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This report summarizes notable events discussed on jihadist Web forums during the second half of March 2016. Following are the main points covered in the report:
The Islamic State claims responsibility for terrorist attacks that its members carried out in Brussels and justifies their execution on Belgian soil by claiming that Belgium is a Crusader country that is fighting against Muslims. The attacks ignite a wave of publications and discourse on social networks among Islamic State fighters who call for the continuation of terrorist attacks against France, Belgium and other European countries, such as England.
Sheikh Dr. Hani al-Siba’i, a senior Salafi-jihadist proponent, hurls harsh criticism against two Kuwaiti Salafi-jihadist preachers, Sheikh Muhammd al-Hasam and Sheikh Jabir al-Jalahimah, for demanding that Ayman al-Zawahiri dismantle Al-Qaeda as it does not contribute to the interest of the Muslim Nation and it harms the efforts of jihadist factions in Syria to topple Assad’s regime. According to al-Siba’i, Al-Qaeda is more crucial than ever before, operates in an orderly and rational fashion, and receives widespread support.
Saad bin 'Atif al-'Awlaqi, a senior Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader, condemns the US air strike against a training camp in western Mukala. According to him, the US misidentified the camp and attacked it thinking that it was an Al-Qaeda camp while it was actually a training camp for Yemeni volunteers who wanted to fight against the Houthis. According to him, every Muslim has the duty to fight against the Americans, the Houthis and their allies.
Al-Nusra Front praises jihad fighters and rebel factions to mark the five-year anniversary of the outbreak of the revolution against the Bashar al-Assad regime. Abu Mohammad al-Julani, the leader of the organization, notes that Syria has entered a new phase, heralding victory among the rebels. In addition, Al-Nusra Front publishes a propaganda video starring several Al-Nusra Front leaders, for some of whom this was their first public appearance, in praise of the continued war of jihad in Syria and addressing international involvement the war in Syria.
Islamic rebel factions in Syria praise Russia’s withdrawal but emphasize that the overthrow of the Assad regime and the implementation of Islamic rule in Syria remain unchanged. Abu Yahia al-Hamawi, the leader of Ahrar al-Sham, emphasizes that Russia cannot impose a political solution on the Syrian regime and that his organization will not agree to the division of Syria.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claims responsibility for launching an RPG at a structure belonging to the British Petroleum company and the Norwegian Statoil company. According to the organization, the rocket was launched in order to send a threatening message to foreign companies operating in Algeria.