Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
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Muqawama Suriya Statement: Loss of Jisr al-Shughur: Translation and Analysis

April 26, 2015 at 1:38 pm

The Muqawama Suriya, as I have profiled previously, is a pro-Assad militia led by Turkish born Alawite Ali Kayali, who prior to the Syrian civil war had been focused on bringing the Sanjak of Alexandretta in Turkey under Syrian rule. Though the group is primarily based in Latakia, it also had considerable influence in Idlib province, including in Idlib city and Jisr al-Shughur, both of which recently fell to rapid rebel offensives spearheaded by jihadist forces, including Jabhat al-Nusra and the Turkestan Islamic Party. In the latest statement below from the Muqawama Suriya Aleppo office, the defeat in Jisr al-Shughur is portrayed as a strategic retreat and regrouping on the periphery, with emphasis on the need for Syrians to support the long war effort. Below is a photo from Jisr al-Shughur last year when the Muqawama Suriya advocated for the "re-election" of Assad as president.

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Jamaat Ansar al-Islam: Eulogy to Abu Ahmad of Mosul: Translation and Analysis

April 15, 2015 at 8:23 am

This latest statement from Jamaat Ansar al-Islam is intended to commemorate Abu Ahmad of Mosul, a leading figure in Jamaat Ansar al-Islam's Iraq branch who was reportedly killed by the group's traditional rivals the Islamic State, whose claim to a state/caliphate it has officially rejected. However, on account of ideological overlap in that Jamaat Ansar al-Islam is also aspiring to a caliphate and the overwhelming power of the Islamic State [IS] inside Iraq, the overwhelming majority of members- primarily based in Ninawa and Kirkuk provinces and smaller contingents mainly in Salah ad-Din and Anbar provinces- have given allegiance to IS (approximately 90%, as confirmed by Abu Bakr al-Iraqi and Abu Obeida al-Salafi, two of the remnants in Kirkuk and Baghdad who did not give allegiance).

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Is ISIS Islamic, and Other "Foolish" Debates

April 3, 2015  •  Jihadology

"Do they think we are Jewish now? lol," responded one ISIS fighter in Syria when asked for his thoughts on the current public debate about whether the Islamic State is actually Islamic. He went on to make an argument, as many of these fighters often do when interviewed, that not only is the Islamic State Islamic but it is the purest and most pristine form of Islam, the kind most in line with what God and His Prophet had intended all along. Another ISIS fighter from South Africa, when asked how he knew that the Islamic State was legitimate, remarked that "I just used my brain."

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review of ISIS: The State of Terror

March 27, 2015  •  Syria Comment

The ISIS phenomenon that has swept Iraq and Syria with global repercussions has produced a demand for information on the origins, rise, operations and future of arguably the most brutal jihadist movement yet. Following on from "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror," Berger and Stern's book is the second major title to come out on the subject. In 11 chapters, the authors begin with the origins of ISIS through Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi and his predecessor groups in the days of the Iraq War, with the apparent fall of what then became the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) in the aftermath of his death on account of the surge and Sunni Awakening movement in Iraq, to the rebirth of ISI under new leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi since 2010. This rebirth culminated in the renaming to the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), expansion through Syria, and the eventual lightning surge through northern and western Iraq that led to the further rebranding as just the "Islamic State" or the Caliphate, currently controlling a vast swathe of contiguous territory from Mosul in Iraq to northeast Aleppo countryside.

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The Islamic State and its "Sinai Province"

March 26, 2015

In November 2014, the Gaza-Sinai jihadist group Jama╩┐at Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis(JABM: "Supporters of the Holy House," i.e. Jerusalem) pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS). The IS's Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi officially acknowledged JABM's pledge as the creation of a new "Sinai Province" (Wilayat Sinai),alongside other recently proclaimed IS provinces in Yemen, Libya, Algeria, and Saudi Arabia.

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