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.)
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On June 8, 2020 Al-Qaeda's central media wing released the second issue of its English language magazine. The magazine's editorial provides Al-Qaeda's perspective on the current situation in the U.S. following the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing protests. Some of the magazine content is translated material from previously released issues of the magazine's Arabic edition.
Following the latest speech by ISIS spokesman Abu Hamzah Al-Qurashi on May 28, 2020, several pro-ISIS outlets have published posters repeating his message that the coronavirus is Allah's vengeance against the West for its war against ISIS, which the organization sees as a war against Islam. Other recent posters celebrate the unrest in the U.S. following the killing of George Floyd and portray it as another sign of America's imminent downfall.
Jihadis reacted online with schadenfreude and glee to the protests and mayhem in U.S. cities. Many supporters of the Islamic State (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda celebrated the events, focusing on the spectacles of buildings and property aflame and sharing videos of looting, clashes between law enforcement and protesters, and other forms of violence.
On May 31, 2020, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), a battle royale video game created by a South Korean company and launched in 2017, which is popular throughout the Arab world, including among jihadis, unveiled an update to the game in which players can "pray" to a totem to obtain weapons and other goods. Soon after the update was announced, many Muslims, including jihadis, objected to what they perceived as idol worship and started a social media campaign urging fellow Muslims to delete the game.
On June 8, 2020, the media wing of Al-Qaeda's central command released the second issue of its English language magazine, which included an article accusing Western nations of abandoning and mistreating elderly people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an article titled "Have Western Powers Really Been Defeated in the Gulf?" Al-Qaeda presents its geo-political perspective on the current situation in the Gulf and the tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
Users on pro-Al-Qaeda and pro-Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Telegram channels reacted with grief to the news that the leader of Al-Qaeda In the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) had been killed in an operation of the French forces and their allies.
The Islamic State's (ISIS) West Africa Agency released the second issue of its new weekly news magazine on rocket chat. The new issue included content in Arabic, French, and English highlighting the group's recent claims of attacks, an infographic poster detailing the results of the group's operations in the West Africa region, excerpts from ISIS spokesman Abu Hamzah Al-Qurashi recent audio message, and information about the group's the social media presence.
On June 11, 2020, the Islamic State (ISIS) released a new issue of it weekly newspaper, which included an editorial accusing the groups Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) in Syria, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen, the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Hamas in Gaza, of being deceitful regarding their declared intention to implement Shari'a.
An issue of ISIS's weekly news bulletin features a poster slamming Qatar, which includes quotes from a May 28, 2020 speech by ISIS spokesman Abu Hamzah Al-Qurashi. It should be noted that this speech was the first time ISIS officials explicitly spoke out against the Qatari regime.
The full HTS video is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). To view the video click here.
The video begins by showing a masked fighter saying that HTS has made vehicle bombs available for fighters who are seeking martyrdom and to "repel the belligerent Russian offense" on an area in northwestern Syria.
A news agency affiliated with the Syrian opposition, reported on June 9, 2020, that Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) had executed a former member of the Islamic State (ISIS). The man was wanted by ISIS leadership which considered him an 'extremist' after he declared its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi an apostate.
On June 11, an Iraqi Shi'ite militia released two short videos allegedly showing attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq.
On June 7, 2020, several jihadi groups in Syria sent more fighters and military reinforcements to various front lines, mainly in Idlib province in northwestern Syria, ahead of a potential offensive to be launched by Russian and Syrian forces. According to media reports, air strikes reportedly hit several villages in northwestern Syria.
On June 7, 2020, a jihadi group fighting in Syria, released a video on Telegram showing its members "sharing the joy of Eid Al-Fitr with the Muslims" in Idlib and in the surrounding countryside.
In two reports on its website, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization) said that scores of Afghan security personnel and officials have joined the Taliban in different provinces of Afghanistan.