The Quilliam Foundation, a London based think tank, has released a very interesting new report by Muhammad Ali Musawi titled Cheering for Osama: How Jihadis Use Discussion Forums. It is one of the best introductions to the world of online jihadism that I have seen. It also points out some recent forum trends that should interest more seasoned observers.
Longtime Jihadica friend Clint Watts recently published an article at the Small Wars Journal titled, “Countering Terrorism from the Second Foreign Fighter Glut.” This article is the third in a series he has authored using data from the Sinjar records (Part 1 and Part 2 of the series). He concluded, “The key to success for future CT strategies will be the disruption of terrorist recruitment in foreign fighter source countries using a mixture of cost effective, soft power tactics to engage local, social-familial-religious networks in flashpoint cities – cities that produce a disproportionately high number of foreign fighters with respect to their overall population.” It is a good analysis and is definitely recommended reading.
On 15 May 2009, the Jihadi Brigades of Internet Incursion, which appear to be a part of the Shumukh Forums, announced a successful “incursion” of over 250,000 email addresses. Their announcement stated:
We bring good news to the Islamic Ummah of the continuation of the electronic jihadi media raids in support of the truth in a time of disgrace and shame. Your brothers in the Jihadi Brigades of Internet Incursion have targeted 265,612 email addresses belonging to citizens of the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding countries … with emails containing Usama bin Laden’s “Practical Steps to Liberate Palestine,” which the al-Sahab Foundation for Media Production published. The emails were distributed as follows:
Saudi Arabia – 102,785 emails
Egypt – 54,500 emails
Iraq – 27,222 emails
Yemen – 20,373 emails
Kuwait – 15,755 emails
Oman – 12,031 emails
Bahrain – 8,336 emails
Qatar – 6,096 emails
The announcement went on to state that the Jihadi Brigades of Internet Incursion have reached 2.6% of their targeted email addresses and membership registration for anyone wishing to join the group is still open.
I have seen this group make similar announcements in the past, but do not know who is on their email distribution list, or how effective it is. Do to the large numbers of emails, some people are likely to read the email and maybe even watched the video, but, based on the way I treat unsolicited email, I doubt that this method would be very successful in recruiting large numbers to their cause.
[Editor’s note: I am pleased to introduce another new contributor, Scott Sanford, who is a graduate student at George Washington University specialising in jihadism in the levant. Scott has guest blogged for Jihadica in the past, but now he is joining us on a more regular basis.]
“What is the Secret of the Falluja Forum’s Success?” This was the intriguing title of a recent post on Falluja presenting a detailed analysis of the web traffic to the forum itself. The contributor, named “Song of Terror”, broke the article into two parts: the first supplying the web analytic data and the second providing strategies and further analysis. While he claimed that jihadi propaganda efforts on the Internet are successful, the data does in fact not support his analysis.
Using data from Alexa.com, Song of Terror started by asserting that Fallujah is the most “successful” jihadi forum. Fallujah’s “Daily Reach”, the percent of global Internet users visiting Al-faloja.info, was up 42% from 0.00163% three months ago to 0.0022% on 27 April 2009. A majority of Fallujah’s users, 36.5%, were in Iraq. Algeria held the second spot with 9.1% followed by Egypt with 8.2%. Al-faloja.info’s traffic rank was 220 in Iraq, 759 in Georgia, and 821 in the Palestinian Territories.
Song of Terror reported that 19.64% of Fallujah’s visitors came from Google.com, 5.89% from Muslm.net, an Islamic forum that many militants frequent, and 5.56% from Youtube.com. He appeared to be disappointed with Youtube.com’s third place ranking and suspected that it would increase in the next “two weeks” because “a campaign to spread Fallujah’s link via [YouTube] continues in its infancy.” In fact, YouTube now has a new channel called FallujahTube that appears to be connected to this “campaign.” He also recommended that others who post videos on YouTube put the Fallujah link in the video description under the user name to make it more visible to users. He also claimed that the percentage reported for YouTube is inaccurate because other websites take videos from YouTube and post them elsewhere, which would make its percentage higher. As for Muslm.net, he stated that due to his own personal efforts posting Fallujah links on the website since 2007, it now holds the number two spot.
In regards to Google.com, Song of Terror claimed that Fallujah’s success is due to not requiring a login, which makes Fallujah searchable on Google. The top Google search terms leading to Fallujah were “The Fallujah Forums” written in Arabic and “al-faloja” written in English. He also noted that “proxy without installation” written in Arabic and “filezzz rapidleech” written in English lead visitors to the Fallujah Forums for technical advice. Indeed, a 10 May 2009 Google search of “proxy without installation” in Arabic revealed that the third link on the page connected to a Fallujah post about surfing the Internet without a proxy.
After visiting Fallujah, 14.85% of the visitors returned to Google, 5.46% returned to YouTube, 4.61% each went to Hanein.info and Muslm.net, and between 3.92% and 2.9% visited the upload sites Zshare.net, Rapidshare.com, and Archive.org. Song of Terror noted that this is evidence that Fallujah users use the website as a means to access videos.
In the second section of the post, Song of Terror outlined eight strategies and pieces of advice:
1. “Determine Your Goal,” which is “Winning the Battle of Hearts and Minds,” “Planting the seed of jihad in the hearts of the general Muslim population,” and “Transmitting the mujahedeen voice to the general population.”
2. “Choose the Means of Arriving to Your Goal,” which is using the Internet.
3. “Study the Field Data and the Means of Influence,” where he again stressed the importance of YouTube to the jihadi propaganda effort because of the supposed rising popularity of the Internet in the Middle East and because YouTube is the second most popular site in the world according to Song of Terror. He added that Falluja should not be the primary focus of propaganda efforts because many Arab countries ban the site.
4. Properly distribute one’s efforts to endeavors that yield the most results.
5. Remain flexible to adjust to the different characteristics of various websites.
6. This section dealt with security issues and Song of Terror added a link to a Fallujah post on how to use the Tor anonymity software. He also added links to several “Crusader websites” because they “distribute mujahedeen films”. It is unclear why he added this, but possibly, it is because jihadis could use links to videos on these sites as safe links that government censoring would not prevent.
7. The connection between the real world and the “hypothetical world.” Here it appears that Song of Terror was attempting to prove a connection to jihadi Internet propaganda efforts and the number of foreign fighters entering Iraq. In making his argument, he cited reporting from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, an unidentified Rand report, and al-Qaeda in Iraq reporting about their “martyrs,” which all supposedly concluded that most foreign fighters in Iraq are from Saudi Arabia, followed by Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Algeria. While he did not make his point explicit, it appears that he was insinuating that the movement of foreign fighters to Iraq from these Arab countries was proof of jihadi Internet propaganda success.
However, adding this point contradicts his entire argument that the Fallujah Forums are successful. Saudi Arabia placed tenth on the country list of Al-faloja.info users with only 2.5% of the site’s visitors being of Saudi origin. If Song of Terror’s correlation between Internet propaganda and the number of foreign fighters were correct, we would expect the number of Saudis entering Iraq to be much lower or the number of Saudi visitors on the Fallujah Forums to be much higher. Additionally, from the countries ranked above Saudi Arabia on the country list of Fallujah users – Algeria, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, Libya, the UAE, Georgia, and Jordan – we would expect more of these nationalities to enter Iraq or less of them to visit the Fallujah Forums. It is possible that many of Fallujah’s visitors have gone to Pakistan and Afghanistan instead of Iraq, but it is reasonable to assume, with the exception of Pakistan, that the numbers and nationalities of foreign fighters entering these countries would be similar to Iraq’s experience, which still negates Song of Terror’s analysis. Finally, according Song of Terror, nearly 50 Yemenis entered Iraq, but Yemen is not even listed on the country list of Fallujah users. According to his analysis, we would expect Yemen to hold a much higher position on the list. In short, his data does not add up and it does not support the theory that jihadi Internet propaganda alone determines the flow of militants to war zones.
8. “Strategies of Intellectual Penetration and Contradicting Psychological Conditioning.” In this final point, Song of Terror encouraged jihadi propagandists to distribute documentary programs supportive of jihadi ideology and to learn about “psychological conditioning” by mainstream Arab satellite stations such as al-Jazeera.
Song of Terror attempted to apply some quantitative analytical reasoning to verify the success and usefulness of the Fallujah Forums and jihadi efforts at Internet propaganda. However, the data does not support his analysis. One might even use his data to make the exact opposite argument, that jihadi Internet propaganda has relatively little effect on radicalization and recruitment.
Document (Arabic): 05-01-2009-falujah-traffic-ranking-1
Document (Arabic): 05-11-2009-fallujahtube-2
Document (Arabic): 05-10-2009-without-a-proxy-post-4
Document (Arabic): 05-11-2009-how-to-use-tor-5
The bottom line is this: the damage caused by Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib is irreparable and the end of U.S. torture will not in itself make the United States safer from this generation of jihadists.
Update (6 May): The jihadis have not been completely silent on the torture memos. Brynjar and Christopher A. drew my attention to a couple of postings on Faloja (English) from last week and the week before.
[Editor’s note: I am very proud to introduce a new contributor, FFI researcher Qandeel Siddique, who will be covering Urdu-language jihadi websites for Jihadica].
The Pakistani militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad, led by the famous Masood Azhar, has a strong presence on the Urdu-language wing of the jihadi internet. Among its less savory operations is an online jihadi magazine tailored especially for children, entitled Musalman Bachay [Muslim Children]. In the magazine, Masood Azhar and others regale their young readers with anecdotes from personal battles, as well as fictional pieces, centering on the importance of Islam and being a “good Muslim”, and convincing them of the bravery and honor in pursuing the path of jihad.
The aim of this magazine is quite evident: to lure young minds into Jaish-e-Mohammad’s ideological fold. This arguably gives meat to JeM’s broader strategy of harnessing support for jihadi missions.
The magazine contains articles on religion and combat written in simple style, supplemented by child-friendly features such as “cartoon of the day,” riddles, jokes, and so on. Articles cater to both boys and girls, and a section is dedicated to posting various entries scribed by the readers – presumably to encourage their engagement with the magazine.
In this month’s issue (March 2009), Masood Azhar shares the story of “Commander Sajjad Khan’s exemplary sacrifice;” portraying Sajjad Afghani, a Harakat ul Mujahideen leader who was captured in Srinagar in 1994 and imprisoned in India until his death in an attempted 1999 jailbreak. In the article, Masood Azhar tells stories from his time in prison with Sajjad Khan, including an account of how the latter, on 11 February 1994, risked his own life to save Masood Azhar. “Until doomsday [Sajjad Khan’s] sacrifice shall serve as a glorious guide for all mujahideen,” writes Masood.
By revealing intimate stories like this, and using emotional language, Masood Azhar makes his young readers feel like privileged confidants, thus strengthening their emotional ties to the Maulana.
Sajjad’s sacrifice for Masood Azhar is portrayed as an Islamic ideal to be emulated; “to take the noose from around the neck of your Muslim brothers in distress, and put it around yourself.”
Another article entitled “I will be a mujahid” relates the tale of Nauman, a student who, when asked by his 5th grade Urdu teacher what he aspired to be when he grew up, replied “Master sahib! I will be a mujahid.” The narrator reveals that upon hearing this answer, the teacher became overwhelmed with great affection for the child and secretly lauded the parental upbringing he had received.
Once home, Nauman would recount the classroom incident to his mother and reiterate: “Mother, as you already know I want to be a mujahid like brother Usman and kill the enemies of Islam.” These words joyfully echoed in the mother’s ears.
Five years later, after Nauman completed his secondary school, he set off for a “three month training course.” He would go on to attend college for two years, all the while excelling at his studies. Armed with parental permission and prayers, as well as blessings from his master sahib, he then left for jihad. For one year he “sent Hindus to hell” whilst providing “protection to his mothers and sisters.” Eventually, Nauman, the “seeker of martyrdom” would find eternal peace in killing 20 infidels.
The story ends with the news of Nauman´s martyrdom reaching his parents and former Urdu teacher; the parents react by “giving thanks to Allah” for their son had “paved their way to paradise.” Meanwhile the teacher’s eyes welled up with happy tears and fond memories of the little boy with the “innocent countenance” who had once declared “Master sahib! I will be a mujahid.”
Several points can be raised from this article: it is cleverly geared at young Pakistani boys for whom parental consent and a teacher’s approval are socially important factors. The aspiration to be a mujahid, and then subsequently setting off on that path, is met with positive encouragement in this story. For an impressionable 5th grade student reading this magazine, being a “mujahid” assumes a higher status than that of “doctor” or “engineer” (which a few other students in the story claimed to aspire to, leaving no impression on the teacher).
In Musalman Bachay you will also find a section containing letters from the readers. One such letter presented some “good news” – that is, “Kosar Shah, a friend of mine who was also a JeM soldier… was martyred on January 21.”
Targeting young children appears to be an important Jaish strategy. About a year ago, in April 2008, JeM held a conference in the city of Bahawalpur in Pakistan’s Punjab province where amongst the star-studded speakers was a young madrassa student named Muhammad Umar (incidentally also the nephew of Masood Azhar). In an impassioned, but discernibly rote-learned speech, the boy advocated am immediate revival of Islam’s historic jazbah jihad or “passion for jihad” and declared Masood Azhar’s latest book to be instrumental in achieving this goal. Once jazbah jihad has been perched back to its rightful place, “it will strike such a blow that the infidel powers will be ruined forever, inshAllah.”
As a prelude to Muhammad Umar’s speech, the convener of the conference proudly stated: “…like women, children, too, have been fighting.” Among other examples, he cites the Badr raid as proof of this. (The identity of the presenter is not known at this stage; however he has introduced Jamia Masjid Usman-o-Ali as his madrassa and Mohammad Umar as one of his students).
The very presence of a madrassa student at a jihadi conference highlights the importance of children to Jaish-e-Mohammad. The aim of using a madrassa student to promote jihad at a gathering such as this, and of creating magazines such as Muslaman Bachay, would be to inspire and manufacture a line of child martyrs willing to die for JeM’s militant causes.
In a feeble attempt to live up to Jihadica’s new billing as the “most dangerous” website monitoring Jihadis online, I thought I’d post some thoughts on what role Jihadi forums play in recruitment and radicalization.
The usual characterization of online recruitment goes like this: some hapless Sunni Muslim starts poking around online, discovers Jihadi propaganda, and upon watching or reading it becomes radicalized and ready to fight.
It is certainly the case that some Sunni Muslims see or read online Jihadi propaganda about Muslim suffering at the hands of the West and decide they need to do something about it. Why some respond and not others is a complicated issue that I won’t deal with here. What I’m interested in is the mechanics of the propaganda’s delivery and how its effects are sustained.
Firstly, we don’t have a lot of examples of Muslims who were radicalized online and remained radicalized without meeting face-to-face with committed militants or like-minded acquaintances who could reinforce their new worldview. Moreover, the pattern seems to be face-to-face radicalization first, followed and compounded by online material. There are exceptions, but I think the general trend points in the direction I’ve indicated.
Secondly, online recruitment is not happening on the forums. I have seen no evidence of new members being persuaded that fighting is the right thing to do; that would be preaching to the choir. What I have seen is a lot of Jihadi missionary activity on more mainstream Muslim discussion forums.
Take for example a recent posting on the Shumukh (“Pride”) forum by member Abu Dharr al-Makki. Makki announces the formation of an “Incitement Brigade” whose members will join other forums and, cloaked in proxy-provided anonymity, post recruitment material. He provides a long list of such forums and suggests each member be responsible for five them. There are lots of other examples of this type of outreach, but Makki’s post is enough to make my point.
So here’s my basic model: Jihadi forums are good for creating and storing propaganda material. Mainstream forums are where online recruitment, if any, is happening. But even if the recruitment is effective, the recruits still need some face time with committed militants or other recruits to remain radicalized; ingesting more propaganda or joining Jihadi forums isn’t enough.
Document (Arabic): 7-21-08-shamikh-recruitment-brigade-and-list-of-forums-for-dawa
The US military has given CNN letters that Zawahiri wrote in March 2008 to senior al-Qaeda commanders in Iraq (hat tip SK). Much of the content has been filtered through an MNFI spokesman so it’s hard to use CNN’s summary to assess al-Qaeda’s fortunes in Iraq. Nevertheless, since the summary fits with the bleak picture that has been emerging these past few months, it’s worth noting. I’ve rearranged the information for ease of reference:
Zawahiri letter to al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri, March 2008. Letter was captured in April during U.S. op that killed AQI Information Minister Abu Nizar. Abu Nizar was an intermediary between Masri and AQ Central. The letter was found on Abu Nizar’s person.
- Leadership: Masri too isolated to keep watch of his operatives. Zawahiri questions Masri’s ability to lead AQI.
- Poor Communication with AQ Central: Zawahiri concerned that he is not getting regular updates on Iraq. He is also not receiving regular communication from Masri.
- Poor Recruits: Dissatisfied with poor quality of recruits for ops in Iraq
- ISI’s Legitimacy: Questions manner in which the Islamic State of Iraq was established
- ISI’s Blatant Propaganda: Unhappy that ISI is repackaging old footage of operations and claiming the ops are new. Also unhappy that ISI takes credit for ops carried out by other terror groups, like Islamic Jihad. Zawahiri writes: “The media policy for the Islamic State is using exaggeration, to the extent of lying.”
Zawahiri letter to Abu `Umar al-Baghdadi, March 2008
- Relations b/n Zawahiri & Bin Laden: Zawahiri passing along advice from Bin Laden.
- Offer of Assistance: Zawahiri asks what ISI needs to be victorious.
We know from an earlier set of captured documents reviewed by a Washington Post reporter that Masri went to Afghanistan this summer to speak with AQ leadership. From the tone of Zawahiri’s letter, it might have been a trip to the woodshed.
This is at least the second time that captured AQI documents have been given to CNN. But in both cases, the original documents have not been released for general scrutiny. If the people releasing them hope their contents will demoralize al-Qaeda supporters around the world, it would help to release the documents to the general public soon after the news stories based on them are published. Despite all the attention paid to Jihadi visual media, Jihadis themselves love texts.
Update: Bill Roggio at Long Wars Journal was given the documents by MNFI and has a more extensive summary of their content. He also says that the documents will be made available shortly on the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy’s website. The documents are now up and I’ll post a more detailed summary once I’ve read them.
[Chipotle Mystery] One of the difficulties in studying militant groups in Pakistan is that there aren’t a lot, if any, forums dedicated to these groups that are affiliated with the Taliban. Most Taliban-related information that is available in forums comes through Al-Qaeda clearinghouses like Al-Sahab, though smaller studios occasionally have videos that make it to the Internet (these were more common in the past). News about the activities of the Pakistani Taliban generally comes from the media and we have very few “primary sources” from such groups. Although it is well known that they do produce and distribute tapes in Pakistan, I must admit from personal experience that I was unable to locate any when I was in Pakistan a few months ago.
Asia Times Online has posted two videos from the Pakistani Taliban today. Syed Saleem Shahzad has alluded to these in his recent posts. They’re both interesting videos and even though one they lack the polish seen in Al-Qaeda video, they are clearly influenced by these productions; the latter video even includes Arabic-language hymns. The first video (“Recruiting”) is a recruitment video with English subtitles in the first portion. It appears to have been produced in late 2007 and takes aim at the Pakistani government and military, portraying them as apostates and slaves of the United States while lauding the piety of militants. Such propaganda has been effective as demonstrated by reports of low morale among the largely Pashtun soldiers sent to fight Pashtun militants and continued opposition to attacks against militants among elements of the Pakistani populace.
The second video (“Battlefield”) is especially interesting to long-time observers of such groups as it is published by Ummat Studios. Ummat appeared to have stopped publishing videos in 2005 after Nek Muhammad Wazir, a pro-Taliban militant from Waziristan, was killed following an insurgency in that region. The studio was thought to have been affiliated with him, and his death appeared to have ended its run. In the past, I have only seen two Urdu-language videos put out by this studio on the Internet, and I believe it published a number of Pashto-language videos.
Upon viewing the video, one might think it is old. But during the second segment, the Urdu narrator (who sounds exactly like the narrator from older Ummat videos) mentions Baitullah Mehsud and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The TTP was not officially formed until late 2007, and Mehsud did not become prominent until sometime in 2006. Mehsud also belongs to a tribe that rivals Nek Muhammad’s (despite the stated universal Islamic character of the Taliban, it remains a distinctly Pashtun entity, and internal Pashtun tribal differences remain an exploitable weakness). In fact, Muhammad’s tribe appears to be now led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a pro-Taliban militant from North Waziristan, who has not joined the TTP and appears to have a personal rivalry with Mehsud).
The end of the video confirms its recent vintage and is dated to February 2008. Unlike the first video it has no English subtitles and most of the dialog is in Pashto, but it has some violent scenes of battles against Pakistani forces, apparently in early 2008 in various locales in Waziristan. The use of the Ummat Studio brand in the latter video means that it either never went out of business (perhaps it only stopped posting videos to the Internet) or it has been brought back to life by Mehsud. Either way, it shows a growing media awareness among the Pakistani Taliban.
[Scott Sanford] On 21 August 2008, the al-Qaida-affiliated Global Islamic Media Front released a statement written by Abu al-Harith al-Ansari concerning the conversion of Mosab Hassan Yousef from Islam to Christianity. This conversion is significant because Yousef’s father is a senior Hamas leader in an Israeli prison and Yousef himself allegedly was in a leadership position in Hamas’ youth movement. Ansari explains that he felt compelled to respond to Yousef’s conversion and he uses four points to frame the conversion. He then outlines a course of action Muslims should take in response. The following is a brief synopsis:
1. Further research must be done to ascertain the truth about whether or not Yousef converted and then pass judgment.
2. Yousef chose his own path and it is important to remember other noteworthy infidels, who also chose their own path, like Noah’s son and wife, Abraham’s father, and Muhammad’s paternal uncle.
3. The fate of infidels does not change. The previously mentioned notables are all in Hell.
4. “Islam is larger than men.” Yousef’s actions will not harm Islam.
Ansari then gives several pieces of advice to individual Muslims and Hamas:
1. Muslims must announce their disavowal from Yousef’s actions and ask for God’s forgiveness upon him.
2. Just like the United States is dangerous and attacks Islam, Christianity’s evangelical institutions are dangerous too. There are many Christian schools in Gaza where 90% of the students are Muslims. Hamas must be aware of this.
3. While Yousef’s criticisms of individuals are not related to Islam, his criticisms of Hamas’ leadership have merit. Hamas must review its actions and seek guidance from Islam in further decisions.
4. Due to his apostasy, Yousef is weak-minded. “What do [Hamas supporters] know of Islam except the name? We see their fanaticism for the movement as if it were fanaticism for religion.” Hamas must learn about Salafism and read the proper books from writers like al-Tahawi, Ibn Taymiyya, and the Najdi scholars.
5. Yousef went to the United States in search of work. However, the immigration of a Muslim to a non-Islamic country for work is forbidden.
6. Israeli and Hamas oppression in Gaza is probably the biggest reason for Yousef’s apostasy. This does not justify it, but it is possible that God will guide him back to Islam.
If he comes back to Islam great, but if he does not, his fate is as an infidel without honor. The prophet Muhammad said, “Whoever alters his religion, kill him [Ansari’s font changes].” He should not have proper burial rights and he should not be buried with Muslims.
This is his fate under God’s law. The situational laws and human legislation is what causes the spread of apostasy, allows infidel institutions, and protects these institutions.
Such attacks on Hamas are common by al-Qaida and its supporters because Hamas’ nationalistic and more pragmatic approach to Islam challenges al-Qaida’s dogmatically unchanging and global Islamic view. Al-Qaida supporters see Hamas as a direct threat to its hegemony in the Middle East and it is attempting to break Hamas by bringing its followers into al-Qaida’s fold. Ansari tries to do this through discrediting Hamas’ leadership by blaming Gaza’s problems on them and proposing al-Qaida’s ideology as a solution. This is a common al-Qaida tactic against Hamas.
Ansari is also able to connect the believed dangers from the United States and Christianity to Gaza. In doing so, he is attempting to frame the Palestinian conflict in al-Qaida’s Islamic narrative where almost everyone is an enemy. This is in contrast to Hamas’ Palestinian narrative that has much more grey area, depending on Hamas’ goals at a particular time, about who the enemy is and how to deal with the threat.
Ansari does not mention that one of Yousef’s stated criticisms of Islam are those who have an unwavering and rigid doctrinal view, such as Ansari’s view. Thus, Ansari’s solution to the so-called problems in Gaza is unlikely to alleviate any of his stated grievances. It will be interesting to monitor the standoff between al-Qaida and Hamas, but given Hamas’ current authority and popularity in Gaza, it is unlikely that al-Qaida will make much headway in its goal of splitting Hamas’ leadership from its rank and file.
Document (Arabic): 8-21-08-ekhlaas-GIMF-on-mosab-hassan-yousef