Schlagwort-Archive: organization

Syrian Rebel Groups Form „Islamic Syrian Front“

by Florian Flade

pic2012-12-22 9:33:51

Three Syrian rebel groups with probably hundreds to thousands of fighters have announced the formation of a new joint-organization called „Islamic Front of Syria“ or „Jabhat al-Islamiyya as-Suriya“.

On Friday a video was released on the Internet showing the leaders of Ahrar al-Sham, Ansar al-Islam and Jaysh al-Tawhid presenting the foundation of the new group. Coming from a Sunni-Salafi background the „Islamic Front of Syria“ is believed to function as an umbrella organization. With the „Free Syrian Army“ (FSA) and the Jihadi faction „Jabhat al-Nusrah“ the new group is now one of the major players in the Syrian conflict. According to the founders the „Islamic Front of Syria“ was created to protect the Sunni people from the crimes of the Assad regime.

Within a few hours the „Islamic Syrian Front“ already presented a new logo and was uploading videos from the Syrian battlefield onto the Internet, showing IED attacks, ambushes and the capture of Syrian anti-aircraft missiles. 

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Boko Haram Leader Vows More Attacks On Christians

by Florian Flade

Imam Abu Bakr Shekau – Boko Haram leader vows more attacks on Nigerian Christians

In 2009 international media for the first time reported about a ominous Islamist group operating in Nigeria – Boko Haram. The group whose name is translated from the Northern Nigerian Hausa language into „Western Eduction is forbidden“ carried out a series of attacks, killing dozens of policemen in Christian-dominated regions of Nigeria´s north.

As a result Nigerian security forces took revenge on the Islamists of Boko Haram killing hundreds of the group´s members in and around the city of Maiduguri. Boko Harams leader and founder, Mohammed Yusuf, was captured by security forces. Yusuf had created the Islamist movement in 2002 starting with a network of mosques and Islamic schools to spread Salafi Islam in Nigeria.

Nigerian security forces claimed Mohammed Yusuf was killed during his arrest. Video footage which emerged several days after the raid on Boko Haram showed Mohammed Yusuf alive in custody being interrogated. He was shot dead by Nigerian soldiers and policemen, his body was also seen in videos released later.

While Nigeria´s government declared Boko Haram to be finished the movement re-grouped and emerged even more dangerous than previously. Hundreds of Boko Haram members were freed from prison by a large group of Islamists in 2011. Since then dozens of attacks – including suicide bombings – have been carried out by Boko Haram against Christians, Nigerian police and military targets.

U.S. intelligence officials are warning of a emerging threat posed to Western interests by Boko Haram. The group has been labeled a terrorist group which might seek to establish close ties with Al-Qaida and its African branches in the Maghreb and in Somalia.

In fact there are unconfirmed reports of Boko Haram members being trained as terrorists in Somalia by the Islamist organization Al-Shabaab. Other reports claim foreign terrorists are establishing training camps in Nigeria, importing bomb-building know-how and ideology to the Nigerian Muslim communities.

A few days ago a video message by a Boko Haram leader to the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was posted on Youtube. The man seen in the video was thought to be dead, killed in the 2009-crackdown on Boko Haram – the group´s spiritual leader Imam Abu Bakr Shekau.

„All these things you have been seeing happening, it is Allah who has been doing it because you refuse to believe in him and you misuse his religion, Jonathan“, the Islamist leader says vowing the Boko Haram would never be defeated by Nigeria´s security forces.

„Christians, everyone knows what they have done to us and the Muslims (…)“, Shekau further stated, „We decided to attack them and defend us, because we are on the right path (…) Everyone knows how our leader (Muhammad Yusuf) was killed and everyone knows how Muslims were killed.“

Abu Bakr Shekau promises more attacks on Christians in Nigeria, highlighting why the situation in Nigeria has come to this point in his opinion: „The disaster is caused by disbelief, discomfort is disbelief, injustice is disbelief, democracy and the Constitution is disbelief.“

Al-Qaida in Iraq Releases „Spring Of Al-Anbar“

by Florian Flade

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U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq used to call the Al-Anbar Province the „Wild West“ of the country. A desert region reaching from central Iraq all the way to the Syrian, Jordanian and the Saudi-Arabian border, ruled by local Sunni tribes, huge family clans with ties to the surrounding countries. After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 Al-Anbar became a hotspot of the insurgency. Various local groups, armed militias as well as foreign fighters allied to Al-Qaida were present in Al-Anbar, turning the province in one of the most dangerous places for U.S. troops and their Iraqi allies.

A new propaganda video released by „Al-Furqaan“, the media wing of the „Islamic State of Iraq“ (ISI) (which is de facto Al-Qaida) sets focus on Al-Anbar and the Jihadi activities there. Titled „The Spring of Al-Anbar“, the new video shows Al-Qaida fighters training in the Iraqi desert, carrying out attacks on convoys and barracks U.S. and Iraqi troops and patrolling the streets of the Al-Anbar towns and villages.

Among other militants the video features a high-ranking Al-Qaida commander named „Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani“ and two suicide bombers named „Abu Usama al-Ansari“ and „Abu Jafar al-Ansari“.

Al-Qaida´s message is clear: the Mujahidin of the organization are still present in the province, still fighting Jihad and still causing harm to coalition forces and the Iraqi troops as well as the Sunni militias who have formed the so-called „Awakening Council“ (basically U.S. paid militias to fight Al-Qaida).