The trend that began as a dissent movement within the Islamic State and has now evolved into a movement outright opposing the organization and its leadership continues to publish testimonies purporting to expose the group's criminal nature. This testimony, clearly written by a local from eastern Deir az-Zor countryside, asserts that a certain assassination operation that the Islamic State claimed at the beginning of this year did not in fact kill a leader in the intelligence apparatus of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as the group's media claimed. In fact, the person the group's operatives killed was a former member of the Islamic State who was supposedly trying to evade capture by the SDF. The reason this assassination occurred was allegedly because people with personal scores to settle with the former member referred false reports about him to the Islamic State, which did not bother to check the details for verification and even got his first name wrong in claiming the assassination.
Thematically, the testimony follows the earlier works from this trend in claiming that the Islamic State has been overrun by extremists, and that the security personnel (amnis) are at the root of this extremism. The opening remarks also echo the earlier criticisms of the new 'caliph' of the Islamic State: namely, that he is an absent unknown figure who does not know his soldiers, and likewise his soldiers do not know him. There are also some more interesting details of a local flavor from eastern Deir az-Zor countryside such as the claim that the Islamic State personnel operating in the particular area where the assassination occurred as mostly being from the town of al-Qouriya.
Below is the original text translated in full. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
A Scandal of High Caliber
They killed 'Sa'ad al-Ajaj' then portrayed him as a leader in the 'PKK' intelligence apparatus
Written by Hakeem al-Qar'ani
Praise be to God who breaks of the immoral ones for whom He has not placed power, authority or control over the Muslims, and prayers and peace be upon the Imam of the noble ones, and his family and pious companions.
As for what follows:
We are before a new ugly chapter of the crimes of the renegade sect that was written by the hands of erroneous squadron of the amnis of the extinct criminal Dawla with the ink of the blood of the innocent Muslims under the shade of an absent person not knowing his soldiers who in turn do not know him in looking for something that might revive the dreams of ascendancy after the resounding fall that was a necessary outcome of the manhaj and religious collapse.
In the locality of al-Tayana[i] the mujahid brother 'Sa'ad Khalil al-Ajaj' (Abu Islam al-Tayani)[ii] of age 25 years was one of the activist youth of the locality in the time of the revolution against the apostate Nusayri regime so he was coming out in the demonstrations that were demanding the fall of the 'Bashar al-Assad' regime like the rest of the youth of Bilad al-Sham generally, then the caravans of the muhajireen came to Bilad al-Sham, among them the callers to jihad in the path of God and the implementation of the rule of the Shari'a of al-Ilah and among these muhajireen was the mujahid Sheikh 'Abu Ali al-Qasimi'[iii]- may God accept him- and many of the youth of the locality were affected by his da'wa, among them 'Sa'ad'.'
'Sa'ad' determined to join the mujahideen in the year 1435 AH (2014 CE) awaiting the entry of the 'Islamic State' to east 'Deir al-Zor' countryside and he had contacted cells affiliated with the 'Dawla' in his locality so he went to them and joined them and worked with them, and when the 'Dawla' entered 'Deir az-Zor' he quickly made himself known and joined them, according to what people mutually understood from statement and appearance.
'Sa'ad' and the group that was with him were asked to go to the 'al-Hawl' district in the town of 'al-asakah' and he remained there for a time until there appeared the first signs of the disagreement between him and the group.
His disagreements with them revolved around Shari'i issues among them that he condemned his amir 'Hamam al-Tayana'[iv] for his lack of knowledge about how to recite Surat al-Fatiha when he led them in prayer!
'Sa'ad' returned to his locality after the gravity of the matter, then he went to one of the 'affiliation offices' of the 'Dawla' again and continued as a fighter in its ranks until it became clear to him that they are not earnest, so he kept to his house, and when 'al-Mayadeen' fell 'Sa'ad' fled with his family like the rest of the people of his locality, heading to the town of 'al-Hasakah' so he was taken prisoner by the apostate 'PKK' and they threw him into 'al-Hawl' camp, then he was taken prisoner a second time on the accusation that he fled from the camp as he had a forged camp exit document,[v] so they discovered his affair and caught him at the first checkpoint they have after he left towards 'al-Hasakah', which meant his family were compelled to pay a sum of money to one of their members to get him out. And when they released him, he returned with his family to the locality of 'al-Tayana' abandoning the idea of fleeing in refuge. And the 'PKK' assaulted his home following that so he managed to flee, ten they assaulted it after that twice to look for him but they did not succeed in hunting for anything that could lead them to him, for he was moving about with a forged identity, so how could he be an agent for the 'PKK'?
'Sa'ad'- his mother's only son and managing the affairs of his siblings and household- was very observant of matters of his religion, just as he was afraid and keen not to fall into captivity again. He took precautions in that regard and so he avoided the checkpoints of the 'PKK' and was not identifying himself by his true name.
On Wednesday, 6 Jumada al-Awal 1441 AH (1 January 2020 CE), at 8:30 p.m., 'Sa'ad' was present in his house, at peace, when he was surprised by an assault of two masked men on his house. One of them said to him: 'Are you (Sa'ad')?' He replied: 'Yes I am (Sa'ad): go ahead.' He said: 'Turn towards the wall.' And the family of 'Sa'ad', his children, mother, wife and sisters were all looking. 'Sa'ad' said to the masked man: 'What do you want? Let us understand!' He said: 'There is no mutual understanding.' Then they opened fire on him at one time: 40 bullets were emptied into his body and his family were afflicted with shock just as his mother fainted from the horror of the scene before his children who are 3-5 years old.
The two masked men fled and opened fire on the house to distract attention from them and hours after that all were surprised that the 'Dawla' organization officially[vi] claimed the crime in a framing in which it made 'Sa'ad' a leader in the 'PKK' intelligence apparatus even as what he feared most was that they would capture him! And despite the disagreement of 'Sa'ad' with the 'Dawla', he felt safe from it such that when he was asked about his state of affairs he would always say: 'I fear the Kurds. As for the 'Dawla', there is nothing against me in their view. I was with them and I sat with them'. It subsequently became clear that the affair that was planned for him was on the part of persons who have personal scores with 'Sa'ad' and they raised false reports to the 'Dawla' organization claiming that 'Sa'ad' was with the 'PKK'!
And the straying organization, for its part, takes the testimony of any old person without investigation or verification, such that it published his name erroneously for it placed 'Fahad' instead of 'Sa'ad'! And for the time being no one affiliated with the 'Dawla' has offered one piece of evidence after the incident for the truth of their claims but rather they have proven that they permit as fair fame the blood of the Muslims through false slanders and malicious reports. And we bear witness to God that the father of 'Sa'ad' said: 'If what was mentioned about my son is true, I am the first to disavow him, but I only want one piece of evidence that it was permitted to shed his blood'. And the family of 'Sa'ad' offered three of his half-brothers by his father: all of whom were killed in the ranks of the organization, and they are: 'Abu Obeida al-Ajaj' and 'Abu Jannah al-Ajaj' and 'Abu al-Bara' al-Ajaj' and a fourth remains a prisoner with the 'PKK' and all that did not mediate for them before the 'Dawla' organization, for its leadership does [not] bother to verify the falsified reports that have been referred to them in this regard and that is because the 'Dawla' group in that area are of the sons of the town of 'al-Qouriya'[vii] and all of them were disciples of the one called 'Abu Zayd al-Qouriya',[viii] taking him as their example and the one to be obeyed.
And one of the reliable sources about them transmitted their characterization of all the brothers who were previously killed with the 'Dawla' organization as 'slain scum' so what made them come back to the ranks of the organization after abandonment of it?
Has the 'Fantasy' organization today become upon the program of its members who spill the blood of the Muslims and were yesterday declaring takfir on the organization and permitting as fair game the blood, honour and wealth of its soldiers and the Muslim masses on the pretext that they are idolaters, or is it that the organization since the beginning did not care for creed, manhaj and religion?
Also one of those in whose religion I trust said: that many of those who now work with the 'Dawla' currently are of the hired killers or spies who sell out trust and conscience for the sake of money and settle personal scores. For example, one of the top guys of the area: he was affiliated with the 'Harakat Ahrar al-Sham' faction and when the 'Dawla' took control he went to them claiming repentance so he worked in the oil field and did not actually join the organization, but rather he was openly proclaiming his hatred, and he was among the people of greatest kufr and most aligned, as he was a top guy in thefts and top guy in terms of ill repute. And now he wored with the group to collect money! And all who had sympathy in the locality with the 'Dawla' organization, when they see the likes of these scum with them, just know that they are merely a gang of criminals not concerned with the religion.
The last thing 'Sa'ad'- may God accept him- put on the 'WhatsApp' status before he was killed was two lines of poetry, as though he knew what would happen to him, for they were tantamount to the witness that has exposed the crime of the criminals and exploded the creed of the deviants:
Say to the one who has borne a rifle in his hand making blood fair game: how ignorant you are!
If by this Paradise were guaranteed, the one who sent you would not have abandoned attaining it.
But only to God is the complaint to be made, and 'God's curse is on the wrongdoers' (Hud 18) and 'God is our reliance and He suffices as trustee' (Al Imran 173).
Written by Hakeem al-Qar'ani
Tuesday 19 Jumada al-Awal 1441 AH
Corresponding to 14 January 2020 CE
1441 AH-2020 CE
al-Wafa' Media Foundation
[i] Al-Tayana: Syrian locality affiliated with the 'Dhiban' district in east 'Deir al-Zor' countryside.
[ii] See his photo in Appendix 1.
[iii] One of the Shari'i officials of the 'Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham'. He was taken prisoner at the hands of 'Harakat Ahrar al-Sham' in 'Manbij' on his way to the meeting with the Shari'i officials in 'Aleppo' and for their part they handed him over to the apostates of the 'PKK' so they killed him- may God accept him. And the sheikh appeared in the release 'Windows on the Land of Epic Battles (16)': a sermon in one of the mosques of the countryside of 'Wilayat Halab' (issued by 'Mu'assasat al-Itisam lil-Intaj al-Ilam' on date Tuesday 11 Dhu al-Hijja 1434 AH/15 October 2013 CE). And he gives te Friday sermon in one of the mosques in the countryside of 'Wilayat Halab' (Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham). See his photo in Appendix 2.
[iv] Hamam al-Qar'ani (Hamam al-Tayana): of the people of 'Deir al-Zor'. E was a leader of the 'Thuwar Ahrar al-Tayana' brigade affiliated with the 'Free Army', then he joined the 'Dawla' and he was appointed an amir of the 'al-Hawl sector' (Wilayat al-Baraka), and he was a man primarily marked by ignorance in matters of religion and I do not exaggerate if I say that he is illiterate and can barely understand a hadith. He was killed by the Nusayris- may God curse them- in the town of al-Hasakah on Tuesday 6 Jumada al-Awal 1436 AH (24 February 2015 CE).
[v] It is a document tantamount to permission granted to the people of the 'Deir al-Zor' area after meeting with them and being sure of their lack of joining the 'Dawla' organization, so its bearer is permitted to depart 'al-Hawl' camp as he is permitted to enter the town of 'al-Hasakah'.
[vi] The 'Nashir' channel on Telegram affiliated with the 'Dawla' organization published the news claiming the operation that executed the brother 'Sa'ad Khalil al-Ajaj'- may God accept him- and this is its text: 'Wilayat al-Sham- al-Khayr/Wednesday 6 Jumada al-Awal 1441 AH: with granting of success by God Almighty, the soldiers of the (Caliphate) assaulted the house of the leader in the PKK intelligence apparatus: the apostate (Fahad Khalil al-Ajaj) in the locality of 'al-Tayana', and he was executed with machine guns, and praise be to God' (see Appendix 3). Also the 'Amaq News Agency' affiliated with the organization published the news of the claim with this text: '1/1/2020: killing of a member of the PKK intelligence apparatus, after the fighters of the (Islamic State) assaulted his house and opened fire on him in the locality of (al-Tayana) affiliated with the (Dhiban) district in east Deir az-Zor countryside' (see: Appendix 4).
[vii] A Syrian town located in eastern 'Deir az-Zor'.
[viii] One of the takfir extremists. He became amir of the 'Hisba centre' in the town of 'Deir az-Zor' (Wilayat al-Khayr) some time before the 'Dawla' executed him for his takfir against it and engaging in criminal acts against it. He became renowned for his description of the mashaykh of the Ahl al-Sunna lie the two mujahideen sheikhs: Turki Albinali and Abu Bakr al-Qahtani- may God accept them both- as 'those who have been destroyed'.