A group calling itself “al Qaeda in Kurdistan” sided with al Qaeda’s emir against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham in the ongoing dispute over control of the jihad in Syria. In doing so, the group also renewed its pledge of “allegiance” to Ayman al Zawahiri and Mullah Mohammad Omar, the leader of the Afghan Taliban, and said it would fight the ISIS if needed.
Al Qaeda in Kurdistan released its statement on a jihadist forum on April 25, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which obtained and translated it.
NICOSIA — Al Qaida’s leading militia in the Levant has claimed a presence in the Gaza Strip. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant said it established bases in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in 2014. ISIL fighters in Raqqa, Syria. /AP
In a statement ISIL, deemed the most powerful Sunni Islamist force in the region, was training Palestinians from the Gaza Strip for the war in Iraq and Syria.
“The holy warriors of the Gaza Strip are in ISIL,” the statement said. The statement was accompanied by photographs that showed training of unidentified men.
A group of jihadist ideologues, including a sharia official in the Al Nusrah Front, have called on Ayman al Zawahiri to address the specific problems that the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) has caused inside Syria.
The message, which was obtained by The Long War Journal, is being disseminated on Twitter. A photo of Zawahiri next to a sealed envelope, shown above, as well as a hashtag are accompanying the message. Oren Adaki, a research associate and Arabic language specialist at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has provided a translation of the missive.
The ideologues argue that the infighting has led the jihad in Syria astray.
The Abdullah Azzam Brigades and the Al Nusrah Front in Lebanon have claimed joint responsibility for rocket attacks on Hezbollah’s “strongholds.” On March 8, both groups published the same statement claiming credit for the attacks on their respective Twitter feeds.
The six Grad rockets “targeted strongholds of the Party of Iran [Hezbollah] in the Lebanese area of Hermel … in response to the Party of Iran killing our people in Syria and continuing to oppress our people in Lebanon especially our brothers the prisoners,” the statement reads. The statement was first obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.
The war in Syria has led to a string of attacks against Iranian interests in Lebanon. Hezbollah is backed by the Iranian government and Bashar al Assad’s regime.
The Al Nusrah Front is al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria and has expanded its operations into Lebanon and throughout the Levant. The Abdullah Azzam Brigades was established by terrorists with ties to al Qaeda’s senior leadership, as well as al Qaeda in Iraq.
The two al Qaeda-affiliated groups have launched rocket attacks on Hezbollah positions in Hermel on three occasions since December 2013, according to SITE. Hermel is located close to the Syrian border in the Bekaa Valley, which is dominated by Hezbollah.
On Feb. 19, two suicide bombers from the Abdullah Azzam Brigades attacked the Iranian cultural center in Beirut, killing five people and wounding more than a dozen more. The group issued a statement on March 7 saying that an “error” during the bomb detonations led to the deaths of civilians. The statement showed a clear sensitivity to civilian casualties, stressing that the al Qaeda-linked group’s “war” is with Hezbollah and that “its interests … are legitimate targets.”
Today the US launched the second drone strike in Yemen in three days. The strike, which took place in northern Yemen, killed a jihadist who fought in Iraq.
The remotely piloted Predators or the more deadly Reapers fired two missiles at a vehicle as it traveled in the Khalka area of Al Jawf province province. Four “militants,” including a local commander known as Ali Juraym, were killed in the strike.
Yemeni news sources claim that Ali Juraym, whose full name is Ali Saleh Juraym Al Olyan, was an al Qaeda commander known to have returned from Iraq. Al Olyan was reportedly from the Al Sayda tribe hailing from the Al Jawf province in northern Yemen. Yemeni tribal sources said that they could not identify the other AQAP fighters who were killed with Al Olyan due to the severity of their injuries. They also confirmed that al Qaeda operatives arrived at the scene shortly after the drone strike to collect the militants’ remains.
The newly formed Ahrar-ul-Hind claimed credit for a suicide assault today at a courthouse that killed a judge and 10 other people in Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad. The attack took place after both the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan and the Pakistani government announced over the weekend that they would suspend attacks against each other.
Two Ahrar-ul-Hind suicide bombers armed with weapons and hand grenades attacked the court, and killed judge Rafaqat Awan, a female lawyer, and nine others. Thirty more people were wounded in the assault, which may have been designed to free a prisoner who was brought to court to face trial.