This report summarizes notable events discussed on jihadist Web forums during the first half of March 2017. Following are the main points covered in the report:
Al-Qaeda and several of its branches share eulogies for Sheikh Abu al-Khayr al-Misri, a senior Al-Qaeda leader and deputy to Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was killed in an air strike in Idlib in Syria at the end of February. In addition to describing him as a great jihad leader, the organizations call for the continuation of his path, a war of jihad against enemies of Islam and retaliation for his death
Sheikh Qasim al-Rimi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), gives a eulogy in memory of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman after he died in an American prison. As a result of his death, al-Rimi threatens revenge and calls on Muslims around the world to act for the release of Muslim prisoners, otherwise they will face a similar fate as Abdel-Rahman. In addition, al-Rimi calls on Muslims to fulfill Abdel-Rahman’s last will and testament calling for a continuation of jihad against the US and its allies.
Sheikh Iyad Ag Ghaly, the leader of Ansar al-Din, announces the establishment of a new umbrella organization called Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam, which was made possible thanks to the merger of Ansar al-Din led by Iyad Ag Ghaly, Macina Battalion led by Muhammad Kufa, Al-Murabitun represented by the deputy of the organization Sheikh Al-Hasan al-Ansari, and the Sahara Emirate led by Sheikh Yahya Abu Hammam and represented by Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sinhaji, the Qadi of the Sahara Emirate. According to Ag Ghaly, the new umbrella organization’s activities will be focused against French forces in northern Mali and Malian army forces throughout Mali, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast and Niger. In addition, he announces that the new organization swore allegiance to Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al-Qaeda, Abdelmalek Droukdel, the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and the Emir of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The new merger was welcomed by Al-Qaeda’s leadership and by Abdelmalek Droukdel
The Islamic State (IS) calls on the Sunni minority in Iran, in Farsi and Arabic, to carry out attacks on Iranian soil and threatens to assassinate Iranian leaders. In the framework of preparations to carry out terrorist attacks in Iran, the organization introduced a unit called the “Salman al-Farisi Battalion” made up of fighters from Balochistan and Ahwaz who will take part in the execution of terrorist attacks.