Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
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Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi's Blog

"The Shari'a of Our Lord"- Nasheed from the Islamic State's Ajnad Media

This nasheed from the Islamic State, with its benign tone, emphasizes the supposed peace, security and ideal nature of life under the group's rule. For example, it was featured in an Islamic State video from Rutba in Anbar province as part of a showcase of the Islamic State's offering of public services.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Sat, November 22, 2014 5:42 PM  |  Permalink

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

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:

1. That IS would use a Kurdish member to carry out this attack comes as no surprise. Featuring Kurds within the group's ranks- to be directed at Kurdish rivals and counteract allegations of ethnic supremacism- has been a part of IS[IS] messaging for a year now, as can be seen in an installment of the al-'Itisam media video series entitled "Windows on the Land of Epic Battles." The section of interest is "message of the Kurdish mujahideen in the Islamic State", in Kurdish and with Arabic subtitles, with threats to the Kurdistan Regional Government [KRG]:

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Fri, November 21, 2014 8:19 PM  |  Permalink

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

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.'

However, Abu Abd al-Malik then did a 180-degree turn the following year in a publicised 'tawba' ('repentance') from ghana' and a return to nasheeds, with a focus on support for the cause of the Syrian revolution, with subsequently released songs featuring imagery from the Syrian civil war and focusing on religious matters, such as 'Evidence of Love from Our Lord' (Arabic: Daleel al-Hubb). More recently, Abu Abd al-Malik released a nasheed entitled 'Tyranny' in support of the Palestinians, with lyrics such as 'Our jihad is great.' The first claims of his 'tawba' had in fact emerged in July 2012 though the evidence seems dubious: it is rather 2013 where a clearer transition (or more accurately, 'reversion') can be noted.

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 05.15.33

Mohsen al-Dos(a)ri aka Abu Abd al-Malik, reflecting his support for the Syrian rebels with the 'FSA' flag.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Thu, November 20, 2014 10:49 PM  |  Permalink

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

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).

As far as the dating goes, these claimed operations seem highly questionable (typo error? Cf. spelling errors in the original Arabic elsewhere- e.g. markaz shurt al-makhili when markaz shurtat al-makhili is meant). It seems odd that they are all reported on 7 September and one will struggle to find any corroboration for them on that day, but identical incidents to those claimed here can be found elsewhere. In short, ignore the translated statement's dating of the incidents. The events in question rather took place in late October and November, not, as erroneously implied by the statement, in September well before the 'Wilayat Barqa' had been announced by Islamic State-aligned jihadis.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Mon, November 17, 2014 9:03 PM  |  Permalink

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

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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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Mon, November 17, 2014 3:45 PM  |  Permalink

General Military Council for Iraq's Revolutionaries [GMCIR]- 29 October Statement

Considering all the prior analysis that has been done here on the GMCIR (an initiative of the Ba'athist-Sufi Jaysh Rijal al-Tariqa al-Naqshbandia [JRTN] and Harith al-Dhari's Muslim Scholars Association together with his 1920s Revolution Brigades), not much needs to be said here other than the following:

- As ever, the style of address overlaps with JRTN: 'Oh dignified people of Iraq.'

- Though using superficial cross-sectarian nationalist language like JRTN, it is clear this statement is playing on Sunni Arab grievances of ethnic cleansing in areas such as Jurf al-Sakhr (now renamed Jurf al-Nasr after the Islamic State [IS] was driven out in an offensive spearheaded by Iranian proxy militias) and al-Yusufiya (where fighting and IS activity still persist).

- GMCIR evidently believes the insurgency is still on the path to final victory and 'revolution', even as it is clear that the goal of overthrowing the government is unattainable. Some of the areas where GMCIR can be identified as operating at the moment are in the northern and western outskirts of Baghdad (e.g. areas like Tarmiya in north Baghdad), Anbar in unspoken coordination with the Islamic State (e.g. Ramadi city and the al-Baghdadi district further west), and parts of the Salah ad-Din countryside (e.g. peripheries of the Tikrit area, Yathrib and Balad districts).

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Sun, November 16, 2014 3:43 PM  |  Permalink

Islamic State [IS] Acknowledgements of Allegiances- 12 November: Translation and Analysis

While it has been noted that the recent speech by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (released on 13 November) constituted the first recognition by Baghdadi of pledges of allegiance to him and his group from outside Iraq and Syria- specifically in Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia (a series that emerged on 10 November beginning with Jamaat Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis)- with consequent nullification of distinct group identities and announcement of new 'wilayāt' ('provinces') of IS therein, official IS recognition of the pledges had already been extended at least a day before at the lower level by an IS "General Media Committee," according to the statement translated by me below and distributed by IS sources in Iraq's Ninawa province. That this statement appeared in Ninawa province is unsurprising when we consider this just released official IS Ninawa province video of celebrations of the new pledges of allegiance.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Sun, November 16, 2014 7:56 AM  |  Permalink

The Islamic State Billboards of Raqqa (Part 2)

As an appropriate follow-up to my Jihadology archive of billboards put up by what was then the Islamic State in/of Iraq and ash-Sham [ISIS] in the city of Raqqa during the summer and fall of last year, here is the latest series of billboards put up by what is now just the Islamic State [IS] in Raqqa. The difference in dynamics this time is that the city is solely controlled by IS, rather than power sharing with Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham. Unsurprisingly, given the ongoing international coalition campaign against IS, much emphasis is put on the war with the Western-led coalition.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Thu, November 13, 2014 12:06 PM  |  Permalink

Jamaat Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis' Abu Osama al-Masri: "Message to the Families of the Soldiers"

Below is a translation of a message from Abu Osama al-Masri of Jamaat Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Reflecting the new alignment with the Islamic State, the message concludes by quoting an Islamic State nasheed: "Lions of the Conflict," which could be heard for example in the al-Hayat Media video from the Islamic State featuring the English language testimony of fighters in the group, including British ones.

Fursan al-Balagh: jihadi media outlet disseminating the speech

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Thu, November 13, 2014 9:37 AM  |  Permalink

Analysis: Jamaat Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis' Allegiance to the Islamic State

Over the early hours of this morning there emerged an audio clip attributed to the Sinai-Gaza jihadi group Jamaat Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (JABM: the Group of the Helpers/Partisans of the Holy House [Jerusalem], which emerged post-Mubarak), declaring allegiance to the 'caliph of the Muslims' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, thereby making JABM a part of the Islamic State [IS]. The recording's content is fairly standard and predictable. Reflecting the group's affinity for global jihad, the speaker cites the following hadith from Prophet Muhammad in the opening:

"I have been ordered to fight the people until they testify that there is no deity but God, and Muhammad is His Messenger, and they undertake prayer and give zakat. If they do that, their blood and wealth are guaranteed by me with respect to Islam, and their reckoning is with God Almighty" [narrated by Sahih Bukhari and Muslim].

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Mon, November 10, 2014 6:01 PM  |  Permalink

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