Walking the Talk: Forum Members Travel to Afghanistan and Iraq (Pt. 3)

Today we continue our look at a Kuwaiti cell and how its members transitioned from forum fighters to foreign fighters. When we left off, Badr al-Harbi and Bawasil had returned to Kuwait from the front in Afghanistan via Iran, entrusted with a special mission by Abu al-Layth al-Libi, a senior al-Qaeda leader. They were delayed in carrying out their task by Iranian, and then Kuwaiti, security forces. The latter, according to al-Furqan al-Junubi’s account, had tortured them and confiscated their passports. After being released, Harbi and Bawasil stayed in Kuwait a full year to complete their special mission: gathering money, clothes, and food for the Jihadis in Afghanistan. In this, they relied on their network of friends, many of whom were already committed to the cause. Yet Harbi and Bawasil’s efforts aroused the suspicions of other Jihadis, who wrote the brothers in Afghanistan and told them that they were spies.

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Walking the Talk: Forum Members Travel to Afghanistan and Iraq (Part 1)

On the Firdaws forum yesterday, a member posted a message informing fellow Firdawsians that one of their own, asdasd99, had joined the caravan of jihad in Afghanistan. Asdasd99, who also goes by al-Miskin al-Muhajir (The Lowly Emigrant) on the Ekhlaas forum, had tried to go to Iraq a month ago with a group from Kuwait that I’ll be profiling this week.  However, unnamed “personal circumstances” kept him from going.  Looks like he resolved them. Document (Arabic): 6-29-08-firdaws-member-of-ekhlaas-and-firdaws-joins-jihad-in-afghanistan

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New Iraq Foreign Fighter Study

Clint Watts of PJ Sage has released part two of his study of the foreign fighter data from Sinjar, Iraq.  The CTC at West Point  was the initial conduit for the data and they wrote a useful accompanying report.  Clint has gone further by recoding the data (all of which he makes freely available on his site).  His new look at the numbers led him to some important findings, including: Al-Qaeda does little of its own top-down recruitment in Middle Eastern and North African countries. The Internet plays a limited role in radicalizing, recruiting, and coordinating young men in many Middle Eastern and North African countries. Returning veteran fighters play a crucial role in radicalizing, recruiting, and coordinating young men to fight in foreign countries. A handful of cities (what he calls “flashpoint cities”) produce a disproportionate number of foreign fighters. Based on Clint’s findings in part two of his

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Letter from a Jihadi in Iraq

On May 10, Ekhlaas member Muhibb al-Amir al-Baghdidi (Fan of Commander Baghdadi) posted a letter he received from a certain Abu Hurayra. Muhibb claims that Abu Hurayra is “one of the soldiers of the Islamic State of Iraq.” Here’s the letter: In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. My dear brother, precious to my heart. We ask God to reward you well on our behalf. My dear brother, I have approached the zero hour, as they say, for the decisive battle, as they call it. God willing, it will prove decisive for the Muslims through the aid of God and His assistance. My dear brother, I have resolved to participate in this battle, but I am participating as a journalist or photographer. But my inner being is a fighter in the path of God against the infidels and the apostates. My brother, I swear I have a strong

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Death of a Sulayman

Abu Sulayman al-`Utaybi that is. On May 11, al-Fajr Media Center (one of the main distribution points for AQ material) posted a statement on the forums by Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, a senior AQ leader in Afghanistan. Abu al-Yazid announced the death of al-`Utaybi, who was killed fighting U.S. forces in Paktia Province, Afghanistan. A sympathetic news source, Almoslim.net, says that he was probably killed on Saturday, May 10, when the Afghan government claimed that five people were killed fighting in Paktia Province. According to a May 12 statement by the Global Islamic Media Center (another important distribution organ), `Utaybi had been a Sharia judge for the Islamic State of Iraq, but had been dismissed from his post. According to Abu al-Yazid’s May 11 statement, `Utaybi left Iraq six months ago for Afghanistan. `Utaybi was a prominent militant in Iraq and you can find videos of him online, wagging the righteous

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