October 24, 2014

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...]

Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada- threats to Saudi Arabia: translation and analysis

Dhi Qar Media Office: "The Islamic Resistance: Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada'". Dhi Qar is a southern province in Iraq, predominantly Shi'a in population, and serving as a recruitment base for the group. Note the banner featuring Ayatollah Khamenei (Supreme Leader of Iran), indicating Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada's ideological alignment.

Intro and Analysis Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada is an Iranian proxy Iraqi Shi'a militia that first emerged as a participant in the Syrian civil war, fighting against the rebels as part of the 'shrine defence' [Sayyida Zainab] narrative. With the renewal of the Sunni Arab insurgency spearheaded by the Islamic State in Iraq this year, the group has also been participating in fighting alongside the government's regular armed forces and other Shi'a militias against the insurgents. Logo of … [Read more...]

Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian peninsula statement: solidarity with the Islamic State


Intro and Analysis The latest statement from al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP, h/t to Charlie Winter for drawing it to my attention) denounces the coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State [IS] and reiterates its call for an end to infighting among the jihadis in the Iraq-Syria arena. I take this opportunity to emphasize that this statement does not mean a true reconciliation between AQAP and IS, let alone between al-Qa'ida as a whole and IS: as I have outlined before, IS' … [Read more...]

Interview with Sayyid Hashim Muhammad Ali: commander of the National Ideological Resistance in Syria

Sayyid Hashim Muhammad Ali, who is based in Tartous.

Following on from my previous post here at Syria Comment on the National Ideological Resistance in Syria (a 'Syrian Hezbollah' militia brand primarily based in Tartous and Hama governorates but also operating militarily at least in Aleppo province as well), below is an interview I recently conducted with the group's leader: Sayyid Hashim Muhammad Ali. Sayyid Hashim Muhammad Ali, who is based in Tartous. Some things to note in particular about this interview: 1. 'Syrian Hezbollah' … [Read more...]

“I am not content with a life of humiliation”- Nasheed from the Islamic State’s Ajnad Media


Below is a translation by me of this song released early this year by the Islamic State's music media wing Ajnad Media (NB: revised slightly since first published): "A life of humiliation no, I am not content with it. But love of death in glory is an aspiration. For no, by God, I do not fear the fate of death. For the slave has no place in the material world. And indeed death is in the path of Jihad, Verily God's favour is bestowed on whomsoever He wills. Oh path of jihad, … [Read more...]

MERIA Special Report: Did ISIS Use Chemical Weapons Against the Kurds in Kobani?


*** WARNING:  This post contains images which some readers may find disturbing.  Caution is advised.  Please scroll down to view these images. The fate of Kobani city now hangs in the balance, as around 9000 fighters of the Islamic State organization close in on the Kurdish held area.  The current IS assault on the Kobani enclave was not the first attempt by the jihadis to destroy the Kurdish-controlled area.  The Kobani enclave, most of which is now in the hands of the IS, at one … [Read more...]

The National Ideological Resistance in Syria: A ‘Syrian Hezbollah’ Brand

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Hezbollah's participation in the Syrian civil war in support of the Assad regime is well-known, most notably in the captures of Qusayr in Homs province in May 2013 and Yabroud in Damascus province in March 2014. Considerably less attention has been given though to the emergence of native brands, which, if not actually set up by Hezbollah, are nonetheless identical in ideology and messaging. "The National Ideological Resistance in Syria" (NIR. Arabic: al-muqawama al-wataniya al-'aqa'idiya fi … [Read more...]

Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen: Support for the Islamic State


Intro and Analysis The Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen [more fully, Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen in the Environs of Bayt al-Maqdis], a Gaza-Sinai jihadi group and opponent of the Hamas government in Gaza, had previously come out in support of the Islamic State's [IS] predecessor ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and ash-Sham) in February of this year, defending ISIS' supposed right to 'self-defence' in the face of fighting with rebel groups in Syria. This reflected a wider trend ofsympathy for ISIS in … [Read more...]