May 19, 2023 Special Announcements No. 1349

Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) Weekly: May 13-20, 2023

May 19, 2023
Special Announcements No. 1349

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 Divided Over Turkish Elections: Between Endorsement Of Erdoğan And Rejection Of Elections As Polytheism, 'American Game' To Westernize Muslims

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

On May 14, 2023, presidential elections were held in Turkey. The incumbent president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the right-wing Justice and Development (Adalet ve Kalkınma – AK) Party, received 49.5% of the vote, while his main challenger, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of the Republican People's Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi – CHP), won 44.9%. As neither candidate achieved a majority, the country's Supreme Election Council scheduled a runoff election for May 28. As Erdoğan won the 2014 and 2018 elections by a significant majority, his failure to again do so indicates a decline in his popularity in recent years.


EXCLUSIVE: New Pro-ISIS Channel Distributes DIY Instructions On How To Make Plastic Explosive

On May 17, 2023, a new channel on the ISIS-operated Rocket.Chat server devoted to teaching ISIS supporters how to create chemical weapons, published a short guide in Arabic and English on how to create PETN, a plastic explosive, in ten steps.


EXCLUSIVE: Pro-ISIS Media Outlet Lists Targets To Attack In Arabian Peninsula Including Oil Installations, Foreign Embassies, Shi'ites And 'Polytheists'

On May 12, 2023, a pro-ISIS outlet released a poster titled "Targets for the Monotheists in the Arabian Peninsula," listing five main targets for Muslims to attack: oil installations, foreign embassies and ambassadors, prison workers, banks and Shi'ites. The poster also lists three secondary targets.


EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Department Of Justice Seizes 13 Web Domains Affiliated With Lebanese Hizbullah

On May 11, 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) announced the seizure of 13 web domains used by Lebanese Hizbullah (LH).


EXCLUSIVE: Reacting To Escalation In Gaza Strip: Jihadis Highlight Israel's 'Declining Deterrence,' Urge Palestinian Islamic Jihad To 'Ignite,' 'Arm' West Bank, Hamas To Embrace PIJ In Gaza

Following the recent escalation in the Gaza Strip and Israel launching Operation Shield and Arrow targeting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group, killing several top-tier military commanders, online jihadis and clerics, including supporters of Al-Qaeda and ISIS published posts condemning Israeli actions, calling on the PIJ to "ignite" the situation in the West Bank and urging Hamas to support the PIJ in Gaza to prevent further losses of the PIJ's leadership.


EXCLUSIVE: Following Israeli Military Operation In Gaza, Pro-ISIS Telegram Channel Accuses 'Jews' And 'So-Called Muslims' Of Exploiting Skirmishes For Own Interests, Calls For Jihad To Liberate Palestine

On May 14, 2023, a pro-ISIS Telegram channel published a post commenting on the recent clashes between the Israeli army and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Gaza.


ISIS Syria Province Claims First Attack In Damascus In A Year, Killing A Police Officer And Wounding Four Others

On May 10, 2023, the Islamic State Syria Province claimed responsibility for an attack in which a "security detachment" planted and detonated an IED on a vehicle inside a police station, in Barzeh municipality, in northern Damascus, destroying the vehicle, killing one police officer and injuring four others.


Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) Claims Double 'Martyrdom-Seeking' Operation Against African Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) Near Lake Chad Area

On May 16, 2023, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for a double VBIED suicide attack which took place on May 14, targeting "African Coalition" forces near the Lake Chad area in Nigeria's Borno State.


Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) Claims 'Martyrdom' Operation Against African Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) In Northeastern Nigeria

On May 12, 2023, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for a "martyrdom" attack the day before, May 11, near Lake Chad, Borno State, Nigeria.


Islamic State East Asia Province (ISEAP) Claims Attack Against Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Positions In Philippines

On May 17, 2023, the Islamic State East Asia Province (ISEAP) claimed responsibility for a May 13 attack against Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) positions with machine guns, in the village of Tuayan, in the area of Maguindanao, southern Philippines, causing MILF operatives to flee. Later, ISEAP fighters burned the positions and seized an RPG launcher.


ISIS Weekly Editorial Praises Jihadis As 'The Faithful Few' Who Persevere Through Trials To Restore Muslims' Glorious Past

On May 11, 2023, ISIS released Issue 390 of its weekly Al-Naba' newsletter, which includes an editorial praising the adherents of jihad as the faithful few who chose to follow the singular path of the truth towards success, rejecting all other paths.


ISIS Weekly Publishes 'Exclusive Report' Of ISIS Counteroffensive Against Al-Qaeda Affiliate GSIM In Mali, Other Operations In Burkina Faso, Niger

On May 11, 2023, ISIS released Issue 390 of its weekly newsletter Al-Naba'. The issue contains an "exclusive" report about a month-long ISIS counteroffensive against Al-Qaeda's affiliate in the Sahel, the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM), and their allied tribal militias, the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA), in northeastern Mali.


Anti-ISIS Channel: ISIS May Now Be Run By Its Enemies

On May 11, 2023, an anti-ISIS channel on the Al-Qaeda-operated Rocket.Chat server, published a post arguing that recent setbacks suffered by ISIS reveal that it may now be run behind the scenes by enemies of the jihadi organization.


Al-Qaeda Affiliate Al-Shabab Claims 27 Soldier Casualties Among American Troops, U.S.-Trained Somali Special Forces

On May 11, 2023, the Shahada News Agency, the official media outlet of Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen (Al-Shabab), issued a claim of responsibility for an Al-Shabab attack on a joint convoy of American forces and members of the U.S.-trained Somali Special Forces which was alleged to have taken place that day in the area known as Kilometer 50 west of the capital, Mogadishu.


Al-Qaeda Affiliate Al-Shabab Claims Distributing Foodstuffs To 1,000 Needy Families, In Southwestern Somalia

On May 16, 2023, the Shahada News Agency, the official media outlet of Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen (Al-Shabab), reported that the Administration of Al-Shabab's Gedo Province distributed foodstuffs including rice, flour, sugar, milk, oil and dates, to about 1,000 needy families, on the outskirts of Bardere, Gedo province, in southwestern Somalia.


Al-Qaeda Affiliate Al-Shabab Claims Attacks Against Defense And Finance Ministries In Somali Capital

On May 15, 2023, the Shahada News Agency, the official media outlet of Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen (Al-Shabab), claimed responsibility for two attacks against government ministries in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.


Al-Shabab In A Week: Compiling Attacks By Al-Qaeda's Somali Affiliate From May 3 To May 10, 2023

Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, Al-Shabab, is widely considered the group's most active and lethal branch, carrying out near-daily attacks against Somali and regional forces, government employees, and civilians.


Al-Qaeda's Affiliate In The Sahel Claims Attacks Against Burkinabe, Malian Forces, Russian Wagner Group

On May 16, 2023, the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM), Al-Qaeda's affiliate in the Sahel, released two statements claiming responsibility for six attacks targeting Burkinabe and Malian forces over the past week.


Al-Qaeda Affiliate GSIM Claims Attacks Against Troops Across Central Mali

On May 13, 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), released two statements claiming attacks on troops in Central Mali on May 11 and May 12.


Senior Ansar Allah Movement Official Warns Saudi Arabia Against 'U.S. And U.K. Blackmail,' Declares Saudi Security 'Dependent On Security Of Yemen,' Alleges U.S. Obstructs Payments To Yemen's Civil Servants

On May 15, 2023, Yemen's Iran-backed Ansar Allah Movement (the Houthi) claimed that the U.S. seeks to undermine the solution to the humanitarian issues in Yemen, warning that Saudi Arabia submits to U.S. "blackmail" and is therefore responsible for instability in the region.


In Statement, Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Security Services Spokesman Addresses Arrest Campaign Targeting Hizb Ut-Tahrir, Claims It Coordinates With 'Extremist Groups'

On May 14, 2023, the spokesman for Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham's (HTS) General Security Service (GSS), Diya' Al-'Umar, released a statement accusing Hizb ut-Tahrir of collaborating with extremists and trying to undermine governance and stability in northwestern Syria.


Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Cleric Al-Qahtani Repeats Call For Al-Qaeda Branches To Break Ties With It, Canada-Based Pro-Al-Qaeda Cleric Accuses Him Of Ingratitude, Ignorance

On August 15, 2022, a senior Iraqi-born religious official in Syrian jihadi group Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), caused a media storm by calling on branches of Al-Qaeda to break ties with the organization – as HTS had done in 2016.


Uyghur Jihadi Group Releases Photos Of Fighters Graduating From Training Camps In Syria

On May 13, 2023, a pro-Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) media outlet shared a set of ten photos showing Katibat Al-Ghuraba' Al-Turkestan (The Turkestani Battalion of Strangers – KGT) fighters graduating from training camps and courses to improve their comabt skills.


Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) Releases Photos Documenting Women Graduating From Course In Memorizing the Quran In Syria

On May 15, 2023, the official media outlet of the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), a Uyghur jihadi group active in Afghanistan and Syria, released a series of four photos showing a graduation ceremony of 36 women who participated in a course in memorizing the Quran, in a girls' school run by TIP in Syria.


Pro-Al-Qaeda Author Offers Supporters Recommendations To Improve Media Operation, Acknowledges Slow Content Dissemination Due To Death Of Key Media Operatives

On May 14, 2023, a pro Al-Qaeda media outlet published a 26-page essay titled "Media Jihad and the Supportive Media," listing suggestions for improving the group's media operations.


Iran-Backed Militia Pledges To Assist 'Palestinian Resistance' In Struggle Against 'Zionist Tyranny'; Militia Leader Reiterates Pledge To PIJ's Secretary General During Phone Call

On May 12, 2023, Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq movement, a pro-Iranian Iraqi Shi'ite militia, released a statement condemning Israel's strikes targeting senior leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and vowing to continue to support the Palestinian people's resistance against the "usurper occupation."


Iran-Backed Militias In Iraq Urge Palestinians To Continue To Fight Israel, Express Full Willingness To Assist With Weapons And Manpower

On May 9, 2023, Israel launched Operation Shield and Arrow against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement in the Gaza Strip, during which it killed four senior members of the movement from the air.


Iran-Backed Shi'ite Militias In Iraq Respond To U.S. Ambassador's Call To Disarm Them: American She-Satan Must Be Silenced; Only Solution Is "The Weapons Of The Resistance;" Shi'ite Forces In Government Neglecting Obligation To Take Revenge Against U.S.

On May 16, 2023, in an interview with the UAE-based Sky News Arabia, U.S. ambassador to Iraq Alina L. Romanowski stated that the U.S. has no intention of leaving the region. She asserted that the Iraqi people do not want a country that is controlled by militias and called for them to be disarmed.


Iran-Backed Ashab Al-Kahf Militia Calls On Iraqi PM And Intelligence To End Collaboration With U.S., Israel; Vows To Continue Operations Against U.S., British Forces; Claims 'Recent' Attack On MI6 In Iraq

On May 14, 2023, the Iran-backed Iraqi militia Ashab Al-Kahf published a three-page statement in which it calls on Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' Al-Sudani to stop serving the U.S. and Israel, and to stop supplying them with information about the activities of the Shi'ite factions in the country.


New Pro-Iran Telegram Channel Claims To Expose Secret U.S., Israeli Aerial Operations Including Arms Shipments To Erbil Airport In Iraq

On May 17, 2023, a new Telegram channel which is affiliated with Iran-backed militias in Iraq and declares that it is operated by "the intelligence unit of the Islamic resistance which tracks the activities of the U.S. forces in air and on land," published several reports alleging secret aerial operations conducted by the U.S. and Israel.


Telegram Outlet Linked To Iran-Backed Militias In Iraq Accuses U.S. Forces Of Killing Governing Council President Who Was Assassinated In 2004 Suicide Attack Claimed By Al-Qaeda

On May 17, 2023, a Telegram channel linked to Iran-backed militias in Iraq published a post commemorating the death anniversary of Ezzedine Salim, one of the leading members of the Iraqi Dawaa Movement between 1980 and 2004, who served as the President of the Governing Council of Iraq in 2004 after the toppling of the Saddam Hussein regime.


Pro-Iran Telegram Channel Threatens U.S. With Attack, Warns Iraqi Government Following Reports Of Clashes Between Federal Police, Iraqi Hizbullah Brigades

On May 13 and May 15, 2023, a Telegram channel which supports Iran-backed militias in Iraq shared posts threatening the U.S. military and warning Iraqi leaders not to challenge its power. Directed at Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' Al-Sudani, one post appeared to suggest the possibility of violence between the government and militias, following reports about a brief clash that took place just one day earlier.


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