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

Latest Articles and Blog Posts

The Archivist: Critical Analysis of the Islamic State's Health Department

August 27, 2015  •  Jihadology

The Islamic State's [IS] health department (Diwan al-Siha) is probably most familiar to UK readers, who will recognize the 'ISHS' (Islamic State Health Service) branding as a spin-off of the 'NHS' (National Health Service). The ISHS was promoted in an official Raqqa province video featuring two muhajireen medical personnel, the first of whom (originally from Australia) urges Muslim medical personnel from around the world to join IS, saying: "Muslims here are really suffering from not necessarily a lack of equipment or medicine but mainly a lack of qualified medical care." Though the video acknowledges lack of personnel, documents not officially released by IS also show that shortages of medical supplies are a significant problem. Of all departments, the IS Diwan al-Siha is arguably the least impressive, afflicted as it is by brain drain, deficiencies in supplies and lack of innovation despite the influx of muhajireen.

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The Archivist: 26 Unseen Islamic State Administrative Documents: Overview, Translation & Analysis

August 24, 2015  •  Jihadology


Of all jihadist groups, the Islamic State [IS] by far has presented the most comprehensive, ostensible bureaucratic structure as part of its claimed state project, embodied foremost in a system of diwans (government departments) since the declaration of the Caliphate in June 2014. The best means to analyse the nuances of this set-up is through looking at documents issued by these departments that have not been officially released in IS' media outlets.

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"This Path and These Banners"- Nasheed from the Islamic State

August 23, 2015 at 3:26 pm

The Islamic State's videos regularly feature very short nasheeds not released as individual productions by Ajnad Media. One example was covered on this blog here regarding Boko Haram's pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State to become West Africa Province. Below is another of these nasheeds, by no means wholly new but featured most recently in a Ninawa Province video regarding the renewal of allegiance from the tribes of the Ninawa plain. For the focus on Baghdad and Damascus, compare with e.g. the nasheed 'Squadrons of my State' from the ISIS era (pre-Caliphate declaration).

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Liwa al-Sayyida Ruqayya: Recruiting the Shi'a of Damascus

August 12, 2015  •  Syria Comment

Emblem of Liwa al-Sayyida Ruqayya: "The Ja'afari Force: The Islamic Resistance in Syria."

The rallying call of Shi'a jihadi groups to defend the Sayyida Zainab shrine in the Damascus area is well known, but it is not the only religious symbol used in the justification of shrine defence in Syria. The Damascus area is also home to the shrine of Sayyida Ruqayya, the daughter of Imam Hussein who was taken captive at the Battle of Karbala and died in captivity in Damascus. She is also known as Sakina/Sukayna.

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Assessing U.S. and Coalition Strategy for Syria and the Islamic State

August 12, 2015  •  Huffington Post

What to do about Syria? How to defeat the Islamic State? Think of all the op-eds and policy papers that aim to provide answers to these questions. But is there actually anything to them? What about the current U.S. approach?

To begin with, one can readily agree that the U.S. train-and-equip program for Syrian rebels to fight ISIS has been misguided from the beginning. The notion that such a force can only take on ISIS and not the Assad regime has no credibility among the overwhelming majority of Syrian rebels, regardless of ideological orientation, as the fight against the two is seen as inherently intertwined. Little wonder then that the initial batch recently inserted into Syria had only 60 recruits.

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