Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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1920s Revolution Brigades- 23 November Statement: Translation

November 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Message 71 (original here)

Inertia in thought or determination to go astray

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Islamic Army of Iraq Spokesman: Two New Statements

November 26, 2014 at 1:54 pm

The latest statements from the Islamic Army of Iraq's official spokesman- Dr. Ibrahim al-Shammary- concern two subjects. Firstly, the death sentence handed down to the former Sunni Arab MP Ahmed al-Alwani, who was a central figure behind the renewal of Iraq's wider Sunni insurgency. Alwani was the MP the security forces under then PM Nouri al-Maliki attempted to arrest in December 2013 as they were also ordered to dismantle the Ramadi protest site in Anbar. In the subsequent confrontation, Alwani's brother was killed, leading to widespread public anger. Aiming to restore calm, Maliki ordered the withdrawal of the army from Anbar's cities, allowing insurgents to move into Fallujah and Ramadi. The verdict would seem to reflect ongoing influence of Maliki supporters in the judiciary despite Maliki's relegation to the largely symbolic position of vice-president.

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"The Cheers Surge"- Nasheed Plagiarised by The Islamic State [IS]

November 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm

I have remarked elsewhere that IS' creation of Ajnad Media Foundation in summer 2013 with the production of a plethora of unique songs (e.g. 'Close ranks and pledge bay'ah [allegiance] to Baghdadi', 'My Ummah, Dawn Has Appeared/Loomed', and 'I am not content with a life of humiliation') helped to give the group a unique identity vis-a-vis other jihadi groups, particularly al-Qa'ida, from which, it was clear, what was then ISIS had de facto broken off following on from Baghdadi's refusal to disband ISIS. For example, the nasheed 'Close ranks and pledge bay'ah to Baghdadi', which emerged in September 2013, made reference to the forthcoming establishment of the Caliphate- something that was also emphasized in the emergence of the ISIS slogan 'The Promised Project of the Caliphate', in light of the group's takeover of Azaz in northern Syria bordering Turkey. Such have the Ajnad Media nasheeds become a marker of the group's distinct identity that ISIS' overtures to win over Somalia's al-Qa'ida affiliate ash-Shabaab were reportedly rebuffed with a sudden 180-degree turn-around by ash-Shabaab's leadership that even banned the broadcasting of ISIS nasheeds.

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"Oh Soldiers of Righteousness, Rise up!"- Islamic State Nasheed from Ajnad Media

November 24, 2014 at 7:20 pm

The following nasheed from the Islamic State was released at the beginning of June 2014 (i.e. when the group was still just the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham; unsurprising in light of explicit reference to Bilad al-Sham). There is also anticipation of subsequent propaganda themes like 'kasr al-hudud' ('breaking of the borders') that came with the group's rapid advances in Iraq that meant genuine contiguous territory spanning the Iraq-Syria border.

The nasheed has subsequently been featured in a propaganda video from Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Gaza (in reality likely no different from Jamaat Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Bayt al-Maqdis), which participated in the fighting against Israel in the summer.

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Jamaat Jund al-Qawqaz: A Caucasus Emirate Group in Latakia

November 23, 2014  •  Syria Comment

Relatively little news comes out these days from northeast Latakia province, which remains outside of regime control despite the recapture of the Armenian town of Kassab in June. However, it is important to observers of jihadi groups as what I would call 'the muhajireen's hangout'. For example, the Moroccan group Harakat Sham al-Islam- now a part of the independent jihadi coalition Jabhat Ansar al-Din- engages in da'wah outreach to locals in the area. It is also where the group Jaysh Muhammad in Bilad al-Sham (led by Abu Obeida al-Masri) headed after being forced to leave the locality of Azaz in northern Aleppo province by the Islamic Front. The continuing importance of northeast Latakia as a place for muhajireen groups to congregate is illustrated by the emergence of Jamaat Jund al-Qawqaz ('The Caucasus Soldiers' Group').

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