Sunday, September 26, 2010

Last week's news

Just a post about what happened last week or so and nobody seems to have to say something about:

1. Audio release by Harakah al-Shabâb al Mujâhidîn (unofficial) - Somalia

The Shabâb are a hardcore islamist faction fighting in the civil war in Somalia since at least 2005. They are linked to AQ and control most of southern Somalia. You may have heard about them after the World Cup final as they bombed football fans in Uganda.

On Sunday 19th a new audio release was posted on the Ansâr (arabic) forum, one of the "official" internet forums that are used to publish AQ's and their allies statements. Last Sunday's audio ('Aid khutbah by Muhammad M'alin 'Ali Nahr) was released unofficially though. That means the content is official (Shabâb AQ ally), released on the official place (Ansar) BUT not released officially (Shabâb via al Fajr or the GIMF). Instead the release was done by the Ansar forum with a helping hand from al Qimmah (a predominantly Somali forum). How does this work?

Somewhere in Somalia the Shabâb guy makes his speech in front of the worshippers on 'Aid. Obviously there are Shabâb supporters present. They tape what Muhammad M'alin had to say, edit it slightly upload and release it. So as you see this is not magic. People can do it in their home office. And while the "official" releases are quite often more than just an audio it is still not as professional as the media says it is. I mean I have seen students at school making films as school projects that are equally "professional".

Okay as for the audio, it is the usual stuff. 29 minutes and 15 seconds of jihâd now. The speaker even quotes late Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqâwi (AQI) at one point. The speech switches from Arabic to Somali about halfway. I think the Somali is just a translation but as I don't speak Somali there is no way to tell.

'Aid sermon in Mogadishu 2009
It is possible that the guy speaking is the same who is seen in the Shabâb release from November 2009 showing 'Aid prayers in Mogadishu.. The same Zarqâwi quote is used.  

The release information:

شبكة أنصار المجاهدين

بالتنسيق مع

شبكة القمة الإسلامية

:: تقدم ::

::: خطبة عيد الفطر 1431 هـ :::
للشيخ المجاهد / محمد معلن علي نحر ثبته الله

Why do I consider this of some importance? 

It is as far as I know the first instance of an unofficial release linked to Shabâb made by an Arabic forum.

2. The video of Ebu Zer (unofficial) - Afghanistan

Ebu Zer is Turk who fought in the Second Chechen War until 2007. He joined the group Ta´ifah al Mansûrah that consists of Turks and Muslims from the former Soviet Union. He was said to have been arrested in January. Turkish jihâdi websites advertised a new video featuring an attack on US forces in Afghanistan carried out under command of Ebu Zer. It was said that the video was recent (August 22nd, 2010). If the video is indeed recent he obviously wasn't arrested in Turkey. 

The video has until now not been released officially but is floating around for some weeks now (in poor quality). Its duration is 8 minutes and 30 seconds and it does indeed shows Ebu Zer and other Turks shooting rockets. The video says the target is a US base in Kunar/Afghanistan.

Ebu Zer, a jihâdi from Turkey, preparing a rocket launcher in Afghanistan, shown in a recent though unofficial video.

The advertisement:

Afganistanda bulunan komutan Ebu Zer ve beraberindeki mücahidler dün bir operasyon gerçekleştirdiler. Operasyonun videosu kayda alındı. Videoyu siz okuyucularımızla paylaşacağız.
15 yıl boyunca Çeçenistan dağlarında emrindeki birliklere komuta eden ve daha sonra Türkiyedeki temsilcilerle girdiği polemik nedeniyle rotasını Afganistan dağlarına çeviren Komutan Ebu Zer ve beraberindeki Türkiyeli mücahidlerin gerçekleştirdiği operasyon sitemizden yayına girecekdir. Aldığımız bilgilere göre kardeşlerimiz düşmana önemli ölçüde zayiat verdirdiler.

Why do I think is this important?

That guy is the one and only well known Turk jihâdi in a commanding position outside of Chechnya. He is pure gold for propaganda aimed at Turkish Muslims. 

3. 'Awlaqi photos (unofficial) - Yemen

A set of photos showing Anwar al 'Awlaqi was posted to the usual forums today (September 26th). 'Awlaqi is an American-Arab living in Yemen nowadays being on the run from the CIA and their drones. He is one of those "dead or alive" guys. He is linked to the local AQ group and about any attack on the "US homeland". He is not a bomb expert but a preacher - a well known and influential one in English speaking Muslim societies. The poster says a new sermon by 'Awlaqi is coming soon. Let's see.

On a side note: The pictures don't show the local AQ media group (al Malâhim) logo. While everyone and his cat say that 'Awlaqi is AQAP (AQ on the Arabian Peninsular, means Yemen and Saudi-Arabia) I feel we haven't seen proof yet. I mean he definitely talks like them and even with them (al Malâhim interview with 'Awlaqi) but as of now he looks more like an independent "scholar" or "hate preacher", kind of like the recently arrested Abu Muhammad al Maqdissi.

Preacher Anwar al 'Awlaqi on a recently released photo

Why am I interested in this?

Just google 'Awlaqi, Awlaqi or Awlaki. You will understand.

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