Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Harakat al-Shabab & Hizbul Islam Announce Alliance, Blessed by Senior Somali Islamist Leader Hasan Dahir Aweys

Hizbul Islam leader Hasan Dahir Aweys (left) and Harakat al-Shabab spokesman 'Ali Mahamoud Rage.

The Somali insurgent group Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen (Movement of Warrior-Youth; Al-Shabaab) announced on December 24 its "merger" with its one-time Islamist-insurgent rival Hizbul Islam (Party of Islam), led by the veteran Somali Islamist leader Hasan Dahir Aweys, a former leader of the first major Somali Islamist movement, al-Ittihad al-Islami (the Islamic Union). He was a mentor to Adan Hashi 'Ayro, the founder of Harakat al-Shabab, but the two had a falling out over Aweys' continued acceptance of clan identity. 'Ayro publicly criticized his former mentor for this.

Hasan Dahir Aweys
Today, Harakat al-Shabab's media wing, the Al-Kata'ib (Brigades) Media Foundation, released a second statement reviewing a press conference in which leaders from the two groups participated. Among the most notable individuals present were Aweys, Harakat al-Shabab spokesman 'Ali Mahamoud Rage (also known as 'Ali Dheere), and Harakat al-Shabab preacher Shaykh Fu'ad Muhammad Khalaf.

The merger, if it lasts, is a significant development in the Islamist insurgency against the weak Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) headed by President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. Harakat al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam have in the past cooperated in their fight against the TFG but have just as often fought each other over control of territory in southern Somalia. Consolidating their power in their southern strongholds would enable Harakat al-Shabab leaders, now allied with Aweys' Hizbul Islam, to focus solely on their campaign against the TFG and its African Union military backers in the capital city of Mogadishu.

Below is the statement announcing the two groups' merger:

Statement from Harakat Al-Shabaab Al-Mujahideen & Hizbul Islami

1432 H

__"The year of Unity"__

All praise is due to Allah who said: “Verily Allah loves those who fight in His cause in ranks as if they were a solid structures”, and prayers and peace be upon the leader of the Faithful who said: “And I declare obligatory upon you five things; Allah has commanded me to do so. They are: listening and obeying, Jihad, Hijra and community”

It is no secret that the Muslim people of Somalia had for a long time suffered oppression and tyranny at the hands of warlords and the evil forces of atheism, and what they have inherited from the blind tribalism, disintegration and the successive wars. Thus the only viable solution was to return to the religion of Allah and to stick to it in order to escape these tragedies and confront the Christian Crusade with everything in their possession, in terms of preparation and military hardware, while remaining steadfast in the face of the obstacles and setbacks that accompany the Jihadi activities and reliant upon Allah, without worrying about the length of the road ahead or the difficulty of the journey.

And every now and then, the conflict was being renewed and transformed; and the enemy assumed a role for every stage, preparing their men and whatever they needed of moral and material support, but with the grace of Allah, all these efforts were in vain.

The role of the Mujahideen, however, was not limited to the duties of Jihad and the confrontation of the enemy alone, but they have dedicated all their efforts to the application of the Shariah of Allah in all the ten regions that Allah had permitted them to govern. And as a result, peace soon enveloped those regions to replace the anarchy that prevailed and the residents attained a sense of stability and safety that once seemed unattainable.

The unity of Muslims has been and still remains a very important issue; for when the Messenger Muhammad (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came with the message of Tawheed, he found that the Arabs were scattered and divided among themselves, supporting one another on the basis of tribes and lineages, so he united them, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, fulfilling the call of the Qur’an: “Truly! This, your Ummah is one, and I am your Lord, therefore worship Me (Alone)”

Your brothers in Somalia have become aware of the issue of unity and its importance, especially during these desperate times in which the enemies of the Muslim Ummah have united in order to implement their policy of ‘divide and conquer’ to split up the hearts and weaken the unified body so that they may achieve their evil objectives, i.e. the occupation of Muslim lands, the enslavement of their people, plundering of their wealth and abolition of their identity and religion.

History has shown us that Muslims were not able to achieve glory and propagate their religion except through their unity and holding on to the rope of Allah; and that Muslims have never tasted humiliation of defeat except when they were divided. We now live at a time when the degree of fragmentation is at its highest level and as such our holy places in Palestine have been occupied and the sanctity of our blood has been violated in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Chechnya, Turkmenistan, Nigeria, and elsewhere, that is in addition to the despicable plots by the enemy to disrupt many lands of the Muslims such as Sudan. This tragedy, however, will not end except with the unification of Muslims on the basis of Islam and the methodology of Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’ and not on the basis of secular nationalism.

The significant transformation that has engulfed the Muslim world today has become widely apparent to all and the victories achieved by the steadfast Mujahideen in Afghanistan and their destruction of the evil forces, led by NATO and US, is no longer a secret. Similarly, following the footsteps of their brothers in Afghanistan are the heroes of Iraq, who have dealt the Americans a humiliating defeat, forcing them to withdraw their troops, leaving behind a trail of destruction as well as the fate of their puppets from the Rafidhah sect at the hands of the Mujahideen. And in Yemen, the nobles rose to their feet to restore the dignity of a bruised nation, and raised the banner of truth. Within a short period of time, they have managed to break down the tyranny of one of the most arrogant infidel nations by penetrating their bastions and depleting their resources, thereby remaining a powerful nightmare in the minds of the Crusader. Also, we do not forget the heroes of Algeria and their constant struggle against the heads of disbelief and apostasy; for they have shaken the ground beneath their feet, destroyed their fortresses, and foiled their plans and wicked plots against the Muslim Ummah.[

And here we are in Somalia; and after the arrival of the invaders into this land and their imposition of laws upon the people, soon the sons of Islam and the battalions of Tawheed emerged in Somalia, under various names. There have been persistent efforts to unite the ranks of these groups, and with the passage of time, the numbers of groups still firmly standing in front of the enemy were reduced to two. After consecutive meetings and fundamental discussions around the methodology (Manhaj) between the leaders of Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen and Hizbul Islami, the long awaited day had finally come: a day of unification and reconciliation, a day of collaboration and unity and holding on collectively to the rope of Allah.

And at this juncture, it pleases Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen in the Land of Two Migrations – a land which is still being irrigated with the blood of its Martyrs - to announce to the Muslim Ummah and its vanguards waging Jihad in all the field and fronts, that Allah has permitted their brothers from Harakat Al-Shabab Al Mujahideen and Hizbul Islami to unite their ranks upon the statement of Tawheed, and to operate under the name ‘Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen’ in an effort to enrage the enemies of Allah and to please the hearts of the Monotheists around the world.

And this unity comes as a clear testament to the brotherhood of faith that unites between the hearts, combines the efforts and unifies the ranks; because the fundamental aspect of this unity is based upon the pure creed of Tawheed, where the exemplar is the Messenger Muhammad (may peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), and the methodology is the pure Shariah of Islam.

We have also agreed upon the following:
  • Working towards the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate upon the path of the prophet.
  • Waging Jihad in the cause of Allah to accomplish Tawheed and eradicate Polytheism until Allah is worshiped alone without partners
  • Confrontation of the global Zionist-Christian Crusade and its suppression.
  • Application of the Shariah of Allah and the administration of justice and elimination of injustice.
  • The application of the ideology of Alliance and Enmity ( Al Wala Wal Bara)
  • Restoration of the Islamic sanctities and cleansing them from the Jews, Christians and apostates
  • Supporting the oppressed and freeing the Muslim prisoners
  • nification of the Muslim Ummah upon the banner of Tawheed
  • Creation of a cohesive Muslim society that is guided by a correct ideology, Islamic morals and Shariah
The Mujahideen in Somalia are sending, through this action of unity and solidarity, a message to the Muslim Ummah that we are one nation whose banner is Islam, and that this is the only way to triumph over the enemies of Allah; and that this unity hasn’t been achieved except to exchange our wealth and souls cheaply for the sake of Allah and not to attain any status or benefit from anyone except Allah.

It is also worth mentioning here that this unity came after the brothers from Hizbul Islami, leaders and soldiers alike, conceded and joined their brothers in Harakat Al-Shabab Al Mujahideen in compliance with the order of Allah: “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves”, and also for the initiative to do good and to complete what is left in the application of Islamic Shariah Law (i.e unity), and advance the Jihadi activity in the region and in order to preserve the Muslim blood and veer away from the likely occurrence of rifts among the Mujahideen.

This unity sets a precedent for the contemporary Islamic activity and is an example of Sayyid Hassan bin Ali, may Allah be pleased with them both, of whom the Messenger of Allah, may the blessing of Allah be upon him and his family said:

“This son of mine is a Sayid (i.e. a noble) and may Allah make him the cause of reconciliation between two big groups of Muslims through him” (Bukhari)

And this has been accomplished when he conceded to Muawiya bin Abi Sufyan, may Allah be pleased with them, in the ‘Year of Unity’ in 41 AH. Similarly, we have termed this year, 1432 AH, as the ‘Year of Unity’ and we ask Allah to make it indeed a year of unity for all the Mujahideen around the globe.

And on this occasion, we call upon our beloved Muslim Ummah:

Dear beloved Ummah: We give you the glad tidings that we have, by the grace of Allah, become a single row, unified in our ranks. Our speech is synchronized, our banner has become one and we are now united in our goals. We have combined our efforts and we will remain, by the will of Allah, a lump in the throats of Crusaders and shelter for all the vulnerable and the immigrants.

So here are your sons in Somalia – they have become united upon clear objectives and a pure banner. So take up your role and uphold the trust of this unity, for only an hour’s patience is all that is left to achieve victory; be firm and let not Islam be defeated from your flank.

We also extend an invitation to the people of knowledge and those who possess experiences in all fields to take part in the making of this victory and supporting the Muslim Ummah. And we call upon the Muslims with Gheerah for the sanctity of Islam and Muslims to march forth towards Jihad and the catch up to the convoy in order to achieve one of the two blessed goals.

To the Vanguards of the Mujahid Ummah:

To the Mujahideen everywhere... To the leaders in Afghanistan ...and the Islamic State of Iraq and to the heroes of Ansar Al-Islam in Iraq…to the commanders in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic Maghreb...to our brothers in creed in Ash-Sham and the environs of Jerusalem...to the patient ones in the Caucasus and Chechnya…to the giants in the north of Nigeria...and to every Mujahid who took up arms in the face of the Crusaders and apostates:

Bear these glad tidings, for the enemy has now begun to retreat and panic. So preserve the fruits of your Jihadi struggle and unify your ranks; and remember that the Muslim Ummah is waiting for us to overcome the phases of disunity and divisions which do not unify the ranks towards the stage of unity and collaboration that is dominated by hearing and obedience, for it is by collaborating together as a group through which the practical application of loyalty among the Muslims is achieved. Allah says: “Those who believed, and adopted exile, and fought for the Faith, with their property and their persons, in the cause of Allah, as well as those who gave (them) asylum and aid,- these are (all) friends and protectors, one of another.”

And from here we call upon our brothers and the crowns upon our heads in Ansar Al-Islam in Iraq Caliphate to please the hearts of their brothers in creed by unifying their ranks with the Islamic State of Iraq; for the enemy has indeed failed to penetrate your ranks except through the manipulation of your divisions. Ibn Masood, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Upon you is to preserve unity for it is the rope of Allah that he has ordered you to cling to, and that which you dislike in group and obedience, is better than that which you love in division”

To the Somali Muslim Nation:

Enough of fighting and disagreements! Enough of conferences, which indeed were conspiracies, from the atheist assembly of the United Nations and U.S. bases in Qatar and Djibouti! Enough of the psychological warfare and political deceptions exercised by the enemy against you for more than a century in order to brainwash you! Enough..! For how long will you be deceived by puppet regimes and their imported constitutions? And for how long will you amuse yourself with your local tribal administrations and evil societies? For how long will you pursue the mirage disseminated through the enemy’s media that makes you think that you are fortunate when indeed you have lost everything? It is this that has brought us to endure the bitter invasion of the spiteful crusaders.

But now the dawn of Islam has broken, and the schemes of the invaders have faded, and the darkness of Jahilliya (ignorance) has eroded, with the blessings of Allah who has granted our Ummah with people who are ready to sacrifice their blood in order to defend the religion of Allah and safeguard the sanctity of the Muslims. So preserve this opportunity and do not waste it and take this unity with vigor so as to strengthen the efforts of your Jihad with the permission of Allah.

Finally, to all those who stay behind from Jihad and use the lack of unity among the Mujahideen as an excuse, then here are the Mujahideen now – they have, by the grace of Allah, become united, so fear Allah and take up your role as there is nothing left for you to use as an excuse.
Allah says:

“O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that when you are asked to march forth in the Cause of Allah (i.e. Jihad) you cling heavily to the earth? Are you pleased with the life of this world rather than the Hereafter? But little is the enjoyment of the life of this world as compared to the Hereafter. {38} If you march not forth, He will punish you with a painful torment and will replace you by another people; and you cannot harm Him at all, and Allah is Able to do all things.{39}

To the Enemy at Home and Abroad:

You have often spent much wealth and amassed multitudes of soldiers and plotted day and night to overcome the Muslim Ummah and to cause dissent among us, now rejoice with ill “but the evil plot encompasses only him who makes it.” Here we have unified our ranks, prepared our might, unsheathed our swords, loaded our bullets, equipped ourselves and we have become, by the grace of Allah, stronger than we were yesterday.

We ask Allah, the Exalted, to make this unity a blessed victory in which the last of the crusaders and their apostate puppets are defeated; and to heal the hearts of the believers and to glorify them with His religion and soldiers. So receive the glad tidings, O’ nation of Muhammad, of victory and empowerment and rejoice, O’ nation of the cross, with defeat and displacement.

والله أكبر

{ وَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلَكِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ }

Al Kataib Foundation
For Media Production

Harakat Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen

Muharram 1432 / December 2010

Do not forget us in your prayers.

Monday, December 20, 2010

IN PICTURES: HAMAS Marks 23rd Anniversary

Official HAMAS artwork marking its 23rd anniversary: "We remain committed to the Covenant," referring to the movement's founding charter. Scholars, however, including Israeli scholar Menachem Klein, have shown that the movement's leaders have been pragmatic rather than remaining wedded to the charter. HAMAS also has multiple factions.

The Palestinian Islamist (Muslim political) movement HAMAS (Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah, "Islamic Resistance Movement") marked the twenty-third anniversary of its founding this week with a massive rally in Gaza City which was attended by tens of thousands of its supporters. The rally shows that the movement remains an influential player in Palestinian politics despite its political and military setbacks since coming to power in early 2006. HAMAS has governed the Gaza Strip since defeating its chief political rival, the Fatah movement, which was founded by the late Yasir 'Arafat, during the first half of 2007 and driving them from Gaza. HAMAS and Fatah fought a short but bitter and bloody war in Gaza, with a reported Fatah coup attempt being preempted by HAMAS.

The movement has come under increasing criticism from small transnational jihadi-takfiri groups operating in the Gaza Strip such as Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'l Jihad fi Bayt al-Maqdis (Group of Absolute Monotheism and Struggle in the Holy House/Jerusalem) and Jama'at Ansar al-Sunnah fi Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis (Group of the Prophetic Tradition's Supporters in the Shadow of the Holy House/Jerusalem). These small groups likely have fluidity in membership, which photographs and primary source materials I've collected suggests.

My post, with lots of artwork, from last year about HAMAS' 22nd anniversary can be viewed HERE.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Iranian Balochi Insurgent Group Jundullah Claims Double Kamikaze Bombing in Southeastern City of Chabahar

Kamikaze bombers Sayf al-Rahman Chabahari and Hessan Khashi

The Iranian Baluchi (Balochi) Sunni insurgent group Jundullah (God's Soldiers; Jondollah), which calls itself the "People's Resistance of Iran," has issued a statement claiming responsibility for a double kamikaze (suicide) bombing in the city of Chabahar in southeastern Iran. The attacks, which have killed at least 38 people, reportedly occurred near the Imam Husayn Mosque and seems to have targeted Iranian government and military officials commemorating 'Ashura, the annual 10-day event marking the death of Husayn bin 'Ali, the third Shi'i Imam, in a failed uprising against the Umayyad caliph Yazid bin Mu'awiyah (Yazid I) in 680 C.E.

The attacks, according to the statement, were carried out in revenge for the Iranian continued oppression of Balochis. The group's "martyred" leader 'Abdul Malik Rigi is also invoked. The bombings were a "warning to the Iranian government" aimed at "expelling the invaders" from Balochistan (Baluchistan). As it has done with past Jundullah attacks, the Iranian government will likely blame the United States and Israel for being involved. The White House has already issued a statement from President Barack Obama condemning the attacks.

Hessan Khashi

The statement (in Persian) is below and was published with photographs of the two young bombers, identified as Sayf al-Rahman al-Chabahari and Hessan Khashi.

Jundullah's founder and former leader, 'Abdul Malik Rigi, was hanged by the Iranian government on June 20. His replacement as leader, Muhammad Zahir Baloch (Baluch), was elected by the group's members in February following Rigi's capture on February 23.

Sayf al-Rahman Chabahari


اطلاعيه جديد جنبش مقاومت مردمي ايران

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

و من المومنين رجال صدقوا ما عاهدوا الله عليه فمنهم من قضي نحبه و منهم من ينتظر

بدينوسيله جنبش مقاومت مردمي ايران (جندالله) به اطلاع عموم مردم بلوچستان و ايران مي رساند كه امروز دو فرزند سلحشور و غيور بلوچستان در دو عمليات استشهادي در شهر چابهار و در برابر فرمانداري شهر دهها تن از مزدوران و پاسداران رژيم جهل و جور و سفاهت را به جهنم واصل نمودند و عمليات انتقام 2 را با موفقيت به اجرا در آوردند.

اين دو فرزند مومن و غيور بلوچستان با نامهاي سيف الرحمان چابهاري و حسان خاشي با فدا كردن جان خود توانستند قدرت و جبروت و غرور متجاوزان جنايتكار ولايت سفيه را بشكنند و پرچم حق را در اين نقطه بلوچستان بلند كنند.

اين عمليات در حقيقت انتقام اعدام رهبر جنبش امير عبدالمالك و ديگر شهداي جندالله مي باشند كه وحشيانه و بدون هيچگونه دادگاه عادلانه اي به دار زده شدند چنانچه طي چند ماه اخير بيش از 160 تن از جوانان بي گناه بلوچ و اهلسنت اعدام شدند و جنبش مقاومت قبلا اعلام كرده بود كه در برابر اعدامهاي بي رويه رژيم جنايت پيشه متجاوزان و بيگانگان اشغالگر ساكن در بلوچستان را هدف قرار خواهد داد.

اين عمليات هشداري است براي رژيم ايران كه به دخالتهاي خود در امور ديني و مذهبي اهلسنت پايان دهد و دست از اعدام و جنايت بردارد و اسراي زنداني را آزاد كند در غير اين صورت عملياتهاي استشهادي با شدت بيشتري ادامه خواهد يافت و تمامي بيگانگان ساكن در بلوچستان هدف قرار خواهند گرفت.

هدف از اين عملياتها اخراج متجاوزان از بلوچستان و رسيدن مردم مسلمان بلوچ به حقوق حقه خود در سايه حكومت منطقه اي مي باشد و بايد متجاوزان و جنايتكاران مزدور ولايت سفيه بلوچستان را ترك كنند و اختيار بلوچستان را به مردم بلوچ واگذار نمايند ورنه فرزندان اين مرز و بوم اجازه راحت زيستن به بيگانگان نخواهند داد.

اين عمليات در شهر چابهار و مركز اقتصادي بلوچستان انجام گرفت كه مي تواند قطب اقتصادي آسيا شود اما اين منطقه اقتصادي به استثمار كامل بيگانگان در آمده است به اندازه اي كه مردم اصلي اين سرزمين از كوچكترين اختياري در شهر چابهار برخوردار نيستند و تمامي اختيارات در دست بيگانگان است و در حالي كه در اين شهر هيچ شيعه و فارسي وجود نداشته است امروز و پس از سي سال از انقلاب ننگين خميني اين شهر تبديل به يك شهر شيعه نشين شده است و رژيم همانند اسرائيل در حال شهرك سازي و فراهم آوردن امكانات رفاهي براي شيعيان در اين شهر مي باشد و اين روند رو به رشد است و اين عمليات هشداري است براي بيگانگان كه هرچه زودتر اين شهر را تخليه نمايند.

جنبش مقاومت جندالله خواهان با عزت زيستن مردم بلوچستان مي باشد و از رژيم مي خواهد كه به اين خواسته مشروع جنبش جامه عمل بپوشاند و به جنگ و خونريزي پايان دهد زيرا كه آغازگر اين جنگ خونين رژيم بوده است و الان هم مي تواند با عملي نمودن خواسته هاي مشروع جنبش به اين جنگ پايان دهد در غير اين صورت اين جنگ پايان نمي يابد.

جنبش مقاومت براي دفاع از مردم بلوچستان بپاخواسته است و دفاع را حق مشروع خود مي داند و اين جنبش نيست كه به ايرانيان حمله نموده است بلكه اين رژيم ولايت جهل است كه جنگ و خونريزي را آغاز نموده است و فرزندان معصوم و بي گناه بلوچ را تيرباران و اعدام نموده است و مردم را از حقوقشان محروم نموده است و الان راهش اين است كه رژيم به تجاوز و تعدي پايان دهد تا جنگ پايان يابد.

جنبش مقاومت مردمي ايران (جندالله)

Monday, December 13, 2010

IN PICTURES: Stockholm, Sweden Kamikaze Bomber Taymour 'Abdel Wahhab al-Abdaly

Posters by a cyber jihadi-takfiri of the Stockholm, Sweden kamikaze bomber Taymour 'Abd al-Wahhab al-Abdaly (Taimour 'Abdel Wahhab al-Abdaly). The top one has the logo of the Islamic State of Iraq emblazoned on it.

IN PICTURES: Tribute Facebook Page Dedicated to Stockholm, Sweden Kamikaze Bomber Taymour 'Abdel Wahhab al-Abdaly

Screen grabs from a "tribute" page on Facebook dedicated to the December 11 Stockholm, Sweden kamikaze (suicide) bomber Taymour 'Adel Wahhab (Taimour 'Abdulwahhab al-Abdaly), age 28. The Iraqi moved to Sweden in 1992. Thomas Hegghammer has an excellent summary of known information and thought-provoking analysis at the Jihadica blog.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Insurgency, Governance, & Legitimacy in Somalia: A Reassessment of Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen, its Rhetoric & Divisions

I have a new post at Al-Wasat, a collaborative blog that I am a contributor to. It was started and is run by two colleagues, Andrew Lebovich, a research associate at the New America Foundation, and Aaron Zelin, a research assistant in political science at Brandeis University. My post is entitled, "Insurgency, Governance, & Legitimacy in Somalia: A Reassessment of Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen, its Rhetoric & Divisions." It examines the Somali insurgent group's recruitment, domestic programs and attempts at governance, and its religious-nationalist and transnational militant rhetoric.

The introduction reads:

On November 22 the media wing of the Somali insurgent group Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen (Movement of Warrior-Youth) released its newest video, Message to the Ummah (worldwide Muslim community): And Inspire the Believers, the underlying message of which is to attract new recruits from both inside and outside the Somali diaspora to come and join the group’s insurgency against the weak Transitional Federal Government (TFG). The video, which includes parts in Arabic, English, Swedish, Urdu, Swahili, and Somali is subtitled in English and, equally significantly, Swahili, the lingua franca of East Africa. The group’s media wing, the Al-Kata’ib (Brigades) News Channel, continues to produce a steady stream of highly polished and well-produced propaganda films, as it has done since September of last year. I have written in the past about the evolution of Harakat al-Shabab’s media wing in a guest article posted on Informed Comment. The new video’s intro screens clearly state its purpose: “An Invitation to the Lands of Jihad and Ribat…Clarify your banner, convert it into action, convey the message, and inspire the believers.” Ribat in this usage carries the meaning of guarding or protecting Muslim lands (Somalia) from non-Muslim aggressors (the African Union military force protecting the “apostate” TFG, which relies heavily on external support from the African Union, the United States, and the United Nations for support. The video includes a lot of interesting footage, including a segment with the Qa’qa, the Kenyan “martyred” during an ambush on Ethiopian military forces then occupying Somalia in an operation featured in the March 2009 Harakat al-Shabab video Ambush at Bardale, which was most notable for featuring the American Harakat al-Shabab commander Omar “Abu Mansur al-Amriki” Hammami for the first time without his face covered.

Read the rest of the piece HERE.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

IN PICTURES: Lebanon's Hizbullah Marks Start of Muharram/'Ashura with Artwork

The Lebanese Twelver Shi'i party Hizbullah (Hezbollah, Hizballah) is marking the beginning of the Islamic lunar month of Muharram today. As part of the annual 10-day commemoration of the passion and martyrdom of the third Shi'i Imam, Husayn bin 'Ali, the party designs artwork.


We are presently in the month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The first ten days of the month have a particular importance to Shi‘ī Muslims, as well as many Sunnī Muslims, who mark the martyrdom of Husayn ibn ‘Alī, the third Shi‘ī Imam and son of the first Imam, 'Ali ibn Abi Talib. The role of the Imam in this case combines both religious and temporal (worldly or, for lack of a better term, “political”) social roles. In short, Shi‘īs view the Imams to have been both the legitimate leader of the Muslim community, a leader who holds the reins of both religious and temporal authority.

For the largest group of Shi‘īs, the Ithna ‘Ashariyya or “Twelvers”, the line of Imams runs to 12, the last of whom is believed to be in occultation, a concealed/hidden state beginning in the tenth century in order to safeguard him from his worldly enemies. This twelfth Imam, the “Hidden” Imam or the Imam al-Zaman (“Imam of the Age”), will return at a time decided by God, and upon his return, he will establish absolute justice. It is my hope to raise several questions in this short essay about the nature of the actions taken by Husayn, in that year 680 C.E., that were themselves raised in my mind during a conversation several days ago with a couple friends and a few others. First, for the benefit of lay readers, I feel it is necessary to provide a brief background of the events in question. However, what follows is just that, a brief background of the relevant historical events. It is not meant to be a comprehensive retelling of events. Hopefully, I have found the correct balance.

Husayn holds a place of particular importance to Shi‘īs, Twelvers and others, who view him as the most important of their martyrs, of whom there have been many throughout history. He is given the popular title, “Sayyid al-Shuhada” (“Lord of Martyrs”), a title that clearly denotes the esteem in which they hold him and, as importantly, the story of his and his companions’ actions on the barren plain of Karbala, in present-day Iraq. His father, ‘Ali, the first Imam, and brother, Hassan, the second Imam, did not challenge Mu‘awiya ibn Sufyan, the first caliph (roughly, “king”) of the Umayyad dynasty, the first monarchical dynastic line following the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 C.E. The reasons as to why this was are the topic of debate to this day.

Unlike his father and brother, Husayn not only refused to give allegiance to Mu‘awiya’s son and successor, Yazid I, but attempted to answer a call from supporters of his father in the Iraqi city of al-Kufa, who promised to fight with him if he would come from his refuge in the city of Medina in modern-day Saudi Arabia to lead them. However, before Husayn and his small band reached al-Kufa, the Imam’s representative and cousin, Muslim ibn Aqīl, was arrested and executed on the orders of ‘Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad, the governor of Iraq and a loyalist of Yazid’s.

Soon thereafter, a large Umayyad military force sent by Ibn Ziyad, led by the general ‘Umar ibn Sa‘d, cut off Husayn’s band from reaching al-Kufa, stopping them at Karbala, now a city not far from al-Kufa. The Kufans, who had promised to aid the Imam, reneged on their promises, perhaps out of fear, and effectively abandoned him and his companions and their families. In a siege and battle lasting several days, the Umayyad soldiers killed all but one of Husayn’s male relatives and companions, and, on the tenth day of Muharram, the Imam himself. Only Husayn’s ill son, ‘Ali ibn Husayn, better known as Zayn al-‘Abidīn, survived, of the Imam’s male relatives and companions. His sister, Sayyida Zaynab, and his daughters were among the survivors of his band. They were all taken back in chains to Damascus in Syria, the base of Umayyad power. Damascus was the Umayyad capital and the stronghold of the late Mu‘awiya.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Call of Duty: Black Ops...Islamic State of Iraq Version

The Call of Duty: Black Ops video game cover edited by a cyber jihadi-takfiri. Arabic is added: "The Islamic State of Iraq...Assassination (Sub)Units for crushing the bastards."