Death to Christians – ISI and the rampage against the Cross

On 31 October 2010 elements claiming being members or affiliated with the “Islamic State of Iraq” (ISI) an al-Qaeda wing killed 52 people in total in a Church in Baghdad. The hostage crisis quickly turned bloody and via the Arabic jihadist forums ISI published a number of statements and demands. The attack was supposedly triggered by an event in Egypt, whereas two women of the Egyptian Christian minority, the Copts, had converted to Islam and had been subsequently detained by the Copts refuting their conversion. AQ propaganda has gone wild about this calling out for ‘justice’ while attempting to incite violence against Christians in general but against the Copts in Egypt particularly. While AQ global with its localized offshoots usually emphasizes on a rhetoric of (self-) defense as well as the preservation / restoration of honor, dignity and sacrosanct values (including women as well as the protection of cultural Islamic values), the attack on the Christians in Iraq can be understood in a similar logic: Attacking alleged affiliates of the Copts in Egypt who are as much waging a war against Islam as foreign occupants and who are, like the Shiites or other minorities, assumed being part of a conspiracy with local rulers against Sunni Muslims. In AQ’s reasoning, two conflicting programs are at work: “The program of truth” versus “program of falsehood”. In this universal war, the reasoning is simply and complex at the same time as the individual Mujahid is fighting for “truth” and “piety” whereas anyone and anything outside of his perception are termed and defined as being part of a highly detailed conspiracy against Islam. The revenge attack on the Church Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad and the followed bloodshed is being exploited on the forums by the participants and hobby propagandists with the help of Photoshop who justify the attack accordingly to the statements and memoranda released by ISI – who adhere to the ideological elements and provide their (partially graphical) output online.

The attack occurred, according to the Long War Journal by “Al Qaeda fighters armed with suicide vests, assault rifles, and hand grenades, and wearing uniforms of a local security company, attacked the nearby stock exchange, wounding two security guards. The attack on the exchange appeared to be a feint designed to lure security forces to the area while a squad estimated at between five to eight terrorists stormed the Our Lady of Deliverance church and took 120 Christians hostage, according to the Associated Press.” AP reported later that as many as 58 had been killed in the attack.

The claim, that Arab Christians in the region are actively contributing to the alleged war on Islam has also been stated by notorious Anwar al-Awlaqi, who, in his recent filmed speech, told the story of a women and her two sons from Australia. Shyloh Giddins converted to Islam and “then heard that Yemen is the land of the al-Ansar” where she migrated to. Being arrested on demands of the Australian government with the help of US intelligence by the Yemeni government, so the story goes by al-Awlaqi, she questioned the Yemeni interrogators why they are punishing her as they should be the al-Ansar (the supporters of Islam). The interrogators simply replied – and this is a word game not uncommon for Arabic jihadist rhetoric – that “we are Christians (nasara) and not ansar“. The ISI attack on the Christians in Iraq is a more vicious and massive attack on those, who for several years now had been the rhetorical enemy while AQ is trying to exploit and gain on all fronts available. History tells us, that having an interior enemy, a sworn traitor, is always beneficial for those who transgress humanity by all means available.

With the hostages at the church, ISI first demanded the release of Camelia Shahada, one of the converted women in Egypt who is sought being held by her husband in a church against her will, and gave out “a ultimatum to Shenouda of 48 hours or war against the Christians in the region will be declared.” ISI states that her release as well as “the rest of the detained Muslimas” is obligatory, otherwise “total war will be declared”. Christians and churches at the “hand of Shenouda” worldwide would be a target while “we say to the Vatican as they have gathered the Christians in the Middle East of various torrents to support and guide them to pressure them in order to release our sisters.” Shenouda will be held accountable for “the destruction of all regional Christians”.  This statement was accompanied by an audio message of the “Self-inoculation Brigades” who demanded the release of Camelia Shahada (or: Shahata) and Wafaa Costantine.  The English translation can be obtained here: ISI

3 November 2010

“The War Ministry of ISI” then released another statement declaring the “end of the ultimatum while the Christian church in Egypt did not concede and did not declare the state of our imprisoned sisters and their release. We did not hear anything.” Therefore, ISI “declares all centers, institutions and councils of the Christians as a legitimate target for the Mujahideen.” The Christians, including the Vatican, are subsequently defined as mushrikeen (see footnote 5 here), as those, who ‘partner’ or associating elements (Saints, Holy Spirits, material things) with God, thus distorting the fundamental monotheistic claim. Parallel to their demand, ISI claims that “five heroes of Islam, who responded to the mobilizing call of the amir al-mu’mineen and fulfilled their duty for their sisters in religion” conducting operations in the Kurdish areas of Iraq. The follow-up statement, although the Church operation ended in bloodshed on 31 October 2010, intends to extend the reach of AQ / ISI as the ‘guardian’ of Muslims and – most importantly – Muslimas.

Back to the forums

A few examples, not mentioning a recent video lashing out against the Christians (see here: MEMRI), taken from the forums, whereas the flock of jihadist sympathizers had gone wild about the hostage taking in Iraq and the claim to conduct this as part of a jihad sought to liberate and safeguard Muslims from both worldly enemies as much as universal enemies at war with God and Islam:

ISI embassy bombings in Baghdad

With the ongoing “ghazwat al-asir” campaign by the Islamic State of Iraq to revenge imprisoned Muslims (hence the name of the operations “Prisoner”) it has now reached its fifth operation. The recent suicidebombing attacks against embassies in Baghdad had been claimed by ISI in a usual rhetoric and manner, but this has now been expressed in a picture uploaded by one of the jihadist forum members to underline his

The campaign started with devastating suicide attacks in Baghdad and has since not decreased in intensity or violence. As the German, Iranian and Egyptian embassies had been struck, the flags appear in the picture depicting the ISI operation as direct revenge for worldwide imprisoned Muslims and that are governments conspiring with the authorities of the Green Zone. ISI released a video two weeks ago entitled “ghazwat al-asir, part I”, which may be the beginning of a new ISI video series (as of “fursan al-shahada” that consists now of 7 lengthy movies showing testimonies and attacks of suicide bombers).

A note on the source of the picture:

The “Terrorist for the Victory of Religion” felt compelled to create the picture “for a long time. I haven’t submitted a jihadist picture” but was working on it while gained some experience with programs – may it have been Photoshop? But the operation did inspire him to that extend, “that I rushed on working with the programs to create a picture for the blessed operation.”

As you can see, he has chosen his avatar carefully, just as much as the signature of his postings:

Al-Furqan video online quick look at AQIM and IMU videos

The al-Furqan video “Crusher of the Peshmerga”, or the “destroyers”, the “conqueror” if you will, just went online by ISI’s media outlet, al-Furqan.

As announced yesterday, there is a lengthier posting coming forth sometime this week, when I have the time to do so. It will, however, include the IMU and AQIM video besides this al-Furqan publication.

The IMU video is more or less simply another eulogy of more fallen fighters and it is subtitled in German. Interesting, but nothing that new – most of the killed died, according to the video, in Weziristan and in “Weziristan-Mehsud”. The killed are being portrayed and their corpses shown – some had been trainers and coordinators, other had been simple Mujahidin who are shown in short sequences / testimonies.

The AQIM video (2h total running time) is a bit more interesting and consists of the usual ideological measures with the usual trainings sequences somewhere in the countryside. The usual AQ senior leadership figures come to light and reinforce the over extending ideology and bind this to practical and military implications: fulfilling the true command of God to move out into jihad, as defined by AQ and ideologues such as Abdallah Azzam.

New al-Furqan video announced

“Crusher of the Peshmerga” – al-Furqan, the media outlet of the Islamic State of Iraq announced today a new video will be forthcoming soon. In the past al-Furqan has already published various filmed operations against the Peshmerga, in and around Mosul and Kirkuk, which belong to the Kurdish, according to their understanding. The last ISI video was – as mostly – a quite comprising show of its ideology bound to alleged operations, lets see what this video has in store this time.

ISI’s Tikrit Raid

Shortly before the statement by the Islamic State of Iraq regarding the terrorist attacks in Baghdad had been released, ISI issued a statement considering a “raid in Tikrit”. Therein, ISI claims to have killed a high-ranking counter-terrorist commander, who, according to the statement, was responsible for the death, extortion, torture, rape of Sunnis in Iraq and part of the perceived ‘counter’ state under al-Maliki.

According to the statement, that refers to the “safeguarding of the blood of the weak”, the officer, Ahmad Subhi al-Fahl, was killed by a suicide bomber who detonated his explosive belt when al-Fahl and others had left a building. As usual or often in such statements, the Mujahidin, “the lions of ISI”, claim to have conducted “proper surveillance of their target; after patience and remaining steadfast tied to the military operation, the criminal was found and killed” by a suicide bomber who threw himself into the group.

Interesting about this statement was, however, a posting in one of the radical forums before the statement was released. In this homemade video, the death of al-Fahl is being praised and ISI cherished.

Sequences from ISI videos are taken and republished in this homemade video. Praise for the alleged actions and the ‘success’ by ISI, as well as the support by the people, shall be implicated by such praiseful scenes.

Al-Fahl, who is claimed to have been killed by ISI operatives in Tikrit – and the response (before the official statement) by one of ISI’s ‘fans’.

“The dog who revealed on the al-Arabiya News Channel proud the killing of Mujahidin”

Still present in the fantasy sphere of online jihadists icons: “martyred” al-Zarqawi

The video is concluded by scenes from 2006 and 2007 al-Furqan videos showing the execution of members of the governments Ministry of the Interior.

All in all a ‘legitimate fight with legitimate means’ as introduced by icons such as al-Zarqawi is being reinstated by the author of this video and summed up in ISI’s official statement. Fighting for justice, peace and religious deeds, all of which are alleged vehicles for Sunni Muslims to acquire security and to fulfill the will of God as set by the jihadists interpretations of Quran and Sunna.

Islamic State of Iraq – Statement of the recent Baghdad attacks


After the devastating attacks in Bagdad earlier this week, ISI issued two statements days after, claiming responsibility for the multiple simultaneous attacks in Baghdad and the assassination of a high ranking counter terrorist officer in Tikrit. Both statements are related and follow a similar pattern as the two statements released after the October attacks in Baghdad, can be seen as a defiant act of revenge of ISI’s claim to have lost control over a territory in Iraq. The immediate release of two statements also implies a high level of action and reaction by ISI – something any online sympathizer believes anyway without criticism. The ISI’s credo is to destroy the ‘counter-state’, run by Shiites and protected by internal enemies and the Crusaders.


The Statement regarding the Baghdad attacks


The statement is – as always – introduced by a short reference of the Quran, that is taken out of its historical context and part of the comprising ideological pillars that simply are used to justify violence by all means.

The statement is entitled “Raid of the Prisoner in Baghdad” and claims to be the “Third Confrontation” in this regard. The first attack in August, followed by October is now concluded for 2009 by the December attack – all three attacks had been in the name of the “prisoner” and the exploited Sunnites in Iraq, repelling the Shiites and the Crusaders, the invaders.

Here is an English translation from an online sympathizer – my comments are in [COMMENT: brackets]

The translation is provided by one of the volunteer online jihadists and it is not very good – interesting though to see his understanding of the statement in English. The original Arabic statement is much more comprising in highly defined ideological terms that are indeed difficult to translate but by neglecting it, nevertheless, the statement is in wide parts distorted from its original meaning, intend and value for the Arabic jihadists. But anything that is being made available from the Arabic to the weird crowd of non-Arabic speaking allahu akbar criers is being cherished and dwelled upon, even if some interesting fundamental ideological implications may be lost.


“In the name of Allah most Gracious most merciful

~~ the third stage of the Expedition of the Prisoners in the heart of Baghdad ~~

Allah says in the Quran: O you who have attained to faith! Fight against those deniers of the truth who are near you, and let them find you adamant; and know that .God is with those who are conscious of Him. (9:123 Taubah)

[COMMENT: the historical reference is to be made to the unsuccessful campaign against Tabuk, that led to change the strategy in terms of combating enemies in close range first before trying to archive control over hostile territories.]

Praise is to Allah the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings on the Prophet Mohammed, and on his family and companions and…To Proceed:

And here is the brigade of monotheism again in our beloved Baghdad, By the grace and mercy of Allah alone the mujahedeen managed to execute the operations on the fourth of Sha`baan and on the first of dhul qedah [COMMENT: August and October] and now another blessed operation, A continuation of the second phase of the good harvest [COMMENT: it should be translated as “the harvest of the good”] and the blessed expedition of the prisoners, the Islamic youth has set forth again, the pious knights of Baghdad targeted the bastions of evil and dens of apostates, targeting the bases which are waging a war against Al-Islam and the Muslims, and this time we selected some targets that where on our list: striking the Labor Ministry, a court complex and the new site of Iraq’s Finance Ministry). [COMMENT: the original Arabic is much more comprising, highlighting much more the emphasis of the alleged anti-Sunni attitude of the government and focusing on destroying courts that judge by worldly law]

The righteous believers proved again: that al-Jihad in the current time is the true honor for the Islamic Nation [COMMENT: “jihad today is the means of true honor for this Islamic umma”] in a time where they call believers strangers and humiliate them, and the people of falsehood attack the believers, the believers where humiliated on a land that has experienced the best time on earth. [COMMENT: not a good translation, but, ah well… – “in this time of alienation of the religion and the defilement of the Muslims, the rule of the true wicked morals” and so forth that has come upon the honors of Islam and the Muslims]

And we say to the Islamic nation : know that the mujahedeen are the hope of the Islamic nation and the light of the Islamic nation will never extinguish with the permission of Allah, because when the mujahedeen say something they will do it, and when they promise something they will carrie it out, and the convoy of Martyrdom seekers are longing to meet the merciful, and their soul which Allah blessed did not accept to be governed by a filthy polytheist Shiite, or a stupid idiot.

And we give glad tidings to our people on our land, that the determined believers have determined that they will eliminate the pillars of this government, and target their military forces, the target list will not finish with the permission of Allah until we manage to raise the flag of monotheism in Baghdad, and implement the Islamic law, and this is our mission from the beginning, and the lies of the hypocrites will not stop it, nor the people of falsehood or the people who have forsaken us, O people of Islam move forward move forward, be harsh be harsh, emigrate and emigrate – (emigrate to the Islamic state of Iraq) [… and so on]

Allah is the greatest {all honour belongs to God, and to His Apostle and those who believe:but of this the hypocrites are not aware.} The Ministry of Information/media / Islamic State of Iraq Tuesday, 22 / del Hija / 1430 migration of the Prophet Muhammad to medina 9 / 12 / 2009 Source Al-Fair media

Quick [and not good] Translation by Ansar 007

–END of TRANSLATION and no more comment –

ISI issues “fursan ash-shuhada’ 5”

Basically nothing new, this video shows the testimonies of suicide-bombers who conducted their attacks by different means in Iraq. Bound into the broader understanding of the mainstream al-Qa’ida ideology, the video follows the – in the meantime – basic guidelines of a suicide-bomber video. Starting with a computer animated introduction, showing a bomb laden truck race into a military compound that has a huge cross in the middle, the video then moves into reality and subsequently shows the truck attack in real time later.

In general as-Sahab videos sometimes have animated sequences whereas the viewer boards the suicide truck and heads out to attack. The environmental surrounding does remind a bit of paradise – with the path set and the path set to kill the enemies.

Reminds of other videos with a similar setting.

Should be all set for paradise…

The first three attackers – all of their cover names indicate that they are fathers. One from Mekka, Medina and from Najd, according to these names, all of them came from Saudi Arabia.

The testimonies consist of the usual…

Including the ‘true friendships’ among the mujahidin; suicide bombers get a hug.

The real deal truck bomber strikes.

Another suicide bomber drives his truck bomb into an enemy position during a clash with the mujahidin. Clearing the way with heavy covering fire, the truck races in and explodes.

A number of cameras document the attack – later the mujahidin drive, according to them, through as-Samara’ and film the cheering (male) crowds who cherish the attacks.

… have a good year everyone and thanks for visiting, cheers!

fursan ash-shuhada’, part 5

The fifth edition of the al-Furqan / ISI issued “Knights of the ‘Martyrs'” just went online after it was announced a short while ago. The “fursan ash-shuhada'” are a series that had been introduced years ago and have since then reappeared from time to time highlighting suicide operations against mostly US forces.

Part 1-4 consisted of mostly gatherings of young men, mostly in houses or / and a military surrounding, showing them saying farewell to fellow fighters and providing the audience with a final statement. The final statement usually consists of the reasoning the attack against outside, infidel, forces and provides a personal side to the general and quite comprising ideology of jihadis and wanna-be jihadis who are content with the presence of Americans and Western companies in general in Iraq.

Be on the lookout for an update soon.

A couple of days ago, the ‘al-Furqan Media Productions’ issued just another video featuring a suicide mission. As you can see from the frame of the actual gif banner that is on the main page in most of the radical forums, a truck packed with explosives makes its way to the target. The jihadis are always keen to improve their filming abilities and they have in the past already used several cameras to film the attack from different perspectives, this time, there are 3 cameras in the field that are recording the assault on what the jihadis claim to be a barrack of the National Guard – or as they state “suicide operation against a house, that was taken by the National Idolaters [it’s a game with words in Arabic] as headquarters.”

Camera angle no 3 – this seems to be the front view of the house. The truck entered the complex and exploded on the left side of the building.

Camera no 2

Same angle.

A powerfull explosion, the building is severly hit

Heres the new thing: the attackers do have good equipment and are (mostly) relatively good using it. In this case, severa watchposts on the roof are “highlighted” and you actually see survivors after the attack running to their injured or dead collegues.

The jihadis note in their words: “the apostates evacuate their dead and injured after the arrival of transports [sent by] the crusaders.”

We see daily what deadly and inhumane effects of the ideology of “al-qa’ida” are – most jihadis fight for a more less common cause, specialising in roadside bombs or sniper attacks and pass their knowledge online to their ‘brethren’. But in their religious world, they propably all fight for the principles of the ideology – which is online aswell, growing and subjecting more and more aspects of daily life under a tight organized form of “Islam”. That’s where we gotta get going, to understand and thus be capable to faster recognize radicalization processes.