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July 11, 2014 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1103

Pakistani Jihadi Groups Swear Oath Of Fealty To Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, The Rise Of Tahreek-e-Khilafat Wa Jihad (TKJ)

July 11, 2014 | By Tufail Ahmad
Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1103


In ISIS video, Pakistani militants express loyalty to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi

Introduction

A series of recent reports have emerged in the media which show that Pakistani militants are swearing bai'yah (oath of fealty) to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who declared himself as the emir of the Islamic State, supposedly leading all Muslims across the world. The Islamic State (IS) is the new name for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a jihadi organization which broke away from Al-Qaeda and captured several cities in Iraq in June, 2014.

It should be noted that Pakistani militants - an estimate 200 of which are already working as part of IS in Iraq and Syria - swore an oath of fealty to Al-Baghdadi in at least two videos released several days before Al-Baghdadi declared himself as the emir of the Islamic State in an audio statement released on June 29, 2014. Additionally, a new jihadi group based in Pakistan has become prominent for declaring its allegiance to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi: Tehreek-e-Khilafat Wa Jihad (TJK or the Movement for Caliphate and Jihad).

The June 29 declaration by Al-Baghdadi, which demanded oaths of fealty from Muslims, also marks a rift in the global jihadi movement. Until now, most of the jihadi groups from Chechnya to the Middle East and Africa, including Al-Qaeda and its slain leader Osama bin Laden, had expressed their loyalty to Mullah Mohammad Omar, calling him the Emir-ul-Momineen or the Leader of the Faithful Muslims, a title now assumed by Al-Baghdadi.

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