The global jihad movement has split in two. Members of al-Qaeda will now have to choose between two different emirs. The so-called ‘Khorasan pledge’ was the final nail in the coffin of the reconciliation between al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The rift no longer pertains to Syria only, but has spread to the other arenas of global jihad.
The network, known as the Khorasan Group, was acknowledged and named publicly for the first time on Thursday by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. He confirmed the group is operating in the region and said they may pose as great a threat to the U.S. as the Islamic State. “There is potentially yet another threat to the homeland, yes,” Clapper said at an intelligence conference in Washington.
But the group’s name, Khorasan, or its links to al-Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate, which is considered the most dangerous terrorist threat to the U.S., have not previously been disclosed. Khorasan refers to a province under the Islamic caliphate, or religious empire, of old that included parts of Afghanistan.
The Khorasan Group has been described by U.S. intelligence officials as a cell of veteran Al Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan who are trying to recruit western extremists to attack Europe and the U.S. The Khorasan group, which has not been subject to American military action, is considered the more immediate threat. That Yemen affiliate, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been able to place three bombs on U.S.-bound airliners, though none has succeeded in downing the aircraft.
Syria360 Nine al-Qaeda emirs from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran declared their allegiance to the new emir of the faithful, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – the head of ISIS – in what is being termed as the “Khorasan pledge.” A few days later, ISIS spokesperson Mohammed al-Adnani declared that “al-Qaeda deviated from the rightful course,” indicating that “it is not a dispute about who to kill or who to give your allegiance. It is a question of religious practices being distorted and an approach veering off the right path.”
This is a turning point in the clash – currently limited to the Syrian arena – between Baghdadi and Ayman al-Zawahiri, threatening to create an open conflict throughout jihadist movement. The anticipated split had been declared by ISIS advisor Abu Ali al-Anbari. “Either we eliminate them or they will eliminate us,” he said in one of the reconciliation sessions, repeating the sentence three times.
The nine defected emirs’ declaration have put Baghdadi in a direct confrontation with current al-Qaeda leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar. They want to attack al-Qaeda’s leader, saying his rule was “a thing of the past and today’s triumphs are made by the soldiers of ISIS.” Mullah Omar had been the emir of emirs of al-Qaeda, enjoying both Osama Bin Laden and Zawahiri’s allegiance. During his reign, Afghanistan was destroyed after he refused to deliver Bin Laden and others to the United States.
Baghdadi’s challenge to Mullah Omar is a major confrontation on the jihadi scene. He identified his adversary, bypassing al-Joulani and Zawahiri and going for their senior sheikh. Although it was thought that Mullah Omar was killed, after news of him stopped in the wake of the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, some facts and indicators point to the opposite.
On the eve of the September 11 attacks in 2012 in Libya, Zawahiri came out with a eulogy of Abu Yehia al-Libi, considered to be the number two man in al-Qaeda. “I announce to the Islamic nation, the mujahideen, Emir of the Faithful Mullah Mohammed Omar, and the mujahideen in Libya, the news of the martyrdom of Sheikh Hassan Mohammed Qaed [al-Libi].”
The Khorasan pledge, circulating on jihadi online sites such as the Shumukh al-Islam forum, was all that was needed by the war raging in Syria between al-Nusra Front and ISIS. It will be adding more fuel to the fire between the two sides.
The nine emirs are Sheikh Abu Ubaidah al-Lubnani, Abu al-Muhannad al-Urduni, Abu Jurair al-Shamali, Abu al-Huda al-Soudani, Abdulaziz al-Maqdisi (brother of Sheikh Abu Mohammed al-Maqdisi), Abdullah al-Punjabi, Abu Yunus al-Kurdi, Abu Aisha al-Qurtubi, and Abu Musab al-Tadamuni.
In the Khorasan pledge message, the nine emirs elaborated on the stages of jihad against the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. They talk about the experience of the Tawhid and Jihad group under Zarqawi, who pledged allegiance to Bin Laden from Iraq to Khorasan. Then they spoke about Zarqawi’s death in 2006, which was followed by Abu Hamza al-Muhajir taking the reign of al-Qaeda’s emirate in Iraq. This coincided with Abu Omar al-Baghdadi announcing the establishment of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Muhajir gave him his support and merged his emirate with ISI.
When Baghdadi and his war minister, Muhajir, were killed, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took over ISI with the blessings of Bin Laden and Zawahiri. They believed it to be an “extension of jihad.” It was also highly praised by Sheikh Atiyyah Allah and Sheikh Abu Yehia al-Libi. The nine emirs continue with assessing the events up to the war in Syria, “where it was the duty of ISIS to reach out and provide support for its people, to defeat the conspiracy of the two armies, the Syrian Army and the Free [Syrian] Army (FSA).”
According to the nine sheikhs, after the expansion of ISI, “the forces of infidelity and apostasy quickly sowed the seeds of hypocrisy, using new groups under Islamic sounding names to be a rival and an obstacle to the Islamic state.” They criticized Zawahiri and al-Nusra Front without naming them, saying “the group did not have any courage to enforce judgements over those who disobey sharia, under the pretext of avoiding a clash with the people or due to their inability and incapacity, although they enforced in secret more than they did out in the open.”
They concluded by saying, “we ask God for forgiveness for being late to reveal the truth and fix what we corrupted, disobeyed, and did not accept. Thus, we wrote this message to the Muslim nation and to ask forgiveness from our Lord. We showed that ISIS was right. It raised the banner without hesitation, weakness, or account to anyone by God. We count them as such and, as long as they persevere, they have [our support and allegiance] for its Emir of the Faithful Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Qurashi and our obedience in fortune and adversity and in hardship and prosperity, without challenging his command. But if it alters or deviates, it will only get from us what others had gotten before before.”
The war between ISIS and al-Qaeda is no longer confined to Syria. It is an open conflict with each side vying for legitimacy. ISIS emirs, in turn, recalled past events. They argued about the origin of the disagreement between Zarqawi and Zawahiri in 2005. “Zawahiri had always been lax,” they replied. “It is not enough that he does not declare Shia as infidels. He objects to Zarqawi’s methods, accusing him of being a takfiri.”
Despite Obama’s bravado, there is actually no ‘broad coalition’ of the European willing and the Arab states seem content to sit on the sidelines.
An ISIS-affiliated group has threatened to assassinate Twitter employees that close down their accounts. Users linked to the terrorists tweeted a series of messages on Sunday urging ‘lone wolves’ in the US and Europe to focus on this target. Michelle Obama preparing a new hashtag response.
UK Daily Mail A specific warning was directed at staff at the Silicon Valley headquarters, warning they would ‘bring the war’ to San Francisco.
One of the calls is believed to have come from Al Musra Al Maqdisia, or The Supporters Of Jerusalem – a Jerusalem-based group that pledged its allegiance to ISIS in February.
The tweets from the now-suspended account, translated by Vocativ, read: ‘#TheConceptOfLoneWolfAttacks The time has arrived to respond to Twitter’s management by directly attacking their employees and physically assassinating them!! Those who will carry this out are the sleepers cells of death.’
It continued: ‘Twitter management should know that if they do not stop their campaign in the virtual world, we will bring the war to them in the real world on the ground.’
The user then directly threatened workers at the Silicon Valley headquarters: ‘Every Twitter employee in San Francisco in the United States should bear in mind and watch over himself because on his doorstep there might be a lone wolf assassin waiting’.
And finally, they urged Europe to join the pledge: ‘#AttackingTwitterEmployees is on the agenda of mujahedeen and lone wolves who are across Europe’.
The social network has been a crucial platform for the jihadis to promote their warped interpretation of Sharia law.
The freedom of speech premise that underlies Twitter makes regulation of extremist propaganda almost impossible.
Tactics have included Twitter storms, spamming the site with their beliefs and calling on Western recruits to join them.
Many of the British and American jihadis that have fled their native countries to join the faction in Iraq and Syria have been tweeting their experiences.
An 18-year-old British girl yesterday tweeted ‘I want David Cameron’s head on a spike’ in a slew of ISIS messages.
One of the twins from Chorlton that fled to join ISIS in Syria has been tweeting messages to the UK, mocking concerns for their welfare.
Either Salma or Zahra Halane has taken the name Umm Ja’far and tweeted a slew of fanatical messages, including several revealing she still plans to be a doctor – but only so she can treat ISIS fighters.
She wrote: ‘I love the name Terror Twin because it makes me sound scary. Isis love it when they make us sound scary because it makes us a big threat so I love it.’
She added: ‘I support the executions of Syrian soldiers. It’s self defence.’
However, in the wake of the murders of James Foley and Steven Sotloff at the hands of ISIS, the firm has worked to shut down accounts that permeate the organisation’s message.
Now, the group is reacting. Twitter has bureaus across the world. There are 12 in the US, including the headquarters, and five in Europe.
A further two are in Latin America, three in Asia, one in Australia and two in Canada.
A Twitter spokesman said: ‘Our security team is investigating the veracity of these threats with relevant law enforcement officials,’
Hey ISIS, lookie here. Minnesota Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison has just insulted Islam.
‘CHOOSE YOUR OWN JIHAD’ – The Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists are recruiting Western youth to their ranks by promising flexibility. But also, just like Barack Hussein Obama, they lie.
Site Intel Group (via TROP) The Islamic State’s phenomenal ability to entice young Western Muslims to the battlegrounds of Syria has relentlessly made headlines throughout 2014, with the activities of these fighters raising threat levels around the world. Jihadi groups in Syria go to great lengths to target propaganda at Westerners and to encourage disaffected and idealistic young Western Muslims to leave their home countries for battle.
Complementing the sophisticated media targeting dissatisfied Western youth, online recruiters from the Islamic State (IS), formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), go even further in honing in on that demographic by promising that fighters can tailor their experience in jihad should they join with IS.
An appeal to leave life in the West, the promise of battle-type options to jihadi recruits amplifies the jihadi message that Western fighters partake in a physically and religiously satisfying experience—selling an idealized vision of the jihadi battlefields without the sobering lack of choices within in many organized military units.
The following messages shared by IS recruiters, spanning approximately six months, underscore the promise by IS English-speaking recruiters to the new members for battle choice, flexibility in occupation, and physical requirements.
One alleged IS fighter and recruiter under the name “Abu Dujana Britani” consistently promotes the message of flexibility throughout social media to motivate and facilitate prospective fighters. His activity throughout the year demonstrates that the boasted inclusiveness of the current IS appears to be part of a long-standing recruitment strategy, and one that pre-dates the group’s rebranding into the “Islamic State.”
For example, on March 27, 2014, Abu Dujana responded to a question pertaining to whether IS recruits must face the other major jihadi faction in an inter-factional conflict. The anonymous questioner asked: ….if a brother disagrees with an operation could he be compelled to do it (like fighting an enemy he disagrees fighting)
Abu Dujana reassured his questioner in no uncertain terms that IS recruits could opt-out of any battle that they are not happy with. On the second point, he wrote: …no one is ever forced to fight, however if youre worried about fighting other muslims, we only fight them in self defence or to take back property which was wrongfully taken which is justified. But yeah you can choose to sit back, do ribat [guard duty] or whatever you prefer.
Several weeks later Abu Dujana again returned to social media to answer a question about whether IS recruits are allowed to “select what we want to do? Lie, a sniper… ribat, technician?” Responding succinctly with “Yes of course,” Abu Dujana also strongly implied that individual fighters’ preferences are given high priority.
The emphasis on fighter self-determination is not only portrayed by Abu Dujana; alleged IS fighters have also issued public messages claiming that the group accommodates its recruits’ preferences. For example, on April 24, 2014 an alleged fighter who writes under the name “Mujahid Al Shami” noted:
In #ISIS we try our best to put people where they are most comfortable in, thats why there are English, French, German, Russian battalions.
The message was reinforced throughout the summer of 2014. In a statement shared on July 1, 2014, an alleged IS fighter, under the name “Abu Farris,” dismissed a question about whether concern about fighting other Muslims influenced his decision to fight for IS.
He responded, in part, by emphasizing that not only did he follow his “brother” to Syria, but that he is able to determine the terms of his engagement: … I chose where i want to go. The state doesnt force me to kill muslims, we work on murtads and kuffar may allah rectify our affairs.
Abu Farris similarly underscored the impression of fighter self-determination in response to a question of what IS fighters do when they are bored. On August 4, he answered a question by providing a wide array of options, ranging from domestic bliss to police work: if ur married spend time with wife urm you csn go masjid teach kids, u can give dawah [issue summons] to local citizens.. urm do police work, its ur khilafa u can do alootttt alhamdulilah [Allah be praised]
Online IS recruiters go to great lengths to portray their organizations as being inclusive of all backgrounds, experience levels, and even physical limitations. In one late-March 2014 example, Abu Dujana responded to an inquiry asking about the “standards” that the mujahideen have for their fighters, and specifically, whether the group “only let[s] ppl go to the front who they perceive as strong, or anyone who wants to go can go.”
Abu Dujana responded expansively, claiming: we [IS] have no physical standards whatsoever, people think isis fighters are some crazy well trained mercenaries, nothing could be further from the truth, we only have a small core of experienced fighters.
On April 23, 2014, an alleged IS fighter claimed on Twitter that there are many roles for people to play, even if they are not inclined to battle. The fighter, who writes under the name “MuhajirSumalee,” stated: Brothers, if you don’t want to fight at least make Hijra feesabilillah. Doula [IS] isnt a militant group we need doctors, engineers, etc.
The recruiter Abu Dujana Britani also continued to urge readers to come on their own terms, even if they are unsure of their suitability for battle. Among the exhortations, on August 11, 2014, he shared a message assuring an alleged IS sympathizer who “is scared of fighting” but feels able to “cook food for the mujahideen” that he should still come to Syria.
The promises of a chose-your-own jihad appear to have limits, though, even for as enthusiastic a booster as Abu Dujana Britani. Asked by a fan if newly minted a foreign fighters can chose to fight alongside online jihadi celebrities, such as Abu Dujana himself, the recruiter demurred. After being asked “when i get to sham… and complete training will the amirs let me join your crew” he responded equivocally, writing:
Its a possibility. But also depends on my ameer [leader]. In conclusion, the degree to which IS recruiters in Syria claim that new recruits can determine what they want to participate in is a characteristic of the IS approach to luring young Western fighters to their conflict. This allows the groups to deter anxieties of potential recruits that might keep them from leaving their homes for battle.
The emphasis on recruit choice serves a pragmatic faction as well: it bolsters battle and jihad as being practically equivalent to an immersive summer camp experience to recruits who, though attracted to the promised adventure of engaging in warfare, may be adverse to the discipline and lack of autonomy inherent in joining a traditional military.
This messaging is consistent with the group’s online efforts to systematically reduce both the perceptions and reality regarding challenges to joining jihad among IS’s target audience of disaffected young, Western, Muslim men.
Phil Robertson, one of the stars of the Duck Dynasty hit reality TV show, says Islamic militants waging a campaign of war and terror in Syria and Iraq either need some Jesus or need to be killed.
“In this case, you either have to convert them, which I think would be next to impossible. I’m not giving up on them, but I’m just saying either convert them or kill them,” Robertson said on the Fox News show “Hannity” on Tuesday night. “One or the other.”
Robertson said his first choice is Jesus.”I’d much rather have a Bible study with all of them and show them the error of their ways and point them to Jesus Christ,” Robertson said. “However, if it’s a gunfight and a gunfight alone, if that’s what they’re looking for, me personally, I am prepared for either one.”
Shocking plans to develop weaponized bubonic plague have been found on a laptop captured from ISIS, with a document on the machine claiming that ‘casualties can be huge’. The computer was recovered from an Isis hideout in Syria by a moderate rebel commander called Abu Ali. ISIS has a $2 billion+ war chest with which to carry out its terrorist plots.
UK Daily Mail He said that ISIS fled from the building before his men stormed it. A dusty laptop was found inside, which was then handed over to a pair of investigative journalists.
They trawled through the computer’s files and discovered a disturbing 19-page document containing instructions for making weaponised bubonic plague (biological name Yersinias pestis), including the steps needed for testing it.
‘The advantage of biological weapons is that they do not cost a lot of money, while the human casualties can be huge,’ the document states, according to Foreignpolicy.com.
It stated that testing should be done on small mice first. It added: ‘When the microbe is injected in small mice, the symptoms of the disease should start to appear within 24 hours.’
The laptop belonged to a Tunisian chemistry and physics student called Muhammed S, who it’s thought joined the terrorist group in Syria.
However, Jennifer Cole, Senior Research Fellow, Resilience & Emergency Management, at the Royal United Services Institute, downplayed the danger the find signified. She told MailOnline: ‘This is nothing a security analyst wouldn’t expect to find on a jihadist laptop. We’ve seen it time and time again.
‘Plus, biological weapons are extremely unpredictable and their spread cannot be predicted or controlled. This is why regimes and terrorist groups have been so reluctant to use them.
‘They are slow acting, can’t be geographically contained and are as likely to hurt you as the enemy. That’s why, while lots of groups look into them, but most never use them.’
She added that bubonic plague ‘can be treated with simple antibiotics these days.
“All we asked was that they convert to Islam. When they refused, naturally we had to kill them.”
In the second half of the video, you’ll see a group of Yazidi men reciting the Shahada which converts them to Islam. Notice there are no women in this group. I guess they are now sex slaves for ISIS.
Still unconfirmed, but reports out of Iraq claim that a Canadian Muslim, Farah Mohamed Shirdon from Calgary, who joined the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadis in northern Iraq, has been put down for his final dirt nap.
CBC Multiple social media reports in Iraq say that a young Calgary man who appeared in an ISIS video four months ago has been killed in Iraq. Farah Mohamed Shirdon, a Calgarian fighting overseas with the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, was seen in the video below burning his Canadian passport and threatening to destroy Iraq’s oppressors.
The Department of Foreign Affairs says it is aware of reports that a Canadian was killed in Iraq and is following the situation closely. A man claiming to be Shirdon’s brother has been tweeting online — asking jihadi contacts for information on how Shirdon died.
Shirdon, who had been enrolled in the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology until at least 2012, came from a prominent and well-educated Somali family. Shirdon’s mother and sister currently live in Calgary and are deeply involved in the religious life of their community.
For ISIS, the killing of infidels doesn’t focus solely on nonbelievers, but includes all secular Arab states as well as Muslims who do not practice strict sharia law. So, while Obama is authorizing a few pinpoint airstrikes and drones to combat ISIS, ISIS is grooming the next generation of junior jihadis.
First Syria, now Iraq, soon Jordan, Lebanon, then on to Europe and North America.
No specific information on this, but a lot of cheering.
As regular BNI readers, you already are citizen warriors in the Counter-Jihad movement. Wearing a BNI T-shirt will help start a conversation, get people talking about Islamist infiltration and the growing threat from Islamic Jihad on the civilized world.
To order shirts, simply click on the Counter-Jihad BNI Store banner at the top of the page.
ISIS is putting out much better quality videos than al-Qaeda ever did. This has Hollywood written all over it.
h/t Susan K
The annual publication is called al-Naba, which is Arabic for ‘The News.’ ISIS claims to have carried out 10,000 operations in Iraq last year alone, which included assassinations, bombings and the freeing of Sunni prisoners. So much for the Democrats’ description of them as unorganized ragtag insurgents.
UK Daily Mail With its carefully collated facts and figures, it reads like a set of company accounts. But closer inspection of the 400-page document reveals it is a chilling breakdown of the murderous activities of the fanatics battling for control of Iraq.
For this is the ‘annual report’ of the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), designed to demonstrate its power and attract funds from potential donors. Like any corporate document, it uses computer-generated graphics, details a management strategy, lists performance and targets.
But the jihadists’ statistics chart in numerical and geographical detail its lethal operations – bombings, assassinations, suicide missions and cities taken over.
In the latest edition of ‘al-Naba’ – the News – covering the 12 months up to last November, ISIS claims to have carried out nearly 10,000 operations in Iraq. That includes 1,000 assassinations, planting more than 4,000 roadside bombs and freeing hundreds of prisoners. ISIS even records the number of people who renounced Islam then repented – and contains one sickening category headed ‘apostates run over’.
The report, written in Arabic with a photograph of an ISIS gunman on its cover, has been analysed by the US think-tank, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), which has corroborated much of the information. John Lawrence, of the Washington-based institute said: ‘These numbers are not just purely propaganda figures.’
ISIS’s aim appears to be to demonstrate its record to potential donors, and ISW says the annual report, the second published in as many years, destroys the myth that the insurgents are a rag-tag band of Islamist militants. The ISW analysis portrays an organisation ‘functioning as a military rather than a terrorist network’ with a clear political strategy aimed to eventually set up a Sunni sectarian state run under harsh Sharia laws.
Jessica Lewis, director of research at the institute, told the Financial Times: ‘The reports provide measures of performance in the way you roll out details for donors.
‘They affirm that the organisation operates like an army and that it has state-building ambitions.’ The ISW study concludes: ‘This is a military enemy that requires a considered strategy, military as well as involving anti-ISIS Sunni populations, to defeat it, or it will become a permanent fixture in the Middle East.’
The latest annual report does not include the ISIS major gains in recent weeks, where they have swept through northern Iraq, carrying out summary executions. They are now battling government forces close to Baghdad.
This year has also been successful in financial terms for the terror group. Its fighters looted hundreds of millions of pounds from banks in Mosul, Iraq’s second city which was over-run by ISIS last week. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, ISIS was already extorting taxes from Mosul businesses before its takeover – to the tune of £4million a month.
In its 2013 document, ISIS says it took over eight cities, compared to one the previous year. The ISW warns that the number of attacks reported by ISIS may be exaggerated but month by month, area by area, the document reveals soaring levels of violence. In 2013, ISIS claims to have executed 1,083 people – almost double the 585 in 2012. Mortar attacks jumped from 359 in 2012 to 607 last year and the number of houses burned or bombed rose from 648 to 1,015.
ISIS massively increased the use of suicide bombers – either wearing bomb vests or driving bomb-laden vehicles – to terrorise Iraqis, with a six-fold increase in the number of attacks to 238. Baghdad bore the brunt of suicide bombers, with an increase from seven to 81 murderous attacks in the capital.
Targeted killings jumped from 16 to 1,047 and are evidence of a disciplined shift in tactics and techniques by ISIS to wrest control of Iraq, says the ISW.
Barack Obama to ISIS Jihadist: “After all the weapons, training, and funding I’ve given you? Ingrate.”