July 16, 2020 Special Announcements No. 937

Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) Weekly: July 11-18, 2020

July 16, 2020
Special Announcements No. 937

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: Jihadis Divided Over Hagia Sophia Reconversion To A Mosque: Victory For Islam Against Secularism, Or Political Trick To Divert Attention From Erdoğan's Apostasy?

On July 10, 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a directive to open Istanbul's Hagia Sophia for Islamic prayers, overturning the 1934 decree designating the former Byzantine cathedral as a museum, after it had served as a mosque from the time of the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453.


EXCLUSIVE: ISIS, HTS Supporters Condemn Al-Qaeda For Message To Americans, Westerners After George Floyd Killing

In recent days on Telegram, supporters of the Islamic State (ISIS) and supporters of Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), a jihadi group controlling Syria's Idlib province, condemned Al-Qaeda's Central Command for the statement it released addressing the "vulnerable people" of the U.S. and the West following the killing of George Floyd.


EXCLUSIVE: Article In Pro-Al-Qaeda Women's Magazine: Racism Is Deeply Rooted In The U.S., Protests And Legislation Will Not End Racism

On July 12, 2020, a pro-Al-Qaeda foundation released a new issue of its women's magazine, which included an article arguing that racism is deeply rooted in the U.S., and that protests and legislation will not end racism.


EXCLUSIVE: Telegram Channel Affiliated With Iran-Backed Factions In Iraq Claims A Militia Group Carried Out IED Attack On U.S. Convoy

A Telegram channel affiliated with Iran-backed factions in Iraq, reported that a militia group carried out an IED attack on a U.S. convoy near an international highway on July 11, 2020.


EXCLUSIVE: Pro-Al-Qaeda Author Urges Mujahideen To Carry Out Lone Wolf Attacks On U.S. Army Officers On Vacation, Russian Ships, Economic Interests Of 'Disbelievers,' Engage In Advocacy, Hacking

On July 13, 2020, a pro-Al-Qaeda channel on Telegram shared an article urging Al-Qaeda fighters in Syria to stay committed to their cause of jihad and to explore news way to operate individually as an alternative to working within a faction.


EXCLUSIVE: Pro-ISIS Media Group Celebrates Increased Attacks In Mozambique, Calls On 'Lone Wolves' To Attack Western Companies

On July 13, 2020, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) media foundation published a poster in which it celebrated the increase in ISIS operations in Mozambique and called on ISIS supporters and "lone wolves" to carry out attacks against Western companies.


EXCLUSIVE: Iraqi Government Claims Killing Of ISIS Leader For Baghdad Region

On July 15, 2020, the spokesman for Iraq’s Ministry of Defense announced that the country's intelligence services had killed the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Baghdad.


EXCLUSIVE: Telegram Channel Affiliated With Iran-Backed Factions Threatens To Reveal Classified Information On Iraqi Police And Intelligence Officers, Accuses 'Russian Hackers' Of Leaking The Information

On July 14 a Telegram news channel associated with Iran-backed factions in Iraq shared a post suggesting that a "Russian hacking team" obtained a highly sensitive and classified security information on the dark web."


EXCLUSIVE: Newly Emerged Iraqi Shi'ite Faction Claims Attack On U.S. Logistics Convoy In Iraq's Salahuddin Province

On July 14, 2020, the newly emerged Ashab Al-Kahf (People of The Cave), an Iraqi Shi'ite faction, claimed responsibility for an attack on a U.S. convoy in Salahuddin province.


EXCLUSIVE: Jihadi Social Media – Account Review (JSM-AR): On Twitter, CuriousCat, California-Based Pro-Taliban Muslim Convert And Ex-Convict Reveals Plans To Go To Afghanistan, Promotes Jihad Online, Admires Anwar Al-'Awlaki, Recommends Reading Osama Bin Laden's Statements

A recent convert to Islam expresses his support for the Taliban on Twitter and Q&A network CuriousCat. He called the Taliban his "heroes" in a tweet, said he loves Yemeni American sheikh and Al-Qaeda figure Anwar Al-'Awlaki, and has promoted jihad in many posts.


ISIS Claims Two Attacks In Pakistan In One Week

On July 6, 2020, the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for an IED attack near Bajaur, Pakistan. The area borders the territory where ISIS is active in Afghanistan's Nangarhar and Kunar provinces.


ISIS Editorial Downplays Erdoğan's Conversion Of Hagia Sophia Into Mosque, Warns Of Tyrants Embracing Polytheism Not Monotheism

On July 16, 2020, the Islamic State (ISIS) released Issue 243 of its weekly newspaper Al-Naba'[1] whose editorial downplayed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's decision to convert Istanbul's Hagia Sophia into a mosque and opening it for Muslim prayers.


Islamic State (ISIS) Releases Photos Of Fighters In Yemen

On July 15, 2020, the Islamic State (ISIS) published a pictorial report showing aspects of the "daily life" of its "mujahideen" in Yemen.


ISIS Supporter Shares Video In French Inciting Muslims To Perpetrate Spontaneous Attacks

On July 3, 2020, a member of the Islamic State (ISIS) operated Rocket.Chat published a short incitement video in French, subtitled in English, urging supporters to perpetrate spontaneous terror attacks.


ISIS Supporter, Veteran Of Bosnian Jihad, Commemorates Srebrenica Massacre

A post in English, commemorating the anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre and praying for its victims, was shared by a user of the Islamic State (ISIS) operated Rocket.Chat on July 10, 2020.



Russia: Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Intends To Perpetrate A Chemical Attack In Idlib To Implicate The Regime; HTS: The Russians Are Spreading Lies Before The Regime Launches A Chemical Attack

On July 8, 2020, Alexander Shcherbitsky, chief of the Russian Centre for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria, claimed that the Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) organization intended to perpetrate a chemical attack in three settlements in the Idlib area, most of which is under HTS control, in order to implicate the regime in a chemical attack.


Pro-Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Telegram Channel Shares Photo Of British Aid Worker Tauqir Sharif, Says He Was Released On Bail, Awaits Trial In 15 Days

On July 15, 2020, a pro-Hay'at Tahrir Al-sham (HTS) Telegram channel shared a photo of British aid worker Tauqir Sharif, also known as Abu Husam Al-Britani, with four HTS officials and wrote a post saying that he was released on bail and is awaiting trial in 15 days for the charges filed against him.


In English-Language Statement HTS Reassures Family Of Detained British Aid Worker

On July 11, 2020, the Media Relations Office of Syrian jihadi group Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) issued a statement in English addressed to the family of British-born aid worker Tauqir Sharif, who was arrested by HTS on June 22, 2020.


Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Rejects U.N. Report On Syria, Calls It 'Biased, Unfair,' And Consistent With Regime, Russia Narrative

On July 9, 2020, Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) released a statement declaring its rejection of the July 7, 2020 report issued by the United Nation's Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria.


New Jihadi Group Claims Attack On Russian-Turkish Patrol In Syria's Idlib; Pro-Al-Qaeda Telegram Channels Celebrate The Operation, Call For More Attacks

On July 14, 2020, a new group claimed responsibility of an attack on a joint Russian-Turkish patrol on the M-4 International Highway in south Idlib.


Al-Shabab Claims Suicide Attack Targeting Head Of Somali Army

On July 13, 2020, a media outlet of Somalia-based Al-Qaeda affiliate Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen (Al-Shabab) claimed responsibility for an attack targeting the convoy of the head of the Somali army.


Al-Qaeda Repository Website Raises Funds Via Cryptocurrency

A media operation which provides a repository of Al-Qaeda and pro-Al-Qaeda material, shared a post via its Telegram channel on July 11, 2020, soliciting donations via Bitcoin cryptocurrency.


Jihadi Social Media – Account Review (JSM-AR): On Facebook, Female Prisoner In Syria's Roj Camp Asks For Money To Secure Release, Says Kurdish Deradicalization Of Former ISIS Women And Children Is Working

A woman who appears to be from the West is begging for money to pay a smuggler in order to escape Camp Roj in Syria. In July 2019 it was reported that the Roj Camp in Syria's Al-Hasakeh governorate held 1,700 people.

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