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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, title, and organization in your email.
EXCLUSIVE ANALYSIS: Al-Qaeda Upgrades Its Presence In Syria
By: R. Green
In recent weeks, there have been growing signs that Al-Qaeda’s leadership in Afghanistan-Pakistan is preparing to upgrade its presence in Syria and increase its footprint in the country. To do this, Al-Qaeda’s leadership is set to declare Jabhat Al-Nusra, its affiliate in Syria, to be “Qa’edat Al-Jihad fi Bilad Al-Sham” – “Al-Qaeda in Syria.” This name change will be signify the completion of Jabhat Al-Nusra’s integration into Al-Qaeda’s global network.
As a result of this impending change, Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan-Pakistan has stepped up its involvement in Syria. Under direct orders from Al-Qaeda’s top leadership, cadres of Al-Qaeda operatives have been sent from the Afghanistan-Pakistan arena to Syria. It is likely that the role that Al-Qaeda’s top leadership is playing in Syria is in offering ideological guidance, military expertise and training, organizational consultation, and so on.
The following report will present some of the evidence for these developments.
Al-Zawahiri Approves Upgrading Jabhat Al-Nusra To “Al-Qaeda In Syria”
In recent weeks, Jabhat Al-Nusra operatives on the ground and online supporters have been using the name “Tanzim Qa’edat Al-Jihad fi Bilad Al-Sham” (“the Qae’dat Al-Jihad organization in Syria”) along with Jabhat Al-Nusra. Banners, flags, and flyers carrying the new name are being circulated. In addition, one Jabhat Al-Nusra operative in Dar’a dedicated a poem praising Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri for bestowing the title on his organization, noting that this is an honor. These indications appear to precede the official announcement via Al-Qaeda’s channels, namely its media company Al-Fajr.
Graffiti: “Tanzim Qa’edat Al-Jihad fi Bilad Al-Sham.”
ISIS Provides Military Training For Children At ‘Zarqawi Cubs’ Camp, Other Camps
Recent media reports have shed light on the growing phenomenon of the recruitment of children in the armed conflict in Syria. This has in turn led to a number of campaigns to denounce the exploitation of children by both sides.
Among recently reported efforts to recruit children is that of the Islamic Static of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), which has allegedly established the Zarqawi Cubstraining camp in Al-Ghouta, east of Damascus. Another reported children’s training group is The ISIS Vanguards.
Images from the ISIS Zarqawi Cubs camp show dozens of children in military attire carrying AK-47s and undergoing military training. The images were posted on the ISIS Twitter account, and appeared on jihadi forums as well.
Report: Kuwaitis Donate Some 100 Million To ‘Moderate, Radical’ Rebel Groups In Syria
The Saudi daily Al-Hayat reported that Kuwaiti groups have donated between 80 and 100 million dollars in 2013 to moderate and radical rebel groups fighting in Syria. According to the report, which cited an activist who chose not to be identified, five main groups led by prominent former politicians and Salafi clerics are actively raising funds in Kuwait. These groups, the report states, receive donations from donors in Kuwait and other Gulf countries where public fundraising campaigns are limited. The report also mentioned that a number of Salafi clerics have actively used Twitter to promote these fundraising campaigns by publishing phone and bank accounts numbers, as well as other information for prospective donors. The activities of government charity organizations, the report said, are limited to humanitarian works outside Syria, namely in Turkey and Jordan.
Online Jihadi Launches New Fundraising Campaign On Twitter To Arm Rebel Group In Syria
On November 13, 2013, Manba’u Al-Kair, a Twitter account dedicated to collecting donations for Syria, launched its first fundraising campaign to buy missiles and mortar shells for rebel groups based in Al-Ghouta, a suburb of the capital Damascus.
According to the announcement, the goal of this campaign, which is managed by Qareen Al-Kilash, a Saudi Jihadi in Syria who is active on Twitter via his handle, would be purchasing 100 Katyusha rockets at a cost of $200 per unit and 2,000 mortar shells of three different types at a price per unit ranging between $90, $70 and $30.
Member Of Jihadi Forum Shows Deleted Phrase Inciting Jihad In Latest Version Of Saudi Second Grade Textbook
On November 13, 2013, Gharib Al-Ghuraba’ who is a senior member of leading Jihadi forum Shumoukh Al-Islam posted two different versions of Saudi Arabia’s second grade textbooks, one of which includes a phrase stating that the Prophet Muhammad spread Islam by waging jihad while the other doesn’t.
Lebanese Military Publishes Photo Of Man Claimed To Be Beirut Suicide Bomber
The photo published by the military
On November 21, 2013 the Lebanese military published on its official website a photo of a man who was described as “a dangerous wanted individual” connected to the November 19 suicide bombing outside the Iranian embassy in Beirut, and urged anyone who identified the man in the picture to contact the Defense Ministry or the military.
French Teenager Reported Killed In Syria
Abu Malik (right)
A jihadi reported today on the Shumoukh Al-Islam forum that Abu Malik Al-Faransi (“the French”) was “martyred” in Syria.
The post on the Shumoukh said that Al-Faransi, who hadn’t turned 17 yet, was a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS). On Twitter, though, some people reported that Al-Faransi was a member of Ahrar Al-Sham, and that he died during one of the battles on November 21, 2013.
Recruitment of children, including as fighters on the battlefronts, has been recently reported. ISIS, for example, reportedly opened the Zarqawi Cubs training camp for children near Damascus.
In Article, TTP Deputy Emir Denounces Democracy And Human Lawmaking: ‘These Wolves In The Form Of Lambs In Today’s Era Of Elections Should Not Deceive You Through Their Speeches’
In a recent article, Sheikh Khalid Haqqani, who was appointed as the deputy emir of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) following the November 1 killing of TTP emir Hakimullah Mehsud in a U.S. drone strike, rejected democracy and voting as new form of Jahiliyyah, the era of ignorance before the arrival of Islam in Arabia.
Haqqani’s article, titled “Ignorance And Democracy,” was published in an Urdu-language Taliban magazine in May 2013, before his appointment as the TTP’s deputy emir. Haqqani is expected to play the leading role in the TTP, as the new TTP emir Maulana Fazlullah is unable to return to Pakistani areas from neighboring Afghanistan. In the article, Haqqani’s full name is given as Abu Muhammad Khalid Haqqani. The article was written in the context of this year’s general elections in Pakistan.
The magazine,Ihya-e-Khilafat(or ‘The Revival of the Islamic Caliphate’), is published irregularly. Its editor-in-chief is Maulana Saleh Qassam. It is published under the patronage of Omar Khalid Khorasani, emir of TTP for Mohmand Agency, while the patron-in-chief was Hakimullah Mehsud, now deceased in the U.S. drone strike.
Following are excerpts from the article:
“Democracy And Secularism, Which Tells People To Believe That It Gives People Knowledge And Virtue, It Is Vice In Totality And It Puts Mankind In The Trench Of Destruction And Ruin In The Name Of Virtue”
“Ignorance… means a society which is devoid of knowledge… Before the annunciation of Prophet Muhammad, ignorance was all-pervading around the world and human beings were worshiping men, stones, stars, and satans instead of Allah, the Almighty. Even today, when ignorance is mentioned, that [pre-Islamic] period comes to our mind. But the fact is that ignorance does not refer to that period only, but ignorance is a characteristic, and if this characteristic is found in any time and in any society that would be called the period and society of ignorance. When the writer of Koranic exegesis Hazrat Ibn Abbas was asked, with reference to the verse ‘And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as (was) the display of the former times of ignorance,’ as to whether there is another period of ignorance, he said that every beginning has an end. Therefore, there would be a second period of ignorance competing with the first.”
TTP Commander Omar Khalid Khorasani Calls For Arab Spring-Style Revolution In Pakistan, Says: ‘If The People Can Revolt Against A Shi’ite Government In Syria, Declare And Wage Jihad, Then Why Not In Pakistan?’
In a video released after the violent clashes between Shi’ite mourners and students of a Sunni seminary in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, Pakistani Taliban commander Omar Khalid Khorasani urged the people to rise up against the government and get rid of Shi’ites.
Khorasani, who is the emir of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for Mohmand Agency, calls for an Arab Spring-type of revolution and for supporting the jihadi fighters as the people of Syria supported them against the Shi’ite regime in Damascus. This is the second video released by Khorasani after the killing of TTP emir Hakimullah Mehsud in a U.S. drone strike on November 1. Both the videos are unique in that, unlike in the past, they do not carry a TTP logo.
Ansar ut-Tawheed Releases Video, Vows To Avenge Atrocities Against Muslims In India
The video shows a jihadi flag flying over the Red Fort of Delhi
Ansar ut-Tawheed, which recently emerged as a jihadist squad formed to fight India, has released a second video, nearly identical to a first, within a period of two months, in which it vows to avenge atrocities committed against Muslims in India.
Like the previous video, which was produced sometime in September and released in October by an Arabic-language jihadi Internet forum, it begins by quoting a saying of Prophet Muhammad that two groups from his Ummah (the Muslim nation) are protected from the fire of Hell – the one that will wage jihad in India and the one that will join the forces of Jesus in present-day Israel.
The video was released by Al-Isabah, a new jihadi media production house which released the first video and about which not much is known. The first video had indicated that a jihadi group called Ansar ut-Tawheed has been established in Afghanistan. The new video is titled “From Kandahar towards Delhi”; it appears that clips from the previous video have been included in the new one.
In the video, Maulana Abdul Rehman al-Hindi, who appears to be a jihadi cleric from India as the surname al-Hindi means “from India,” delivers a message to the people of India (see the image below, his face masked). Reminding the people of India that Islamic fighters came from the land of Afghanistan and invaded India, he said that “a beginning has been made from the same land for your destruction again, all praise be to Allah.” He goes on to vow to avenge atrocities committed against Muslims in India.
Pakistani Daily Profiles Khalid Haqqani, New Deputy Emir Of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan: ‘Haqqani Is An Equally Callous Jihadi Commander Just Like Mullah Fazlullah’
On November 7, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) appointed Maulana Fazlullah as its emir and Sheikh Khalid Haqqani as the deputy emir. The appointments followed the November 1 killing of TTP emir Hakimullah Mehsud in a U.S. drone strike. Both Maulana Fazlullah and Khalid Haqqani have fearsome reputation for planning deadly terror attacks.
Maulana Fazlullah, who was until recently the emir of TTP’s Malakand branch, is believed to be based in the bordering provinces of Afghanistan from where his fighters launch regular attacks on Pakistani security forces. In a new report, a Pakistani newspaper says that the TTP has advised Fazlullah against returning inside the Pakistani territory, which means that the TTP’s operational command will be mainly managed by Khalid Haqqani.
Following are excerpts from the report:
“Khalid Haqqani Uses The Surname Of Haqqani Because Of Being A Former Student Of The Famous Madrassa Darul Uloom Haqqania In Akora Khattak, Which Is Located In Nowshera District Of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa”
“Well-informed tribal circles have refuted rumors of Fazlullah’s return to FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas] after his appointment as the TTP emir. According to them, Fazlullah did express his desire to return to Pakistan but he was advised against staging a comeback because of the growing intensity of the U.S. drone strikes in the Waziristan region. The TTP leadership believes their new emir would be comparatively safer in Afghanistan, which has seen less U.S. drone strikes compared to Pakistan. With the appointments of Fazlullah and Khalid, the command of the Waziristan-based TTP has clearly shifted from the largely lawless tribal region to the settled districts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. While Fazlullah comes from Swat, Khalid belongs to Swabi. Before joining the TTP ranks, Khalid led his separate faction called the Haqqani Taliban.”
Veteran Afghan Commander Jalaluddin Haqqani On His Son’s Killing: ‘Praise Be To Allah, You And I Are Muslim, And Muslims Love To Attain Martyrdom As Ardently As The Non-Believers Love The Comforts Of This World’
In a statement, veteran Afghan jihadi commander Jalaluddin Haqqani congratulates Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, the mujahideen, and himself on the “martyrdom” of his son Dr. Nasiruddin [also spelledNaseeruddin]Haqqani, who was killed recently in a shooting near Islamabad. The reasons behind the killing remain a mystery.
Jalaluddin Haqqani heads the powerful Haqqani Network of militants fighting U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan. The group’s operational command is in the hands of his son Sirajuddin Haqqani. The Haqqani Network is part of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban’s shadow government led by Mullah Omar.
His statement is addressed to “Afghanistan’s momin [true Muslim] and mujahid nation” and the mujahideen who are defeating the “Crusaders,” i.e. U.S. and NATO troops, in Afghanistan. It was released by the official website of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Following are excerpts from the statement:
“I Would Like To Congratulate The Esteemed Emir-ul-Momineen Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid…, The Courageous Mujahideen, And Myself On The Martyrdom Of A Valiant And Audacious Mujahid, Shaheed Nasiruddin Haqqani”
“[Koranic verse:] ‘Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah, of them some have fulfilled their obligations, and some of them are still waiting, but they have never changed in the least.’ Chapter Ahzab, Verse 23….”
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Accuses Pakistani Intelligence Of Killing Nasiruddin Haqqani, Says: ‘We Will Take Revenge For Every Drop Of Their Blood… From The Apostate Pakistani Regime’
In a new statement, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has accused the Pakistani intelligence of killing senior militant commander Dr. Nasiruddin Haqqani recently in Islamabad. Haqqani, son of veteran jihadi leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, was shot dead by unidentified people on the night of November 10.