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The new AQ magazine: Ghazwa e-Hind & more

Monday, October 20th, 2014

[ by Charles Cameron -- while one prong of the AQ jihad marches on Jerusalem, the other has its sights set on India ]
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Resurgence cover and back

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Well, you only need to get as far as page 5 in the new, 117-page magazine Resurgence from As-Sahab Media (Subcontinent) — AQ with an eye on India, in other words — to read this:

The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Allah has saved two groups of my Ummah from the Hellfire: the group that will invade Al Hind (the Subcontinent) and the group that will be with Eesa (A.S), the son of Mariam.” It is also narrated on account of Abu Hurrairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) promised us the conquest of Al Hind (the Indian Subcontinent). If I am able to join it, I will spend on it my wealth and my life. If I am killed, I will be the best of martyrs and if I return, I will be Abu Hurrairah, the freed one (i.e. from Hellfire).”

That’s the Ghazwa, folks – prong #2 of the end times jihad from Khorasan (for these purposes, roughly speaking Af-Pak), in which a second victorious army sweeps down to take the subcontinent and place its banner atop Delhi’s Red Fort, while the first sweeps westward from the same region to take Jerusalem and much else besides.

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  • Syed Zaid Zaman Hamid is not always taken seriously when he talks about it
  • Ambassador Husain Haqqani however takes it seriously
  • as does Ahrar-ul-Hind
  • The Daily Mail says British intel is on it:
    17Fir08-09.qxp

  • and now, as seen in the para at the top of this post, AQIS makes it a focus of the first edition of its very own magazine
  • There’s a section on Khorasan, too, but I’ll deal with it separately. It’s about miracles.

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    A few more quick notes.

    It is mid-to-late October — and the magazine was announced as “coming soon” in this video from March:

    Note that the video voice over is that of Malcolm X. A quick word search suggests that Malcolm X is not, however, featured in the magazine itself.

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    The magazine at one point quotes Michael Hayden, ex-chief of both NSA and CIA,

    One of the points I am beginning to think through now is that those lines drawn after World War I by Mr. Sykes and Mr. Picot don’t matter the way they used to. At the end of this, we may see those lines go away.

    I haven’t been able to find a record of that statement in those words, but Hayden talked about Sykes-Picot at the Jamestown Foundation conference in December 2013, suggesting that the “dissolution of Syria” was one possible, unpleasant scenario to consider. He is quoted elsewhere as saying:

    It means the end of the Sykes-Picot (Agreement), it sets in motion the dissolution of all the artificial states created after World War I .. I greatly fear the dissolution of the state. A de facto dissolution of Sykes-Picot.

    The Resurgence quote makes it almost sound as though Gen Hayden liked the idea of the Sykes-Picot lines “dissolving”.

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    There’s a page on which Zawahiri takes on the IS / Daesh “caliphate” — addressing the footsoldiers both affiliated and perhaps considering affiliation:

    O’ My Mujahid Brother!

    The order of your ameer does not absolve you of responsibility. No Zawahiri, Jawlani, Hamawi or Baghdadi will be able to absolve you of your responsibility if you ever aggress upon your Mujahid brothers. On the Day of Judgment, each one of them will be in need of someone to save them from accountability ..

    Know that you will die alone, be buried alone, resurrected alone, stand in front of your Lord alone, and be answerable for your actions alone. Your Ameer will not be with you in any of these instances. So prepare yourself for that critical day.

    Let me tell you this: If I were ever to tell you to aggress upon hyour Mujahid brothers, disobey me; for I will be of no avail to you on the Day of Judgment.

    Zawahiri presumably still believes his supporters — in Jabhat an-Nusra eg — can defend themselves if attacked by IS jihadists, though ..

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    There’s probably more to note — as I said, the entire publication runs more than a hundred pages — but those are my first notes.

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    On IS ecumenism? Two tweets in short order REDUX

    Monday, September 29th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron -- among jihadist groups in Syria, are the scales tipping towards unity or disunity? ]
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    SIF JN & ISIS

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    Yesterday I posted the following DoubleQuote, with sources, on our alternate site while Zenpundit proper, this place, was temporarily down:

    SPEC clint watts & guardian

    Sources:

  • Clint Watts, tweet
  • Clint Watts, Did Obama Just Unify America’s Enemies?
  • Guardian, tweet
  • Guardian, Isis reconciles with al-Qaida group as Syria air strikes continue
  • I noted that Clint Watts published September 26, The Guardian confirmed his point on 28 September.

    And I asked:

    Unforseen .. really? .. consequences?

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    Since that time, other respected analysts have commented on the idea of an IS / Jabhat al-Nusra rapprochement:

    SPEC Zelin & Lister

    Sources:

  • Aaron Zelin, tweet
  • Charles Lister, tweet
  • I am still of the opinion that foreseeing unforeseen consequences is of the essence of successful strategy and policy-making — that wisdom comes from insight, foresight, the roots of which are by their nature holistic, cross-dsiciplinary, and systems dynamic.

    **

    As for myself — irony alert — ecumenist, romantic, hearkener back to a glorious past that I am, I can’t resist already-ancient images such as the one at the head of this post, or this one:

    ISIS and Jabhat w Harakat Sham al-Islam

    The image atop this post is taken from Pieter van Ostayen‘s blog, A strategic mistake ~ ISIS beheads a member of Harakat Ahrar as-Sham of November 13 last year. He comments, cautiously:

    Here is picture from a while ago, the Syrian Islamic Front, Jabhat an-Nusra and the Islamic State in Iraq and as-Sh?m (ISIS) posing as brothers in arms.

    The question is how long that will last. Since a few weeks the amount of anti-ISIS propaganda is in a steep rise; this all culminated when al-Jazeera published an audio file by Dr. Ayman az-Zaw?hir?…

    The image below is from another van Ostayen post, Some Calligraphic Group Logos ~ Syria, from March 10th of this year.

    Van Ostayen identifies the flag in the middle as that of Harakat Sham al-Islam, flanked by the flags and fighters of ISIS and Jabhat an-Nusra.

    In a post dated December 22 2013 on Joshua LandisSyria Comment blog titled Moroccan ex-Guantánamo Detainee Mohammed Mizouz Identified In Syria, Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi writes of his version of the same image:

    Now I have identified another Moroccan ex-Guantanamo detainee: Mohammed Mizouz, going under the alias of Abu al-Izz al-Muhajir. He appeared only many hours ago in a video where he makes a speech on the necessity for the unity of the mujahideen, appearing alongside fighters from both Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra in Latakia.

    In his caption, Al-Tamimi identifies his version as a “Screenshot of video of Abu al-Izz al-Muhajir’s speech. He is in the center under the Harakat Sham al-Islam flag with the Qur’an directly in front of him.”

    **

    It is of the nature of trees to branch, and humans do much the same: we too are a fissiparous species.

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    DoubleQuote: Genocide Memorial Church before and after

    Saturday, September 27th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron -- a quick note on the DQ format used to illustrate church "before and after" attack, montage in Pudovkin / Eisenstein, and cognition ]
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    Pondering these images, I see that while they do clearly represent “before and after” when juxtaposed, they do not represent “cause and effect” as such. The cause of the visible changes is not itself present, although implied. Even so, the viewer is liable to jump from a non-causal double image via the implied causal connection to an emotional response — “the bastards!” or something of that sort.

    I’ve been interested in the intellectual and emotional responses generated by juxtapositions at least since I first read about montage, Pudovkin and Eisenstein in a class on film directing at UCLA some decades back. It is one of the great issues in film — Eisenstein wrote:

    to determine the nature of montage is to solve the specific problem of cinema

    It’s more than that, though — it’s one of the great issues in cognition and metacognition.

    We’d do well to put some bright minds on the task of understanding it.

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    Respective results of Jihad vs Democracy in a “wild” DoubleQuote

    Monday, September 22nd, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron -- not sure of the original provenance, but the content speaks for itself ]
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    The French text reads:

    A jihadist infographic suggesting the Muslim Brotherhood ws wrong to believe in democracy while rejecting jihad

    Perhaps David Thomson, if he sees this post, could comment on where he found this double image.

    By “DoubleQuote in the Wild” I’m referring to the practice of discourse by juxtaposition of similars or opposites — in this case, the juxtaposition of opposing images.

    TIA..

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    Some very welcome news: JM Berger & Jessica Stern

    Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron -- forthcoming book announced ]
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    JM Berger at Intelwire frames it like this:

    ISIS: THE STATE OF TERROR

    Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger co-author the forthcoming book, “ISIS: The State of Terror,” from Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins. The book, which will debut in early 2015, will examine the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, how it is transforming the nature of extremist movements, and how we should evaluate the threat it presents.

    Jessica Stern is a Harvard lecturer on terrorism and the author of the seminal text Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill. J.M. Berger is author of the definitive book on American jihadists, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy, and editor of Intelwire.com.

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    JM also tweeted:

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    For another angle on Berger & Stern’s thinking, see their recent joint contribution to a round table at Politico:

    A counterterrorism mission—and then some.
    By J.M. Berger and Jessica Stern

    When the Obama administration sends mixed messages about whether its campaign against the Islamic State insurgent group is war or counterterrorism, there is a reason, if not a good one. As explained by President Obama last week, the United States plans to employ counterterrorism tactics against a standing army currently preoccupied with waging war.

    In many ways, our confrontation with the Islamic State is the culmination of 13 years of degraded definitions. Our enemies have evolved considerably since Sept. 11, 2001, and none more than ISIL, which has shed both the name and the sympathies of al Qaeda. The Islamic State excels at communication, and it has succeeded in establishing itself as a uniquely visible avatar of evil that demands a response. But on 9/11, we began a “war on terrorism” that has proven every bit as expansive and ambiguous as the phrase itself implies. It is a symptom of our broken political system that we require the frame of terrorism and the tone of apocalyptic crisis to take even limited action as a government.

    Ultimately, it’s hard to escape the feeling that our policies still come from the gut, rather than the head. And ISIL knows exactly how to deliver a punch to the gut, as evidenced by its gruesome hostage beheadings and countless other atrocities. Its brutality and open taunts represent an invitation to war, and many sober strategists now speak of “destroying” the organization.

    Bin Laden once said, “All that we have to do is to send two mujahideen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make the generals race there.” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the emir of ISIL, may be counting on just that response, and for the same reason—to draw the United States into a war of supreme costs, political, economic and human.

    A limited counterterrorism campaign may insulate us from those costs, but it is not likely to be sufficient to accomplish the goals laid out by the president. ISIL is a different enemy from al Qaeda. It has not earned statehood, but it is an army and a culture, and more than a traditional terrorist organization. Limited measures are unlikely to destroy it and might not be enough to end its genocidal ambitions. Our stated goals do not match our intended methods. Something has to give — and it’s probably the goals.

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    I reviewed JM’s previous book for Zenpundit, and mentioned Jessica Stern‘s work, which I greatly admire, in my post here, Book Review: JM Berger’s Jihad Joe. Their upcoming collaboration promises us an insightful, foundational, and must-readable analysis — richly nuanced, clearly presented, and avoiding the pitfalls of panicky sensationalism to which so much current reportage is prone.

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