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.