


Syrian Rebels Capture Strategic Areas After Jihadi Group Ansar Al-Tawhid Detonates Tunnel Dug For Months Under Regime Positions; HTS Opponent Claims Groups Leaving HTS-Linked Operations Room

On August 26, 2023, Syrian jihadi group Ansar Al-Tawhid published a claim stating it had rigged with explosives bunkers and positions used by "the Nusayri [a pejorative term for the Alawite sect, i.e. the Assad regime] and Russian occupier" in Al-Milajah, south of Idlib, and detonated them, killing all the soldiers inside.


Anti-Islamic State (ISIS) Channel On Encrypted Rocket.Chat Server: New Caliph Is Probably Not Located In Syria

On August 30, 2023, an anti-Islamic State (ISIS) channel on the Al-Qaeda-operated Rocket.Chat server published a post arguing that after the recent losses among ISIS leadership ranks in Syria, the group is likely adopting a decentralized organizational structure.


Anti-Islamic State (ISIS) Rocket.Chat Channel Publishes Letter Sent By ISIS Official In SDF-Run Camps To Syria Province Leadership Charging Lack Of Response To Requests For Guidance By Women At Risk Of Deportation

On August 28, 2023, the anti-Islamic State (ISIS) channel on the Al-Qaeda-operated Rocket.Chat server, published a two-page letter allegedly sent by an ISIS "Education official" in the Al-Hol and Al-Roj camps—internment camps run by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in eastern Syria which house the families of ISIS members—to ISIS' Syria Province commanders on July 18, 2022.


Iran-Backed Militias In Iraq Threaten U.S. Forces: We Will 'Crush Your Malicious Projects,' Iraq Will Be The 'Cemetery Of Invaders'

On August 23, 2023, a Telegram channel which is affiliated with Iraq's Hizbullah Brigades published an official statement in the name of the Hizbullah Brigades containing explicit threats against U.S. forces in Iraq.


Houthi Ansar Allah: By Sending Military Reinforcements To Southern Yemen, U.S. Seeks To Establish Dominance In Eastern Provinces, 'Plunder' Resources, Obstruct Saudi-Yemeni Negotiations

On August 29, 2023, the website of Yemen's Ansar Allah Movement, a.k.a. the Houthis, published an article titled "America Continues Its Provocative Moves In Yemen," arguing that the U.S. seeks to establish "presence and dominance" in Yemen's southern provinces, "plunder" Yemen's oil and gas resources, and obstruct the ongoing peace negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Yemen.


New Pro-Afghan Taliban Urdu-Language Site Publishes Video Confession Of Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) Fighters

On August 27, 2023, a pro-Afghan Taliban outlet announced on Telegram that an Urdu-language version of its website is online. Among the initial content on the site was a video with Arabic and English subtitles which purported to show the confessions of detained fighters from the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP).


Issue 128 Of Afghan Taliban's Urdu-Language Magazine 'Shariat' Urges Economic Boycott Of Sweden, Threatens Prince Harry For Killing Afghans: 'Prince Harry's Statement Will Encourage The Young Generation Of Afghanistan To Take Revenge'

In the current issue of its Urdu-language magazine "Shariat," the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA, i.e., the Afghan Taliban) condemned the desecration of the Quran in Sweden and called for a boycott of Swedish products, while an article warns Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, that a young generation of Afghans will avenge his killing of Afghans.


Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Fighters Record Video Clips From Identifiable Places In Pakistan To Refute Pakistan Government Claim That Afghan Taliban Government Is Sheltering TTP In Afghanistan

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has released a new video in which the jihadi organization rejects Pakistan's allegations that the Afghan Taliban government is allowing TTP fighters to attack Pakistan from Afghan soil. To refute Pakistan's charges, TTP fighters record videos from areas in neighborhood of Peshawar.


In Issue 18 Of Its Urdu-Language Magazine 'Taliban,' Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Argues That Pakistan Is Not Independent And Its Constitution Is Not Shari'a-Based

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has released the latest issue of its Urdu-language magazine ""Taliban."  The issue includes several academic articles exploring Pakistan's independence and the Islamic nature of the country's constitution.

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