It has been a good week for jihadi magazine buffs. There are new issues of Qadaya Jihadiyya and Tala‘i Khurasan, as well as two brand new magazines, Sawt al-Qawqaliz (sic) and Markaz Ansar al-I‘lam.

The newcomers are not particularly impressive and I do not expect them to last long in the fiercely competitive world of jihadi media. Sawt al-Qawqaliz seems intended as a mouthpiece for the Caucasus Emirate, and it is clearly the work of non-native Arabic speakers, for the language is full or errors and low on idiom. Incidentally, I cannot figure out what “Qawqaliz” is supposed to mean (suggestions anyone?). It could simply be a misspelling of Qawqaz, but how could they get the very name of the magazine wrong? In terms of content, the 24-page publication is almost entirely focused on Caucasian issues and does not even mention Gaza. The Shabab of Somalia are the only outsiders to receive a mention, though only at the very end. The PDF file is clumsily assembled and reads from the bottom upwards.

The 21-page Markaz Ansar al-I‘lam is more difficult to place geographically and the editors claim independence “from any organization, foundation or media front”. But there is very little original material here. It is basically a cut-and-paste job with old articles from the jihadi Internet and the mainstream press. Articles by a “young man from Gaza” and by Abd al-Bari Atwan give the magazine a certain Palestinian focus, but that is not surprising given the current political climate.

The fifth issue of Qadaya Jihadiyya is considerably more impressive than the newcomers. With its high-quality photos and witty editorial style, this is the Vogue Magazine of jihadi media. QJ is affiliated with the al-Yaqin media center, but it is not easy to place geographically. My guess is that the editors are based somewhere in the Levant, but it’s just a guess. The latest 21-page issue is devoted to Gaza and has an interesting strategic study which concludes that there was no clear winner in the latest war, but the final outcome will be decided by the next Palestinian elections. If Hamas gains political ground vis a vis Abu Mazen, Israel’s strategy will have failed.

The thirteenth issue of Tala‘i Khurasan is also well produced, and with its 90 pages it is one of the chunkier publications on the market. As its name suggests, it is produced by Arabs in Afghanistan, and it has several high-profile contributors, such as Sheikh Atiyat Allah, Mustafa Abu Yazid and Abu Yahya al-Libi. As such, it is perhaps the jihadi magazine with the closest links to al-Qaida Central, although not to Bin Ladin and al-Zawahiri. Interestingly, this issue does not have much material on Gaza. The cover story is a very interesting strategic study of the impact of 9/11 on Pakistan, and the rest of the magazine is devoted to either general jihadi culture or to Afghanistan-related developments. It is possible that most of the magazine was assembled before the Gaza debacle. The last issue came in October 2008, and many of the field reports in the current issue date from August and September 2008.

Here are the tables of contents:

Sawt al-Qawqaliz
•    Commander Dawud: “This year was a successful one for us”
•    A word from the Chechen leader Dokka Umarov on the establishment of the Caucasus Emirate
•    Shaykh Sa‘id Buryatski: “How I went out for jihad and what I saw in the Caucasus”
•    Yudugov: “The key to security in south Caucasus is hidden in the north Caucasus”
•    The infidels crushed … because of the union of the Muslims in the Caucasus
•    Commander Hussain:  All the Mujahidin received the decision by Commander Dokka on the Qawqaz Emirate with great joy
•    Experiences of brother Abu Umran
•    Letter from the Chechen leader martyr Abd al-Halim Saidulayev on the preparation to announce an Islamic state
•    Kazbak, the “Lion of Cherkessia”
•    The freedom of Chechnya is a matter of time
•    Everything starts with the small things
•    Students of Daghestan want a life governed by Sharia
•    When Muslims leave jihad, God punishes us.
•    The theory of the unity of religions is a notion of infidelity, atheism and heresy
•    The Emirate’s agency obtains recording of the collaboration of Zakayev with the infidel Russians
•    Martyrdom of Commander Walid in Ingushetia
•    Greetings to the Shabab in Somalia

Markaz Ansar al-I‘lam
•    The bedouin and politics
•    When victory is slow (Sayyid Qutb)
•    And the martyrs are taken from you (Hussain bin Mahmud)
•    Memoirs of a young man from Gaza
•    The smuggling will continue until its targets are reached (Abd al-Bari Atwan)
•    The Pakistani Taliban
•    The raid of love for the Prophet
•    The power is in firing (Abu Umar al-Kurdi)
•    Memories of the assassination of the martyr leader Khattab

Qadaya Jihadiyya

•    Gaza under Zionist siege and anti-Islamic silence (Suhayb al-Ghazzawi)
•    To the honourable scholars of the Muslim nation (Abu Abdallah al-Shafi‘i)
•    The Battle of Gaza: Who wins and who loses (Khalid Abd al-Rahman al-Nubi)
•    Palestine between the diplomacy of Hamas and the viciousness of the Arab regimes (Muadh al-Khuwsti)
•    Gaza facing a war more dangerous than the military one (Abu Taha al-Miqdad)

Tala‘i Khurasan

•    The impact of 9/11 on the crusader assault and the internal Pakistani front (Husam Abd al-Ra’uf)
•    Spend at your leisure (Sheikh Atiyat Allah)
•    Divine directions (Mustafa Abu Yazid)
•    Al-Zarqawi and the speech of memories (Abu Ubayda al-Maqdisi)
•    In the shadow of the quranic verse (Sheikh Mansur al-Shami)
•    Signs of victory emerging in Afghanistan (Sheikh Abdallah Sa‘id)
•    Field reports
•    The Ansar (Shakir Allah al-Kuwaiti)
•    Frostbite (Dr. Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Makki )
•    Witticisms from literary books (Ja‘far al-Tayyar)
•    Messengers of Destinies (Abu Ubayda al-Maqdisi)
•    Mother of believers Khadija bint Khuwaylid (Atiyat Allah Abu Abd al-Rahman)
•    If I were Bin Ladin I would declare it: The success of the strategy – part 1 of 2 (Abu al-Futuh al-Maghribi)
•    Abu Abdallah al-Shami: Journey of martyrdom (Abu Yahya al-Libi)
•    Reviving the hope – and how sweet the feeling of hope (Mujahid)

Document (Arabic): 02-02-09-faloja-sawt-al-qawqaliz-1
Document (Arabic): 02-08-09-faloja-ansar-al-ilam-1
Document (Arabic): 02-07-09-faloja-qadaya-jihadiya-5
Document (Arabic): 02-11-09-faloja-talai-khurasan-13

  1. Shlomo says:

    I Googled قوقلز on the off chance that it might turn something up: it appears to be used as a forum name on non-Islamic Arabic forums and have a connection with Kuwait. It was also apparently the name of a now likely defunct search engine. The Lisaan was no help, but I suggest that the name is deliberate and it appears somewhere in some obscure piece of Arabic poetry…perhaps a nickname of one of the great Caucasian jihadists?

  2. Thomas says:

    Thanks for these very good points and suggestions. I will ask some relevant people and let you know what I find out.