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February 23, 2023 Special Announcements No. 1318

Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) Weekly: February 18-25, 2023

February 23, 2023
Special Announcements No. 1318

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 jttmsubs@memri.org 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 media@memri.org. Please include your name, title, and organization in your email.

 

EXCLUSIVE: Unconfirmed Afghan News Agency Report: Osama Bin Laden's Son Saad Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Founding Member And Senior Leader Ibrahim Al-Banna Living In Taliban Intelligence Safehouses

According to an Afghan media report, Taliban-run Afghanistan has become a hideout for Al-Qaeda leaders as Saad Bin Laden, who is the third son of Osama bin Laden, and Ibrahim Al-Banna, a founding member and senior leader in Al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), are living in Afghanistan.

 

EXCLUSIVE: Article In Issue 21 Of English-Language ISIS-K Magazine 'Voice Of Khurasan' Vows To Avenge Desecration Of Quran In Sweden And The Netherlands: 'We Are The Ones Who Take Revenge From Such Scoundrels By Separating Their Flesh From Their Bones And Spilling Their Blood'

An article in the latest issue of "Voice of Khurasan," an English-language monthly magazine published by a media outlet linked to the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) which defines itself as a supporting entity for the ISIS, threatens to avenge the desecration of Quran in Sweden and the Netherlands, warning Europe: "We will soon take revenge on you by the words of the Lord of the Worlds: (Wait, we too are waiting with you)."

 

EXCLUSIVE: Telegram Channel Linked To IRGC: U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) Is Recruiting Linguists Who Could Leak Information To America's Advisories

On February 17, 2023, a Telegram channel linked to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shared two posts claiming that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is seeking to recruit "agents," who are fluent in Chinese, Russian, and Farsi languages, arguing that such move comes to improve its "weak" intelligence.

 

EXCLUSIVE: Iran-Backed Iraqi Group Claims Attack On American Convoy; Senior Al-Nujaba Official Declares Full Support For Attacks On U.S. Forces

On February 19, 2023, an Iran-backed Iraqi militia claimed responsibility for an attack on the same day on a U.S. military logistical convoy in Iraq's Salah Al-Din Governorate. The attack reportedly took place at 03:00 a.m. local time.

 

EXCLUSIVE: Iran-Backed Al-Nujaba Movement Posters Threaten U.S. Forces In Iraq, U.S. Embassy In Baghdad

On February 21, 2023, a Telegram channel affiliated with an Iran-backed militia in Iraq released a poster threatening U.S. forces and personnel in Iraq. The poster depicted a swarm of drones and featured the text of Quran 105:3, which reads: "And He sent against them flights of birds."

 

ISIS Weekly Features 'Exclusive Claims' For Attacks In Niger, Burkina Faso Against Security Forces, Al-Qaeda Militias

On February 16, 2023, ISIS released Issue 378 of its weekly magazine Al-Naba'. The issue reported for the first time a series of attacks in the Sahel: one  on the Nigerien army in February 2023, resulting in the killing of 35 soldiers, and three attacks in Burkina Faso in November-December 2022.

 

ISIS Weekly Editorial Claims Group's Adversaries 'Failed Terribly'; Urges Muslims To Ascertain Truth, 'Exercise Good Judgment'

A February 17, 2023 editorial in Issue 378 of ISIS's weekly Al-Naba', titled "Even After They Saw All [Our] Signs," discusses ISIS's journey in Iraq and Syria, comparing it to that of the messengers who were slandered and killed for showing people all of the divine signs.

 

ISIS Weekly Reports IED Attack On Election Team In Northern Somalia, Campaign To Warn Locals Against Voting

Issue 378 of ISIS weekly magazine Al-Naba' published on February 16, 2023, gives additional details on two recent IED attacks perpetrated by the Islamic State Somalia Province in Somalia's northeastern state of Puntland and in the capital, Mogadishu.

 

Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) Claims Blast At Government Complex Intended For Upcoming Elections In Nigeria's Kogi State

On February 22, 2023, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed to have detonating explosives in a "government headquarters for the polytheistic elections" in Nigeria's central state of Kogi.

 

In Video, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) Condemns Electoral Democracy As A Form Of Polytheism, Threatens Those Who Attempt To Spread It

On February 20, 2023, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) released a 15-minute video titled "Polytheism is a Terrible Wrong" (a quote from Quran 31:13).

 

Article In Issue 21 Of ISIS-K Magazine 'Voice Of Khurasan' Accuses Afghan Taliban Of Violating Shari'a On Punishments: 'If A Ruler... Gives An Adulterer More Than One Hundred Lashes Or A Married Adulterer Any Punishment Other Than Stoning, Then He Becomes A Disbeliever In The Shari'a Of Allah'

The cover article in the latest issue of "Voice of Khurasan," an English-language monthly magazine published by a media outlet linked to the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) which defines itself as a supporting entity for the ISIS, says the Afghan Taliban rulers are outside the fold of Islam because they are not adhering to hudud ("limits"), or shari'a criminal punishments, including adulterers, homosexuals, and others.

 

Lead Article In Issue 21 Of ISIS-K Magazine 'Voice Of Khurasan' Criticizes UAE, Qatar, And Saudi Governments, Vows To Free Jerusalem And Mecca: 'In Dealing With The Jews, The Khilafah Strictly Abides By The Rules Of Jihad And Qital'

The lead article in the latest issue of "Voice of Khurasan" declares the ruling households of UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia to be unbelievers, warning that ISIS is the "only force able to free al-Aqsa Mosque and vanquish the imperialist Zionist regime of Israel."

 

Issue 21 Of ISIS-K Magazine 'Voice Of Khurasan' Declares Rulers Of UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia To Be Unbelievers, Threatens Europe To Avenge Desecration Of Quran In Sweden And The Netherlands, Celebrates Fighting To Kill

Issue 21 of  "Voice of Khurasan," an English-language monthly magazine published by a media outlet linked to the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) which defines itself as a supporting entity for the ISIS, threatens European nations saying that it the group will avenge the desecration of the Quran in Sweden and the Netherlands, accuses the governments Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar of leading Muslims away from shari'a, criticizes China's crackdown against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, and carries several articles advocating jihad and qital ("fighting to kill").

 

Issue 17 Of ISIS-K's Pashtu-Language Magazine 'Khurasan Ghag' Threatens European Nations For Desecration Of Quran In Sweden And The Netherlands, Urges Muslims Living In Europe 'To Chase The Desecrator, Strangle, Stab, And Shoot Him, Run Him Over With A Car'

In the latest issue of Pashtu-language magazine ""Khurasan Ghag [Voice of Khurasan]," the Pashtu-language magazine published by a media outlet linked to the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) which defines itself as a supporting entity for the ISIS, threatened to target "the unbelievers" of the whole world, especially Europeans, for the desecration of the Quran in Sweden and the Netherlands and urges Muslims living in Europe "to chase the desecrator, strangle, stab, and shoot him, run him over with a car."

 

Al-Qaeda General Command Condemns 'Zio-Crusade' Against Somalia, Urges Support For Affiliate Al-Shabab, Lone Wolf Attacks Against Interests Of Nations Participating In Security Campaign

On February 21, 2023, Al-Qaeda's General Command released a statement titled "Statement Regarding the Latest Crusade Against Muslims In Somalia," in which it condemned the security campaign against Al-Qaeda-affiliate Al-Shabab, saying it is as a new "Crusade" and one of the "immense conspiracies" devised against Islam and Muslims.

 

Deeming Turkey-Syria Earthquake Divine Punishment, Al-Qaeda Central Calls To Force Gulf Rulers To Aid Oppressed Muslims, Not Wage War On Islam; Affiliates In Yemen, Maghreb, Sahel Call To Help Victims

On February 20, 2023, the official media outlet of Al-Qaeda Central Command issued a statement in Arabic and Urdu versions titled "Condolences, Prayers, and Support for Our Muslim Brothers in Turkey and Syria," addressing the massive earthquakes that struck southern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6, killing tens of thousands.

 

Al-Qaeda's Official Magazine Acknowledges The Death Of Al-Qaeda Media Chief After Three Years, Publishes Article He Authored

On February 10, 2023, Al-Qaeda's official central media outlet released Issue Eight of its Arabic-language magazine.

 

Al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Releases Two Of Its Fighters In Exchange For Three Members Of Houthi Ansar Allah Movement

On February 18, 2023, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a statement claiming that two of its fighters were released from Houthi prisons for a ransom and in a prisoner exchange with Houthis. In the statement, AQAP vowed to continue to work toward the release of other AQAP fighters from prison.

 

Yemen-Based Al-Qaeda In Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Eulogizes Two Operatives Killed In 'U.S. Airstrike'

On February 15, 2023, the media arm of the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) published a poster as part of its "Martyrs of Epic Battles" series.

 

Al-Qaeda Affiliate Al-Shabab Claims Killing More Than 70 Members Of Pro-Government Militias In Attack On Government Building In Mogadishu

On February 21, 2023, the official media outlet of Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen (Al-Shabab), published a claim of responsibility for an attack against a government building in Mogadishu.

 

Al-Qaeda Affiliate Group For Support Of Islam And Muslims (GSIM) Claims Six Attacks Against Malian Army And Russian Wagner Group

On February 22, 2023, the media arm of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Jama'at Nusrat Al-Islam Wal-Muslimeen (Group for Support of Islam and Muslims – GSIM), released two statements claiming responsibility for six attacks against Malian forces and the Russian Wagner group, between February 12-20, 2023, in various parts of Mali.

 

Al-Qaeda Affiliate Group For Support Of Islam And Muslims (GSIM) Videos Show Operatives Training, And Fighting Burkina Faso Armed Forces; Claim GSIM Controls Most Of Mali, Threaten To Escalate Fighting Against Regime

On February 17-19, 2023, the media arm of Al-Qaeda's affiliate in the African Sahel, Jama'at Nusrat Al-Islam Wal-Muslimeen (Group for Support of Islam and Muslims – GSIM), released two video clips which show its operatives engaging in training activities and fighting, including raiding and taking control of two Burkina Faso Armed Forces bases.

 

Hizbullah Brigades Spokesman Calls To Take The Battle Into Saudi Territory

On February 18, 2023, Hizbullah Brigades' spokesman posted a harsh statement on his Telegram channel calling to "take the battle into the territory" of Saudi Arabia.

 

In Video, Lebanese Hizbullah Showcases Fighters' Combat Skills Under Different Weather Conditions Including Snow, Threatens Israel With 'Horrifying' Attacks

On February 17, 2023, a Telegram channel linked to Iran-backed militias posted a ten-minute video showing masked fighters from the Lebanese Hizbullah conducting combat exercises in different locations and under different weather conditions.

 

Syrian Opposition Sources: Under Cover Of Humanitarian Aid Convoys For Earthquake Victims, Iran And The Militias It Supports Are Smuggling Arms And Ammunition Into Syria

Following the February 6 earthquake that struck Turkey and northwestern Syria, and the ensuing relief efforts, sources within the Syrian opposition have reported that Iran and the militias that it supports in Iraq and Syria are exploiting the opportunities presented by the humanitarian aid initiatives for victims of the earthquakes, as cover for the transfer of weapons and ammunition from Iraq into Syria.

 

Syrian Tribe Claims Iran-Backed Afghan Militia Killed 75 Civilians In Homs; Syrian Regime Blames ISIS

Over the past three days, jihadi accounts on social media reported that at least 70 civilians were killed in eastern Homs at the hands of an Iran-backed Afghan militia. The Banu Khalid tribe, of which the victims were members, issued a statement on February 18 saying that at least 75 civilians were killed in the attack.

 

Syrian Opposition Media Outlet: Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Cooperates With Syrian Regime Forces To Smuggle Drugs Into Syria From Iraq

On February 20, 2023, a Syrian opposition website reported that the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has recently begun employing a new approach to smuggling drugs and cigarettes from Iraq into Syria, in coordination with Syrian regime forces. According to the report on the website, they use vehicles which belong to the Syrian regime forces to smuggle the goods from the border city of Al-Bukamal in northeast Syria to deep inside Syrian territory.

 

Afghan Taliban's Urdu-Language Website Marks 34th Anniversary Of The 1989 Soviet Withdrawal From Afghanistan: 'The U.S.-Led Invasion And Subsequently Its Defeat Proved That Afghans Are Very Sensitive To Foreign Aggression'

On February 15, 2023, the Urdu-language website of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA, i.e., the Afghan Taliban) published a statement marking the 34th anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. After nearly a decade-long U.S.-backed jihad in Afghanistan, the Soviet forces had withdrawn from Afghanistan on February 15, 1989.

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