Mourning Morsi: The Death of an Islamist and Jihadi Divisions

Following the death of Mohamed Morsi, the former Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt, on June 17, 2019, a contentious debate broke out in the world of Sunni jihadism over the proper reaction to his demise. The Islamic State exhibited no grief whatsoever, its Arabic weekly noting the passing of “the Egyptian apostate idol-ruler … [who] rose to power by means of polytheistic democracy and spent one year in power, [ruling] by other than what God has revealed.” For the Islamic State, Morsi’s loss was no loss at all. He was no better or worse than any other apostate ruler in the Islamic world. But for those jihadis in the orbit of al-Qaida, the matter was not so black-and-white. Some rued his loss, others objected to their doing so, and passions ran high. The debate highlights the significance and endurance of a widening ideological divide in this segment of the jihadosphere. Al-Maqdisi

Read More »

Al-Qa’ida Publicy Cements Ties to the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan

The official al-Qa’ida media outlet al-Sahab has released a flurry of videos in the past two weeks featuring leaders of the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), both living and dead, in what amounts to a media campaign announcing their open alliance with Pakistan’s deadliest militant network.  On September 28, Zawahiri’s video eulogy for the slain TTP leader Baitullah Mehsud – the “role model of the youth” (ritha’ qudwat al-shabab) – was posted to the forums, followed two days later by a similar video message on the “martyrdom” of Baitullah starring Mustafa Abu’l-Yazid.  On October 2, al-Fajr Media distributed a third al-Sahab video eulogy for Baitullah, but this time featuring Wali ur-Rahman, the new TTP commander for the Mehsud tribal areas (an English transcript of which can be downloaded from here; links to all three videos can be found here).   This series of al-Sahab celebrations of Baitullah, released two days apart over

Read More »

Abu al-Yazid Mending Fences with Hamas

It’s late, I know, but I couldn’t let Mustafa Abu al-Yazid’s interview with al-Jazeera go uncommented. I found it absolutely fascinating. My hat is off to Ahmad Zaydan for finding Mustafa and asking him excellent questions. International media focused on the A-bomb remark, but this was neither a very significant or surprising part of the interview (here I agree with Dan Drezner). It was just a quick unrehearsed side comment in an answer to a question about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. The most significant part of the interview was Abu al-Yazid’s endorsement of Hamas. “We support the sincere mujahidin in Palestine, even the mujahidin of Hamas. We support them and help them; they are our brothers; we and they have the same ideology and the same method,” Abu al-Yazid said. This is quite a different message from that of Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, who have been

Read More »
Latest Jihadica