Thursday, October 28, 2010

The German martyrs and the Turkish groups

Sometime this month (about October 14th or 15th) a new video was posted to Turkish jihâdi websites. The video is 06:54 minutes in length and shows operational footage by the "Deutsche Tâlibân Mujâhidîn" (German Tâlibân) as well as the burial of four (or three?) of their fighters, namely 'Abd al Ghafâr al Almânî (Eric B.) Salahudîn al-Turkî (Ahmad M.), Abû 'Abdullah al Almânî (Danny R.? - at least "Der Spiegel" says so) and Hizbullah al Uzbekî. I am not sure whether the last one belonged to their group.

Who are the "Deutsche Tâlibân Mujâhidîn"?

Sometime in 2006 and 2007 the first wave of young German Muslims (most of them converts) went to Pakistan in order to get trained to fight and help the Talibân in their war. Most if not all of them joined the "Islami Cihad Ittehad" (Islamic Jihad Union, also known as Islamic Jihad Group, IJU, IJG), a group that had splintered of the original Uzbek group "Islami Harakat Uzbekistan" (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, IMU) some time after 2001 (I have heard everything from 2001 to 2005 so no real idea when and why it happened).

This first group of Germans gained fame as some of them returned to Germany and tried to bomb US Army barracks in Germany. They are known as the "Sauerland Cell". Another German from the same "generation" became a suicide bomber in Afghânistân in a joint attack by the Tâlibân/Haqqâni faction and the IJU).

Suicide Bomber Cuneyt C. Sa'ad Abû Furqân in a IJU production (notice their media emblem on the right) - 2008

So to speak Eric B. was at one point the last German member of the IJU. In 2009 (?) he got permission from the IJU Amîr to form a new group with other new German recruits. The German Taliban were born. We have to see this group as just a handful of guys - I'd say about 20 who are just well known because most of them were German converts and thereby something new. We have not yet seen something similar for other non-Muslim majority countries.


Another thing that made these guys interesting is/was (?) "Elif Medya", a media organisation that cooperated and released footage for various groups among them the IJU (while the IJU got their own media group "Badr al-Tawhîd"), the Azeri/Turkish group Ta'ifah al Mansûrah (Taifatu'l Mansura), the Punjabi faction of the TTP and obviously the German Tâlibân. I am pretty sure that "Elif Medya" was active long before the German Taliban were founded. Salahudîn al-Turkî (Ahmad M.) was the one in charge of this media group.


An Elif Medya release (emblem on the right top) showing fighters from the TTP Punjâb - 2009


Now back to the video. The video is meant as a martyrdom video for the before mentioned. All of them were killed in an encounter with the Pakistani Army in North Wazîristân/Pâkistân on April 30th 2010. The video is patchwork, the quality is awful. It looks as if the short statements that are given by Salahuddîn al-Turkî and Abû 'Abdallah al Almânî are raw footage. The men are repeating the same sentences as if the cameraman had asked them to repeat or reword their appeals.


Screenshot of Salahudîn al-Turkî

[...] Brethren in Germany: Allah doesn't enable anyone to kill a kâfir (non-Muslim, disbeliever). It is a great favour from Allah to kill a kâfir. Therefore I call my dear brothers in Germany to come to us, to Afghânistân to fight with us against the kuffâr. (Salahuddîn al-Turkî)


While al-Turkî sits around 'Abu Abdullah is shown as a fighter on the ground:

Screenshot showing Abû 'Abdullah al Almânî

Dear brethren in Germany. Look how we shoot these BM rockets at the kuffâr. The kuffar shoot as if they were blind. They don't know where we are. Allah blinds them. May Allah destroy them and annihilate them [...] We are going to execute an operation with BM rockets here in the area of Murgha (no idea how to spell it but I think it is in Baluchistân/Pâkistân). There are the servants of the kuffâr. If Allah wills he shall destroy the kuffâr and give victory to the mujâhidîn (Muslim fighters). Brothers Germany please continue to support us in our jihâd so that we can fight the kuffâr so that they leave our lands and our lands are governed by shar'îah (Islamic law). (Abû 'Abdullah al Almânî)

Words are followed by actions and a number of BM rockets are shot. Then the video switches to the burial scenes. All four men are once again identified by name and are shown in their burial shrouds before they are actually buried. I think that one background voice talks about misk (musk), the smell of musk is seen as a sign of martyrdom in Islâm.

For further reading on this video see here and here.

----

Now, what to make out of this video?

Well, we can be sure that the media network around the German Tâlibân and the small Turkish groups is heavily damaged. A martyrdom video was announced to be released merely days or weeks after the actual engagement. It took nearly half a year to produce a video that doesn't even show the most famous face of this group, namely Eric B. speaking or giving his martyrdom address. The other orations aren't martyrdom speeches either. There is no storytelling in this video and on top of all that the video quality is awful. On the one hand the death of their media director may have been a hard hit but on the other hand the increased drone strikes in Wazîristân take a heavy toll on all media groups operating in the region.

On a second note there is happening something with the Turks in AfPak. Contrary to this article there is a multitude of groups with Turkish membership there. There is the Ta'ifah al Mansûrah, the Jaishullah (Ceyşullah), the IJU, Jamâ'ah Bulghâr, and numerous Turks that are directly aligned to non Turkish groups like the Tâlibân or AQ as well as Turks who are not known to operate for a certain group, like the most famous Turk in AfPak, Abû Dhar (Ebu Zer see point 2).

The recent video was released by a new Turkish online group (jihadmedia) that is linked to two new Turkish groups, namely the Jamâ'ah al Islâm (Cemaatul Islam) and the Türk İslam Kurtuluş Cephesi' (TIKC, Turkish Islamic Salvation Front). Unfortunately I don't speak Turkish so if anyone knows someone who has an idea on the Turks please tell him or her to enlighten me about these recent developments.

And while the video was released by this new media entity the statement announcing the death of the four insurgents was posted by the Ta'ifah al Mansûrah group. Basically we really don't have an idea on who is who over there unless "they" tell us. The best example for this mess is the fourth killed insurgent Hizbullah al Uzbekî. He could belong to any of the before mentioned groups we just don't know.



Appendix: 

1. The video release information in German:

Das erste Mal bei jihadmedia.net; Äußerungen und die Beerdigungen, der im selben Kampf gefallenen Märtyrer Abdulgaffar Almani, Selahaddin Turki und anderen Brüdern. Die in der deutschen Presse mehrere Tage lang erwähnten Konvertierten Abdulgaffar Almani und Selahaddin Turki, die an der Front des Cihads gekämpft haben, sind in der Nähe von Miranshah von Marionettensoldaten verraten und in den Hinterhalt getrieben wurden. Nach einem lang anhaltendem Gefecht wurden erlangten sie den Märtyrertod. Die Aufnahmen zu der Beerdigung, werden das erste Mal über jihadmedia ausgestrahlt.


2. The original martyrdom statement in German:

die vertreter der Taifatu'l Mansura Deutschland gratulieren den am 30.04.gefallenen deutsch stämmigen Märtyrern nach dem heutmorgigen nachrichteneingang haben wir erfahren das die aus deutschland am cihad teilnehmenden ELIF MEDYA leiter  Selahaddin Türki und an seiner seite Abdulgaffar Almani märtyren gefallen sind. bei der selben ausseinander setzung sind auch unsere brüder Hizbullah und Ebu Abdullah gefallen. 
in der gegend von Miranşah-Mirali , in der nacht vom 30.04.wurde das Fahrzeug von unseren brüdern von pakistanischen ungläubigen angegriffen.selahaddin turki schaffte es in seiner verletzten weise die bombe in seiner hand platzen zu lassen und somit 4 ungläubigen Pakistanern ums leben zu bringen.nach diesem vorfall ist Selahaddin Turki gefallen .
eine weitere nachricht des Taifatu'l Mansura fürstentum ist das 8 weitere brüder aus unserer gemeinde während der angriffe in den letzten 10 tagen gefallen sind. Wir sind dabei ,diese brüder angehende ,videos zu erhalten. über die brüder die aus deutschland teilgenommen haben werden wir die angehenden videos unter alcihad.com veröffentlichen. als Taifatu'l Mansura veranttwortlicher für die deutschland region ist es angebracht mittzuteilen das in letzter zeit aus europa , vor allem aus deutschland grosse teilnahme am cihad festzustellen ist. wir hoffen geduld für alle famielenangehörigen der Märtyrern . wir wollen eindeutig festlegen; wir akzeptieren unsere märtyter nicht als verlusst sondern als gewinn. nach jedem gefallenen märtyrer öffnen sich wege für unängstliche mitglieder der islamischen jugend, diese werden die aufgaben mit stolz und willen fortsetzten.diese nachricht möchten wir allen, ob freund oder feind, mitteilen. die besetzter kuffar in afganistan sind auf dem weg zu verlieren.im gegensatz zu derren leeren versprechen kommen sie nicht vorran sondern im gegenteil, die soldaten geraten immer tiefer in derren kriese.dagegen ist die laune und die multivation der cihad angehörigen lobenswert. während die kuffar nach jedem verlorenen soldaten trauern, sind die cihad angeörigen nach jedem gefallenen bruder in der hoffung der nächste märtyrer zu sein. wir sind auf alle cihad kämpfer und auf unsere märtyrer stolz. wir bitten alle muslime für die cihad angehörigen zu beten und die hoffung auf sieg festzuhalten. der sieg ist von Allah Allahuakbar

Ebu Esila El Almani 
Afghanistan İslam Kommandatur
Taifatu'l Mansura Gemeinde

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The forgotten terrorist

As everybody knows there is an al Qâ'idah group (AQAP) in Yemen. As some know Abû Basîr Nâsir al Wuhayshî is their commander, Abû Sufyân S'aîd al-Shihrî is their vice-commander and Abû Hurayrah Qâsim al-Rîmî is their military commander.

As the media blitz goes on everybody knows that `Anwar al 'Awlaqî is with them. This is not yet proven without doubt but very likely. One may hear the media refer to him as their mufti (as in religiously knowledgeable person who makes religious rulings). Well, he isn't. Same goes for former Guantanamo inmate Ibrâhîm al-Rubaysh who also got famous in western media and some claim that he is AQAP's mufti. Well, he is neither.

The one who is the person in charge of their shar'îah comittee is named Abû Zubayr 'Adil al 'Abab. And it seems that about nobody notices that guy. The two that were mentioned before even "have his job" according to western media. I personally can't understand why. He is quite possibly the "number 4" of AQAP. I for one even think that he is rhetorically better than numbers 1,2 and 3. It's a complete mystery to me.

Recently an audio by Abû Zubayr was released and somebody noticed. As the coblogger at Jihadology rightly said: For more on [him] see the various posts by Gregory D. Johnsen of Waq al-Waq on him.

The use of `anâshîd in the new issue of AQAP's "Inspire" magazine

The international anti-terrorism community and to a lesser extent the jihâdi internet forums are abuzz with the news. Al Qâ'idah fî Jazîrah al 'Arab (AQ on the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP) has released the second issue of its English magazine "Inspire". You will read much about this the coming days. Pretty much of it will be alarmism and/or utter bulls**t. Some people will come up with a good analysis.

While I didn't plan to say something about the magazine after reading it through and after today mornings post I had to change my mind. I will post something about `anâshîd (Islamic songs without music). `Anâshîd are used as background or intro "music" in almost every video release of salafî (rigid group within Islâm, in this context AQ and company). So how is that important?

Music is an important theme in culture. Especially youth may define themselves by music and the corresponding culture. Furthermore music affects emotions and may enforce them. The music of the jihâdi culture are `anâshîd. 

Three `anâshîd are mentioned in the new magazine. The first one is "Sir
ya bin Ladin". Samîr Khân says in his article that he listened to the nashîd while on the road to join AQAP. But let him tell you this himself:

"I remember when I traveled from Sana'a, for what seemed like years, in a car to one of the bases of the mujahidin, the driver played this one nashīd repeatedly. It was ‘Sir ya bin Ladin’.     I already knew of this nashīd from before, but something had struck me at that moment. The nashīd repeated lines pertaining to fighting the tyrants of the world for the purpose of giving victory to the Islamic nation. But it also reminded the listener that Shaykh Usama bin Ladin is  the leader of this global fight. I looked out the window at the tal mud houses below the beautiful sky and closed my eyes as the wind blew through my hair. I took a deep breath to let it all out."
(Samîr Khân: I am proud to be a traitor to America, in: Inspire 2 by al Malahem, released on October 11th, 2010)

Samîr Khân is an American jihâdi blogger who was pretty famous in the international anti-terrorism community and to a lesser extent the jihâdi internet forums (he was quite known in the English ones, I mean he participated in them). If we take a peek at his old blog we find some of his words on `anâshîd:

"We all love the Arabic jihadi anasheed, but how often do we say the same of the English ones? That’s because they barely exist! So if brothers in the West can create a jihadi nasheed group (or single artists), that would be a huge step forward in the jihad media field and it’s possible that we’ll see those english anasheed being used in some of the official jihad videos."
(Samîr Khân, Shabab al-Mujahideen: Ambush at Bardal [english], in: The Ignored Puzzle Pieces of Knowledge, posted on March 31st, 2009)

Samîr Khân is believed to be the brain behind the Inspire magazine. His love for`anâshîd may explain that some are featured in "Inspire."

"This is a great classic which shows Abu ‘Ali singing some anasheed. When I saw this a few years back, it was the first time I was exposed to Jihadi Anasheed."
(Samîr Khân, Abu 'Ali singing live from Hijaz, in: The Ignored Puzzle Pieces of Knowledge, posted on March 05th, 2009)

Just for you to be in the same state of knowledge as Samîr Khân - the nashîd:

 


Let's come to the other `anâshîd that are mentioned. To be precise they aren't mentioned. They are translated to English.

Page 67, "Oh my Ummah be happy"

Page 67 of the new "Inspire" magazine




and page 71, "Please excuse me mother" - I couldn't find one with these exact lyrics.

"Please excuse me, O love of my life.
You have always been a mother of mercy.
Forgive me for the errors of my days,
And pardon me for that phase.
I know that I have wounded your heart,
Since I frequently experience the same dart.
But Paradise is calling me to conquer my fears
Thus I flew across the sea leaving you in tears…
Please excuse me, and don’t say
That I separated myself from you to play.
How is it that I separated my soul
From the one who kept me from the cold?
How is it that I make you cry,
When you are the one most precious to my soul and eye?
You are more precious than the day which my heart loves
As the thought of you gathers the most beautiful doves.
If you knew all the facts
You would certainly relax.
So lend me your compassion,
As I explain myself in succinct words of expression.
Mother, the Muslim’s humiliation is called peace,
And the heedless Rulers have put the Ummah up for a lease.
Mother, the Regimes of Sabotage have gathered on our land,
Sinking our Ummah's nobility to that of sand.
Mother, Palestine is the little child under the rubble,
And her grieving mother can only be heard in a bubble.
Mother, I can’t let this humiliation continue,
Allowing the disbelievers to rape our Nation in the holiest of venues.
The enemy will shout, yell and scream
But I will continue to let my heart beam
For I have put my worries behind my nation's,
Preparing myself to leave all of life's stations,
Even if it means that I fight and die,
Without saying goodbye.
Mother, I want to be above all of the strife,
So please excuse me, O love of my life."

The second one is quite similar to the one performed by the suicide bomber who attacked the Danish embassy in Islâmâbâd.

If you read and/or watch them think about what Samîr Khân had and has to say about `anâshîd. For further reading on `anâshîd see here, here, here and here and I suppose in many other posts on that blog too. If any one out there got a youtube link (or something like that) for the last nashid feel invited to comment.

Implications of al-Sahâb's new video

On October 7th a new video by Al-Sahâb (Al Qâ'idah's media department) was released on the usual internet forums. The video is 24 minutes and 38 seconds in length. The language is Urdu (the lingua franca of Pakistan). Its title is something like "How the dawn of blood of a hundred gives birth to thousand stars". The film shows atrocities against Muslims in Nigeria, Algeria, Bosnia, Iraq and Pakistan (mainly Swât, many Red Mosque stills).

What is interesting in this release is that it is total patchwork. About nothing in this release is originally by Al-Sahâb. The video starts of with scenes from Nigeria (Police killing Boko Haram members) that were first shown on the TV channel Al Jazeera. Al-Sahâb didn't use the al Jazeera clip though, but cut the scene from an al Andalus (Al Qâ'idah in the Islamic Maghreb's media department) release. To be precise it's out of No. 22 of their Shadows of Swords series from April of this year.

Left: Still from the recent al-Sahâb release - Right: The al Andalus release it is taken from

The film goes on with a clip of French soldiers shooting at Algerians (footage is sometime from 1950-62). Again this clip is taken from an al Andalus production (I will have to look up from which release). The Sahâb guys behind this release seem to be into al Andalus releases big time.

Screen from the recent al-Sahâb release, notice the al Andalus logo

But this is not the reason I wanted to post about this release. The next scene is a CNN clip showing US soldiers shooting at Iraqis. But guess what, it's not the original CNN clip in the release. No, it's neither from al Andalus. It is and now hold your breath from the infamous music video "Dirty Kuffar". The moment I saw this I couldn't believe it - an official al-Sahâb release using "Dirty Kuffar". Dirty Kuffar is a rap video from 2004 (?) showing some English Muslim youths rapping against the kuffâr (infidels, non-Mulims) and in favour of "OBL crew". It was hyped in the mainstream media as a first step to radicalization back in the days.

Watch it below:

So someone from Al-Sahâb is using a video that doesn't just contain music but that IS a music video (note: AQ as any salafi (rigid from of Islâm, look it up if you don't know who they are) group considers music to be harâm - islamic term meaning forbidden)? A video that contains lyrics praising HAMAS (AQ considers HAMAS as group that sold out) and even Hizbûllah (AQ doesn't think that they are Muslims as they are shi'ah - another sect read it up)? What happened to al-Sahâb?

Screen from the recent al-Sahâb release, notice the DIGIHAD logo that prooves that the clips is from the music video
 

The next scene is from Bosnia and shows executions by Serbs. I think this scene is from one of those 3 or 4 films from Bosnian mujâhidîn releases. Easy to get them I suppose.

The rest (a majority) of the film shows scenes from Pakistan, especially Swât. I want to draw attention to 3 clips. One shows a massacre by Pakistani troops against civilian clothed people. They maybe Tâlibân, maybe they aren't. This clip was unofficially released on the forums as recent as last month. The second one shows Arab fighters captured in Peshâwar, this one is also from the wide world of the forums but not the newest one (about 1 year old I'd say but I'd have to look it up). The third shows Pakistani policemen beating up bearded civilians in Swât. This clip is also from last year and was at least partly used by al-Sahâb in its release on the Khôst bomber Abû Dujânah.

The Rest of the footage is about aerial attacks in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan. I think I have seen quite some of them in releases by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

It is obvious what AQ wants to show to its viewers. The Pakistani Army/Police/Rangers/etc. consists of criminals. Nothing new here. The interesting thing is, why do they use well known video clips that are all over the internet forums of their supporters? Why is that video such a patchwork? Why almost none to none "new" or "exclusive" footage?

I can't answer this but my ideas are:

1. The Sahâb guys behind this release hang around on the internet forums and download their material from there (basically other way round than normal).
2. They are likely not linked to operational cells that could record their own video scenes.
3. They are obviously in Pakistan.

This leads to the question: Do they download all the stuff from lousy speed internet cafes in Peshâwar? Probably. Probably not. I personally would think that some guy brought his notebook with him from some western country. Let's say England. That would explain that he has "Dirty Kuffar" on his hard drive.


On a side note: They are pretty good at video editing and they are using the new al-Sahâb intro that Adam Gadahn used recently.


On a funny (as in not serious, it's just a joke) side note: There's the new intro AND they are using something about "Dawn" as release title? See "Views from the Occident" for a possible explanation.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hakîmullah Mehsûd surfaces in new video

Today morning (October 9th) a new video of TTP Amîr Hakimullah Mehsûd was posted to the usual internet forums unofficially.

The TTP (Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan) is a federation of pro-Taliban militias from South-Wazîristan up to Swat in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. The groups aim is to support the Afghan Taliban against NATO troops and to establish sharî'ah (Islamic law) in Pakistan. The group was founded in 2007 by Baytullah Mehsûd. Hakîmullah succeeded him after a drone strike that killed Baytullah in August 2009. The group gained notoriety in the West by it's participation in the CIA Khôst bombing and the Times Square plot.
The United States cosider TTP a terrorist organisation.

The new video is 1 minute and 4 seconds in length. Shown are a number of Pashtun tribesmen presumably TTP members and their Amîr Hakîmullah Mehsûd. A tribesman recites poetry in Pashtu language and Hakîmullah comments on the last verse. His comment is greeted with laughter by the audience. The video looks like it was recorded with a mobile phone. I have no idea how recent the video is but I think that it is no coincidence that it surfaced merely days after the recent (October 5th) sentencing of Faisal Shahzâd, the TTP Times Square bomber. 

See the video below: