June 13, 2020 Special Announcements No. 924

Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) Weekly: Week of June 6-13, 2020

June 13, 2020
Special Announcements No. 924

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: Al-Qaeda's English-Language Magazine: 'America Burns'

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.


EXCLUSIVE: Pro-ISIS Outlets Celebrate Protests Unrest, Coronavirus In U.S. As Signs Of West's Imminent Downfall

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.


EXCLUSIVE: Online Jihadis Continue To Relish Protests And Riots In The U.S.

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.


EXCLUSIVE: Salafi-Jihadis Condemn Update To PUBG Video Game As Part Of Western Conspiracy To Lure Muslims To Idolatry

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.


Article In Al-Qaeda English Language Magazine: Amid COVID-19, The West Is Abandoning, Mistreating The Elderly

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.


Al-Qaeda Analyzes U.S.-Iran Tensions In The Gulf: UAE And Saudi Arabia Are Milk Cows, Qatar Is Attempting To Corrupt Jihad

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.


Al-Qaeda, Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Supporters Mourn Death Of Al-Qaeda In The Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) Leader

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.


ISIS In West Africa Publishes Second Issue Of Its Weekly News Magazine

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.


ISIS Editorial Accuses Jihadi Groups In Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, And Gaza Of Lying About Their Declared Intention To Implement Shari'a

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.


Poster In ISIS Weekly Castigates Qatar

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.


Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Video Shows Fighters Preparing Truck Bombs, Says Martyrdom-Seekers Will Use Them To Repel Russian Offense In Northwestern Syria

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.


Report: HTS Executes 'Extremist' Defector From ISIS In Idlib

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.


Iraqi Shi'ite Group Claims Attacks On U.S. Targets, Releases Several Videos, Some With Inaccurate Dates

On June 11, an Iraqi Shi'ite militia released two short videos allegedly showing attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq.


Syrian Jihadi Groups Gear Up For Potential Offensive On Idlib Province

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.


Jihadi Group Releases Video Of Fighters Celebrating Eid Al-Fitr With Syrian Children In Syria's Idlib

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.


Afghan Taliban: Scores Of Afghan Security Personnel Joined Taliban In Various Provinces

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.

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