Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My New Article, "Who are Somalia's Al-Shabab?," Published @ African Arguments

UPDATE (July 29, 2011): David Shinn, the former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, commented briefly but positively on my article at his own blog HERE. I've also been cited in an article by Yassin Musharbash in the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel HERE.

I have a new article posted to African Arguments, the collaborative web site between the Royal African Society of the United Kingdom and the Social Science Research Council. I was invited to contribute a backgrounder piece on Somalia's Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen ("Al-Shabab" or "Al-Shabaab") Islamist-insurgent movement that controls most of the country south of the autonomous region of Puntland, including roughly half the capital city of Mogadishu.

A quick note about the piece: I was not as explicit as I should have been regarding Al-Shabab's position on international humanitarian aid agencies. They have banned SOME but not all agencies. In my mind when writing the section o...n the famine it was clear but upon re-reading it after having someone point it out to me, I see that it is not necessarily clear to those other than the author (me).

The introduction reads:

"Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen (Movement of the Warrior-Youth, “Al-Shabab”), the Islamist-insurgent movement that controls most of Somalia south of the autonomous region of Puntland, has its origins in the most radical segment of the military wing of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). Following the dissolution of the ICU government in late December 2006 in the face of a full-scale Ethiopian invasion backing Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Al-Shabab emerged at the forefront of the Somali armed factions. Its founder was Adan Hashi Farah ‘Ayro, a young Somali militant who had previously traveled to Afghanistan where he met Usama bin Laden. ‘Ayro, a former protégé of veteran Somali Islamist Hasan Dahir Aweys, then the deputy ICU leader, eventually began to operate largely independently of him and the ICU as a whole."

Read the rest at African Arguments.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

IN PICTURES: Usama bin Laden, the Martyr, As Seen in Jihadi-Takfiri Artwork

This post features examples of transnational jihadi-takfiri cyber artwork dedicated to the late founder of Al-Qa'ida Central, Usama bin Laden, who was killed in a May 2 U.S. military strike on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Usama bin Laden flanked by Mustafa Abu'l Yazid (left), the late general commander of Al-Qa'ida Central in Afghanistan, and Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, the late founder of Al-Qa'ida in the Land of the Two Rivers/Iraq (AQI). Abu'l Yazid was killed in a U.S. drone strike in May in North Waziristan. Al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike in June 2006 in Iraq.

Usama bin Laden and Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi over a panoramic view of the Old and New Cities of Jerusalem. Also pictured is Ahmad Yusuf Washah, also known as "Abu Hafs," one of the Jund Ansar Allah members killed in a day-long gun battle with HAMAS security forces on August 14, 2009 in and near the Mosque of Ibn Taymiyyah in the Gazan city of Rafah.

Amir of Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula, Abu Basir Nasir al-Wihayshi, Pledges Allegiance to Al-Qa'ida Central Amir Ayman al-Zawahiri

The amir (leader) of Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Abu Basir Nasir al-Wihayshi, has issued a new audio message to the "beloved amir," Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the new amir of Al-Qa'ida Central (AQC). Al-Wihayshi gives bay'a to al-Zawahiri. AQAP is the second AQC affiliate to do so. The first was Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), via a member of its shura council, Abu 'Ubayda Yusuf al-'Anabi, in an audio message released in early July.

Al-Wihayshi criticizes the region's tyrants and promises to "defend the oppressed" in the Muslim and Arab lands. He also promises to "free the holy places."

The audio message can be downloaded via these non-militant URLs:

The password to unpack the file is: Edhd089JkhsdiQWEMncjhs

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Al-Wasat Post: "The Social Media Front: Jihadi Media Elite Outlet Launches New Web Site, YouTube Channel"

I have a new post on the collaborative Al-Wasat blog, "The Social Media Front: Jihadi Media Elite Outlet Launches New Web Site, YouTube Channel," on the inauguration of new social networking sites by a very active transnational Sunni jihadi-takfiri media outlet. Read about it at AL-WASAT.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Al-Wasat Post on Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan's Media & the Global Islamic Media Front

I have a brief new post at the Al-Wasat blog on mapping the online distribution network via the Global Islamic Media Front of Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan's media. Read it HERE.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula's Al-Malahem Media Releases New Issue (#6) of Inspire Magazine

UPDATE (September 27, 2011): New 7th issue of INSPIRE has just been released.

Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula's (AQAP) media outlet, the Al-Malahim (Malahem; Epics) Media Foundation, has released the sixth issue of its English-language Internet magazine Inspire, edited by the American Samir Khan. The new issue features an article by Khan entitled, "Sadness, Contentment, & Aspiration" about the killing ("martyrdom") of Al-Qa'ida Central founder Usama bin Laden on May 2 in Pakistan. It also features a new photograph of the radical American Muslim preacher Anwar al-'Awlaqi.

A letter from editor Yahya Ibrahim explains the delay in the publication of the new issue as being the result of unrest in Yemen.

A "special thanks" is given to Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan for its "revenge attacks" in the name of Usama bin Laden, raising the question why AQC or its official affiliates have yet to launch a major "revenge attack" of their own.


A PDF copy of the issue can be downloaded via these NON-militant URLs:

The password is: H9IKhfkhsTY23TJghdHJND



Sunday, July 10, 2011

Al-Fajr Media Center, Online Distributor of all Al-Qa'ida Media Material, Announces/Endorses Launch of New Jihadi-Takfiri Internet Forum

The Al-Fajr (The Dawn) Media Center issued a statement today announcing the launch of a new jihadi-takfiri Internet forum, al-Fida' al-Islamiyyah (Islamic Redemption). Al-Fajr is a shadowy media network that distributes all media material produced by Al-Qa'ida Central (AQC), Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI)/Al-Qa'ida in the Land of the Two Rivers/Iraq (AQI).

The new forum is password-protected.

Friday, July 08, 2011

IN PICTURES: Great Moments in Jihadi-Takfiri Images, or, When File Hosting Goes Wrong: Global Islamic Media Front Edition

Last weekend, I published an "In Pictures" post that documented one of the great moments in jihadi-takfiri images, also known as when file hosting goes bad. Today, Views from the Occident is proud to present a new post in this series. This one documents great moments in the history of the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), a shadowy transnational jihadi-takfiri translation and media network.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

IN PICTURES: Great Moments in Jihadi-Takfiri Images, or, When File Hosting Goes Wrong

UPDATE (1:30 P.M. EST, 2 July 2011): The images have since been removed from the forum.

The al-Jihad al-'Alami (Global Jihad) jihadi-takfiri web forum: Striking fear in Apostates, Rafidah, and Crusaders worldwide, or, why Stashbox file hosting has just failed the jihadi-takfiri movement(s). Click the images to enlarge.