July 24, 2020 Special Announcements No. 938

Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) Weekly: July 18-25, 2020

July 24, 2020
Special Announcements No. 938

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? (UPDATED)

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

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: Jihadi Social Media – Account Review (JSM-AR): American Jihadi Tweets Poll On Most 'Satisfying' Way To Destroy Lincoln Memorial – Explosives Or Sledgehammer?

An American convert who regularly promotes the merits of jihad and hijra (migration to Islamic lands) on Twitter, tweeted a poll asking his followers on the platform whether destroying the Lincoln Memorial with explosives or a sledgehammer would be "more satisfying."


EXCLUSIVE: Lebanese, Hizbullah-Affiliated Journalist Calls For Popular And Armed Resistance To U.S. Forces In Iraq And Syria In Respose To Economic Strangulation

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

In an article on the Lebanese website, Hassan Hardan, a Lebanese journalist affiliated with Hizbullah, calls for popular and armed resistance to American forces and those who collaborate with them in Iraq and in Syria, in response to the economic war which he claims the U.S. is waging against Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.


EXCLUSIVE: ISIS Claims Killing, Wounding Soldiers And Security Officers In Clashes With Joint U.S.–Somali Patrol Unit In Somalia

On July 22, 2020, the Islamic State (ISIS) released a statement claiming that its fighters have killed or wounded soldiers and security officers in a clash with a joint U.S.–Somali patrol unit in Somalia.


EXCLUSIVE: Iran-Backed Shi'ite Faction In Iraq Claims Responsibility For Rocket Attack On U.S. Embassy In Baghdad, Says Three Rockets Landed Inside Embassy Premises, U.S. Air Defense System Failed To Intercept

On July 19, 2020, a Telegram channel affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) reported that an Iraqi Shi'ite armed group has claimed responsibility of the recent rocket attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, which took place a "few minutes after" a visit from Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif to Baghdad's Green Zone.


EXCLUSIVE: Shi'ite Faction Attacks 'U.S. Logistics Convoy' In Iraq For The Second Time This Week

On July 22, 2020 a Telegram channel affiliated with Iran-backed Shi'ite factions in Iraq claimed that an IED attack was carried out on a "U.S. logistics convoy" in Iraq.


EXCLUSIVE: On Facebook, Syrian Opposition Page Reports Iran Backs Digging Of Tunnels In Syria To Protect Missiles, Weapons Depots, Reveals Presence Of Iranian, Afghan, Iraqi Fighters

On July 17, 2020 a Syrian opposition Facebook page published a report claiming that Iran and its allied Shi'ite militias are digging tunnels and trenches in a city in Syria.


ISIS Launches Large-Scale Attack On Egyptian Army Base In Sinai

On July 21, 2020, reports emerged of a large-scale attack on a military base in a village in Sinai.


ISIS Editorial Condemns Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Campaign To Arrest ISIS Fighters, Calls On Syrians To Wage Jihad Against SDF

On July 23, 2020 the Islamic state (ISIS) released a new issue of its weekly newspaper which included an editorial condemning the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) for launching a campaign to track down and arrest ISIS fighters.


Pro-ISIS Media Outlet Releases Video Accusing Al-Qaeda, Taliban, And Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Of Deviating From The Path Of Jihad And Collaborating With The 'Crusaders'

On July 19, 2020, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) outlet which is operated by an ISIS supporter released a video accusing Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) of deviating from the path of jihad and collaborating with the "crusaders."


Pro-ISIS Media Outlet Releases Video Glorifying Caliphate, Acknowledging Retreat Due To International Coalition's Counter-ISIS Campaign, Pledges To Continue Jihad Until Crusaders Are Defeated At Dabiq

On July 13, 2020, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) outlet released a six-minute video in which it highlighted ISIS's achievements in the past years, including the establishment of its Caliphate in Mosul, Iraq and paying a tribute to its former leaders.


ISIS Supporters Produce Clips From Video Game Footage, Simulating Terror Attacks, Murders And Executions

Islamic State (ISIS) supporters have recently been creating and sharing videos edited from footage captured on the online video game Grand Theft Auto V (GTA-V) and other video games.


Pro-Al-Qaeda Syrian Cleric Deems HTS An 'Apostate Group' Whose Members May Be Killed

On July 15, 2020, a Syrian pro-Al-Qaeda cleric published a 102-page work of "research" providing detailed justification for his ruling deeming the Syrian jihadi group an apostate faction which must be fought against.


Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Spokesman Asserts Regime Offensive On Idlib Is Imminent, Responds To Accusations Against HTS

On July 19, 2020 a media outlet of the Syrian jihadi group Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) published an interview with the spokesman of the group's military wing.


Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Video Shows Graduating Fighters Undergoing Intensive Military Training

On July 22, 2020 the news agency of Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) released a video showing a graduating class of fighters undergoing intensive military training using multiple types of weapons and live ammunition.


Ansar Al-Islam Publishes Photos Of Attacks On Syrian Army

On July 16, 2020, Kurdish group Ansar Al-Islam, based in Syria, claimed responsibility for attacks on Syrian regime positions.


Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) Releases New Video

On July 20, 2020, the media arm of the Syria-based and Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadi group Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) released a five-minute Uyghur-language video on Telegram.


Al-Qaeda Affiliate Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) Video Commemorates Syrian Military Commander Killed In 2019

On July 19, 2020 the media arm of the Al-Qaeda affiliate Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) released a video commemorating a veteran Syrian commander who had joined TIP in 2015 and was killed in 2019.


Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Congratulates Turkey For Restoring Hagia Sophia As A Mosque

Pakistani Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) joined other jihadi groups in congratulating Turkey for restoring the Hagia Sophia as a mosque.


On Telegram, Pro-Al-Qaeda Syria-Based Saudi Fighter Promotes Snapchat Account Of Another Saudi Fighter

A Telegram channel belonging a pro-Al-Qaeda Saudi fighter who is based in Syria, shared a screenshot showing the Snapchat account of another Saudi fighter.


Jihadi Social Media – Account Review (JSM-AR): On Facebook, Pro-ISIS Accounts Spam Scottish News Page With Violent Threats

On July 12, 2020, multiple pro-Islamic State (ISIS) accounts targeted a Scottish news website and flooded a story on COVID-19 with pro-ISIS content and threats.


Pro-ISIS Telegram Channel Urges Muslims To Donate Money To Help Uyghur Women In SDF-Run Camps In Syria, Posts WhatsApp Number, Gmail Address

On July 20, 2020, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Telegram channel which has been raising funds for women in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)-run camps in Syria, shared a post claiming that Uyghur and Indonesian women are the most oppressed groups in the camps, and urged Muslims to donate to a fundraising campaign.

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