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

Latest Articles and Blog Posts

Abu Muhammad al-Adnani & Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Waleed

August 30, 2016 at 9:40 pm

The Islamic State (IS) has recently announced the death of its official spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, first via its auxiliary outlet Amaq News and then through an official posting under Wilayat Halab ('Aleppo Province'). It seems most likely that he was killed in a U.S. strike on the al-Bab area in north Aleppo, the last remaining stronghold in the area amid rebel advances along the border with Turkey. Thus, it is unsurprising that the announcements of his death mention he was 'inspecting' IS military operations in Aleppo. It is also of note that the Wilayat Halab posting describes Adnani as a Husseini (a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad's household) and Qurashi (of the Quraysh tribe to which the Prophet belonged). As Charles Lister notes, the bestowal of these epithets on Adnani suggests that he may have been groomed to be the successor to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (as Baghdadi, in his role as Caliph, also has his reputed Husseini and Qurashi origins trumpeted). Certainly the conception of Adnani as the successor would not be surprising in light of the fact that he had the most recognisable persona in IS as embodied in the speeches he gave.

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Bibliography: Pro-Assad Militias

August 30, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Over the past few years I have documented numerous militias fighting on the side of the regime in Syria, generally an understudied topic (at least as regards native formations: foreign Iranian-backed Shi'a militias intervening in Syria to support the regime are better covered). Below I compile a list of my articles on the subject, sorted by sub-categories (though there may be overlap in some cases, as the article contents will show). I will add to this list as I write more articles.

Syrian Hezbollah

- Quwat al-Ridha
- Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja and Junud al-Mahdi
- The National Ideological Resistance
- Liwa al-Imam al-Mahdi
- Al-Ghalibun
- Liwa al-Baqir/Local Defence Forces

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Fawj Maghawir al-Badiya: A Military Intelligence Branch Militia

August 30, 2016  •  Syria Comment

Emblem of Fawj Maghawir al-Badiya, with the militia's name itself inscribed on the bottom. On top: "Military Intelligence Branch" (indicating the affiliation of the group). In the centre is the emblem of the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as the Syrian and Ba'ath Party flags.

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The Archivist: Stories of the Mujahideen: Unseen Islamic State Biographies of Outstanding Members

August 24, 2016  •  Jihadology


That the Islamic State (IS) in da'wa (religious outreach) is well-known and much of it is publicized online through IS propaganda, but there are still many IS works that remain unpublished on the Internet and distributed on the ground only. One such da'wa series is called qisas al-mujahideen ('Stories of the Mujahideen'). This series has been distributed under the heading of Akhbar al-Khilafa ('News of the Caliphate'), which also includes IS news announcements published online, and more formally with the mark of the Diwan al-Da'wa wa al-Masajid ('Da'wa and Mosques Department'), one of the series of formal diwans created following the announcement of the Caliphate.

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Al-Qa'ida Uncoupling: Jabhat al-Nusra's Rebranding as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham

August 22, 2016  •  CTC Sentinel

Abstract: On July 28, 2016, Jabhat al-Nusra, which had previously identified itself as a branch of al-Qa'ida in Syria, announced the changing of its name to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham ('Conquest of al-Sham Front') in a video recording that for the first time revealed the appearance of its leader, Abu Muhammad al-Julani. The nominal decoupling of the organizations was approved and coordinated with al-Qa'ida's senior leadership and was designed to unify Islamist efforts in Syria and to make it more difficult for the United States and Russia to justify targeting the group. With its popularity on the rise and other rebel groups welcoming the announcement, the move appears to have paid off so far.

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