The Advancement of Global Jihad*
By Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
Friday, August 14th, 2015 @ 11:58PM
Left: The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan pledging allegiance to ISIS’s leader (Isdarat al-Dawla al-Islamiyya, August 6, 2015)
The weekly report on Global Jihad details and analyses, ISIS, al Qaeda and their affiliated terror groups during between August 6-12, 2015:
In Derna, Libya
“ISIS operatives are trying to regain control of the city of Derna, having been ousted by a local jihadi organization. So far, the operatives defending Derna have managed to prevent ISIS operatives from entering the city. ISIS operatives have fired artillery at the eastern outskirts of the city. They also detonated a car bomb in Derna on August 9, 2015. The blast killed at least seven people and wounded 19 (Al-Arabiya, August 10, 2015).
ISIS’s Tripoli province announced that it had executed an Indian national accused of “immoral conduct” in the city of Sirte. The Indian was executed on a street corner in front of passersby (Akhbar al-Alam, August 7, 2015). It should be noted that last week, ISIS abducted four Indian nationals who were staying in Libya. It is not clear whether the Indian who was executed is one of the four hostages.
In Saudi Arabia
Seventeen Saudi security officials, most of them members of the Special Forces, were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up among worshippers at the Abha Mosque in the Asir region in southwest Saudi Arabia (Al-Hayat, August 6, 2015). The Hejaz province of the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing attack (Twitter, August 7, 2015). An ISIS-affiliated Twitter page posted an audiotape, accompanied by photos of the suicide bomber, codenamed Abu Sinan al-Najdi. The speaker on the tape promises that additional attacks will be carried out against the Saudi security forces. He urges other ISIS operatives to carry out suicide bombings, noting that explosive belts are more effective than shooting (time.com, August 8, 2015).
According to the Saudi interior ministry spokesman, the suicide bomber’s name is Yusef Bin Suleiman Abdullah al-Suleiman, 21, a Saudi national. He was reportedly arrested by the Saudi security forces for 45 days in 2013, but was released without being convicted (Al-Arabiya, August 9, 2015).
In the Khorasan province (Afghanistan – Pakistan)
On August 6, 2015, ISIS’s branch in Khorasan published a video documenting the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan’s pledge of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi(Isdarat al-Dawla al-Islamiyya, August 6, 2015). If the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan did indeed pledge allegiance to ISIS, this is evidence thatISIS has spread from Afghanistan-Pakistan to the Muslim countries of Central Asia.
The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)is a Salafist-jihadi organization established in Uzbekistan in 1988. Its founders were a radical Islamic ideologue named Tohir Yo’ldosh and an Uzbek Islamic operative and Soviet Army veteran named Jumma Kasimov. The organization’s goal is to overthrow Uzbekistan’s secular regime and establish in its place an Islamic regime in accordance with Islamic law. The organization’s operatives joined forces with global jihad elements in Afghanistan.IMU received the sponsorship of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and was allowed to operate under their auspices in northern Afghanistan. The organization also operates in Tajikistan (Wikipedia).
Jihad organizations affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Middle East and North Africa
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb and the Al-Nusra Front in Syria, all three of which are affiliated with Al-Qaeda, issued a joint condolence message following the report of the death of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. In their message, the Al-Qaeda branches praise Mullah Omar, noting that he unified the Afghans and Muslims under the banner of the Taliban and turned Afghanistan into a place where heroes who restored the nation’s honor were trained. The message also notes that thanks to him, the US was defeated in Afghanistan and the Taliban has expanded its influence (Al-Nusra Front-affiliated Twitter account, August 5, 2015).
The message was published following confirmation of the death of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar in April 2013. The publication of a joint message by these three jihadi organizations is unusual. The message indicates their common denominator, which is mainly their close ties to Al-Qaeda, under the leadership of Ayman al-Zawahiri, and their differentiation from ISIS.
In Indonesia, ISIS encourages the recruitment of operatives
According to British media reports, ISIS operatives in Indonesia are boasting that they have managed to recruit the next generation of jihad operatives, by showing a photo of a newborn infant lying next to a rifle and a hand grenade. The photo was uploaded to Twitter by ISIS supporters. According to government reports in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, support for ISIS is growing. A previous photo uploaded to social networks in Indonesia shows uniformed children no older than six or seven carrying weapons (The Daily Mirror, August 8, 2015).
*For the full report, see Spotlight on Global Jihad by Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center