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

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Islamic State: Suicide Bombing in Arbil Statement: Translation and Analysis

November 21, 2014 at 8:19 pm

The statement translated by me below concerns the recent Islamic State [IS] suicide bombing conducted in the heart of Arbil, around 14 months after a previous assault by IS' predecessor the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham [ISIS]. Some points to note:

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The Factions of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab)

November 21, 2014  •  Syria Comment

Media attention has somewhat focused away from the city of Kobani as the intense wave of coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) first helped to slow down the group's advance into Kobani. That said, the Democratic Union Party (PYD)'s project of an autonomous canton centred Kobani has been destroyed, and IS, in spite of the setbacks, still remains within the southern and eastern parts of the city (specifically in the latter, the industrial quarter), which IS has renamed Ayn al-Islam. At this point, for IS to capture the actual city would be little more than a symbolic victory to bolster the reputation of 'baqiya wa tatamaddad' ('remaining and expanding'). Ideological belief in the 'final victory', so to speak, among IS members is best reflected in the comments of IS member Abu al-Yaman al-Shami, who tweeted on 18 November: "[We will be] victorious in Ayn al-Islam. We expect victory more than any time. For we have perceived their weakness and seen their propensity to defeat. So nothing has remained except victory. Indeed the victory of God is near."

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Ummah of Islam, Good Tidings: Jihadi Nasheed by Abu Abd al-Malik

November 20, 2014 at 10:49 pm

The jihadi nasheed I have translated below is an old work of a Saudi munshid ('nasheed singer') by the name of Abu Abd al-Malik, real name Mohsen al-Dos(a)ri. Along with another Saudi munshid by the name of Abu Ali (of the famous 'Madin kas-Sayf', 'Bi Jihadina', 'Jaljalat' and other jihadi nasheeds), Abu Abd al-Malik was certainly a fan favourite of jihadi forums for the main part of the 2000s, but eventually fell out of favour as a personality even as compositions such as 'Ummah of Islam, Good Tidings' continued to be widely used. As a forum user on Muslim.orgremarked in 2009, "As for Abu Abd al-Malik, he has changed his direction [his direction has changed], turned against the mujahideen and shaved his beard." Indeed, Abu Abd al-Malik's transformation from a jihadi munshid to a more regular music artist (the art of ghana') was featured in an interview with him on al-Arabiya in April 2012, in which he characterized the shift as a "transfer in artistry and specialty from the good to the better." To coincide with the move to more conventional song was the release of an album by the name of 'Three Cards.'

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Islamic State: 'Wilayat Barqa' Operations Statement: Translation & Analysis

November 17, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Intro and Analysis
As a companion to my post on the emergence of the Islamic State's 'Wilayat Barqa' ('Cyrenaica Province') in eastern Libya (mostly in the city of Derna, to be specific), here is a translation of a new Wilayat Barqa statement on military operations against its rivals in the Tobruq-based government's army and Heftar's forces (government-aligned).

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The Emergence of the Islamic State's 'Cyrenaica Province' (Wilayat Barqa) in Libya

November 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm

As has been noted previously, in his new speech put out by al-Furqan Media, the Islamic State's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi explicitly acknowledged the recent series of pledges of allegiance to him from Sinai, Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Algeria, with the creation of new 'wilayat' ('provinces') therein. I had also noted that the most realistic prospects of this declaration translating to tangible results on the ground- that is, in terms of actually building the trappings of a state on the precedent in Syria and Iraq- exist in Libya and Sinai. In Libya, the concept of 'Wilayat Barqa' ('Cyrenaica Province', referring to eastern Libya) had already come to light in the city of Derna, where jihadis had some weeks ago declared their allegiance to the Islamic State. Here were some early signs of this 'Wilayat Barqa' (October time).

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