Joas Wagemakers on al-Maqdisi & the Jordanian pilot negotiations

[ by Charles Cameron — it’s so awkward when the top jihadist scholar in your own lineage doesn’t like your caliphate or your behavior! ]


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Maqdisi on Roya TV Jordan via MEMRI


In the Foreword to issue 7 of the IS magazine Dabiq, we find mention of Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, mentor of IS’ inspirational predecessor Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, along with a curious related footnote:

The Islamic State immediately requested for the release and transfer of Sajidah ar-Rishaw? – a mujahidah who was imprisoned by the Jordanian taghut for almost 10 years – to the lands of the Khilafah in exchange for Kenji Goto Jogo. The Jordanian regime recklessly complicated the process for the Japanese by attempting to include their pilot in the exchange deal, but the Khilafah explicitly refused such during the negotiations with the representative of the Jordanian taghut – ‘?sim T?hir al-Barqawi (AKA Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi [1]) – as there were other plans for the murtadd pilot. In the end, both al-Barqawi’s murtadd client and the Japanese prisoner were executed due to the negligence of both regimes in heeding the warnings of the Islamic State.

Footnote 1: Perhaps Allah will facilitate a detailed exposure of how al-Barqawi (whose campaign of lies carries on) represented the Jordanian taghut in these negotiations.


Their prayers are answered. I’m not sure of the exact timings, but their prayers may have been answered before they were even asked — or at least, published.

Joas Wagemakers, author of the highly reputed study A Quietist Jihadi: The Ideology and Influence of Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, takes us behind the scenes. On Jihadica, he posted Maqdisi in the middle: An inside account of the secret negotiations to free a Jordanian pilot:

It’s that time of the year again: the well-known Jordanian radical Islamic ideologue Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi is released from prison and speculation about why this happened and whether he cooperated with the Jordanian regime to get freed starts all over. I’ve commented on this before on Jihadica when he was released on a previous occasion and I’ve also briefly analysed his latest release in a Facebook post, so I won’t go into this here.

Wagemakers continues:

Much more interesting, however, are the recent statements al-Maqdisi has made on the execution of the Jordanian pilot Mu’adh al-Kasasiba, who had been captured by the Islamic State (IS) and was subsequently burned alive by them. These comments were made during a recent interview with al-Ru’ya, a Jordanian television channel, and a letter al-Maqdisi reportedly sent to IS’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. These give an inside account of the secret negotiations that have taken place to free al-Kasasiba and, as such, throw an altogether new light on them, showing that al-Maqdisi has likely been in the middle of this affair from the beginning.

Here, then, is a brief quote from that FB post on the point that Dabiq is interested in — the negotiations:

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