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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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@example.com. Please include your name, title, and organization in your email.
The 27th issue of the Islamic State (ISIS) weekly news bulletin Al-Naba featured an article that dismissed recent claims by the Obama administration that the U.S. and its allies were on the verge of achieving victory against ISIS. The article predicts that the U.S. will enter into a long-term war against ISIS, which will come at the expense of protecting other U.S. interests around the globe, and in which the U.S. will not achieve a decisive victory.
On April 17, 2016, Furat Media, an official Islamic State (ISIS) media wing, released a new nasheed (Islamic religious song) by well-known German ISIS operative Denis Cuspert aka Abu Talha Al-Almani, who was allegedly killed in October last year. The song is mostly in German, but includes several Arabic phrases as well. It was distributed via different channels, including file-sharing platforms such as archive.org, ISIS related Twitter accounts, Facebook, and Telegram.
On April 16, 2016, Al-Malahem, the official media wing of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), released a video featuring two spies confessing to planting microchips to direct drones to their targets. The video, titled “Harvest of Spies 3”, also showed photos of a number of the group’s fighters who were killed in drone strikes including foreign fighters from Australia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
On April 16, 2016, Al-Masra, a weekly newspaper affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), published an article praising the group’s management of the city of Mukalla, which the group took over in April 2015. The article appeared in the 10th issue of the paper, and downloadable links to its electronic version were posted on pro-AQAP accounts on Twitter.
On April 15, 2016, Furat Media, an official Islamic state (ISIS) media wing focusing on publications in Russian and German, released a German-language video titled “The truth about Pierre Vogel”. The seven-minute video, distributed on Twitter, Telegram, and Facebook, follows the publication of the latest edition of ISIS’s English-language magazine Dabiq, in which it declared the radical German Salafi preacher Pierre Vogel to be an apostate, thereby legitimizing his assassination.
On April 16, 2016, the Islamic State (ISIS) in Aleppo Province released photos of booty seized from the Syrian army and from Shi’ite militias that are assisting it, in an area ISIS described as “the field of Durayhim and the surrounding mountains.”
In years past, Islamic State (ISIS) members were more visible and vocal across a plethora of social media platforms than they are today. Actual ISIS members were eagerly followed by legions of adoring supporters who aided in the dissemination of propaganda. Within these pro-jihad online enclaves, they were celebrated media fixtures. The group has repeatedly stressed that “half of jihad is media” to highlight how vital its online activists are in winning hearts and minds in cyber space, in addition to on the physical battle field in Iraq and Syria.
An Instagram user who appears to be UK-based, sells original ornaments she makes that bear the black Islamic State (ISIS) flag. She states that she ships her items abroad, and, judging by her fans, she appears to have a global fanbase. Fellow ISIS supporters enthusiastically compliment her work via comments.
A 19-year-old Saudi, Abu Musab Al-Jazrawi, recently carried out a suicide operation, blowing himself up inside a truck in Khirbet Naquos, Syria. A video released by Jund Al-Aqsa, a Jabhat Al-Nusra affiliate, features Al-Jazrawi in front of the camera prior to the suicide operation. Footage of his attack on enemy forces is shown in the video, and the emotional reactions of his fellow fighters can be heard.
On April 13, 2016, The Islamic State (ISIS) published issue 14 of its English-language magazine Dabiq. An article titled, “Lessons From the Fitnah [strife] of the Mongols” draws comparisons between the 13th century Mongol invasions of the Levant and the present era, in which ISIS believes their ideology and territory is being attacked by disbelievers in a similar vein. The article mainly quotes the medieval schoalr Ibn Taymiyyah, commonly regarded as the godfather of Salafism. Ibn Taymiyyah compared the calamities that gripped the Muslims during the Mongol invasions to the Battle of Al-Ahzab in the time of the Prophet Muhammad and present the Mongols as non-Muslims. These historical precedents are in turn used to comment on the present situation in Syria and condemn rival groups among the Syrian opposition and the Sunni world in general who do not ally with the Islamic State.
A recent video posted online shows three Western hostages – two Canadians, one Norwegian, and the Filipino wife of one of the men – pleading for their governments to come to their aid. This is the most recent video of the hostages, who were kidnapped in September 2015 by the Filipino Abu Sayyaf jihad group from a resort marina on the Island Garden City of Samal in the southern Philippines.
On April 18, 2016, the Islamic State (ISIS) news agency A’maq released a short video showing an Iraqi prisoner it captured during combat near Khanaser, south of Aleppo.
On April 20, 2016, the Al-Dorar Al-Shamiya website, which follows events in Syria, posted a photo of an order issued by ISIS’s security bureau in the town of Al-Bab, Syria, which is under this organization’s control.
On April 20, 2016, the pro-ISIS hacking group Caliphate Cyber Army posted a message on its Telegram channel stating that the U.S. would be its next target. The caption accompanying the message read: “Remember the challenge soon. Wolves individual processed in the heart of America strike will be in sha Allah.”
On April 18, 2016, the Islamic State (ISIS) news agency ‘Amaq released an Android app that delivers its news in English.
This is the second app released by the news agency. In December, ‘Amaq released a similar app that delivered its news in Arabic.
On April 20, 2016, the Salafi-jihadi organization Harakat Sham Al-Islam, which operates in Syria and most of whose members are fighters of Moroccan origin, announced on its official Twitter page that Abu Muhammad Al-Baydawi has been appointed as its new commander.
Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has released a video of a militant who carried out a suicide attack last year. The militant is identified as Hafiz Saqib aka Muhammad Omar.
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