Schlagwort-Archive: blog

Syrian Insurgents Announce „Martyrdom Brigade“

by Florian Flade

The footage seems oddly similar to what was released from Iraq in 2003 soon after the American invasion. Masked gunmen posing with their weapons in front of an Al-Qaida flag. But this is not the scene of a Iraqi Al-Qaida video – it is recent footage coming out of Syria.

A group of the so-called „Free Syrian Army“ in the occupied city fo Homs has – according to the new video – formed a martyrdom battalion, a special unit committed to carry out suicide bombings in the country.

One Syrian militant explains that the „Al-Baraa Ibn Malik Martyrdom Brigade“ will fight the Assad regime and its military with all needs, especially suicide bombers.

The video emerges just days after U.S. officials claim Al-Qaida does and will play a bigger role in the Syrian insurgency. According to U.S. intelligence officials Al-Qaida militants from Iraq have infiltrated the Syrian resistance and are now fighting against the Syrian regime. Some of the opposition groups are not even aware of the Jihadi militants amongst them, the U.S. intelligence analysts are stating.

Al-Qaida in Iraq (officially „Islamic State of Iraq“) is suspected of being the mastermind of recent suicide bombings inside Syria, the U.S. claims.

Other media reports seem to confirm the U.S. analysis of Al-Qaida infiltrating the Syrian insurgency. Weapons from Iraq are allegedly being sold back to Syria by the Iraqi Jihadi groups. The price of these arms has doubled or even tripled in recent weeks. An AK-47 assault rifle is available for the price of 1400 $-US, before it was as low as 400 to 500 US-$.

Anwar al-Awlaki Allegedly Killed By Airstrike in Yemen

by Florian Flade

US-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki

Some have labeled him „the next Osama Bin Laden“ or „the Youtube Bin Laden – for the intelligence community in the West he was a pain in the arse: US-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Since he moved to his ancestors homeland of Yemen in 2004 he spread Jihadi ideology over the internet using his own blog and internet forums to promote essays and theologicial publications legitimating Jihad, suicide bombings and terrorist attacks in the West.

Today Arab media is reporting that Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in an airstrike in Yemen. Al-Arabiya TV quotes Yemeni officials as saying Awlaki traveled in a convoy in al-Jawf province near the Saudi-Arabian border when it was hit by Yemeni fighter jets. Awlaki and four Al-Qaida militants were killed, the Yemeni government source claims. A spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington D.C. tells CNN the alleged Al-Qaida affiliated cleric was killed near the town of Khashef, east of the Yemeni capital Sanaa on friday morning. CBS News reports a White House official says there is „high confidence“ that Anwar al-Awlaki was indeed killed today.

If true the death of Awlaki will have a quite significant impact on the Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and there ability to attract foreign Jihadis. Awlaki as a fluent English speaker and charismatic preacher had a appeal towards Western Jihadis and will not easily be replaced by other American members of AQAP like Samir Khan. Awlaki was important to AQAP not because he holds any leadership position within the organization but because of his propaganda value and the picture of him painted in Western media as one of the most dangerous terrorists desperately wanting to harm the United States.

Awlaki, who was born in Las Cruces (New Mexico) in 1971 and therefore holds a U.S. passport. The son of a Yemeni agricultural minister grew up in Yemen and the U.S. and was educated at American universities, rose the ranks of AQAP as soon as the Saudi Al-Qaida and its Yemeni counterpart merged in January 2009. He is said to have inspired Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hassan and adviced him to carry out a attack on US forces in an e-mail exchange. Awlaki also is seen as a key element in the recruitment and radicalization of the Nigerian underwear bomber Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab who tried to blow up a US airliner over Detroit Christmas 2009.

Earlier this year a Yemeni court sentenced Awlaki to ten years in prison because of his incitement to kill foreigners in Yemen. Numerous times U.S. and Yemeni forces tried to kill Awlaki in recent years. In May a U.S. drone strike missed the Al-Qaida cleric.

As there are contradicting reports about how and where exactely Anwar al-Awlaki was killed and the fact that U.S. officials are so quick confirming the terrorist´s death it is very likely Awlaki was killed either in a joint operation by the Yemeni and American forces or in a U.S. drone or airforce attack.

Liebe Leserschaft,

da ich aktuell zeitlich äußerst knapp eingespannt bin und es daher in jüngster Zeit weniger Blog-Einträge gab, habe ich mich entschieden, ein wenig in den Hintergrund zu treten und fähigen, willigen Kollegen die Chance zu bieten auf dieser Plattform zu publizieren.

Im Klartext bedeutet dies: es wird nun mindestens einmal monatlich einen Gastbeitrag auf Jih@d geben – in deutscher oder englischer Sprache. Den Anfang machte diese Woche Oliver Dengg mit seiner Analyse zu „islambruederschaft.com“.

Ich möchte an dieser Stelle all jene Dschihad-interessierten Schreiberlinge – Journalistenkollegen, Blogger, Islamwissenschaftler, Politologen usw – rechtherzlich einladen, mit mir in Kontakt zu treten, falls der Wunsch besteht auf Jih@d einen Gastbeitrag zu publizieren.

Viel Spaß beim Lesen!

Florian Flade

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Due to the lack of spare time to write articles exclusively for this blog and therefore the decrease in new blog posts, I decided to open Jih@d to colleagues who are willing and able to write about the topics of International Jihadism. I would like to offer you a chance to publish your work and thereby reach a broad audience of readers from all over the world.

Plain spoken this means: at least once a month I will publish a guest post on Jih@d – in German as well as English. Oliver Dengg was the first to start with his analysis on the German-language Jihadi website „islambruederschaft.com“.

I would like to invite those – journalists, blogger, students of Islamic & Middle Eastern studies and others – interested in Jihadism to contact me and send me your articles so we both can decide when and how to publish your guest post.

Thanks for reading!

Florian Flade