March 20, 2020 Special Announcements No. 889

Jihad and Terrorism Threat Montior (JTTM) Weekend Summary: Week of March 14-21, 2020

March 20, 2020
Special Announcements No. 889

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: Urdu Daily: U.S. Frees 1,500 Haqqani Network Members In Exchange For CIA Official

According to an Urdu-language daily, the United States has freed 1,500 members of the Haqqani Network in exchange for a CIA official who was being held by the Taliban.


EXCLUSIVE: Afghan Taliban Continue Celebrations Over U.S.-Taliban Deal: 'Our Jihadi Struggle Against [U.S.] Occupation... Has Shown That... Truth Behind It Was A Shining Light'

The Taliban issued a statement claiming that celebrations have continued in parts of Afghanistan over the signing of the U.S.-Taliban agreement in Doha, Qatar.


EXCLUSIVE: ISIS Weekly Gives Details On Deaths Of U.S. Marines In Clashes With ISIS Fighters In Iraq

An article in Issue 225 of the Islamic State (ISIS) weekly newspaper, quotes a source who provided details on two incidents in which two U.S. soldiers were killed.


EXCLUSIVE: Jihadi Social Media – Account Review (JSM-AR): On Facebook, Purported Oxford University Alumnus Who Claims To Work At International Airport Expresses Support For ISIS

The following information is based on a general overview of a social media account demonstrating terror-related activity / sympathies.


EXCLUSIVE: ISIS Weekly Editorial Says Group 'Not Bound' By U.S.-Taliban Peace Deal, Vows To Continue Fight Against Military Campaign

On March 12, 2020, the Islamic State (ISIS) published an editorial in Issue 225 of its weekly newspaper Al-Naba' detailing the group's recent attacks in Afghanistan.


EXCLUSIVE: Al-Qaeda-Aligned Groups In Syria Reject International Peace Talks And Agreements, Vow To Continue Waging Jihad Following Taliban’s Footsteps

On March 15, 2020, an Al-Qaeda-aligned group comprising of several Syrian jihadi factions, released a statement rejecting all the international peace talks and agreements regarding the situation in Syria.


EXCLUSIVE: Leader Of Al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Khaled Batarfi Pledges Allegiance To Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Vows To Take Revenge On U.S. For Killing Of Former Leader

On March 19, 2020, the media arm of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released an audio recording featuring its newly appointed leader Khaled Batarfi pledging allegiance to the leader of Al-Qaeda Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and vowing to take revenge on the U.S. for the killing of the former AQAP leader Qasem Al-Rimi.


Editorial In ISIS Weekly Urges Muslims To Take Advantage Of Coronavirus Epidemic To Free Prisoners From The 'Prisons Of The Polytheists And The Camps Of Humiliation'

The editorial of the March 19, 2020 issue of the ISIS weekly Al-Naba', titled "The Crusaders' Worst Nightmare," urges Muslims to take advantage of the coronavirus epidemic to free prisoners from the "prisons of the polytheists and the camps of humiliation."


ISIS Claims Responsibility For Attack on French Forces In Mali

On March 14, 2020, the Islamic State (ISIS) West Africa Province claimed responsibility for an attack in eastern Mali on March 10.


ISIS Video Shows Operations Targeting Iraqi Military And Police, PMU, And Shi'ites In Kirkuk, Iraq

On March 13, 2020, the Islamic State (ISIS) released a video from the Kirkuk region of its Iraq province.


Pro-ISIS Media Group Releases Poster Showing Attack On State Historical Museum In Moscow, Threatening To 'Melt' Russian Soldiers

On March 18, 2020, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) media group released a poster that depicts an attack on the State Historical Museum in Moscow, Russia.


Pro-ISIS Outlet Warns Against Russian And Chinese Messaging Apps

On March 13, 2020, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) group released a poster outlining both safe, and unsafe apps for ISIS supporters to use.


New Pro-ISIS Blog Launched


On March 11, 2020, Islamic State (ISIS) supporters launched a new blog.


Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) Leader Commends Attacks In The Sahel Against French And UN Troops, Warns Fighters To Avoid Killing Civilians


On March 16, 2020, the official media outlet of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) released a video containing an audio message from the group's leader.


Al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Eulogizes Senior Al-Qaeda Leaders Killed In Mali, Urges Jihadis In Maghreb Region To Remain Patient, Steadfast To Achieve 'Victory'

On March 17, 2020, Al-Qaeda In the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a statement eulogizing two senior Al-Qaeda leaders who were killed in an airstrike in Mali.


Al-Qaeda Cleric Abu 'Abd Al-Karim Al-Gharbi: ISIS And Turkey-Backed Factions Misleading Jihadis, Betraying Hurras Al-Din; Jihadis Should Not Limit Area, Method Of Fighting

On March 18, 2020, an Al-Qaeda supporter shared a 22-page article written by Al-Qaeda veteran cleric Abu 'Abd Al-Karim Al-Gharbi, titled "What Is Expected From The Mujahid Brother In Syria Today?"


Al-Qaeda Affiliate Al-Shabab Claims Killing 52, Wounding 35 AMISOM, Somali Forces In Clashes In Lower Shabelle Region

On March 17, 2020, the media arm of Al-Shabab reported that the group killed more than 52 African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) troops and "pro-government militia" fighters, and wounded 35 others, in clashes.


Jihadi Social Media – Account Review (JSM-AR): On Social Media, Jihadi And Pro-ISIS English-Speaking Users From U.S., Ireland, And Australia Call The Coronavirus A 'Soldier Of Allah'; ISIS Widow Claims Virus Has Reached Camp Roj

The following are some responses of jihadi and pro-ISIS English-speaking social media users to the coronavirus.


Afghan Taliban Assure International Community Of Cooperation To Fight Coronavirus In Areas Under Their Control

The spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan's Doha-based Political Office assured the international community that it would cooperate in dealing with cases of coronavirus in Afghanistan.


Urdu Daily: Afghan Taliban Threaten To 'Seize Kabul In 48 Hours' And To Kill Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

According to a report in a pro-Taliban Urdu daily, the Haqqani Network, militarily the most powerful terrorist unit in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization), has threatened that if the U.S.-Taliban deal is not honored, it can take over Kabul in 48 hours.


Taliban Website Report: 648 Afghan Government Officials Defected To The Taliban During February 2020

A report published by a Taliban website claims that 648 Afghan government officials defected to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization) during February 2020.


Urdu Daily: Saudi-Connected Afghan Salafi Group Offers Oath Of Allegiance To The Afghan Taliban Emir

A Salafi group active in Afghanistan for the past 24 years has joined the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization), according to a report in a pro-Taliban Urdu-language daily.


Afghan Taliban Claim Successes Against ISIS In Kunar Province, Vow 'To Eliminate This Group From The Remaining Areas'

On March 14, 2020, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization) issued a report and a statement claiming victories against Daesh (ISIS, or the Islamic State) in the eastern part of Afghanistan.

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