Friday, February 25, 2011

Harakat al-Shabab Display AMISOM Prisoner, Casualties, & Captured Equipment as AMISOM & Somalia's Transitional Federal Government Launch "Offensive"

Shaykh Hasan Dahir Aweys (left) and Harakat al-Shabab spokesman 'Ali Mahamoud Rage ('Ali Dheere) at a gathering where AMISOM casualties, a Burundian prisoner, and captured AMISOM equipment were displayed.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the 8,000-strong military force composed of Burundian and Ugandan soldiers that is essentially propping up Somalia's weak Transitional Federal Government (TFG), recently launched with much fanfare their "new offensive" against the powerful Somali insurgent movement Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen (Movement of Warrior-Youth; Al-Shabaab) in capital city of Mogadishu. Fierce fighting has been reported in the city between AMISOM/TFG forces and Harakat al-Shabab insurgents, with both sides claiming "victory." The amount of territory being contested is relatively small but in the urban environment where much of Somalia's bitter guerilla war is being fought, even a dozen meters is potentially a significant loss or gain.

'Ali Mahamoud Rage gives an interview


Captured Burundian soldier from AMISOM

AMISOM and the TFG have claimed that they are pushing back Harakat al-Shabab from its key bases around the area the former control. Harakat al-Shabab have claimed that they are inflicting heavy casualties on AMISOM/TFG forces and have released several press statements over the past few days. They have also released photographs of captured AMISOM weapons and other equipment and dead AMISOM soldiers. Harakat al-Shabab claimed a day ago that it had captured AMISOM soldiers and recently released a statement with photographs of a wounded Burundian soldier who it now holds prisoner.

Dead AMISOM soldiers

A captured Burundian soldier is displayed as 'Ali Mahamoud Rage (blue scarf) stands in the background.

These new photographs also show other (7) dead AMISOM soldiers and captured equipment as Harakat al-Shabab fighters and the movement's spokesman, 'Ali Mahamoud Rage ('Ali Dheere), and Hasan Dahir Aweys look on. Aweys, formerly of the Somali Islamist insurgent group Hizbul Islam, is a veteran Somali Islamist who has been steadily pushed to the side by Harakat al-Shabab. It remains unclear exactly why Hizbul Islam "merged" with Harakat al-Shabab in late December, particularly whether it was by choice or something Aweys and other Hizbul Islam members were essentially forced to do because of the lack of other options. Aweys' current role is also unclear. He has appeared in several sets of photographs released by Harakat al-Shabab, but was denied a "speaking role" in the movement's video commemorating the "merger," which was released in January. In a statement that accompanied these photographs, Aweys is simply referred to as a "leader" in the insurgent movement.

Captured Burundian soldier

Captured AMISOM weapons and equipment

Shaykh Hasan Dahir Aweys (center, background) stands near captured AMISOM equipment
'Ali Mahamoud Rage (third from left in blue scarf) stands next to captured AMISOM equipment

Scores of Somali civilians in Mogadishu have been killed as AMISOM/TFG and Harakat al-Shabab forces exchange artillery and mortar fire. AMISOM has in the past denied suffering casualties in attacks by or on Harakat al-Shabab, prompting the insurgent movement to release photographs of AMISOM casualties.

Captured AMISOM weaponry and equipment
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Harakat al-Shabab statement:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

أسر جندي صليبي تابع للقوات البروندية 20/3/1432

الحمدُ لله ربّ العالمين والصّلاة والسّلام على نبيّنا محمّد و على آله وصحبه أجمعين أما بعد:


اندلعت اشتباكات عنيفة بين كتائب جيش العسرة التابعة لحركة الشباب المجاهدين والقوات الصليبيية البروندية المتواجدة داخل كلية "جالسياد" جنوب العاصمة مقديشو، ووقعت الإشتباكات بعدما خرجت القوات الصليبية من مبنى الكلية باتجاه مبنى وزارة الدفاع القريب منها والذي تسيطر عليه حركة الشباب المجاهدين، ويقدر عدد الجنود الصليبيين في هذه المعركة بأكثر من ألفين، وقد ولى الصليبيون الأدبار بعدما تفاجأو بقوة الرد التي استقبلهم بها المجاهدون، وقد ترك الصليبييون في ميدان المعركة أسلحة وذخائر غنمها المجاهدون بفضل الله، وتركوا كذلك سبعة جثث لجنود برونديين في المكان، وأسفرت عملية المطاردة التي قامت بها كتائب جيش العسرة عن أسر أحد الجنود الصليبيين كان قد أصيب في ساقه ولم يتمكن من الفرار.

ومع انتشار الخبر بين المسلمين خرج الأهالي في الشوارع فرحا بأسر هذا الجندي، ولم يتأخر المجاهدون في تأكيد الخبر حيث تم عرض الأسير والغنائم وبعض الجثث لقتلى الصليبيين، كما تحدث الشيخ علي محمود راجي الناطق الرسمي باسم حركة الشباب المجاهدين والشيخ حسن طاهر أويس القيادي في حركة الشباب المجاهدين في ساحة "مصلح" التي شهدت عرض الأسير، وتحدث الشيخان لوسائل الإعلام عن هذا الخبر وزفوا البشرى للمسلمين.

اللهم منزل الكتاب مجري السحاب هازم الأحزاب، اهزم الصليبيين ومن حالفهم من المرتدين.
اللهم اجعلهم وعتادهم غنيمة للمسلمين.
اللهم دمّرهم و زلزلهم.
اللهم أنت عضدنا وأنت نصيرنا،اللهم بك نصول وبك نجول وبك نقاتل.

والله أكبر


{وَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلَكِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ لا يَعْلَمُونَ}


مُؤسَّسةُ الكَتائِب للإنتَاج الإعلامِي

حَركةُ الشَّبابِ المُجَاهدِين

الخميس 21 ربيع الأول 1432 هـ

24/02/2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

IN PICTURES: Waziristan Connections III: The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan's Alliance with Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan

Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan leader Hakimullah Mehsud (second from left with gun), TTP's Nur Islam, called a "helper of the emigrants (Hajjimuhajiroun) from outside Pakistan, and the late Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leader Tahir Yuldashev (Muhammad Tahir Farouq) on the far right.

North and South Waziristan is a key base for a number of militant groups, chief among them the various Pashtun groups and confederations such as Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP; Taliban Movement of Pakistan) and the militia commanded by Mullah Nazir Ahmad. It is widely believed that Al-Qa'ida Central's (AQC) senior leaders are also based in Waziristan. The former AQC general commander of Khurasan (Afghanistan), Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, was killed in a drone missile strike in North Waziristan in late May.

TTP's third in command Qari Husayn (Qari Hussain) Mehsud appears on video for the first time. He is believed to be the umbrella organization's trainer of suicide bombers.


TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud (left) threatens revenge for the killing of IMU leader Tahir Yuldashev as his replacement, Abu Usman Adil, listens in.

Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan's deputy commander and "commander of Mehsud tribal forces" Waliur Rahman (Rehman) Mehsud lectures to a group of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and TTP members.

IMU leader Abu Usman Adil (left) with field commander 'Abbas Mansur

TTP maintains ties and alliances with a number of other groups, including AQC and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a group composed of several thousand fighters that was led by Tahir Yuldashev, who is also known as Muhammad Tahir "Farouq," who was killed last year. All but one of the stills in this post were taken by the author from a recent German language IMU video, "Good News/Glad Tidings from Pakistan" released in January by the IMU's media outlet Jundullah (God's Soldiers) Studio and later subtitled in English by an Urdu-English jihadi-takfiri Internet forum.

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan's media guru behind its Jundullah (God's Soldiers) Studio, Abu Ahmad al-Madani. His nom de guerre suggests that he is an Arab.

TTP deputy leader Waliur Rahman Mehsud (right) with IMU fighter, who was killed in 2010, Muqatel.

IMU leader Abu Usman Adil (left)

IMU leader Abu Usman Adil (in white hat)

IMU and TTP members fraternize





TTP member Hajji Nur Islam, one of the "helpers of the emigrants" from outside Pakistan who join the IMU.




IMU members praying du'a



ISLAMIC MOVEMENT OF UZBEKISTAN FIELD COMMANDERS

Commander Sejena



Commander Fatih

Commander 'Abbas Mansur
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BUILDING AN ISLAMIC STATE

German IMU member Abu Adam Almani (The German), Mounir Chouka

German IMU member Abu Layth

TTP deputy leader Waliur Rahman Mehsud (front) leads IMU and TTP members in prayer, including IMU leader Abu Usman Adil (in white hat).

The use of this scene from Kingdom of Heaven is noteworthy. For those who have seen Ridley Scott's film, it is clear that this scene of the Crusader army from the Kingdom of Jerusalem marching to meet the army of Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn al-Ayyub is ready-made for jihadi-takfiri propaganda visual art.


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Past installments of IN PICTURES: Waziristan Connections, showing IMU and TTP leaders together, can be viewed:

PART 2 (Abu Usman Adil & TTP)

PART 1 (Tahir Yuldashev & TTP)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

IN PICTURES: Lebanon's Hizbullah Commemorates its "Martyr-Leaders," the Triumphant Nation

"Leader-Martyrs...Triumphant Ummah (Nation/Community)"

The Lebanese Twelver Shi'i political party Hizbullah (Hezbollah, Hizballah) recently marked the annual commemoration of its "martyr-leaders," al-Sayyid 'Abbas al-Musawi, Shaykh Ragheb Harb, and 'Imad Mughniyyah.



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Shaykh Ragheb Harb was a Lebanese Twelver Shi'i cleric who was one of the early leaders of a local militia in southern Lebanon (Jabal 'Amil) that eventually joined Hizbullah when the movement was formed between 1982-1985. Hizbullah announced its existence publicly in a February 1985 "open letter." Harb was assassinated by the Israeli military on February 16, 1984.


Al-Sayyid 'Abbas Musawi was the second secretary-general of Hizbullah. He studied Twelver Shi'i jurisprudence in the prestigious al-Hawza al-'Ilmiyyah (seminary) of the Shi'i holy city of al-Najaf in Iraq. He was assassinated in an Israeli air strike on February 16, 1992 with his wife, young son, and four other people.


'Imad Mughniyyah was Hizbullah's senior military commander and is believed to have been one of the masterminds of the movement's kidnapping and hijacking campaign against Europeans and Americans during the 1980s. He was assassinated by an unknown party on February 12, 2008. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Israel's Mossad, Syrian intelligence services, internal Hizbullah elements, and even the Jordanian intelligence services have been blamed for his assassination. Hizbullah accused Israel. The U.S. Bush Administration suggested it may have been an internal Hizbullah power struggle or Syria. Dr. Humam al-Balawi, the Jordanian-Palestinian medical doctor who blew himself up and killed seven CIA agents and a Jordanian intelligence officer in December 2009 accused the Jordanian intelligence services of a role.