Thursday, June 17, 2010

Abu Yahya al-Libi, Al-Qa'ida Central's "Mufti," Eulogizes Islamic State of Iraq Leaders Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi & Abu Hamza al-Muhajir

A video eulogy by Abu Yahya al-Libi was released on June 15 by Al-Qa'ida Central's (AQC; Qaeda, Qaida) media outlet, the Al-Sahab (The Clouds) Media Foundation. He is widely considered by transnational jihadi-takfiris as AQC's mufti or chief religious jurist, since he reportedly received some traditional education in the Islamic religious sciences. Abu Yahya eulogizes the Islamic State of Iraq's former senior leaders, Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi and Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, who were killed in a United States military air strike on April 19 in the video, which is entitled, "Our Leader's Blood Fuels Our Battle."

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), and both leaders 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.

The absence in Abu Yahya's eulogy of a mention of the recently killed (in late May) AQC general commander in Afghanistan, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, suggests that the video was produced before the latter was killed in a U.S. drone missile strike in North Waziristan. Al-Yazid, an Egyptian, was AQC's main liaison to the Afghan "Quetta Shura" Taliban, chief financial manager, and a longtime member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad contingent that joined AQC with its now deputy leader and chief ideologue, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Abu Yahya also addresses Jama'at Ansar al-Islam (JAI; Group of Islam's Partisans), the most important and lethal jihadi-insurgent group operating in Iraq besides the Islamic State of Iraq/AQI. The leader of JAI, Abu 'Abdullah al-Shafi'i, was reportedly captured several months ago.

The video is embedded below. A transcript is available via my Scribd account HERE.


No comments: