As-Saḥāb Media presents a new video from Usāmah Bin Lāden: “A Letter for the People of France”

UPDATE 4: Here is a German translation:

Von Osama bin Laden an das französische Volk:

Frieden sei mit denen, die den Rechtleitung folgen.

Das Thema meiner Rede ist über die Gründe für die Bedrohung eurer Sicherheit und die Entführung eurer Söhne.

Die Entführung von euer Experten in Niger, während eure Offiziere sie bewacht haben, ist eine Reaktion auf das Unrecht, das ihr den islamischen Nation zufügt.

Ist es fair, dass sie in dem Besatzung unseren Landes teilgenommen haben und neben den Amerikanern stehen wenn sie Kinder und Frauen töten, und danach wollen sie in Frieden und Sicherheit leben?

Wie könnt ihr euch vorstellen, dass ihr euch in den Sachen der Muslimen einmischt, besonders in Nord- und Westafrika, ihre Offiziere gegen uns unterstützt, und viel aus unseren Reichtum nimmt in verdächtigen Geschäften, während unser Volk unter Armut und Elend leidet?

Wenn ihr zu Unrecht denkt, dass es euer Recht ist, freien muslimischen Frauen das Tragen des Gesichtsschleiers zu verbieten, ist es dann nicht auch unser Recht, eure eindringenden Männer rauszuwerfen und ihnen die Kehle durchzuschneiden? Natürlich tun wir das.

Die Gleichung ist einfach: Wenn ihr tötet, werdet auch ihr getötet werden; wenn ihr Geiseln nimmt, werdet ihr selbst als Geisel genommen, wenn ihr unsere Sicherheit bedroht, werden wir eure Sicherheit zerstören; die Schuld lastet auf den, der anfingt.

Das einzige Mittel, eure Sicherheit zu bewahren, ist all das Unrecht und seine Wirkungen auf unseren Volk zu stoppen und am wichtigsten, eure Kräfte aus den bösen Krieg von Bush in Afghanistan zurückzuziehen. Es ist Zeit, dass die sogenannte direkte und indirekte Kolonisation beendet wird.

Ihr solltet Konsekvenzen daraus ziehen, wie tief Amerika gefallen ist wegen diesen unrechten Krieg, es ist am Rande der Kollaps an allen wichtigen Fronten und wird bald an die andere Seite der Atlantik zurückfallen, wenn Allah es so will.

Glücklich ist, wer von den Fehler von anderen lernt, und Frieden sei mit denen, die den Rechtleitung folgen.

UPDATE 3: Check out Andrew Lebovich’s thoughts on why UBL was targeting France.

UPDATE 2: Here is the English translation:

English translation of audio message from Usāmah Bin Lāden- “A Letter for the People of France”

UPDATE: Check out Leah Farrall’s take on the UBL audio.

NOTE: The main highlights of this video include Usāmah Bin Lāden discussing France’s ḥijāb ban that he states should be cancelled. In addition, the hostage taking by al-Qā’idah in the Islamic Maghreb in Niger is a justifiable act due to France’s transgressions and support for the American-led Afghan war, which he says they should withdraw from. Most importantly, Bin Lāden affirms, France should stop interfering in Muslim-related issues or affairs.

Nothing of significance here, just typical rhetoric. Previously, Dr. Ayman aẓ-Ẓawāhirī also discussed the issue of the ḥijāb on July 27, 2010 in a video statement eulogizing the death of Shaykh Muṣṭafā Abū al-Yazīd who was killed in a U.S. drone strike on May 21, 2010. He stated:

What France is waging … must push us to tightly hold onto our truthful faith to counter their deviational doctrines. We must call our daughters and sisters and mothers to wear ḥijāb and to support them and defend them. As every ḥijāb-wearing and niqāb-wearing female Muslim, who defends her ḥijāb, is a mujahid who defends the rulings of Sharia against the Crusade, secular, Western invasion.

Other than that, the only thing one can take away from this video is that As-Saḥāb Media is in a fairly safe area and has not been disrupted by the droning campaign since As-Saḥāb has released many videos in the past month.

Arabic language forum ash-Shamūkh al-Islāmīyyah announced the creation of the Shamūkh College of Islamic Sciences

UPDATE: See Farrall’s clarification below in the comments regarding the nature of this endeavor in comparison to past efforts.

NOTE: Though this is not the first time a forum has created an online college, according to Leah Farrall, I thought it would be worthwhile to mention this. Here is a paraphrased translation of the nine conditions and regulations for joining the college:

  1. The language of instruction is only in Arabic.
  2. The study period is over a two years and divided into four semesters.
  3. Each semester will last five months with thirty lectures per semester.
  4. A specialty teacher will conduct a class every five days and it is incumbent on the student to be prepared and ready for each lesson and not to be absent without telling the college’s management.
  5. A student that does not participate in class or raise any questions is considered absent.
  6. Any student that does not attend a lecture three times or more without having permission from the college will be terminated from the program.
  7. Students are evaluated based on participation and interaction in the class.
  8. One can enroll up until October 31, 2010.
  9. The first day of class will begin November 2, 2010.

The same post also stated that one should let the administrators know if they were interested in attending by responding in the same thread or contacting the Office of Student Affairs. In another thread, the Office of Student Affairs is allowing interested individuals to ask questions about the program through the enrollment date mentioned above.

Below is the statement announcing the establishment of Shamūkh College of Islamic Sciences.

Thoughts and Analysis on Gadahn’s new video

“The young often realize the truth before the old and that laymen often recognize the truth ahead of the scholars.” – Adam Gadahn

For the second time in three weeks, Adam Gadahn has released a video message, this one titled “The Arabs And Muslims: between the Conferences of Desertion .. and the individual Duty of Jihād.” In it he uses the Mardin Conference, which was held this past March as a springboard to discuss the importance of jihād as being an individual duty (farḍ al-‘ayn) upon Muslims. I would like to highlight a few points:

From the Ashes of Iraq

Gadahn first directs his attention toward Arabs. Gadahn is trying to refocus Arabs and show them what is at stake: “Return once again to the call … and finish what you started.” Further, he argues that the possibility of mistakes and transgressions by the mujāhidīn is not an excuse to abandon the individual obligation of jihād: “A mistake isn’t treated by an even bigger mistake.” He affirms that these mistakes are not even close to the level of the transgression of the Crusaders and its proxies. This further reiterates the idea that following Abū Muṣ’ab al-Zarqāwī’s bloodlust in Iraq most Arabs were completely revulsed by AQ and they are still digging their way out of that mess.

‘Awlakī and “Lone-Wolfism”

Footage of Anwar al-‘Awlakī from a previous AQAP video release appears interspersed with Gadahn’s message. This could suggest that AQSL believes ‘Awlakī has become an asset to their cause. If this is the case, then one has to only look at ourselves, specifically the mainstream media and non-expert pundits who have hyped him up to the point where he could be seen by AQSL as an important tactical tool in their arsenal. It is a sad state of affairs that a guy who was mid-level AQAP at best has in only eleven months become so much more than his actual worth or standing in the wider AQ movement. One should look to J.M. Berger’s take on ‘Awlakī’s appearance in the video, which is a valid counterpoint to my above statement.

Gadahn also endorses the “lone-wolf” model that ‘Awlakī and his American pal Samīr Khān, the creator of Inspire Magazine, have called for recently, which was originally postulated by Abū Muṣ’ab al-Sūrī. Gadahn stated: “Don’t wait for some else, to do what you can do yourself.” To embolden potential recruits further, Gadahn continued:  “Here you are in the battlefield.” Gadahn also provided examples of who “lone-wolf’s” should take as an example: Muḥammad Aṭā (9/11), Ṣidīque Khān (7/7), Muḥammad Būyīrī (Theo Van Gogh), Niḍāl Ḥassān (Fort Hood), ‘Umar Fārūq ‘Abd al-Muṭallib (Christmas Day), and Faiṣal Shahzād (Times Square).

Veiled Snipe at Recanters

Toward the end of Gadahn’s statement he directs a message to those who have recanted. He does not directly say anyone or a particular group, but one could infer he was speaking to Sayyid ‘Imām ash-Sharīf (Dr. Fadl), the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), or others. He argues that the movement still is in need of their expertise and efforts. He tries to remind them of the good old days by articulating that those involved now are the sons of the second and new generation, which are indebted to their previous efforts. Gadahn concludes: “Finish what you started, and aid your religion and ummah.”

Mardin and Ibn Taymīyyah

Fundamentally, the thing that should be taken away from this video is that the Mardin conference is a thorn in the side of AQ since it delegitimizes the foundation of much their theoretical work and raison d’être. This is the epitomy of the so-called “war of ideas.” Since AQSL is taking this message on they most likely feel threatened by its message and clarification of Taqī ad-Dīn Ibn Taymīyyah’s fatwā (legal opinion/decree) at Mardin (see first conclusions 1-7 here).

As is highlighted by the quote at the top of this analysis, Gadahn and AQ are in an uphill battle since they do not have classically trained religious and scholarly credentials. Gadahn also undermines his argument when he discusses the importance of Ibn Taymīyyah to the AQ movement. He states that those who are carrying out the obligation of jihād are not relying or following Ibn Taymīyyah in the first place in issues of jihād or other things. Instead, they have their own fiqh (jurisprudence), ‘ulamā’ (religious scholars), and books, which they abide by far away from the Ḥanbalī legal school (there are four Sunnī legal schools). For example, Gadahn says the commanders and scholars of the Ṭālibān in AfPak are from the Ḥanafī legal school and would therefore not take their ideas from Ibn Taymīyyah. That is a slight of hand, though. To those who have no background in the madhhab’s (legal schools) then one might take Gadahn’s statement at face value. As the well respected Islamic scholar Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hakīm Murād explained:

It was at that time [circa 11th century], too, that the attitude of toleration and good opinion between the Schools became universally accepted. This was formulated by Imām al-Ghazālī, himself the author of four textbooks of Shāfi‘ī fiqh, and also of Al-Mustasfa, widely acclaimed as the most advanced and careful of all works on uṣūl,uṣūl al-fiqh fīl madhhab. With his well-known concern for sincerity, and his dislike of ostentatious scholarly rivalry, he strongly condemned what he falled ‘fanatical attachment to a madhhab’. While it was necessary for the Muslim to follow a recognised madhhab in order to avert the lethal danger of misinterpreting the sources, he must never fall into the trap of considering his own school categorically superior to the others. With a few insignificant exceptions in the late Ottoman period, the great scholars of Sunnī Islam have followed the ethos outlined by Imām al-Ghazālī, and have been conspicuously respectful of each others madhhab. Anyone who has studied under traditional ‘ulamā’ will be well-aware of this fact.

As such, Gadahn is either way out of his league or he does not recognize this precedent since he articulated that AQ has in effect their own legal school above. From this, one can see that the Mardin Conference caused Gadahn to enumerate apologética for his and AQ’s understanding of Islām. The question is who is winning this battle of ideas, the classically trained ‘ulamā’ or the global jihadist ‘ulamā’? I will have more to say about this at a later date.

As-Saḥāb Media presents a new video message from Adam Gadahn: “The Arabs And Muslims: between the Conferences of Desertion .. and the individual Duty of Jihād”

UPDATE: Here are my thoughts on the Gadahn video.

NOTE: I will cover the video more tomorrow and provide some analysis, but for now see the video below.

Articles of the Week – 10/16-10/22

Sunday October 17:

Top “Ten” Jihadi Forums 17 October 2010 – Aaron Weisburd, Internet Haganah:

Review of Contemporary Arab Thought: Cultural Critique In Comparative Perspective – Yoav Di-Capua, Current Intelligence:

Monday October 18:

Radicalisation on British University Campuses: a case study – Quilliam Foundation:

Saudi Disinformation? – Gregory D. Johnsen, Waq al-Waq:

Umarov Again Lambastes Dissident Field Commanders – Liz Full, The Caucasus Report:

Tuesday October 19:

Writings of Saeed Obeid al-Jamhi: A Fresh Yemeni Attack on al-Qaida Ideology – Youssef Aboul-Enein, Small Wars Journal:

Prominent European Islamic Terrorist Renounces Extremism – Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, The Atlantic:

Why U.S. Can’t Find Osama Bin Laden – Peter Bergen, CNN:

Thursday October 21:

Somalia: The Ethiopian Factor – Mogadishu Man Blog:

Nigerian Authorities Escalate Fight with Boko Haram – Alex Thurston, Sahel Blog:

AQAP’s Former Foreign Fighters – Clint Watts, Selected Wisdom:

Somalia: The Ethiopian Factor II – Mogadishu Man Blog:

The New Ideologues of the North Caucasus Jihadists – Murad Batal al-Shishani, Terrorism Monitor:

Analysis: Anwar Awlaki’s message to Inspire readers – Thomas Joscelyn, The Long War Journal:

Friday October 22:

Demilitarizing Jihad – J.M. Berger, Veterans Vision:

Intelligence is Cramping al Qaeda’s Style – Mark Stout, Spy Blog:

Somalia: The Ethiopian Factor III – Mogadishu Man Blog:

Is It Islamic or Islamist?: The West’s confusion spells trouble – Hayri Abaza & Soner Cagaptay, Newsweek:

Abū Muṣ’ab al-Sūrī and the Invasion of Afghanistan

I have been reading the abridged version of Abū Muṣ’ab al-Sūrī’s book The Global Islamic Resistance Call (Da’wat al-Muqāwamah al-Islāmīyyah al-’Alāmīyyah) edited by Jim Lacey and came across an interesting passage when discussing the history of the Tunisian jihadist movement:

They did not have much interest in the battle of the Taliban and the Muslim principality, and they were hesitant to get involved with the Taliban government or to consider it a religious legal leader in Afghanistan … They were also not convinced of the attempts bin Laden and al Qaida were making, nor of the latter’s military unidirectional penchant. Indeed, this was the case with the majority of the organizations and the Arab groups in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, despite all of these facts, when the American attacks occurred, every one of them got involved in that battle.

This reminded me of a recent tweet from Leah Farrall:

I wonder when, if ever, we’ll start talking about how we made AQ’s day, with Afghanistan, then Iraq.

I’m not sure whether Farrall is referencing al-Sūrī’s observation that the American invasion brought together a bunch of disparate nationalist-jihadist movements into al-Qā’idah’s global jihadist mold or that it led the United States into an economically bloodletting war. Either way, it raises an interesting question that has not been discussed much: what role the invasion of Afghanistan had on bringing many of the nationalist-jihadist groups — that were solely training in Afghanistan during the Ṭālibān’s rule to overthrow their own local regimes — over to al-Qā’idah’s side.

Addendum: It should be noted that I am not necessarily saying that we should not have invaded Afghanistan, rather it is just something to think about.

New statement from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan: “Regarding The Latest Organized Enemy Propaganda”

NOTE: This message is from the Afghan Ṭālibān and unedited below.

Zul Qadah 12, 1431 A.H, Thursday, October 21, 2010

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

The NATO forces in Afghanistan, in collaboration with their Afghan puppets and western media outlets under the leadership of U.S have been trying by diplomatic maneuver and organized propaganda to make it appear as though Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate were ready for negotiations and that they have made progress in this regard.

Although the Islamic Emirate has previously issued a number statements regarding this subject, in which it clearly rejects such false claims and calls it a failed last ditch effort by the enemy but the impudent enemy persistently keeps putting forward such mind boggling lies through its propaganda channels and through the bought out leaders of the so called Peace Council without presenting any kind of credible proof whatsoever.

Once again, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan wants to remind the world and its countrymen its stance on the issue. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan refutes outright these false claims neither has it sent any delegations for talks and neither does it intend to negotiate at a time when the country is under occupation.

In this regard, we must say to Burhanuddin Rabbani and the other degraded faces not to revive old enmities by promoting these false allegations nor should they run the propaganda campaigns to please America. As Afghans, they should not aid General Petreaus’s strategy (bullets and negotiations) developed by the Pentagon because the General wants to have this strategy worked through your hands in such a wicked way that Afghanistan may permanently become a colony of America.

From our point of view, another reason for this intense fabricated propaganda by Karzai and General Petreaus is also likely to win the confidence of the people by making it seem as if Kabul administration (the crooked and corrupt regime) could bring forth a solution to the problems of Afghanistan.

The Islamic Emirate irrefutably believes that in the presence of foreign invaders, peace talks and any kinds of negotiation deals will be futile as they will not yield a positive outcome for the Momin people and nation. For this reason, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan once again calls on the invaders to stop wasting their time on failed propaganda and military campaigns instead leave Afghanistan so it can enjoy a few years in peace and independence.

Insisting on continuing your crimes may get you noting but lose political and economical credibility in the eyes of the world which is likely to end up bringing about far more fatal casualties on your part.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Anṣār al-Mujāhidīn Arabic Forum adds a section for Women


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
تَمَّ بِحَمدِ الله تبارك وتعالى افتتاح قسم خاص بالنساءِ أسميناه

قسم المرأة المسلمة
قِسمٌ خَاصٌ بالأنصاريات لا يَطَّلِعُ عَلَيهِ غَيرهنَّ

وسيكون هذا القسم خاص بالنساء لا يدخل ولا يَطَّلِع عليه غيرهنَّ

ونرجو من الأنصاريات التفاعل في هذا القسم , ووضع كل ما هو جيد ونافع ومفيد للمرأة المسلمة

ولنتعاون على البر والتقوى

نسال الله أن يحفظ أخواتنا من كل سوء
وأن ينصر بنا وبهنَّ الملة والدين

امين والحمد لله رب العالمين.

شبكة أنصار المجاهدين

اللهم اجعلنا خير أنصار لخير مجاهدين


New statement from Jaysh al-Ummah: “Appeal for HAMAS to free Shaykh Abū Ḥafṣ al-Maqdisī”

NOTE: The below statement is a call to HAMAS by Jaysh al-Ummah (Army of the Ummah), a Palestinian global jihadist group based in the Gaza Strip that sympathizes with the al-Qā’idah worldview, to release their Amir (leader) Shaykh Abū Ḥafṣ al-Maqdisī due to his declining health. According to Jaysh al-Ummah, al-Maqdisī called for a doctor in his cell, but his plea was unheeded.


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله عظيم الشأن قوي البرهان قديم السلطان والصلاة والسلام على سيد الأنام وخير عباد الرحمن، ثم أما بعد :

مجاهدي السلفية فى العالم الاسلامي مشايخنا وعلمائنا نناشدكم بالتحرك الفوري والضغط علي حكومة حماس فى غزة للافراج الفوري عن الشيخ المجاهد ابو حفص المقدسي امير جيش الامة فى بيت المقدس وذلك بعد تردي وضعه الصحي الي حالة سيئة جدا ……

حيث تصلنا الاخبار ان الشيخ يناشدهم من داخل زنزانته باستدعاء طبيب له ولا احد يجيب ندائه ….

حسبي الله ونعم الوكيل ……………………

منقول عن منتديات بيت المقدس الجهادية


The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan releases Issue 53 of al-Somūd Magazine

al-Somūd Magazine Number 53