Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Hell of Apostates in Swat: New Jihadi Video Modeled on Iraq Series

The Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), a Salafi jihadi media outlet, released a new video on Monday in tandem with Fateh Studios, a jihadi media outlet based in Pakistan. The video is reportedly the third in a series entitled, "The Hell of Apostates in Swat," referring to the Swat Valley in Pakistan where fierce fighting is taking place between that country's military, under intense U.S. pressure, and Pakistani Pashtun and foreign jihadis supported by some Pashtun tribal militias (identified in the video as the "Swat Taliban").

The "Taliban, Swat" emblem

The term "apostates" in the title refers to the Pakistani military and government, and those who do not support the jihadis and militias. The series, and particularly the title, mimics a similar video series produced by Al-Furqan Media Productions, the media outlet of the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella for several of the most radical Salafi jihadi groups operating in that country. Al-Furqan's series is entitled, "The Hell of Romans and Apostates in Iraq," referring to those Iraqis who work for the central government or with foreign military forces and the U.S., as well as other foreign military personnel, civilian contractors, and armed mercenaries.


The GIMF/Fateh video, which is in Pashtun, runs for just over one hour and twelve minutes, and is wide-ranging in what its footage shows. Footage includes:

*Battles between jihadis and their Pashtun tribal allies and the Pakistani military;

*Kamikaze (suicide) attacks, some with vehicles;

*Displayed equipment captured from the Pakistani military;

*The rather crude and simplistic implementation of the hudud (physical and capital) punishments called for in Islamic legal codes (in this case, hitting a criminal, perhaps a thief, on the back with a slim wooden switch)

*The requisite training footage where jihadis crawl across ropes, doing exercises, and the like (quite amusing, as always);

*Video and nasheed (religiously-themed, or in this case martyrdom-themed, songs) tributes to "martyred" fighters and kamikazes;

*Recitation of nasheeds by young "martyred" fighters, with the footage surrounded with pictures of flowers symbolizing the gardens of Paradise;

*The gruesome beheading of a captured Pakistani policeman or soldier (not sure which) with a curved sword in a wooded area, followed by grotesque footage of his body and head after the war crime, and additional footage of his body and severed head placed on display in a town.


This new video is the latest release from the "AFPAK" (Afghanistan & Pakistan) front (the "good" war), which U.S. president Barack Obama and his administration have shifted their attention to from Iraq (the "bad" war). As I wrote previously HERE and HERE and HERE, al-Qa'ida "Central" (AQC) has shifted its attention to Afghanistan and Pakistan as well, and has begun producing, with its regional affiliates, a host of media releases about the ongoing conflict there. These include videos of kamikaze attacks and ambushes of NATO, U.S., Afghan, and Pakistani forces, and statements (video and written) from AQC's senior leadership in AFPAK, such as military chief 'Abdullah Sa'id, also known as Mustafa 'Abd al-Yazid, and operational military trainer-tactician and ideologue-theologian Abu Yahya al-Libi. Expect more of such releases to come.

Stills from the Video

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