Al-Qaeda and several of its branches share eulogies in memory of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, who died in prison in the United States. The same organizations threaten to avenge his death and call on Muslims around the world to fulfill his last will and testament; namely, to fulfill the commandment of jihad against enemies of Islam. In this context, Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, a senior Salafi-jihadist ideologue in Jordan, criticizes the fact that maximum efforts were not made to free Sheikh Abdel-Rahman from prison, and he wondered why Muslims forget about their clerics who are serving prison terms and underestimate their abilities.Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al-Qaeda, eulogizes Sheikh Rifa’i Tah, a former member of Al-Jamaa al-Islamiyya, member of Al-Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria) and a close friend of al-Zawahiri.
Sheikh Qasim al-Rimi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), condemns the US attack on Qifa, in central Yemen. According to him, AQAP fighters succeeded in causing serious losses to American soldiers and thwarting the attack. According to him, the Americans sanctified war against the Yemeni people but, nevertheless, continue to demonstrate incompetence and an inability to break the power of the Sunnis. In addition, he threatens to take revenge against the US for the killing of Muslims in the current war and he calls on Sunni tribal members in Yemen to fight with devotion and determination against the Americans.Abu Jabir Hashim al-Shaykh, the leader of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (Assembly for the Liberation of the Levant), makes a statement for the first time since the organization was established according to which the organization has begun a new chapter in the Syrian revolution and vows to increase military activities against Assad’s forces. According to him, the new umbrella organization assists in the political and military arenas in order to topple the Assad regime and liberate Syrian territories.
Abu Mohammad al-Julani, the former leader of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and the leader of the military wing of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, claims responsibility for the bombing of Assad’s security forces in Homs. According to him, the Alawite regime only understands force and blood, and rejects outright political negotiations between rebel factions and the Syrian regime.
Abu Abdullah al-Shami, a member of the Shari’a Council of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, accuses Liwa al-Aqsa of cooperating with the Islamic State in areas of the northern suburbs of Hamat. According to him, there is an obligation to kill factions that have ties to the IS, including Liwa al-Aqsa, after an attempt to get them to retract their ideas failed. Al-Shami also emphasizes the need to kill members of factions with ties to external parties, while referring to several factions with ties to the Free Syrian Army.
The Islamic State in Egypt threatens to attack the Coptic Christian population in Egypt. According to the organization, the Coptics receive support and assistance from al-Sisi’s regime and the US and are, therefore, considered a sect fighting against Islam and not its patrons. The IS further criticizes the Salafist Al-Nur Party and the Muslim Brotherhood against the backdrop of their ties to Christians. The Islamic State launches a comprehensive campaign against clerics who identify with the rulers of Arab countries in general, and of Saudi Arabia in particular. In several videos and articles that were published, the organization called for the assassination of these clerics against the backdrop of their support for “tyrants” and the propaganda that they disseminate against the mujahideen.
The Islamic State uses its official media institutions and supporters to publish a large number of filmed reviews and videos regarding attack drones. The publications review attacks that were carried out mainly against Iraqi army forces.
This article is part of the RED-Alert project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation Programme under grant agreement No 740688.