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

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi's Blog

Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada- Threats to Saudi Arabia: Translation and Analysis

Intro and Analysis
Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada is an Iranian proxy Iraqi Shi'a militia that first emerged as a participant in the Syrian civil war, fighting against the rebels as part of the 'shrine defence' [Sayyida Zainab] narrative. With the renewal of the Sunni Arab insurgency spearheaded by the Islamic State in Iraq this year, the group has also been participating in fighting alongside the government's regular armed forces and other Shi'a militias against the insurgents.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Fri, October 17, 2014 8:11 PM  |  Permalink

Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula Statement: Solidarity with the Islamic State

Intro and Analysis

The latest statement from al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP, h/t to Charlie Winter for drawing it to my attention) denounces the coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State [IS] and reiterates its call for an end to infighting among the jihadis in the Iraq-Syria arena. I take this opportunity to emphasize that this statement does not mean a true reconciliation between AQAP and IS, let alone between al-Qa'ida as a whole and IS: as I have outlined before, IS' claimed Caliphate status and demand for recognition and allegiance from all the world's Muslims prevents a real compromise when it comes to power status and relations with al-Qa'ida and its affiliates.

Though AQAP avoids calling IS 'jamaat ad-dawla' which, used by Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Qa'ida central, refuses to recognize IS' claim to be a state or caliphate, the avoidance of this term is merely in keeping with the anti-fitna tone of this statement. This also applies to AQAP's rejection of fighting IS on the grounds its members are "khawarij" (a common term used by Syrian rebels- including Jabhat al-Nusra- to denounce IS). Indeed, AQAP will not pronounce IS to be non-Muslims, but rather sees them as fellow Muslims- misguided in going forth to declare a Caliphate- who deserve solidarity when fighting non-Muslims.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Fri, October 17, 2014 11:06 AM  |  Permalink

"I am not content with a life of humiliation"- Nasheed from the Islamic State's Ajnad Media

Below is a translation by me of this song released early this year by the Islamic State's music media wing Ajnad Media (NB: revised slightly since first published):

"A life of humiliation no, I am not content with it.
But love of death in glory is an aspiration.
For no, by God, I do not fear the fate of death.
For the slave has no place in the material world.
And indeed death is in the path of Jihad,
Verily God's favour is bestowed on whomsoever He wills.
Oh path of jihad, arise!
Verily I do not become tired or sleep for love of you.
I will remain loyal to the pledge,
Whatever setbacks I have suffered from creation, or I will be blamed.
And whenever I will afflict the enemies with defeat,
I will remain steadfast whatever they let loose.
For no, by God, there is nothing better in life.
In the walls do free men gather.
So be patient, servants of God.
For the calls of the nights are your arrows.
You have in the land of al-Sham an army like lions.
And an army in Iraq having an outburst.
The victory of God is coming, not impossible,
And the soldiers of God have established [it] for religion."

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Sun, October 12, 2014 5:03 PM  |  Permalink

Islamic Army of Iraq: Denial of Meeting with the Americans: Translation and Analysis

Intro and Analysis
As part of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS), American officials have been attempting outreach to people connected to the Iraqi Sunni Arab insurgency and based in Amman, Jordan, in the hope of convincing them to help form a wider Sunni pushback againt IS in Iraq. Undoubtedly one target of this attempted outreach is the General Military Council for Iraq's Revolutionaries' [GMCIR] figures based in Jordan. Another group that the U.S. may be hoping will be amenable to outreach is the Islamic Army of Iraq, which, just after the U.S. withdrawal, demobilized and tried to work for a Sunni federal region within the system. Further, this summer, representatives from the Islamic Army of Iraq were participants in a pro-insurgency conference in Amman that also featured the GMCIR and the Ba'athist-Sufi outfit Jaysh Rijal al-Tariqa al-Naqshbandia [JRTN], whereas the Salafi nationalist and consistently rejectionist Jaysh al-Mujahideen (which has been at odds with the Islamic Army of Iraq) denied participation.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Fri, October 3, 2014 9:01 AM  |  Permalink

The Life of Abu Qutayba of Bahrain: A 'Martyr' for the Islamic State

Recently the Islamic State (IS) released a video via its media wing al-Itisam Media, which primarily targets Arabic-speaking audiences (notably producing the series 'Windows on the Land of Epic Battles'). The video, entitled 'Message to the People of Bahrain', advertised the presence of Bahraini fighters in its ranks, with predictable denunciations of e.g. the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa as a 'kafir [disbelieving] tyrant'. The Bahraini contingent has already been around for some time- for example in 'Saleel al-Sawarim 4', a Bahraini fighter could be seen destroying his passport as part of IS' rejection of the conventional nation-states of the world. The series of tweets from an IS source translated by me below relate to the life of one Abu Qutayba al-Bahraini (of Bahrain), whose real name was Ibrahim al-Awaḍi. He was killed in an American airstrike.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Mon, September 29, 2014 10:12 PM  |  Permalink

Christian Mother and Three Sons Murdered in Baghdad

NB: Differs slightly from what was published.

(AINA) -- According to a report by Al-Masalah, an Iraqi news outlet, a security source in Baghdad confirmed on Saturday that on September 27 armed men assaulted a home in southwest Baghdad and killed a Christian family of four. The source told al-Masalah "Unidentified armed men assaulted a home belonging to a Christian family in the area of the al-Aamel neighborhood in southwest Baghdad and killed a mother and her three sons. The source, who requested anonymity, said "A security source surrounded the home while medical service cars transported the bodies to the bureau of Judicial Medicine."

Translated by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi.

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Sat, September 27, 2014 2:40 AM  |  Permalink

General Military Council for Iraq's Revolutionaries: 20 September Obituary: Translation and Analysis

Introduction and Analysis

Following on from the previous post on the latest statement from the General Military Council for Iraq's Revolutionaries (GMCIR), it is worth noting this obituary published by the GMCIR on the same day for a renowed Iraqi general who was a mainstay on the country's military scene for decades and passed away recently in Jordan. His career included service in the Saddam-era army and Defence Ministry until the fall of Baghdad to the U.S. invasion in 2003, after which he went into exile in Jordan, where the current GMCIR network is partly based.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Thu, September 25, 2014 4:22 PM  |  Permalink

General Military Council for Iraq's Revolutionaries: 20 September Statement: Translation and Analysis

Introduction and Analysis
The General Military Council for Iraq's Revolutionaries (GMCIR), to recall briefly, is overall a joint project* between the Ba'athist-Sufi outfit Jaysh Rijal al-Tariqa al-Naqshbandia (JRTN) and Harith al-Dhari's Muslim Scholars Association (MSA). Many of the local outfits for the GMCIR- in the form of 'military councils for the revolutionaries of the tribes'- can be identified as originating as JRTN fronts, but it is also apparent the group can act as an umbrella for other Sunni insurgents including the Dhari-linked 1920s Revolution Brigades. The JRTN influence on the 'political wing' of the GMCIR is openly admitted.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Wed, September 24, 2014 9:47 PM  |  Permalink

Brief Note on Fighting in Fallujah and the Periphery

When it comes to analysis of Iraq's Sunni insurgency, one of the most important questions is trying to determine which groups are in what area, particularly regions out of government control. One pattern that emerges is that the Islamic State (IS) comes to assert itself in the main urban area, and other factions, if they survive, end up fighting on the periphery of the city and/or disperse into nearby villages and countryside of the wider district.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Thu, September 18, 2014 5:49 PM  |  Permalink

Jamaat Ansar al-Islam: Tribute to Ahrar al-Sham: Translation and Analysis

The latest statement from Iraqi jihadi group Jamaat Ansar al-Islam (JAI: which expanded into Syria once unrest broke out there), extending tribute to the leaders of Ahrar al-Sham recently slain in a bomb attack, actually comes as no surprise, especially when one considers my prior scoop on the life of Abu Muhammad al-Muhajir- one of the founders of JAI's Syria branch- and the close ties he is said to have forged with Ahrar al-Sham in particular. The fondness of JAI for Ahrar al-Sham should be noted despite the latter's more recent attempts under the deceased Hassan Abboud to exhibit a more 'moderate' face in the face of fragmentation and declining outside support. Considering that JAI's Syria presence has now been reduced to Idlib and Aleppo provinces, ongoing coordination seems likely. One should also note that Ahrar al-Sham, like other Islamic Front groups, was keen to show it was not anti-muhajireen in general when infighting broke out with ISIS in January of this year, and the relationship with JAI is likely to have figured in the rationale for such a public stance.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Sun, September 14, 2014 10:54 PM  |  Permalink

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