November 1, 2014

The GLORIA Center needs your help to continue its ground-breaking Middle East reporting


The Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center needs your help to continue its ground-breaking Middle East reporting.Last week, MERIA Journal's exclusive Special Report Did ISIS Use Chemical Weapons Against the Kurds in Kobani?, by new GLORIA Center Director Jonathan Spyer, caught the world’s attention with its shocking unprecedented photos of Kurds killed by apparent Islamic State (ISIS) use of chemical weapons in northern Syria. The story has been reprinted and/or cited in … [Read more...]

Jaysh al-Mujahideen Iraq: Condemnation of the Islamic State: translation and analysis

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Intro and Analysis This document put out by the Shari'a Committee of Jaysh al-Mujahideen- a Salafi nationalist group aiming to overthrow the central government in Iraq and anti-Shi'a in outlook- is to be noted for the following: 1. The context of this lengthy condemnation of what is now the Islamic State was Abu Muhammad al-Adnani's speech for what was then ISIS [the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham; now just the Islamic State or IS] as infighting had broken out at the start of … [Read more...]

IS and the incoherence of Western policy

U.S. Flying Surveillance Missions Over Syria for Possible Airstrike.

Fathom Journal, October 2014 Western bombing of targets in the area controlled by the Islamic State (IS) organisation has commenced. US and allied planes have struck at both military and infrastructural targets in the area controlled by the IS and have had an impact. There are two main problems for Western policy-makers; the first tactical, the second strategic. The first problem is that the West has no ground assets in Syria capable of destroying the IS, but the West also hopes to avoid … [Read more...]

Naqshbandi Army Statement- 22 October: Translation

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Statement by Jaysh Rijal al-Tariqa al-Naqshbandia [JRTN] official spokesman denying what was put out in a statement by a new unknown front. 22 October 2014. Oh dignified people of Iraq, Oh sons of our Arab Islamic Ummah, A statement was put out on Internet sites towards the end of Dhu Hijjah 1435 AH, corresponding to 18 Tishreen al-Awal [October] 2014 put out in the name of a new unknown front, and in this regard we affirm the following: 1. We resolutely deny our joining this … [Read more...]

Jabhat Ansar al-Din: Analysis and Interview

JMWA da'wah efforts for children reportedly in north Aleppo countryside.

  Logo of Jabhat Ansar al-Din Jabhat Ansar al-Din [Supporters/Partisans of the Religion Front] is a coalition of four groups originally set up in July of this year, comprising Harakat Sham al-Islam, Jaysh al-Muhajireen wa al-Ansar, The Green Battalion and Harakat Fajr al-Sham al-Islamiya. Of these groups, Harakat Sham al-Islam was set up by Moroccan ex-Gitmo detainee Ibrahim bin Shakaran, who died in the Latakia offensive this spring. Jaysh al-Muhajireen wa al-Ansar (JMWA)- under … [Read more...]

Iraq Insurgent Profiles: Jamaat Ansar al-Sunna


Logo of Jamaat Ansar al-Sunna Over the years, there has been a good deal of confusion over the use of the name 'Ansar al-Sunna' when it comes to Iraq's Sunni insurgency, both in local and international media. When the name is used, the implied reference is normally to Jamaat Ansar al-Islam, which is the latest incarnation of the al-Qa'ida-linked Ansar al-Islam of Iraqi Kurdistan that was largely destroyed after the U.S. invasion but regrouped as 'Ansar al-Sunna' as a participant in the Sunni … [Read more...]

The White Shroud: A Syrian resistance Movement to the Islamic State


Logo of "The White Shroud" I have previously written on Sunni groups created within Iraq to fight against the Islamic State [IS], but what about in Syria? Some attention has been devoted to the group "Al-Kafn Al-Abyad" (The White Shroud), but on social media I have seen some controversy as to the nature of The White Shroud. For example, people ask: is it Jabhat al-Nusra, or 'FSA'? To answer this question, one needs to bear in mind that The White Shroud is an anti-IS outfit originally set … [Read more...]

Grand Mufti “a willing partner to join their crusade”: Jewish Book Council reviews Nazis, Islamists

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem with Bosnian volunteers of the Waffen-SS.

From a recent review on the Jewish Book Council website by historian Jack Fischel: The historical link between Nazi anti-Semitism, leading to the Holocaust, and the Islamic fundamentalist anti-Jewish-anti-Israel threat to the Jewish state is the subject of this important book. The late Barry Rubin and Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, both Middle East scholars, have uncovered documentation that reveals that the use of jihad as a political weapon was first used during World War I, when advisors to Kaiser … [Read more...]

The men of the al-Qadisiya army: a made-up social media insurgent group


Logo of the Men of the al-Qadisiya Army On this site and elsewhere, I have profiled numerous Iraqi Sunni insurgent brands through use of social media. At the same time, it should go without saying that one has to be careful when using material from social media as a source of information: problems we encounter as analysts of the insurgency include groups appropriating credit from others for certain operations, claimed operations that never happened, and even groups that do not actually exist. … [Read more...]

The Shia-Sunni war reaches Lebanon

Flag of Hezbollah in Baalbek, 2010

Jerusalem Post, 17/10 Hezbollah is under pressure as the consequences of its ongoing intervention in Syria have come back to bite the terrorist organization. There are increasing indications that the sectarian war raging in Iraq and Syria is now moving irrevocably into Lebanon. The Shi’ite group is currently seeking to shore up its legitimacy by reminding its constituents, and other Lebanese citizens, of the role that gains it the most domestic sympathy – resistance against Israel. … [Read more...]