Divide And Conquer

The Hesbah forum’s reaction to two recent rumors is instructive. First, the claim by a Hamas official that Obama’s advisers met with members of the organization during the U.S. election is being met with derision.  The derision is directed not at Obama but at Hamas for selling out and walking down the trail blazed by Fatah.  Interestingly, the credibility of the story is not doubted.  In contrast, many Hesbah members are skeptical of a recent report that the U.S. is trying to cut a deal with Taliban ally Hekmatyar (a seriously bad dude).  Respondents doubt that someone of his stature, ideology, and ties to Bin Laden would cut a deal. Three thoughts:  First, Hesbah members believe the news about Obama’s advisers because it makes Hamas look bad; they don’t believe the news about Hekmatyar because it makes the Taliban look bad.  The Taliban is one of the Jihadis’ last, best hopes

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Anti-Shia Graffiti In Gaza

A member of the Faloja Forum, Abu Muhammad al-Rafhawi, has posted pictures of anti-Shia graffiti from Gaza that he claims was written by youth in the Qassam Brigades and the internal security forces.  I don’t know if this sort of graffiti is typical or if it reflects rising hostility toward Hezbollah and Iran among younger Hamas members, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Document (Arabic): 10-24-08-faloja-anti-shia-graffiti-in-gaza

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On the Faloja forum, two issues are generating a lot of conflict.  One is Hamas, which some members have strongly criticized for crushing the Islamic Army in Gaza, a group sympathetic to al-Qaeda.  Other members are plantively calling for unity.  The other contentious issue is Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, whom I’ve written about several times in the past.  Maqdisi is the most influential Jihadi ideologue alive and a hero among the foot soldiers for his long stints in Jordanian prisons.  But according to members of Faloja and Shamikh, Maqdisi has been subject to a lot of criticism lately.  Unhelpfully, no one has yet explained what the exact criticisms are.  Neverthless, at least one member,  Abu Ziyad al-Qasimi, says that those mouthing the criticisms are plants by RAND who are carrying out its plan to subvert the Jihadi movement.

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New Issues of Two Jihadi Journals

Issue 28 of Sada al-Jihad is out.  Articles include, “Hamas Responds Negatively to the Invitation of Shaykh Ayman al-Zawahiri” and “The Intellectual Pollution of the Followers of the Salafi-Jihadi Method.” A new journal, Qadaya Jihadiyya (Jihadi Issues), has also be released.  The production quality is better than most of the Jihadi journals and the articles look interesting.  There is a “Strategic Issues” section, reminding me of Abu `Ubayd al-Qurashi’s column in the Ansar journal.  It has two articles: “The Islamic State of Iraq and Early Signs of American Failure” and “Regional Alliances and the Path of Jihad.”  Another section, “Thoughts of a Mujahid,” has the memoir of someone who attended the al-Faruq training camp. Document (Arabic): 8-8-08-faloja-issue-28-of-sada-al-jihad Document (Arabic): 8-12-08-faloja-issue-1-of-qadaya-jihadiyya

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Hamas Hands Over al-Qaeda Commander to Egypt

According to Usama al-Asad at Ekhlaas, when the barrier between Gaza and Egypt was destroyed, one of the commanders of al-Qaeda tried to enter Gaza and form a Jihadi group with some disaffected elements of Hamas’ military wing, the Qassam Brigades.  When Hamas found out, they captured him and turned him over to Egypt. Usama al-Asad says his reporting is 100% accurate and claims that this commander is well known and has been fighting in a neighboring country. Some of the respondents to Usama’s post verify his reporting, while others accuse him of blackening the good name of Hamas. Document (Arabic): 7-3-08-ekhlaas-hamas-hands-over-aq-amir-to-egypt

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Response to Hamas Truce

There’s disagreement about the Israel-Hamas truce on Ekhlaas today.  Ekhlaas member Hafid al-Faruq thinks it squanders the blood of the martyrs who died to lift the siege.  Asad al-Islam counters that there is no harm in a truce as long as the mujahids accept it; after all, Bin Laden himself offered a truce to Europe.  Hafid counters that Bin Laden offered the truce to the Europeans from a position of strength. The rest of the responses line up with one or the other. Document (Arabic): 6-18-08-ekhlaas-response-to-hamas-truce

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