To recall, Jama'at Ansar al-Islam ('Supporters of Islam Group') is a jihadist group that originated in Iraq and expanded into Syria with the outbreak and development of the civil war there. Its influence in Iraq was much reduced by the rise of the Islamic State, though it did officially claim a minor operation in Iraq at the end of October 2019.
In Syria, the group operates within the 'And Rouse the Believers' operations room alongside the al-Qa'ida-loyalist group Hurras al-Din and the Syrian jihadist group Jabhat Ansar al-Din. Sources connected with Jama'at Ansar al-Islam have emphasized that the group is independent and lacking in support and resources. As one source put it to me:
'The group is an independent group that does not have foreign support except from some of the Muslims with pride for their religion. And wealth is the nerve of jihad, for we cannot do many things or buy them because of the wealth.'
It is in this context of the group's limited resources that it launched a new online campaign towards the end of Ramadan in order to solicit financial support for its efforts. I provide the full translation below:
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Praise be to God and prayers and peace be upon the Messenger of God. As for what follows:
The Almighty has said: 'And wage jihad with your wealth and lives in the path of God. That is best for you if you knew'- al-Tawba 41.
And on the authority of Zayd bin Khalid (may God be pleased with him): that the Messenger of God (SAWS) said: 'Whoso equips a raider in the path of God has waged a raid, and whoso cares for a raider's family behind him, has waged a raid'- muttafiq alayhi.
The 'alama Sheikh al-Turaifi (may God free him) said on the Almighty's words ('And spend wealth in the path of God, and do not throw it by your hands to waste'):
'Among the reasons for the punishment and divine perdition for the societies is abandoning the spending of wealth when the need arises for it.'
And from this principle we your brothers in the Diwan al-Jund- the divisions of artillery, anti-armored vehicles* and snipers- affiliated with Jama'at Ansar al-Islam:
Urge the people of charity of the Muslims to support us and that is for the lack/scarcity of capabilities and our urging need for making use of these deadly weapons as they are our arrows by which we inflict massacres on the enemies of God (Almighty and Exalted is He): 'Strike, oh Sa'ad, in sacrifice for you are my father and mother.'
And we specify in particular the artillery division for the importance of artillery in our battles today is not hidden to anyone, for we are in need for it to repel the aggression of the Nusayri regime and whoso is behind it.
And we are very much lacking in material capabilities to complete this matter.
So do not forget to spend in this great month and its great reward and may God reward you best.
Telegram: @ansarislam2020 (+37121322452)
*NB: not anti-aircraft: a capability which the group does not have.
(Update 26 May 2020): the source connected with the group clarifies that both anti-aircraft and anti-armored capabilities are meant in the division of المضاد. While corroborating the point that the group lacks formal anti-aircraft/air defence capabilities (and by that I mean weaponry like MANPADs), the source explains that:
المضادات الارضية في بعض الاوقات تعمل كمضادات جوية
'Anti-land-related capabilities sometimes function as anti-air-related capabilities.'
Therefore, the source says that both kinds of capabilities are meant by المضاد in the original statement.