Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ENGLISH: Statement from the Islamic State of Iraq Confirming the "Martyrdom" of Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi & Abu Hamza al-Muhajir

"Islamic State of Iraq"

An English-language translation of the Islamic State of Iraq's (ISI) statement "to the Muslim nation" confirming the deaths ("martyrdom") of the "two commander, the two shaykhs," Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi and Abu Hamza al-Muhajir (Abu Ayyub al-Masri) was released yesterday by the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), a shadowy transnational jihadi-takfiri media outlet.

Background on the ISI, an umbrella for several of the most violent jihadi-insurgent groups operating in Iraq including Al-Qa'ida in the Land of the Two Rivers/Iraq (AQI), can be found in my guest editorial, "The Death of a Caliph: Will the Reported Killings of the Islamic State of Iraq's Two Senior Leaders Spell Out the End of the Self-styled Jihadi State?", on Prof. Juan Cole's Informed Comment blog.

Al-Baghdadi was addressed as the "commander of the faithful" (amir al-mu'mineen), a title reserved historically by Sunni Muslims for the caliph, the legitimate head of an ideally unified Islamic state. He was, in effect, the proto-caliph for the Al-Qa'ida-brand transnational jihadi-takfiri state project in Iraq. Top Al-Qa'ida Central leaders, including its deputy commander and chief ideologue Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, addressed al-Baghdadi in this way. Al-Muhajir, an Egyptian, was the head of AQI as well as the "prime minister" and "minister of war" of the ISI. He succeeded AQI's founder, Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, after the latter was killed in a United States airstrike in June 2006.

The original Arabic statement can be read, via a previous post, HERE.

ISI...Martyrdom of Baghdadi & Muhajir..ENGLISH (April 26)
ISI...English statement

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