PART OF A SERIES OF RESEARCH NOTES FROM MY CURRENT PROJECT, "The Art of the Martyr & Mujahid" (all materials copyrighted):
Banner advertisements for new video productions. These are used on the major Salafi Sunni jihadi online discussion forums to announce new press releases, both on video and in writing.
The transcript, which runs to 16 pages typed and covers a range of topics, from Palestine to Afghanistan-Pakistan, could be the focus of quite a lengthy post. However, I will focus here on a few key statements made by al-Zawahiri with regard to AQC's current areas of focus. The organization, and its regional affiliates (often loosely affiliated), has publicly announced that its key areas of operational concern presently are: (1) Afghanistan-Pakistan, and (2) Somalia.
A spate of recent, deadly attacks in Iraq, primarily targeting Iraqi Shi'is and foreign Shi'i pilgrims near religious shrines, suggest that jihadi groups in Iraq see a potential opening now that the focus of the U.S. military and government is shifting to Afghanistan-Pakistan. The release is entitled "Six Years since the Invasion of Iraq, 30 Years since the Signing of the Peace Accords with Israel," the latter referring to the U.S.-brokered "cold" peace between autocratic Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and hardline Israeli Likud prime minister and former Irgun militant Menachem Begin in 1979.
Flying in the face of bogus allegations made by American Neoconservatives and conservatives that AQC and the Islamic Republic of Iran are "secret" allies, he accuses the Shi'i-majority and led state of being an ally in the U.S. occupation and assault on Iraq and Afghanistan:
Perhaps the most interesting of al-Zawahiri's statements is the following, which is addressed to AQ in the Land of the Rivers and its allies, primarily the Islamic State of Iraq, a loose umbrella of Salafi jihadi groups:
Al-Zawahiri attacks those Muslim religious scholars ('ulama) and jurists who do not support the goals of AQC and those who have actively opposed them (the vast majority). He calls for the "truthful scholars" to support the organization's wars:
He dispels any notion that Obama is better, or even that different, from the former U.S. "Decider," George W. Bush:
America is still the one killing Muslims in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, and it is still the one stealing their resources, occupying their lands, and supporting corrupt traitorous thieves in power in their lands. So the situation has not improved, rather it may worsen.
Kill, torture and imprison whom you wish, but this will never lessen the severity of the Jihad against you the least. You are facing an Ummah which believes in Jihad, Tawheed, and staying garrisoned which rose to stand against your oppression and crimes. Obama seeking to increase military presence in Afghanistan and to continue to launch airstrikes in Pakistan is only pouring fuel into an already ignited fire, exposing you to even more losses, deaths and handicapped. Obama’s claim that he can compromise with moderate elements of the Taliban is a false notion, one which he is either using to fool you, fool himself, or both."
THE VIDEO, WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES, MAY BE VIEWED HERE (GO TO THE BLOG DIRECTLY)
Al-Zawahiri's sharp focus on Afghanistan-Pakistan is part of a clearly discernible pattern in the publishing of AQ and its regional allies and affiliates, such as the Taliban, during April. In addition to his video, AQ media outlets have released a slew of new video and written messages, including ones from Shaykh (leader) Mustafa 'Abd al-Yazid, commander of the Arab jihadis in "AFPAK," and a lengthy treatise penned by Abu Yahya al-Libi, a Libyan jihadi commander on the ground, in which the state of Pakistan is identified as a legitimate target due to its long alliance with the U.S. 'Abd al-Yazid also penned a recent statement entitled, "The Looming Victory in Afghanistan."
Spear to Fight Pakistan (Yahya Libi)
The cover of al-Libi's treatise, entitled, "The Spear to Fight the Government and Army of Pakistan." CLICK HERE.
A video dubbed in Urdu was just released by al-Sahab, showing "martyr" testimonies and then their "martyrdom operation," a vehicle bombing.
Media outlets affiliates with the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," the old name for the country under the Taliban, have released a video of guerilla operations in the country. It is one of the few videos not predominantly in Arabic. I have not yet identified the language(s), but I am guessing this video, entitled "Nasr min Allah" (Victory from God), is in both Pashtun and Dari (the Persian dialect spoken in Afghanistan). The video features statements from guerillas and video footage of attacks on Afghan, Pakistani, U.S., and NATO positions and vehicles. Some of the attacks have been verified by U.S. and NATO military forces.
A monthly Internet magazine, al-Samoud, is also published in Arabic under the imprint of the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan." Short booklets of photographs depicting guerilla attacks have also been produced. Urdu language magazines are also produced.
...or CLICK HERE.