The Ikhaas forum that recently resurfaced just issued an explanation for its reappearance, only to close down again shortly afterwards. Site administrators claimed they kept the website down for the past year in order to “prevent the crusaders from entering and manipulating it.” They decided to go public again in commemoration of 9/11, but there was poor cooperation between the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF) and the Fajr Media Center, who “produced dirty lies against our beloved site.”
The statement insisted that the site was not fabricated. Instead it counterattacked, stating, “It is not possible to guarantee the honor of the Fajr Media Center and the Global Islamic Media Front because they … initiated a campaign against our beloved site.”
The statement concluded saying that Ikhlaas would remain “concealed” until Fajr and the GIMF can confirm their honor, but it stated that the Ikhlaas “network” is prepared to call upon “the brothers” to “expel the crusaders from our lands.”
The authenticity of the Ikhlaas statement is difficult to assess. If someone else does control the site, this message is just another aspect of a well-orchestrated IO campaign designed to disrupt the jihadi message. However, if the Ikhlaas administrators, along with Fajr and the GIMF, really did botch the Ikhlaas return, then incompetence rules and a jihadi media war may be brewing. Either way, the future is not bright for jihadi media.
What do you make of these rifts between the forum, Al Fajr, and GIMF? Do you think there are geographical, factional, or ideological divisions behind these?
If I remember correctly, the Advertisement for the new Al Ekhlaas board was posted with the hacked (!!!) “Al Fajr” Account!
Even if there were ideological divisions I strongly doubt Al Ekhlas would hack the Al Fajr account and then post an own advertisement.
It seems just like a hack and a fake board. We should not interpret too much into it.
That Al Ekhlaas is posting a statement is most likely just a trick to inject doubt into the movement.
I am doing a story about al-ekhlaas and would very much like to speak to anyone with information or insight about this latest iteration.
Please email me at email@example.com.
Thanks in advance.