Audio message by IS spokesman Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir: And You Will Remember What I Say to You

Audio message by the new IS spokesman Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir

And You Will Remember What I Say to You

Released by al-Furqan Media on December 5, 2016

English translation as published in Rumiyah Magazine Issue 4

Audio message by the new spokesman of The Islamic State, Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir: And You Will Remember What I Now Say to You

Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him, seek His aid and forgiveness, and seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our souls and the consequences of our deeds. Whom­soever Allah guides, none can misguide, and whomsoever He leaves to stray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, without partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger; may abundant peace and blessings be upon him, his family, and his com­panions until the Day of Recompense. As for what follows:

Allah said, “Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands. He will disgrace them, give you victory over them, satisfy the breasts of a believing people, and remove the fury in the believers’ hearts. And Allah turns in forgive­ness to whom He wills; Allah is knowing and wise. Do you think that you will be left alone while Allah has not yet made evident those among you who strive [for His cause] and do not take other than Allah, His Messenger, and the believ­ers as patrons? And Allah is acquainted with what you do” (At-Tawbah 14-16).

To the mujahidin for Allah’s cause everywhere. O soldiers of the Khilafah patiently clenching hot coals! O defenders of the religion and honor! O you who are ready to sacrifice your souls cheaply for Allah’s cause! O you who have con­fronted with your chests the most insolent crusade known throughout history, defending the homeland of Islam with your blood! O you who have terrified the nations of kufr and armies of apostasy with your bravery and solid hearts! O you who have astonished the entire world with your patience and steadfastness!

I advise with what Allah’s Messenger advised ‘Abdul­lah Ibn ‘Abbas, as he said to him, “If all creation wanted to benefit you with something that Allah had not decreed for you, they would not be able to do so. And if they wanted to harm you with something that Allah had not decreed against you, they would not be able to do so. Know that there is much good in being patient upon what you dislike, that vic­tory comes with patience, that relief comes with anguish, and that ease comes with difficulty” (Reported by Ahmad).

Indeed, ‘Umar said to some chiefs of Bani ‘Abs, “With what did you fight people?” They replied, “With patience. We did not encounter any enemy except by facing them with patience as they faced us.” Some of the Salaf also said, “All of us dislike death and the pain of wounds, but we vary in rank through patience.”

Thus, be patient, O brothers in jihad. Be steadfast and rejoice, for, by Allah, you will be victorious. This tribulation that you are passing through is merely an episode of tribu­lations by which Allah grants His mercy to His slaves and thereby distinguishes the wicked from the good and there­after prepares you for a great truth and larger responsibility.

This tribulation, which in reality is a gift, is not more dif­ficult than that which preceded it. You have passed through tribulations that if the anchored mountains were exposed thereto, they would have flattened them. However, you were patient and steadfast therein. Rather, you even left the tribu­lations with stronger resolve and greater resilience.

O troops of Iraq and Sham! O ghuraba of Islam! The encampment of falsehood has been duped by the temporal world, been deceived by desire, and become self-conceited. Shaytan has blown arrogance into its nose. Thus, it rose recklessly, manifested itself conceitedly, foamed angrily, and tremored with fear, and launched a campaign – the likes of which history has never seen in past eras – against the abode of Islam and the land of Khilafah. Here are Crusader Amer­ica and Europe, formerly-Communist Russia, Magian Iran, secularist Turkey, the Kurdish atheists, the Rafidah, the Nu­sayriyyah, the Sahwat, the Arab tawaghit and their soldiers, all in one trench, armed with a modern military arsenal, having in their company a filthy media splendor, all of whose slogans are one, “The eradication of Islam and its people,” and whose logic is one, [like the disbelievers of ‘Ad, who said], “‘Who is greater than us in strength?’” (Fussilat 15).

They have marched towards you with their might and arms, placing in their forefronts the despicable apostates from their fellow tribesmen as sacrificial rams, directing them towards you, until they settled in your arena. Thus, seek the aid of patience, perseverance, endurance, and dili­gence in your fight against them.

The Rafidah have come with their steeds and men to the abode of Islam and the land of Tal’afar, incited by their ani­mosity and thirst for vengeance, seeking to seize Tal’afar and inflict harm on Ahlus-Sunnah therein. Thus, do not let the enemy of Allah catch his breath or fortify his defenses. Set up ambushes. Be relentless in the fight and be severe in com­bat. Do so, as you fight a people who have no intellect, nor proof, nor religion, nor victorious dunya. They are driven by the cross-worshiper before them, to take his place in combat and warfare and to achieve his goals and aims in dividing the region and submitting it and its people to the authority of the Magian Rafidah. This, by Allah, will never be achieved by them.

Thus, if the two sides face off, “strike them upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip” (Al-Anfal 12). Destroy their vehicles. Storm their positions. Afflict them with distress in their sanctuaries. Do so that they may taste some of the calamity you afflict. And in no time, Allah will give you power over them.

Do not even contemplate retreating. For by Allah, if you retreat, you only retreat from honor, which will find no de­fender for itself, and religion, which complains to Allah of people who lost it and supporters who forsook it.

Always remember the statement of Allah, “O you be­lieve, when you encounter a company [from the enemy forc­es], stand firm and remember Allah much that you may be successful. And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute and thus lose courage and then your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient” (Al-Anfal 45-46), and His statement, “How many a prophet [fought and] with him fought many religious scholars. But they never lost heart due to what afflicted them in the cause of Allah, nor did they weaken or submit. And Allah loves the steadfast” (Al ‘Imran 146).

We swear by Allah, we see that Allah lured the Cru­saders, the apostates, and the atheists to their deaths, that this, by Allah’s permission, will be their last campaign, and that soon we will raid their homelands. We say this with trust from Allah, the One and Only, as we have good as­sumptions of the Single Master.

And O people of Islam and its lions in Raqqah! O peo­ple of chivalry, honor, and esteem! Has the matter passed with the Muslims’ land being looted by a lewd, atheist, and disbelieving woman, after her peers were incapable of pro­ducing a male to represent them and spout his wickedness in their name. Rather, the deviants from the people of disbelief and idolatry flock from the extents of the earth in support of their falsehood and the war against Islam and its people. Thus, tell me, by your Lord, what will the situation be like if the transgression of the atheists from among the Kurds is not repelled and they achieve what they desire? May Allah not allow such to occur. The situation will be nothing save war against your religion, the absence of your Shari’ah, the desecration of your masajid, the humiliation of your men, and the widowing of your women and wives by the lewd, atheist, and disbelieving women who are, by Allah, the vile, despicable, absurd, and miserable. If this were to happen, there would be neither any good nor any value in life. Know that now is the hour of truth and fulfillment of vows.

O mujahid Muslims, three matters have gathered for you and woe to a slave who desires something else instead: A land ruled by Allah’s Shari’ah, an invading enemy whom there is nothing as obligatory as fighting after having iman, and martyrdom that the truthful have sought after for so long.

My heart is sure and my soul is free.
It refuses degradation and my sword is sharp.
Why would a man fear the parting of his soul?
Is not the end of every life a parting?
Elevate your soul while it is still in its garments.
If not in Sham, then there is Iraq.
There is no good in the life of a coward,
A life surrounded by humiliation and destitution.
They criticized my zeal and spite.
But fire is not to be criticized for its burning.

O knights of martyrdom and lions of jihad in Bab and its countryside! May Allah brighten your faces and reward you for your good efforts, for you have humiliated the apostates from the Turks, the Sahwat, the Kurds, and flocks of the Nusayriyyah, through your courage and your undertaking of sacrifice for your religion with honor and steadfastness. Thus, be patient, outlast your enemy in perseverance, and fear Allah, that you might be successful. Indeed, the Turkish apostate descendants of the killers of the muwahiddin today repeat the deeds of their forefathers before them. They have struck the Muslim State and the Muslim Jama’ah. Therefore, seek vengeance for your religion and tawhid.

You do not fight a mighty people. Rather you fight shad­ows who seek refuge with walls. Thus, be truthful in your campaign against them. Besiege them. Kill them wherever you find them. Seek them with every method in every land beneath any sky.

Indeed, the Turkish apostate Ikhwani and his govern­ment begging at the gates of Crusader Europe thought that they had the room to safely do as they please. Thus, O zealous Muslims everywhere! O truthful muwahhidin! O people of wala and bara! This accursed individual came and amassed the scum of men in the Sahwat of disgrace in Sham to wage war against Allah’s religion and to put out His light. He relentlessly bombarded and destroyed houses upon the heads of their inhabitants, soiling his hands with the blood of the Muslims, making light of their religion and sanctity. Accordingly, we make a call to every truthful muwahhid to target the supports of the apostate, secularist, Turkish state everywhere, including the security, military, economic, and media apparatuses, rather, even every embassy and consulate representing them in all lands of the earth.

Thereafter, know O mujahid muwahhidin that the worst of them in criminality, kufr, and sin are their barking dogs from the scholars of deviance, callers to kufr, and shuyukh of lowliness and decadence, those who supported that mushr­ik party and apostate state through all forms of wala and support via their “scholarly” councils, fatwa assemblies, and media programs, rather even via their personal accounts and discussion forums. Their names are infamous, their loca­tions are exposed, and their programs are notorious. They are those who gave their blessings to the rule of the tyran­nical kafir. They propagated and rejoiced at his presidency despite its deviance. They came to him from all the lands, congratulating him on what he manifested openly of blatant apostasy and disbelief. They took his lands as a hotbed for their operations and a shelter for their disgrace and igno­rance. They defaced the signs of guidance with their hands and killed what remained of glory in the face of the kuffar, taking them instead as brethren. How evil are those hands and that brotherhood.

They brought kufr closer and made it a trivial matter. They disfigured and deformed the great religion. Thereby, the deceptions increased, the innovations spread, and de­sires were worshiped, and how evil an object of worship! The praiseworthy was not distinguishable from the blame­worthy nor was the blameworthy distinguishable from the praiseworthy. The worst calamity and uttermost lowliness was in that they became leaders for the people, calling them to darkness. They are merely cowardly, fearing people more than Allah, or arrogant, seeking fame, celebrityhood, and prestige, or afflicted with the love of vanities and fear of los­ing dunya. They magnified their corruption and abuse, bur­ied the pure truth, and spread wickedness. There are many, many of them, but we will not go into length therein, for there is so much to mention. May Allah disfigure their emp­ty souls, their hired beards, and their false tongues.

When the sailor is absent, and the ship is tossed by winds, the frogs take over;
Is there not someone to restrain them, or to cut off their noses, or even to stop them?

The worst of his people was Bal’am Ibn Ba’ura and the worst of Musaylimah’s people was ar-Rajjal Ibn ‘Unfuwah. Amongst these wicked scholars today are those who are worse to Islam and its people than many of those whom you might consider to be the worst.

By Allah, the time has come for these skulls to be split, for these souls to be smothered, and for these tongues to be cut off! ‘Iyad al-Yahsibi said in his book “Tartib al-Madar­ik wa Taqrib al-Masalik” that “Abu Bakr Isma’il Ibn Ishaq Ibn ‘Udhrah was asked about the khutbah-givers of Bani ‘Ubayd, the false Fatimids. It was said to him, ‘They are Sunni.’ He said, ‘Do they not say, ‘O Allah, send blessings upon your slave al-Hakim and grant him inheritance of the earth?’’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Imagine if a khutbah-giver gave the khutbah, beginning with praise for Allah and His Messenger, doing the praise well, and then said, ‘Abu Jahl is in Jannah.’ Would he be a kafir?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Al-Hakim is worse in kufr than Abu Jahl.’ Ad-Dawudi was also asked about the matter and said, ‘Their khutbah-giver who gives khutbah for them and supplicates for them on Jumu’ah is a kafir who should be killed. Repentance is not to be demanded of him. His wife is haram for him. He does not inherit from Muslims nor do they inherit from him. His wealth is to be seized by the Muslims.’” This ends his words.

Thus, O zealous soldiers of tawhid everywhere, dedicate yourselves to killing those evil scholars and callers of fitnah everywhere who harm the religion of Allah and His allies. If one of you finds one of them, he should not let his shadow separate from the evil one’s shadow until he kills him. Let him attack him – even in the evil scholar’s home while he is amongst his family. Begin with those who publicized their enmity and called to the killing of the mujahidin or accused them of atheism or abandonment of the religion. Revive the sunnah of the killing of Jahm, Ja’d, al-Hallaj, and Ma’bad through your killing of the evil scholars, for, by Allah, if Shaytan were to establish a state, he would find from them prepared soldiers and cooperative supporters. And there is no power nor strength except by Allah, the Almighty.

Abul-Hasan ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib said, “There shall soon come upon the people a time in which nothing of Islam remains except its name and nothing of the Quran remains except its script. Their masajid will be built with splendor while they are ruins, void of guidance. Their scholars will be the worst creatures under the sky. Fitnah arises from them and is only due to them” (Reported by al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman). Indeed, the fitnah began from their mouths and from upon their pulpits, for after they prohibited jihad for Allah’s cause and considered it a crime, they began to call the people to join falsehood, kufr, and the fight under the banners of the tawaghit, doing so to achieve the pleasure of their rulers and keep their wealth and prestige safe. The loser is he who loses his religion by following their desires and preserving their dunya, for whoever does not busy himself with truth, Shaytan busies him with falsehood. And whoev­er does not fight for Allah’s cause today, the taghut will make him one day fight for the taghut’s cause.

And to the Muslims generally and Ahlus-Sunnah in Iraq and Sham specifically:

The evil of the Magian state of Iran has reached its climax. The sparks spread, reaching all lands and harming all slaves. They murdered Ahlus-Sunnah in Iraq and Sham via their proxies, militias, experts, and advisers. The Sunni thereby became either a shackled prisoner or a submissive follower. No one after Allah inhibited them from the Muslims, save the Islamic State. Yes, the truth is bright and falsehood is dark. How can a vain deviant compete with the troops of the Khilafah? How can two people differ over who it is that de­fends the religion, honor, and the land? Who is it that made Iran and its followers taste horrible atrocities?

May Allah disfigure the beards of the evil scholars, how great their evil and falsehood are. Who is it that unsheathed the sword of truth in the face of the Magian state of Iran and made it taste destruction from Baghdad to Beirut to Halab to Dimashq to Khurasan to San’a? Who, O callers of evil and corruption, who? Here is Iran now cruising the lands of Ahlus-Sunnah from east to west and from north to south, waging war against Allah’s slaves, the mujahid muwahhidin, while protected by the bombardment and support of the Crusaders and the treacherous apostate governments. They propose for its love and hope for good terms with it. May Al­lah hasten the collapse of their thrones and the end of their kingdoms at the hands of the mujahidin by Allah’s power and strength.

Is it not time O Ahlus-Sunnah that you abandon frivol­ities, riddles of fornicating women, and legendary myths. Why do you look arrogant and act proud? Is it because you repelled the aggression of a cruel enemy who has attacked the lands and reached a stone’s throw from Makkah and Ma­dinah? Or is it because of extra fortitude and severity some find in their rulers with which they believe they will be pro­tected and defended? Nay, by Allah, indeed these thoughts are wrong and at loss. And you will remember what I have told you.

Until when will we race against the stars at night, while the stars do not race on shoe nor on foot.

The enemy, may Allah break his back, has attacked the land and hopes – may Allah humiliate him – to deface your religion and desecrate your honor. The path of guidance has been made clear, so see it. Islam shouts, so support it. Honor calls out, so save it. The mujahid for Allah’s sake, incites to the fight, so do not abandon him.

Darul-Islam is for all Muslims. The Shari’ah of Allah is a trust on their shoulders. The defense of Darul-Islam and the Shari’ah is not a responsibility solely for the mujahidin. Thus, no slave has any excuse with Allah nor with the Mus­lims if the brothers of apes and swine and the worshipers of stones, trees, and men reach it. Rush, therefore, to join the caravan of jihad and support the fighters for Allah’s cause in any way you can help, with combat, wealth, incitement, and supplication.

To the soldiers of the Khilafah and its supporters all over the world! To the predatory lions who pounced upon the beds of kufr, made it forget comfort, muddied the face of its intelligence agencies, and made safety a dream from amongst their many dreams! Know – may Allah support you with His aid – that your blessed operations turn the scales and turn the spout of the cannons of kufr away from the Muslims. Thus, attack them in their homes, markets, streets, clubs, and wherever they least expect it. Enflame the ground beneath their feet and blacken their skies so that they are busied with themselves. Multiply your efforts and intensify your operations, may Allah bless you.

I will not forget here to praise the knights of da’wah, health, media, and other soldiers of the Khilafah and ask Allah to bless their jihad and ribat on various fronts. Their battle today is no less of importance than the military battle.

O Allah, all praise is due to You until You are pleased. All praise is due to you, when You are pleased. All praise is due to you, after You are pleased. O Allah, stop the criminal kuf­far who turn people from Your path, who fight Your allies, who deny Your messengers, and who desire corruption on the earth. O Allah, support Your religion and Your soldiers, make Your word supreme, raise Your banner of truth, O ilah of Truth. There is no power nor strength except by Allah. And all praise is due to the Lord of creation.

Belgian fighters in Syria & Iraq ~ December 2016

By Guy Van Vlierden and Pieter Van Ostaeyen


Belgian fighters in Syria & Iraq – an update of our data


After a new round of additions and improvements to our database, we do estimate the total number of Belgian citizens and residents implicated in the current Syrian-Iraqi conflict at 563 individuals now.


512 of all the people in our database have reached the war zone at some point — a rate of 90.9%. 33 or 5.9% were stopped somewhere abroad, and 18 or 3.2% before they left the Belgian soil. Apart from those who didn’t arrive, we have information about 82 people who returned to Belgium — meaning that at least 133 are back in Europe now. 415 of our records are males, representing 73.7%. 69 or 12.3% are females, while the gender is not known for another 79 or 14.0%.


We have information about 31 children taken to the war zone as minors, of whom at least 20 male and 7 female. These numbers do exclude however youngsters who were juridically still minors at their moment of departure, but apparently have left at their own will. According to official sources, there are at least 48 Belgian minors who have left, of whom 32 were younger than twelve[1].


Islamic State by far the most important group


238 people in our database belong(ed) to the Islamic State. That is 69.2% of all 344 records for which an exact affiliation is known. Jabhat an-Nusra, the Syrian branch of the global terrorist network al-Qaeda that has rebranded itself into Jabhat Fath as-Sham to indicate a split from al-Qaeda[2], is the second most important group with 45 people for whom it is their last known affiliation.


It must be noted that affiliations often change in course of time. The third most important group for instance, Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen, became a part of the Islamic State early in 2013. Until then, it was the group joined by almost all the recruits of Shariah4Belgium. Some of them followed their leaders into the Islamic State immediately, while a significant number of others initially switched side to Jabhat an-Nusra. 32 people are still listed in our database with Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen as last known affiliation, because we do not know in which group they landed. But the total number of Belgians who have belonged to Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen at a certain point amounts to 77.


Other Sunni Islamist groups with Belgians in their ranks are Suqur as-Sham (joined by the notorious Brussels based cheikh Bassam Ayachi) with 13 people; Katibat al-Khadra and the so-called Katibat des Français with two individuals; and Ahrar as-Sham, Faylaq as-Sham, Jabhat Ansar al-Din, Jaysh Muhammad, Jund al-Aqsa, Katibat al-Muhajiroun and the Turkistan Islamic Party with each one.


Shariah4Belgium & Zerkani network main recruiters


Looking at recruitment organizations, the Antwerp based Shariah4Belgium still is the most important one. 97 people were at least in touch with that organization before their departure. Second comes the network around the Brussels recruiter Khalid Zerkani, with 72 individuals. An overlap exists, mainly in the circles of the Brussels recruiter Jean-Louis Denis. He worked together with both networks, and has influenced at least 58 people who tried or succeeded to reach the battle zone[3]. The Centre Islamique Belge of the mentioned Bassam Ayachi had proven ties with four fighters, while the so-called ‘Terloplein Group’ and ‘The Way of Life’ — both of which can be considered as spin-offs of Shariah4Belgium — had ties with respectively five and one who’ve tried.


Geographically, the Brussels Capital Region has the highest number of Belgian foreign fighters with 188 individuals on a total of 422 for whom the origin is known, including at least 43 from the now notorious municipality of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean. Antwerp is the second most important place of origin with 98 people, while Vilvoorde (29) and Mechelen (17) add to the importance of the axis Brussels-Antwerp as hotbed of the Belgian jihad[4].


114 deaths, of whom 12 by suicide attacks


Of the Belgian foreign fighers in our database, 114 were reportedly killed. For nine of them, that happened after their return to Europe to commit a terrorist attack: Khalid Ben Larbi and Soufiane Amghar during a police operation on January 15, 2015 in Verviers (Belgium); Bilal Hadfi and Ibrahim Abdeslam while conducting suicide attacks on November 13, 2015 in Paris (France); Abdelhamid Abaaoud and Chakib Akrouh during a police operation following the Paris attacks on November 18, 2015 in Saint-Denis (France); Mohamed Aziz Belkaïd during a police operation on March 15, 2016 in Forest (Belgium); and Najim Laachraoui and Ibrahim El Bakraoui while conducting suicide attacks on March 22, 2016 in Brussels (Belgium).


It has to be stressed that the death of 105 others in the war zone cannot be verified. There are for instance several cases known already of foreign fighters faking their death to lure security services, including the already mentioned Abdelhamid Abaaoud prior to the Verviers plot and the Paris attacks[5]. So, being mentioned in the list of people killed we publish beneath, only means that relevant sources have announced the death of that person, without clear signs that it was inaccurate. Altogether, 12 Belgian fighters have died while committing suicide attacks: seven in Iraq, two in France, two in Belgium and one in Syria.



Our definition of Belgian foreign fighters in the current Syrian-Iraqi conflict:


1) every person of Belgian origin, foreign origin but living in Belgium for a significant time, or clearly recruited by an entity operating from Belgium and departed to the conflict zone via Belgian soil;


2) having at least physically tried to reach the war zone of the Syrian-Iraqi conflict that started in March 2011;


3) with a clear intention to join a local fighting party there, be it as a fighter themselves or in any other role.


While it has to be stressed that this definition is broader than Sunni Islamists, actually 553 (or 98% of all our records) can be considered as such. Other kind of affiliations, such as pro-regime fighters in both Syria and Iraq, certainly are a very small part of the foreign figher phenomenon in reality too. But they are also underrepresented in our database because the focus of our active investigations is the Sunni Islamist part.


Since our major review published in August[6], we also list the minors taken to the battlefield, records that we previously didn’t count. It can be feared that the foreign fighters phenomenon will last for many years, and while the minors of today probably will be the fighters of tomorrow, it  becomes relevant now to count them in.



List of Belgian foreign fighters reportedly killed


  1. Julian André Harinton, aka Abu Abdullah al-Belgiki, convert from Antwerp who most likely joined the Free Syrian Army and was killed in April 2012


  1. Hamdi Mahmoud Saad, a Syrian living in Brussels who joined the Free Syrian Army and was killed in Latakia governorate in August 2012


  1. Rustam Gelayev, son of Chechen warlord Ruslan Gelayev who lived a while in Belgium, killed in Aleppo governorate in August 2012


  1. Soufiane Chioua, Brussels recruit of Denis & Zerkani networks who left in October 2012, joined Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen and was killed at an unkown date


  1. Bilal Zinati, recruit of the Denis network who left in December 2012, joined Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen and was killed at an unknown date


  1. Sean Pidgeon, a convert from Brussels recruited by the Denis & Zerkani networks, killed in Aleppo governorate in March 2013


  1. Anonymous fighter from Mechelen, killed before April 2013 according to an imam who assisted his family


  1. Anonymous fighter from Vilvoorde whose death was announced in April 2013. He was barely eightteen years old and got killed by a sniper two weeks after his arrival in Syria


  1. Ahmed Stevenberg, the alias of an unidentified fighter of Jabhat an-Nusra, killed by the Syrian army in the Latakia governorate in April 2013


  1. Raphaël Gendron, aka Abdurauf Abu Marwa, a Frenchman raised in Brussels, killed in the ranks of Suqur as-Sham in April 2013


  1. Tarik Taketloune, aka Abu Khattab, figher from Vilvoorde who was recruited by Shariah4Belgium and joined Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen, killed in May 2013


  1. Saïd Amrani, Denis recruit from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg who was killed in May 2013


  1. Ismail Amgroud, a fighter from Maaseik who joined Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen and was killed in June 2013


  1. Noureddine Abouallal, aka Abu Mujahid, a leader of Shariah4Belgium who joined Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen and was killed in July 2013


  1. Younis Asad Rahman, the alias of a fighter also known as Asad ar-Rahman al-Belgiki, killed in August 2013 in Latakia governorate


  1. Abu Salma al-Belgiki, anonymous fighter killed in August 2013 in Deir ez-Zor governorate


  1. Younes Kharbache, Denis recruit from Brussels and brother of Hamza Kharbache. Joined Islamic State and was killed in August 2013 in Damascus governorate


  1. Ahmed Daoudi, aka Abu Mochsin, Shariah4Belgium recruit who joined Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen, but reportedly soon switched to a hospital job. Was active as a medical worker during the Al Ghouta chemical attack in August 2013, went missing shortly afterwards and was reported dead


  1. Abdel Rahman Ayachi, aka Abu Hajjar, son of the Brussels-Syrian cheikh Bassam Ayachi, killed in the ranks of Suqur as-Sham in September 2013


  1. Abdelgabar Hamdaoui, a Shariah4Belgium recruit fighting for Jabhat an-Nusra, killed in September 2013


  1. Ahmed Dihaj, aka Abu Ateeq, a leading figure within Shariah4Belgium, who left early in 2013 to join Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen and was killed in the ranks of the Islamic State in September 2013


  1. Houssien Elouassaki, aka Abu Fallujah, Shariah4Belgium recruit who became the emir of the foreign chapter within Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen. Switched side to Jabhat an-Nusra and was killed in September 2013


  1. Mohamed Bali, aka Abu Hudayfa, Shariah4Belgium recruit coming from Antwerp, killed in the ranks of the Islamic State in September 2013


  1. Abdelmonhim R’ha, Sunni Islamist fighter from Antwerp, reportedly a relative of former Belgian Guantánamo detainee Moussa Zemmouri. Killed in September 2013


  1. Ibrahim El Harchi, aka Abu Ali, a recruit of Jean-Louis Denis fighting for Islamic State, killed in mid December 2013 during clashes with Ahrar as-Sham in Idlib governorate


  1. Sabri Refla, aka Abu Tourab, Denis recruit from Vilvoorde, who subsequently joined Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen and the Islamic State. Committed suicide attack in Iraq in December 2013


  1. Mohamed Said Haddad, Zerkani recruit from Brussels and brother of the Verviers terrorist plot member Abdelmounaim Haddad. Killed in December 2013


  1. Abu al-Baraa al-Belgiki, an anonymous fighter of Algerian descent, who served as emir for Islamic State in the Syrian town of Saraqib and was killed there in January 2014


  1. Ouafae Sarrar, aka Umm Djarrah, wife of Shariah4Belgium recruit and Islamic State fighter Ilyass Boughalab. Reportedly killed around January 2014


  1. Abdelmonaïm Lachiri, aka Abu Sara, recruit of the Zerkani network and a son of its ‘pasionaria’ Fatima Aberkan, killed in the ranks of Jabhat an-Nusra in February 2014


  1. Feisal Yamoun, aka Abu Faris, a leader of Shariah4Belgium who left with wife and three young kids, killed in February 2014


  1. Hamza Kharbache, Denis recruit from Brussels and brother of Younes Kharbache, who joined the Islamic State and was killed in February 2014 in Aleppo governorate


  1. Brahim Labrak, Denis recruit from Brussels with French roots, who joined Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen, switched to Islamic State and was killed in February 2014


  1. Nabil Ajraoui, Denis recruit who left as a minor in November 2013 and was killed in February 2014


  1. Ilyass Boughalab, aka Abu Djarrah, Shariah4Belgium recruit killed in March 2014 and mentioned afterwards as a member of Islamic State’s elite brigade Katibat al-Battar


  1. Yoni Mayne, aka Abu Dujana al-Mali, Zerkani recruit from Brussels with Belgian father and Malinese mother, killed near ar-Raqqah in March 2014 and mentioned afterwards as member of Islamic State’s elite brigade Katibat al-Battar


  1. Saïd El Morabit, aka Abu Muthanna, Shariah4Belgium recruit from Antwerp, killed between ar-Raqqah and Hasakah in March 2014 and mentioned afterwards as member of Islamic State’s elite brigade Katibat al-Battar


  1. Abdelilah Jab-Allah, aka Abu Omar, Brussels recruit of Denis & Zerkani networks. Joined Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen and was killed in March 2014


  1. Karim Mahrach, aka Abu Azzam, recruit of Jean-Louis Denis from Brussels, killed in the ranks of the Islamic State in April 2014


  1. Khalid Bali, aka Abu Hamza, brother of Mohamed Bali, killed in the ranks of the Islamic State in May 2014 at the age of seventeen


  1. Khalid Hachti Bernan, aka Abu Mehdi/Abu Qa’qa, member of Islamic State’s elite brigade Katibat al-Battar, originally from Virton, who was killed in May 2014


  1. Nabil Azahaf, aka Abu Sayyaf, Shariah4Belgium recruit from Vilvoorde who became a member of Islamic State’s elite brigade Katibat al-Battar and was killed in May 2014


  1. Abu Handalah, anonymous Jabhat an-Nusra fighter who appeared in the video ‘Turning Point’ and was killed in May 2014 near Aleppo


  1. Yassine El Karouni, aka Abu Osama, Shariah4Belgium recruit coming from the Netherlands, but living in Antwerp. Joined Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen and was killed in May 2014


  1. Kiéran Luce, aka Abu al-Qada al-Faransi, recruit of Denis network coming from the French-Caribbean island of Martinique. Joined Islamic State and committed suicide attack in northern Iraq in May 2014


  1. Iliass Azaouaj, an imam from Brussels who left to get Belgian fighters back home, then joined Islamic State himself, but was executed on suspicion of being a spy around July 2014


  1. Anonymous Belgian fighter killed in July 2014 in al-Keshkeyyi, Deir ez-Zor governorate


  1. Adem Ben Amro, aka Abu Obayda at-Tunisi, Tunisian who lived as refugee in Antwerp, joined the Islamic State in July 2014 and committed a suicide attack in Kobanê at an unknown date


  1. Souleymane Abrini, Zerkani recruit and brother of Paris & Brussels attacks accomplice Mohamed Abrini. Joined the Islamic State and was killed in August 2014


  1. Abu Jihad al-Belgiki, anonymous Islamic State fighter, killed in battle for airport in Deir ez-Zor governorate in August 2014


  1. Zakaria El Bouzaidi, best friend of Sean Pidgeon, who was recruited together with him by the Denis & Zerkani networks. Killed in September 2014


  1. Abu Mohsen at-Tunisi, anonymous Belgian fighter of Tunisian descent, fighting for Islamic State and killed in September 2014 during a battle near the airport of Deir ez-Zor


  1. Abu Adnan al-Belgiki, anonymous fighter of Algerian descent who switched from Jabhat an-Nusra to Islamic State at the end of 2013 and was killed in September 2014


  1. Abu Mohamed al-Belgiki, anonymous fighter killed in October 2014 in Deir ez-Zor governorate


  1. Abu Umar al-Belgiki, anonymous fighter of Saudi descent, killed in the ranks of Jabhat an-Nusra in October 2014 in Latakia governorate


  1. Dniel Mahi, aka Abu Yahya al-Belgiki, a Zerkani recruit and member of Islamic State’s elite brigade Katibat al-Battar, killed in October 2014


  1. Abu Umar al-Belgiki, anonymous fighter mentioned on a list of deaths of Islamic State’s elite brigade Katibat al-Battar, published in October 2014[7]. It was later confirmed that this kunya doesn’t refer to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who faked his own death around the same time


  1. Abu Sulayman al-Belgiki, anonymous Islamic State fighter of Maghribian descent, killed in Kobanê in November 2014


  1. Bilal Barrani, aka Abu Said, Zerkani recruit of French origin who was living in Brussels, joined Islamic State and was killed in December 2014


  1. Khongr Pavlovitch Matsakov, Sunni Islamist fighter from Ostend with roots in the Russian republic of Kalmykia, killed in January 2015


  1. Abu Taymiyya al-Belgiki, anonymous Islamic State fighter killed in Kobanê in January 2015


  1. Khalid Ben Larbi, aka Abu Zoubeyr, Islamic State fighter from Brussels who was killed during a police operation in Verviers (Belgium) on January 15, 2015


  1. Soufiane Amghar, aka Abu Khalid, Islamic State fighter from Brussels who was killed during a police operation in Verviers (Belgium) on January 15, 2015


  1. Anis Bouzzaouit, aka Abu Ibrahim, a Zerkani recruit who entered the Islamic State’s elite brigade Katibat al-Battar and was killed in February 2015 in Deir ez-Zor governorate


  1. Fahd Asamghi, aka Abu Sabir, Shariah4Belgium recruit from Antwerp who subsequently fought for Jaysh al-Muhajirin wa’l Ansar and Jabhat Ansar al-Din. Killed in March 2015


  1. Younes Bakkouy, aka Abu Aziz, Islamic State fighter from Genk who left with two brothers, one of whom (and most likely him) was reportedly killed in March 2015 near Tikrit in Iraq


  1. Abu Bakr al-Belgiki, anonymous Islamic State fighter from Brussels who committed suicide attack in Ramadi (Iraq) on March 11, 2015


  1. Mesut Cankurtaran, aka Abu Abdullah al-Belgiki. Islamic State fighter from Vilvoorde, recruited by Shariah4Belgium and the Denis network. Killed in March 2015 in battle for airport in Deir ez-Zor governorate


  1. Karim Kadir, aka Abu Abdullah al-Belgiki. Islamic State fighter from Charleroi, who committed suicide attack at the Iraqi-Jordan border on April 24, 2015


  1. Abu Tourab al-Belgiki, anonymous Sunni Islamist fighter from Brussels killed in May 2015 in Damascus governorate


  1. Abu Handala al-Belgiki, anonymous Sunni Islamist fighter killed in May 2015


  1. Abu Muhammad Belgiki, a Belgian resident of French-Cameroonian descent, killed in the battle of Sokhna (Homs Governorate, Syria) in May 2015


  1. Abu Muslim al-Belgiki. Anonymous Islamic State fighter from Antwerp. His death was announced in June 2015, but reportedly happened around a year earlier


  1. Sami Ladri, aka Abu Waliya, Zerkani recruit from Brussels who joined the Islamic State and committed suicide attack near an-Nukhayba (Iraq) on June 22, 2015


  1. Fayssal Oussaih, aka Abu Shaheed, Islamic State fighter from Maaseik, killed in July 2015


  1. Abu Iliace al-Belgiki, anonymous Islamic State fighter whose death was announced by an Islamic State source in ar-Raqqah in July 2015


  1. Mossi Junior Juma, teenager from Brussels with roots in Burundi, said to be taken to Syria by his mother and killed in July 2015 at the age of sixteen


  1. Lucas Van Hessche, aka Abu Ibrahim, convert from Menen with roots in Haiti, joined Islamic State and was killed in August 2015 in Hasakah governorate


  1. Abu Mariyya al-Belgiki, anonymous fighter from Bruges, apparently of Indian descent. Joined Islamic State and was reportedly killed during his very first battle in August 2015


  1. Abu Ayman al-Belgiki, anonymous Islamic State fighter, killed by British drone strike in ar-Raqqah in August 2015


  1. Brian De Mulder, aka Abu Qasim al-Brazili, convert from Antwerp with Belgian father and Brazilian mother, recruited by Shariah4Belgium. Died in October 2015 of wounds sustained by an air strike three weeks earlier


  1. Mohammed Hajji, Islamic State fighter from Antwerp, killed by an air strike in ar-Raqqah in October 2015


  1. Abu Abdullah al-Belgiki, anonymous Islamic State figher, killed in October 2015 by a French air strike on a training camp near ar-Raqqah


  1. Abdelmalek Boutalliss, aka Abu Nusaybah, Islamic State fighter from Kortrijk who committed suicide attack near Haditha (Iraq) on November 11, 2015


  1. Andy Bizala Lubanza, Zerkani recruit from Brussels with Congolese & Rwandese roots, joined Islamic State and was killed in November 2015


  1. Anonymous, Belgian wife of Islamic State emir ‘Abu Khabab’ from Saudi Arabia, killed with her husband in November 2015 in Deir ez-Zor


  1. Bilal Hadfi, aka Abu Mujahid al-Faransi, Islamic State fighter of French origin living in Brussels, who committed suicide attack in Paris (France) on November 13, 2015


  1. Ibrahim Abdeslam, aka Abu Qa’qa al-Belgiki, Islamic State fighter of French origin living Brussels, who committed a suicide attack in Paris (France) on November 13, 2015


  1. Abdelhamid Abaaoud, aka Abu Omar al-Belgiki, Zerkani recruit from Brussels, who joined Islamic State’s elite brigade Katibat al-Battar and was killed on November 18, 2015 during a police operation in Saint-Denis (France) linked to the Paris attacks


  1. Chakib Akrouh, aka Dhul-Qarnayn al-Belgiki, Zerkani recruit from Brussels, who joined the Islamic State and was killed on November 18, 2015 during police operation in Saint-Denis (France) linked to the Paris attacks


  1. Mohammed Jattari, Sunni Islamist fighter from Tienen, killed at unknown date in 2015


  1. Younes Ahllal, aka Abu Taymiyah al-Belgiki. Zerkani recruit from Brussels, killed in the ranks of the Islamic State in January 2016


  1. Anonymous Belgian fighter killed in the ranks of the Islamic State in Deir ez-Zor governorate on January 20, 2016


  1. Abu Umar al-Belgiki, anonymous Islamic State fighter, killed in al-Hawiqa near Deir ez-Zor on January 30, 2016


  1. Umm Shérazade al-Belgiki, anonymous woman from Brussels who joined the Islamic State and was reportedly executed for witchcraft in February 2016


  1. Anonymous Belgian fighter in the ranks of the Islamic State, reportedly executed for treason in Deir ez-Zor in February 2016


  1. Salahuddin al-Belgiki, anonymous Islamic State fighter, who was killed as an important battle commander in Deir ez-Zor governorate in March 2016


  1. Mohamed Aziz Belkaïd, aka Abu Abdulaziz al-Jazairi, Islamic State fighter of Swedish-Algerian origin who was killed on March 15, 2016 during a police operation in Forest (Belgium) linked to the Paris attacks


  1. Najim Laachraoui, aka Abu Idriss, Brussels recruit of the Denis & Zerkani networks, who joined the Islamic State and committed a suicide attack at Brussels Airport (Belgium) on March 22, 2016


  1. Ibrahim El Bakraoui, Islamic State fighter from Brussels who was stopped on his way to Syria, but committed suicide attack at Brussels Airport (Belgium) on March 22, 2016 (Belgium)


  1. Abou Souleyman Belgiki, anonymous fighter from Brussels, who switched side from the Islamic State to Jabhat an-Nusra and was killed near Idlib in April 2016, reportedly by an American drone


  1. Abu Anas al-Belgiki, anonymous Islamic State fighter, killed near Mosul (Iraq) in April 2016


  1. Abu Dawoud al-Belgiki, anonymous fighter with Jabhat an-Nusra, identified as deputy emir of its foreign fighters in August 2013. Killed by an air strike in May 2016, targeting a meeting of Jabhat an-Nusra leadership at Abu Adh Dhuhur air base in Idlib governorate


  1. Abu Abdilah al-Belgiki, anonymous Jabhat an-Nusra fighter of Maghribian origin, killed in June 2016 by a tank attack of the Syrian army near Aleppo


  1. Anonymous Belgian fighter, killed as Islamic State commander in a battle near Deir ez-Zor in July 2016


  1. Redwane Haiaoui, an Islamic State fighter from the city of Verviers, killed according to the Verviers mayor in a statement made in August 2016


  1. Anonymous fighter from the city of Verviers, killed according to the Verviers mayor in a statement made in August 2016


  1. Zakaria Asbai, aka Abu Zubair, Shariah4Belgium recruit from Vilvoorde who joined Islamic State and whose earlier death was reported in August 2016


  1. Abu Miqdad al-Belgiki, anonymous Islamic State fighter, killed in battle near Deir ez-Zor in August 2016


  1. Lotfi Aoumeur, aka Abu Anwar/Abu Noor al-Belgiki, Islamic State fighter from Verviers who committed suicide attack near Qarrayah (Iraq) on August 9, 2016


  1. Anonymous Belgian fighter, reportedly a leading figure in the media team of Islamic State, killed by an air strike near Qaim (Iraq) on August 24, 2016


  1. Abu Abdallah al-Belgiki, anonymous fighter of Jabhat Fath as-Sham, killed near Hama (Syria) on September 29, 2016


  1. Abu Omar al-Belgiki, anonymous fighter of Jabhat Fath as-Sham, killed in November 2016


  1. Hicham Naji, aka Abu Mehdi, Shariah4Belgium recruit from Antwerp who was reportedly killed in Islamic State ranks in November 2016




[3]   More about these 3 groups and their overlap can be found here:

[4]   For much more detail on the geographical spread of the Belgian foreign fighter phenomenon, please see





The establishment of Jabhat Al-Nusra and the events of Al Sham from the beginning of the disagreement to the announcement of Dawlah

Arabic text published by Jabhat Fath as-Sham related Twitter accounts on November 20th, 2016.

English translation by Bilad al-Sham Media published on November 27th, 2016.



تأسيس جبهة النصرة

وأحداث الشام من بداية الخلاف إلى إعلان الدولة

للشيخ المجاهد

عبدالرحيم عطون “أبو عبدالله الشامي”

الشرعي العام لجبهة فتح الشام

[ مقتبس من كتاب | في ظلال دوحة الجهاد | ص 177 – 194 ]


الثورة في الشام (2011)

لقد أنعم الله على هذه الأمة بقيام هذه الثورات التي تدرجت من تونس إلى مصر.

وكانت الأيام الأخيرة في عمر الشيخ أسامة رحمه الله فوصف ذلك الحدث الكبير بكلمات بليغة.. هذا بعضها: “طالما يممت الأمة وجهها ترقب النصر الذي لاحت بشائره من المشرق، فإذا بشمس الثورة تطلع من المغرب.. أضاءت الثورة من تونس، فأنست بها الأمة وأشرقت وجوه الشعوب، وشرِقت حناجر الحكام وارتاعت يهود لقرب الوعود.

فبإسقاط الطاغية سقطت معاني الذلة والخنوع والخوف والإحجام، ونهضت معاني الحرية والعزة والجرأة والإقدام.. فهبت رياح التغيير رغبة في التحرير، وكان لتونس قصب السبق، وبسرعة البرق أخذ فرسان الكنانة قبسًا من أحرار تونس إلى ميدان التحرير، فانطلقت ثورة عظيمة.. وأي ثورة.. ثورة لمصر كلها.. وللأمة إن اعتصمت بحبل ربها”.

ثم انتقلت الثورة إلى ليبيا فاليمن ثم إلى الشام.. دون نسيان ثورة العراق طبعًا..

وكان للثورة الشامية خصوصية ميزتها عن بقية الثورات، وهذا أمر واضح للعيان يعرفه كل أحد..

هذه الثورة سواءً قلنا أنها ثورة سلمية أم شعبية أم جهادية أم كل ذلك عبر مراحلها التصاعدية المعروفة للجميع، إلا أنها رحمة إلهية للمسلمين في الشام خاصة وللأمة عامة، بل ولكل المستضعفين في الأرض إن شاء الله، رغم كل البلاء الذي يُصبُ على رؤوس أهل الشام اليوم.

بدأت الثورة سلمية نعم، ثم رعاها المولى جل في علاه ودرَّجها شيئًا فشيئًا حتى تحولت إلى ثورة إسلامية جهادية.

بدأت سلمية تنادي بالكرامة والحرية وإسقاط هذا النظام النصيري المجرم الذي سام أهل السنة سوء العذاب طيلة أربعين عامًا وحرمهم من مقومات العيش الكريم، ومن مجرد التفكير بحرب يهود، حيث هو الحارس الأمين لحدود يهود بعد أن باع الجولان، وسلَّم القنيطرة في مسرحيات الحروب الهزلية.

كانت المظاهرات بركانًا يزلزل أقدام الطغاة من آل الأسد ومَن وراءهم، وهنا بدأ المكر الإلهي حيث حسب الطاغية أنه إن أخرج زمرة من السجناء الإسلاميين والسياسيين وألغى قانون الطوارئ وتبعًا له محكمة أمن الدولة سيئة الصيت، فسيلتف على الثورة ويخمد شعلتها التي أشعلها القوي العزيز، ولكن هيهات..

وأنه إن بطش وقتل ودمر وارتكب المجازر سيتوقف الأمر، ولكن هيهات..هيهات..

وهكذا اشتد أوار المعركة، وبرزت الفصائل الجهادية التي طالما انتظرت هذه الأيام والفرص، وكان من هذه الفصائل “جبهة النصرة لأهل الشام”.

تأسيس جبهة النصرة:

منَّ الله على الشيخ الجولاني حفظه الله بالخروج من الأسر قبل بداية الثورة كما ذكرنا، وبقي في “الشمال” في العراق عند صاحبه الذي كان مسؤول الشمال حينها، وقد عرض الرجل على الشيخ بعد أن تبادلا الحديث طويلاً، أن يسلمه بدلاً عنه، أو أن يكون بجانب البغدادي أبي بكر، فلم يرغب الشيخ بذلك، وعرض على صاحبه المذكور مشروع العمل في الشام، فأعجب الرجل بالفكرة، وطلب إلى الشيخ أن يكتب فيها ليُبعث الكتاب للبغدادي بانتظار رده.

فقام الشيخ بكتابة الملامح العامة للمشروع الذي سماه في نفس الكتاب: “جبهة النصرة لأهل الشام”.

ولمأرب ما، فقد أعلن عنه ابتداءً بشكله الطويل: “جبهة النصرة لأهل الشام من مجاهدي الشام في ساحات الجهاد”.

كان البغدادي يحلم بأن يكون لديه في العراق من يحول الحلم إلى مشروع، والمشروع إلى عمل، وقد حاول العدناني -حيث هو شامي- أن يقوم بشيء من هذا، ولكنه لم يفلح..

وقبل ذكر تعليق البغدادي على المشروع المكتوب من قبل الشيخ الجولاني، الذي صار فيما بعد “جماعة جبهة النصرة” نذكر بعض أفكاره مما لا يضير كشفه.

لقد بيَّن الشيخ الجولاني حفظه الله أهدافه القريبة المباشرة وغير القريبة، وذكَّر بضرورة الاستفادة من تجربة العراق، والأخطاء التي وقعت، وأننا لا بد أن نكمل من المائة التي وصل إليها الجهاد، وليس من الصفر الذي بدأ به الشيخ الزرقاوي رحمه الله، وأن بين الشام والعراق فروقًا جوهرية ينبغي عدم إغفالها؛ منها: أن جهاد العراق قام على إثر احتلال، وأما الحال في الشام فجهاد نتج عن ثورة شعبية، وأن عشائر العراق أقوى من عشائر الشام، وأن الإخوان المسلمين في الشام أضعف منهم في العراق، وأن النصيرية في الشام أقلية رغم سيطرتهم على السلطة والأمن والجيش، ولا دعوة لهم إلى مذهبهم بخلاف الرافضة في العراق، حيث أنهم أهل دعوة وليسوا أقلية، إلى غير ذلك من الفروق، بما يعني أنه لا يمكن تطبيق النموذج العراقي في الشام، ويجب أن لا نستنتخ التجربة، وأن نستفيد من الأخطاء.

ومما ذكره الشيخ كذلك أن وتيرة الأحداث متسارعة مما يعني ضرورة التواصل المباشر بينه وبين القيادة في العراق بحيث يكون هذا التواصل يوميًّا أو شبه يومي، وإلا فلا بد من منحه صلاحيات واسعة وتخويلاً عامًّا في اتخاذ القرار بموجب المستجدات، وكل هذا ضمن المنظومة العامة لتنظيم قاعدة الجهاد، ودون الإعلان عن ذلك، وتكون جبهة النصرة هي فرع قاعدة الجهاد في الشام، عبر حلقة دولة العراق الإسلامية، ومنها إلى القاعدة الأم.

جاء رد البغدادي على هذا المشروع: “أوافق على كل حرف كتب في هذا الكتاب.. إن صاحب هذا المشروع لم يدع في مشروعه مجالاً لأن يُنْقَد.. إن نقل واقع العراق إلى الشام يعد انتحارًا”.

ثم وافق البغدادي على انتقال الشيخ الجولاني إلى الشام، فدخلها ومعه بعض المال مما أعطاه له البغداي، وأفراد قليلون لا يتجاوزون أصابع اليد، ولسنا بصدد التفصيل في المال والرجال، وإن كان البغدادي قد غالط نفسه والأمة مغالطة كبيرة حين ذكر أنه رفد الشيخ بالمال والرجال وربطه بخلاياه في الشام كما ذكر([1]).

بدأ الشيخ تأسيس جبهة النصرة انطلاقًا من العاصمة دمشق، وتوزعت مجموعات الجبهة في عموم المحافظات بعد دمشق، كدرعا وحمص وحماة وإدلب وحلب والرقة والدير والحسكة.

وبعد مرحلة التأسيس بدأ استهداف مفاصل النظام “كالأفرع الأمنية” في عديد المحافظات، ومن أهمها: دمشق وحلب ودرعا وإدلب وحماة ودير الزور.

جبهة النصرة في سياق الجهاد الشامي

سار الجهاد في رعاية الله، وبدأ النظام ينكمش نتيجة ضربات المجاهدين، وتوالت الانتصارات، وكان من أهم ما يشغل بال قيادة الجماعة “الشيخ ومجلس شوراه” هو العمل على وحدة الجماعات الجهادية في الشام، وعلى رأسها جماعتا “جبهة النصرة وأحرار الشام” مذ كانوا “كتائب أحرار الشام”.

وقد بذلت في سبيل ذلك جهود كبيرة، نسأل الله أن يجعلها في ميزان المخلصين الصادقين من الطرفين، وواجهتنا عوائق كبيرة في ذلك، ولا تزال، وهذا موضوع يحتاج لمصنَّفٍ خاص، ولا أريد الإطالة فيه، وإن أطال الله في العمر إلى وقت نرى ضرورة التفصيل فيه، وكان في الوقت متسع، فسنكتب فيه إن شاء الله.

كان الغرب يحاول الالتفاف على هذه الثورة بكل وسيلة، ولكن الله كبته.. حاول عبر المندوبَين -العربي ثم الدولي-، وعبر إعطاء المهل للنظام، المهلة تلو الأخرى، علَّ النظام يتقدم ويحدث تغييرًا في الموازين، وكان هذا الغرب المنافق يرسم الخطوط الحمراء للنظام، فيعمد النظام إلى تجاوزها، دون حياء أو خجل من هذا الغرب في رسم خطوط جديدة، كأنه يغري النظام ويغازله بتجاوزها، ونتذكر في هذا السياق مجزرة الكيماوي في الغوطة الشرقية، وليست الوحيدة ولكنها الأشنع، كما غض الغرب الطرف عن حصار النظام للعديد من المناطق وتجويعها، واستهداف أخرى بكل الأسلحة المحرمة دوليًّا -على حد زعمهم-.

فشلت كل محاولات الغرب وعلى رأسه أمريكا، فقادها حقدها لوضع جبهة النصرة على لائحة الإرهاب حتى قبل أن تعلن أنها تتبع تنظيم قاعدة الجهاد، وهذا حتى يعلم كل أحدٍ أن عداوة أمريكا لنا هي لأننا مسلمون سنيون مجاهدون، لا لأننا قاعدة، ولست هنا أتحدث عن خصوص جبهة النصرة، بل عن عموم أهل الجهاد.

العدناني في الشام وبداية الخلاف

وصل العدناني إلى الشام قبيل غزوة تحرير مطار تفتناز، وولَّاه الشيخ الجولاني على “الشمالية” والتي تضم حينها (حلب، وإدلب، وحماة)، وبدأ الرجل يأخذ البيعات باسم “دولة العراق” لا باسم “جبهة النصرة”، ثم حدثت بينه وبين مسؤولي كل من: حلب وإدلب وحماة مشاكل كثيرة، نتيجة تدخله غير الصحيح في هذه القطاعات، فعزله الشيخ عن إمارة الشمالية، وبهذا العزل بدأت المشكلة.

ثم ولاه الشيخ مسؤولية الحدود والمهاجرين والمعسكر المركزي لاستقبال المهاجرين، ولم يفلح كذلك، فعزله الشيخ مجددًا، فتعاظمت عنده المشكلة، وبدأ بالكتابة لقيادة “دولة العراق”، حيث كتب تقريرًا مؤلفًا من 25 صفحة، أطْلَعَ البغداديُّ الشيخَ الجولانيَ عليه فيما بعد، وقبل أن يرسل العدناني تقريره، حاول مع الشيخ تلميحًا أو تصريحًا ليعيده إلى إمارة الشمالية، فقال له الشيخ: “أخون الله ورسوله والمؤمنين إن لم تكن أهلاً لها وأوليك عليها، وأخون الله ورسوله والمؤمنين إن كنت أهلاً لها وأعزلك عنها”.

ازداد حنق الرجل، ثم قام بإرسال تقريره، علمًا بأن معظم فقرات التقرير استقاها من شخصيات خارج جبهة النصرة، من الفصائل الأخرى، ومنهم من كان مخاصمًا لبعض قيادات الجبهة مذ كانوا في سجن صيدنايا.

وصل التقرير للبغدادي، فبعث في طلب الشيخ الجولاني، فأسرع الشيخ إلى العراق رغم أن بينه وبين الوصول ما يزيد على 50 حاجزًا ونقطة عسكرية (سيطرة) -كما يسمونها في العراق-.

ورغم أن الحال لا يسمح بغياب الشيخ، ذهب الشيخ ووضع على مجلس الشورى شخصًا من قيادات “دولة العراق” ممن يعمل معنا، وهو حاج غانم، والذي كان إداريًا عامًا لجبهة النصرة.

ودون الإطالة فيما حدث مع الشيخ في رحلته تلك إلى العراق نقول: لقد تكلم لهم عن أفعال العدناني، فخطَّأ البغداديُّ أفعالَ العدناني وبيَّن للشيخ أنه لا يقر العدناني على هذه الأخطاء، ثم كافأه بأن جعله نائبًا للشيخ الجولاني بعد تلك الأخطاء!!

كان العدناني قد همس في آذان أولئك، بأن الجبهة تحاول الانشقاق عن “دولة العراق” فبعث البغدادي مشرفًا على الشام، وهو “الأنباري”.. مشرف له من الصلاحيات فوق ما للشيخ الجولاني!!

وللأمانة نقول: إن هذا المشرف -في تلك الفترة- لم يتعامل مع الشيخ الجولاني بموجب تلك الصلاحيات.

وكان من أبرز مهام هذا المشرف: التدقيق والبحث والتنقيب في قضية ومسألة: هل هناك نية لدى الجبهة للانشقاق؟ وطبعًا دون علم الجبهة بذلك.

تجول المشرف المذكور طيلة ستة أشهر في الشرق والشمال كاملاً ولم يترك مضافة أو مقرًا إلا ودخله، ثم خرج بنتيجة واضحة بلَّغها لقيادته: “لا توجد أية نية أو تفكير لدى جبهة النصرة للانشقاق عن الدولة”.

عمد البغدادي ومن معه إلى استخدام أسلوب العزل غير المباشر، وهو تكبيل الأشخاص، بحيث أنهم لا يعزلون الشخص بشكل مباشر، ولكن يفرضون عليه مشرفًا فوقه، ونائبًا تحته، ومستشارًا عن يمينه وهكذا، وحتى هنا.. فهذا لا بأس به، ويمكن التعاطي معه، ولكنه أسلوب سيء.

البغدادي في الشام

لم يطمئن البغدادي رغم كل ما سبق، فسافر بنفسه من العراق إلى الشام، ووصلها في الشهر الأول من عام 2013.. وصل الشام في وقت كان الشيخ الجولاني قد جمع كل قيادات الجبهة من الجنوب إلى الشمال ومن الغرب إلى الشرق لمناقشة خطة الابتداء بالعمل العسكري على دمشق.. نعم على دمشق العاصمة..

ولكن البغدادي لم يكن يأبه بكل ذلك، وقال حين تصاعدت بعض المشاكل: “أنا على استعداد لأن أعيد الجبهة لتكون خمسة أشخاص، المهم أن تسير بشكل صحيح”. وهو يقصد: أن تكون تابعة له كما يريد، ولا تعنيه دمشق أو غيرها، بدليل أنه أقدم حينها على عزل من كان مكلفًا بإدارة معركة دمشق.

عزل البغدادي الأمير المذكور وآخرين، وكان قرار العزل ذاك مفسدة خالصة، لأنه جاء دون قراءة للواقع، بل لتصفية الحسابات، ومع ذلك صبرت الجماعة “جبهة النصرة”.

جلس إلى البغدادي من نمَّ له وبهت وكذب على الشيخ الجولاني وغيره من قيادات الجماعة، فقرَّب البغدادي ذلك النمّام، وأعلى منزلته، ووصفه بأنه يريد تصحيح مسار الجماعة!! ومتى كان الكذب والبهتان والنميمة تصحيحًا لمسار الجماعات الجهادية؟!

جلسنا إلى البغدادي جلسة طويلة دامت لثلاثة أيام من -10 إلى 13/3/2013- تم خلالها إعادة تشكيل مجلس الشورى وهيكلته من جديد، كما تم حلحلة بعض المشاكل بحسب ما بدا لنا، ولا يتسع المقام للتفصيل في ذلك.

كنت قد سألت البغدادي حينها وبحضور حوالي عشرة آخرين: هل الارتباط بخراسان مباشرة دون الرجوع إليكم يعد خروجًا عليكم؟ فأجابني: وهل أحد يقول بذلك؟! فقلت له: أنا غير متأكد.. وكان قد وصلني خبر غير مؤكد أن الأنباري يقول بذلك، وتأكد الخبر لدي فيما بعد، فأجابني البغدادي، والكل يسمع بمن فيهم العدناني: خذوها مني وأنا رأس دولة العراق الإسلامية.. الارتباط بخراسان مباشرة ليس خروجًا علينا، ولا مانع عندي من ارتباط الجبهة بخراسان مباشرة.

وسألناه كذلك قبيل تجديد بيعتنا له -بعد تشكيل مجلس الشورى الجديد- يوم (13/3/2013): هل في عنقك بيعة لتنظيم القاعدة، بما يعني أن بيعتنا لك هي بيعة للتنظيم؟ فأجاب بالحرف -مشيرًا إلى عنقه-: “أنا في عنقي بيعة للشيخ أسامة، ولما قتل تقبله الله، كتبت بريدًا جددت فيه البيعة للشيخ أيمن الظواهري حفظه الله، ونحن نسمع ونطيع لأمرائنا في خراسان” وعلى هذا قمنا وبايعنا الرجل.

انتهت الجلسة المذكورة، وظننا لحسن ظنِّنا بأولئك، أن المشكلة قد انتهى معظمها، وإن هي إلا أيام.. جلسة أو جلستان.. وينتهي كل شيء، وفوجئنا بأن القوم لم يغيروا في أسلوب عملهم، بل زادت وتيرة الأعمال السيئة، وتصرفوا بعكس ما وعد البغدادي في تلك الجلسة، ومن ذلك أنهم هددوا بعض القيادات -العراقية تحديدًا- بالاغتيال.

كان من المفترض أن نجلس جلسة أخرى في بداية الشهر الرابع -1/4/2013- لاستكمال الترتيبات، لكن الأحداث التي حدثت بين (13/3) و(1/4) كانت كثيرة وكفيلة بإلغاء تلك الجلسة، ولسنا بصدد تفصيلها الآن، ومنها: التهديد بالاغتيالات.

كنا قد سألنا البغدادي إن كان يمانع أن نرسل رسالة للشيخ الظواهري فأجاب: بل اكتبوا وأنا أرسلها لكم، فلما رأينا تصاعد وتيرة الأحداث المذكور قررنا كتابة الرسالة، وحدث أن اجتمع معظم مجلس الشورى الجديد الذي شكَّله البغدادي، إضافة لقيادات أخرى في الجماعة، اجتمعوا لصياغة رسالة شكوى، والتوقيع عليها، وحدث ذلك فعلاً، وهذه الرسالة والتوقيع عليها موجودة في الأرشيف.

لم نرسل الرسالة عبر جماعة “دولة العراق ومؤسستها الفرقان” لأننا خفنا تزويرها كما فعلوا برسالة سابقة كان الشيخ الجولاني قد أرسلها للمشايخ في خراسان، بعد إلحاح من المشايخ في ذلك.

وتفصيل ذلك: أن الشيخ أبا يحيى الليبي رحمه الله طلب إلى الشيخ الجولاني أن يكتب تقريرًا مفصلاً عن المشروع في الشام، وعن واقع الجهاد حينها، فأرسل الشيخ يخاطب القيادة في العراق بذلك، وقبل أن يأتي جوابها جاءه الطلب من الشيخ ثانيةً، مع عتب وإلحاح لتأخر الجواب.

ثم شاء الله أن يستشهد الشيخ أبو يحيى في تلك الفترة، وخلفه الشيخ أبو عبيدة العدم رحمه الله فكرر الطلب لمرة أخرى أو مرتين، وكان الشيخ طيلة هذه الفترة يبطئ عسى أن يأتيه جواب “العراق”، وأخيرًا جاء الجواب: أرسِلْها عن طريقنا عبر مؤسسة “الفرقان”.

كتب الشيخ جوابه وكان بحاجة لبعض التنسيق، فاستأذنوه بإعادة تنسيق الجواب، فسمح لهم بذلك، فقاموا بإعادة التنسيق، وأضافوا لذلك شيئًا آخر خطيرًا؛ وهو أنهم عمدوا إلى التزوير في الرسالة، حيث حذفوا المقدمة الطويلة التي تكلم فيها الشيخ عن مشروعه في الشام، ونسبوا كل ذلك لأنفسهم.

أمام ما سبق، وحيث أنهم حجزوا أكثر من رسالة كانت قد وصلت من خراسان إلينا مباشرة، ما عدنا نثق في أمانتهم فأرسلنا الرسالة عبر طريق أخرى مأمونة.

انفجار الخلاف وإعلان الدولة:

حين علم البغدادي والأنباري أننا أرسلنا “رسالة الشكوى” للشيخ الظواهري حفظه الله، خططوا لقطع الطريق على الجبهة والشيخ الظواهري في آن معًا، فقاموا بإلغاء “دولة العراق الإسلامية” وإلغاء “جبهة النصرة”، والإعلان عن المسمى الجديد “الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام”.

فعلوا ذلك رغم اعترافهم بأن هذا خطأ، وليس وقته الآن، ولكنهم عللوا ذلك بضرورة قطع الطريق على الجبهة، والأمر في حقيقته قطع للطريق على الجبهة، وفرض للأمر الواقع حتى على الشيخ الظواهري حفظه الله، وهذا ما سعوا إليه منذ إعلان دولتهم، وحتى وصول رسالة التجميد التي أرسلها الشيخ أولاً فتجاهلوها، ثم أرسل الشيخ الظواهري حفظه الله رسالة الفصل فشككوا فيها رغم صحتها عندهم.

وقد جاء مَن أخبرنا منهم أن البغدادي عزم على الرحيل لدى مجيء الرسالة، ولكن الأنباري وآخرين ثنوه عن مراده، وأقنعوه بالبقاء، فخرج يعلن أن له على رسالة الشيخ الظواهري “مؤاخذات شرعية ومنهجية”!!

ونذكر في هذا السياق أن البغدادي سبق أن قال: “إن جاء رد الشيخ الظواهري للجبهة، فسأقبل رؤوس أهل الشام، وأحمل شوالاتي -أي أمتعتي- وأرجع إلى العراق”. ولما جاء الرد تنكر لكل ذلك، وصنع بأهل الشام من القبائح والجرائم ما يحتاج الحديث عنه لمجلدات.

علَّق الأنباري على رسالة الشيخ الظواهري بقوله: “لقد وقعنا فيما رمينا به الجبهة”. يقصد: عصيان أمر الأمير، ولسنا سواء، فنحن لم نعصِ البغدادي، بل رفعنا لأميره شكوى عليه فاعتبرها انشقاقًا، وأما عصيانه لأميره فأشهر من أن يُذكر، وليتهم اكتفوا بالعصيان فقط.

عمدت قيادة جماعة الدولة حينها إلى تفعيل مجموعة من الأمور؛ منها:

فتوى الظفر: باعتبار كل ما بيد الجبهة غنيمة للدولة، فمن ظفر بها بأي شكل من الغصب والسلب والنهب فله ذلك.

كما عمدوا إلى الأخذ بفتوى قتل المصلحة التي أصلها لهم الأنباري دون فهم منه لأقوال أهل العلم ومناطاتها الصحيحة، فراح يستشهد بقول العلماء الذين قالوا: “من لا يندفع شره إلا بالقتل يقتل” وينزلها على من خالفه من الفصائل، وعلى رأسها “جبهة النصرة”.

كما قاموا بإطلاق العنان للغلاة، وهم وإن كانوا في المرحلة الأولى أطلقوا العنان للغلاة لتحقيق مصالح آنيَّة لهم، إلا أن الله عاقبهم من جنس جرمهم، حيث فشا فيهم منهج الخوارج وغلب عليهم، وصار سمة عامة لهم اصطبغوا به، حتى غدوا اليوم طائفة من طوائف الخوارج المعاصرين، وصار رؤوسهم ومُقَدَّموهم من كبار رؤوس الخوارج في هذا الزمان، وقد فصَّلت في محاضرة سابقة بعنوان “لتبيننه للناس ولا تكتمونه” طرفًا من أفعالهم وأخلاقهم وأصولهم.

ثم لعب الشيطان بتلك الجماعة فازدادت غلوًا على غلو، حتى كفَّرت كل من عداها تقريبًا، واستحلت دمه وماله، فأحدثت في الساحة من البلاء ما لا يعلمه إلا الله، وأخَّرت الجهاد أشواطًا كثيرة.

وكانت أعظم الفواقر إعلانهم “لخلافةٍ” مكذوبة، وهي والله واحدة من أكبر تلبيسات إبليس عليهم، وقد كشفوا بعدها عن مخبوء نفوسهم، فراح العدناني يصيح بملء فيه: سنفرق الجماعات ونشق صفوف التنظيمات.. ونحرر المحرر.. إلى غير ذلك من الطوام التي لا تعد ولا تحصى، وليس وصفهم للقاعدة وأميرها الحكيم بأنهم كبغيٍّ حامل من الزنا في شهرها التاسع إلا واحدة منها، والله المستعان.

وقد فصَّلت الرد عليهم في دعواهم الخلافة في السلسة المعنونة بــــ”مسائل مهمة في الإمامة حق الأمة”.

والحق أن الحديث في هؤلاء القوم (الخوارج) ذو شجون، وفي هذا المختصر كفاية إن شاء الله

English Translation:

By the Mujahid Sheikh AbdulRaheem Atoun “Abu Abdullah Al Shami”

The General Judge of Jabhat Fath Al Sham.

[Extracted from the book | Under the shades of the tree of jihad | page 177-194]


The Revolution in Syria (2011):

Allah has blessed this ummah with the spark of revolutions which progressed from Tunisia to Egypt.

It was the last days in the age of Sheikh Osama rahimahullah, where he described this major event with his eloquent words.

He explained: “For so long the Ummah has directed its face, waiting for the tidings of victory which loomed from the east, but the sun of revolution rose from the west. It sparked the revolution in Tunisia, putting the Ummah at rest and shone the faces of the populations, leaving the throats of the rulers sored and the Jews terrified to the closeness of the promise.

By overthrowing the oppressive ruler, the concepts of humiliation, submission, fear and hesitation have been perished, and the concepts of freedom, honor, courage and action have rose. The signs of change were made apparent with the strong will for freedom when Tunisia became the forerun, from which the knights of Egypt embraced the flames from the liberated Tunisians all the way to Tahrir Square as fast as the speed of lightning, and hence sparking a great revolution. And what revolution was sparked? A revolution for the entirety of Egypt.. For the Ummah.. If they hold onto the rope of their lord”

As the revolution progressed through Libya to Yemen reaching subsequently to Sham .. not in the slightest forgetting Iraq consequently.. It was made paramount that the Syrian revolution had features which distinguished it from the rest of the revolutions, this being a clear matter known by the observers and the masses in general..

This revolution whether we say it as being a peaceful or popular one, or one of Jihad, or any type within its progressive stages known by all, is verily a divine mercy for the Muslims in Sham importantly and also the Ummah generally. A mercy particular concentrated over the weak on the earth by the will of Allah, despite all the inflictions poured over the heads of the Syrian people today.

Yes, the revolution started peacefully, then the most Merciful destined its progression step by step until it became an Islamic Revolutionary Jihad. And indeed he is the best of Planners.

The Syrian revolution was one that started peacefully calling for dignity and freedom and the fall of the criminal nusairi regime that put Ahlul Sunnah through the worst of torture over forty years. It prohibited them the factors of any such decent life to the mere thought of fighting the Jews, as he is the trustworthy protector of Jewish border after he sold Joulan, and handed over Qunaitirah in a play of a comical war.

The demonstrations were a volcano shaking the feet of the oppressors from the Assad family and those behind them, and here started the divine plot where the oppressor thought that if he released a group of political and Islamist prisoners and removed the emergency state and the notorious national security court; that he would overcome the revolution and smother its sparks lit by Allah exalted is he, but how far ..

And that if he with cruelty, kills, destroys and carries out massacres the revolution would cease, but how far .. how far ..

And like this the heat of the battle intensified and the Jihadi groups started to appear immensely; through the long periods they have awaited these days and chances of such events, and from these groups was “Jabhat Al-Nusra for the people of Sham”


Establishment of Jabhat Al-Nusra:

Allah blessed Sheikh Joulani (may Allah preserve him) with his release from prison before the beginning of the revolution as we mentioned, and he remained in “the north” in Iraq with his friend who was in charge of the north at that time, and this man offered the sheikh after moments of long halted one of 2 choices, for him to be replaced by another, or to be besides Abu bakr Al Baghdadi, but sheikh refused such a post and offered to the friend brief mapping of ideas to start a project in Sham. Upon hearing the project the friend embraced the idea of such project, and requested it to be written by the sheikh so it could be sent to Al-Baghdadi and await his response.

Therefore Sheikh Joulani started writing the general features of the project which he titled: “Jabhat Al-Nusra for the people of Sham”

For incumbent reason, in the beginning it was announced with its long name “Jabhat Al-Nusra for the people of Sham from the Mujahideen of sham in the battlefields of jihad”

Al Baghdadi upon being a witness to the ideal project wished that he had someone in Iraq who would transform his dream into a project, and project eventually into work, Adnani (since he was Shami) attempted to follow the creation of Sheikh’s narrative, but was  unsuccessful..

Before mentioning Al Baghdadis comments on the project written to him by sheikh Joulani, which later became “Jabhat Al-Nusra”

I will broadly mention some of the ideas of the project from which are partially public and harmless in the current climate if revealed.

Sheikh Joulani made clear his short term targets and long term ones, highlighting the necessity of benefitting from the experience in Iraq, with the mistakes that occurred, and that we must continue from the 100 that the Jihad has reached and not the 0 that sheikh Zarqawi rahimahullah started with. He pointed out that between Sham and Iraq there are significant differences that shouldn’t be overlooked; from the differences mentioned: the jihad in Iraq started due to invasion, whereas the situation in Sham begun due to a popular revolution, the fact that Iraqi tribes are stronger than the Shami tribes, and also the Muslim brotherhood in Sham being weaker than in Iraq, the Nusayris in sham covering only a minority despite them having manifested control over the authorities, security and the army. Their mentality in which they do not call to their beliefs, differentiating to the rafidhah in Iraq where they are people who call to their beliefs, not covering a minority, and other differences. This means that the Iraq scenario can undeniably never be applied to Sham, and the parallel fact that we shouldn’t copy such experience which could parallel to the same mistakes.

Sheikh also mentioned that the pace of events were quickly changing which meant the necessity of direct communication between him and the leadership in Iraq ; where this communication is daily or almost daily, or he must be given power and a general authority of making decisions according to the developments. All this was within the umbrella of Al-Qaeda but without publicly announcing it, Jabhat Al-Nusra would be the Al-Qaeda branch in Sham, via the Islamic state of Iraq ; and from it to Al-Qaeda central command.

Al Baghdadis response to this project was: “I agree to every letter written in this book .. the writer of the project didn’t leave any area for criticism .. Applying coherently that the Iraqi experience to Sham is considered suicide”

Hence Al Baghdadi agreed to the transfer of Sheikh Joulani to Sham. He entered with some finance in mere cash that Al Baghdadi provided, and a few individuals not exceeding the number of fingers on ones hands. Not going into grave detail about the cash and men, despite Al Baghdadi gravely cheated himself and the Ummah when he mentioned that he supplied the Sheikh with cash, men and his cells in Sham; as mentioned.

The sheikh here began the establishment of Jabhat Al-Nusra starting from Sham capital, Damascus. Groups from the Jabhat spread in vast provinces after Damascus, like Dara,a, Homs, Hama, Adlib, Aleppo, Raqqah, Deir Al Zour and Hasakah.

After the stage of establishment, it began to target the regimes vital institutions like the “security branches” in many provinces, most importantly in: Damascus, Aleppo, Dara,a, Adlib, Hama and Deir Al Zour.


Jabhat Al-Nusra in the context of the Shami Jihad:

The Jihad took course in the care of Allah, and the regime started to shrink due to the attacks by the Mujahideen with continuous victories. Importantly the matter that occupied the leadership of the group “the sheikh and his shura council” was working on uniting the jihadi groups in sham, foremost “Jabhat Al-Nusra and Ahrar Al Sham” since they were “Ahrar Al Sham battalions”.

It therefore sacrificed for this sake of great efforts, may Allah place it in the scales of the sincere and truthful from both sides. Facing huge obstacles in that path today we still do, and this topic requires its own book therefore I do not want to long it out, but if Allah grants me a lengthy age to a time where I see and there is multitudinous detail within this topic which I have enough time then I will write about it in sha’Allah.

The west has always tried to contain this revolution with substantial means, but Allah suppressed them .. They tried through International and Arabian delegations by giving the regime deadlines; one after the other so that the regime may advance and make a change in the scale of turmoil. These hypocrites – the west, was drawing red lines for the regime, and the regime has deliberately been crossing them, so without shyness or shame  the west draws new lines, as if they’re tempting and flirting with the regime to cross them. We’d mention in this context the chemical massacre in East Ghouta, for the purpose of if not only then thee most brutal massacre. The west has also turned a blind eye to the regimes besiegement of many areas, not forgetting the starvation of those besieged within, the targeting of other areas with all internationally banned weapons – as they claim – .

All the western attempts headed by America failed, so its spite led it to placing Jabhat Al-Nusra on the terror list before it had even announced its link to Al-Qaeda. This is for everyone to comprehend that the Americans animosity towards us is because we are Sunni fighters, and not because we are Al-Qaeda, and here I’m not talking specifically about Jabhat Al-Nusra, but the general masses of the Mujahideen.


Al Adnani in sham and the beginning of the disagreements:

Al Adnani arrived in Sham before the battle of liberating Tiftinaz airport, and sheikh Joulani appointed him as governor over the “north” which consisted of (Aleppo, Adlib and Hama). He started taking pledged of allegiance in the name of “Islamic state of Iraq” and not “Jabhat Al-Nusra”, therefore huge problems occurred between him and the administrators of Aleppo, Adlib and Hama due to his incorrect interference in the matters of these provinces.

Ideally Sheikh Joulani removed him from his position as Amir of the north, and with this removal started another problem.

The sheikh appointed him the governor over the borders, Muhajireen and the military camp for newly arrived Muhajireen. But again this turned out significantly unsuccessful , so the sheikh removed him again, this made the problem worse with him, so he started to write a report to the leadership of “Islamic state in Iraq” consisting of 25 pages, which Al Baghdadi allowed sheikh Joulani to view later on.

Before this report was sent Adnani tried direct and indirect means with sheikh Joulani in order for him to be returned as governor of the north, so the sheikh said to him “I betray Allah, his messenger and the believers if you’re not fit for it and I appoint you over it. And I betray Allah, his messenger and the believers if you were fit for it and I removed you from it”

Adnani’s spite increased, where he sent his report, with most of the sections of his report being taken from individuals oppositely faced on the spectrum to those in Jabhat Al-Nusra. These individuals were from other extraneous factions, including some who were hostile against various leaders of Jabhat since they were in Saydnaya prison.

Once the report reached Al Baghdadi, he sent for sheikh Joulani. So the sheikh rushed to Iraq despite there being more than 50 army barriers and checkpoints (control)- as they call it in Iraq – obstructing the route necessitated.

Despite the severe situation (in Sham) this did not allow the absence of sheikh, subsequently he went and placed upon his shura council a hierarchy from the leaders of “Islamic state in Iraq”, this appointee being Haj Ghanim, who was the general administrator of Jabhat Al-Nusra.

Avoiding to long out what happened with the sheikh in his journey to Iraq I say: he spoke to them about the actions of Al Adnani , so Al Baghdadi affirmed the stance of the Sheikh.

Frightfully Al Baghdadi paid (Al Adnani) by making him the deputy of sheikh Joulani after those mistakes that were enlisted!!

Al Adnani also whispered in their ears that Jabhat was trying to break off the “Islamic state in Iraq” ; which had Baghdadi send a personal supervisor over Sham. That individual being “Al Anbari”.. A supervisor with even more power than sheikh Joulani!!

Enticingly trustworthy: this supervisor -in that period- didn’t deal with sheikh Joulani according to that power.

And from the most prominent tasks he had: search, explore and investigate accuracy on the issue and matter of whether Jabhat has an intention of breaking off.. These tasks all carried out obviously without Jabhat knowing.

The mentioned supervisor wandered as long as six months through the whole east and north without leaving a base or headquarter un entered, then he left with a clear conclusion which he conveyed to his leadership: “there is no intention or thought within Jabhat to break off from Dawlah” .

Al Baghdadi and those with him deliberately used the method of indirect sacking, by limiting a person, where they wouldn’t remove a person directly but they would place a supervisor over him, a deputy beneath him and a consultant on his side .. Like this, until here.. This wasn’t an issue and we could cope with but was rather a bad method.


Al Baghdadi in Sham:

Al Baghdadi still wasn’t reassured despite everything that showcased, he personally traveled from Iraq to sham and arrived in the first month of 2014.. A time where Sheikh Joulani gathered all the leaders of Jabhat from south to north and from west to east to discuss the plan of starting a military offensive on Damascus .. Yes the capital Damascus..

But Al Baghdadi didn’t attentively care regarding those matters, Some problems intensified and he stated: “I’m ready to return Jabhat back to five people, so long as it is acting in the right way”.

In reality what he meant: for the organizational project in Sham to be under him as he likes, unconcerned about Damascus or any other areas as a matter of fact, which is proved by him removing the one responsible for administrating the battle of Damascus.

Al Baghdadi removed this Amir and others, and those decisions were purely corrupt due to them not based on understanding the reality. Rather it was settling personal accounts, but the group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” remained patiently steadfast.

Sheikh Joulani and other leaders (of Jabhat) were slandered, gossiped and lied about to Al Baghdadi. Al Baghdadi brought such gossip closer to him and described him as wanting to correct the track of the group!! And when was lying, slander and gossip considered correcting the tracks of a Jihadi group?!

We sat with Al Baghdadi in a long sitting which lasted three days from 10-13/3/2013 throughout which the shura council was reformed and structured again, and some problems were solved as apparent to us, that I have no space to go into detail.

I asked Al Baghdadi at that time in the presence of about ten others: Is a direct link to khurasan (AQC) without consulting you considered breaking off from you? He answered: and is there anyone who says that?! I said: I’m not sure, unconfirmed reports reached me that Al Anbari says that and it was confirmed to me later on. So Al Baghdadi answered, with everyone present listening including Al Adnani: “take it from me and I’m the head of the Islamic state in Iraq  … direct link to khurasan (AQC) isn’t considered breaking off from us, and I have no problem with Jabhat directly linking with khurasan (AQC)”

We also asked him before renewing our bayah (pledge of allegiance) to him -after the formation of the new shura council- on (13/3/2013): Do you have a bayah to Al Qaeda on your neck?, meaning our bayah to you is a bayah to the organization (Al Qaeda)? He answered by the exact wording -pointing to his neck- : I have a bayah to sheikh Osama on my neck and when he was killed taqabbalahullah; I wrote a letter renewing my bayah to sheikh Ayman Al-Dhawahiri hafidhahullah, and we listen to and obey to our leaders in Khurasan (AQC) . Based on this we gave bayah to this man.

After that sitting finished, we thought most problems were solved as we thought good of those people, it’ll be a few days..  A sitting or two..  And everything will be over, but we were surprised that nothing changed in their behavior. Instead the pace of bad actions increased and they behaved opposite to what Al Baghdadi promised in that sitting; by threatening some leaders -especially Iraqis- with assassination.

We were supposed to have another sitting in the beginning of the fourth month – 1/4/2013 – to finish the preparations, but the events which happened between 13/3 to 1/4 were many and enough to cancel that sitting, we will not go into grave detail of; but from it was threats of assassination.

We asked Al Baghdadi if he sees any problem in us sending a message to Sheikh Al Dhawahiri, He answered: write and I will send it for you. When we saw the pace of events progressing we decided to write the letter. Majority of the shura council that Al Baghdadi formed, including other leaders in the group gathered to write a complaint letter and sign it. Disreputably they wrote it and the signatures are present in the archives till today.

We didn’t send the letter through “Dawlah group and its furqan media” because we feared it may be played with and changed as they did with a previous letter sheikh Joulani sent to the shuyoukh in khurasan, after the shouyoukh insisted on it .

The detail of that is that sheikh Abu Yahya Al Libi requested from Sheikh Joulani to write a detailed report about his project in Sham, and the condition of Jihad at that time. So the sheikh sent to the leadership in Iraq acknowledging them of the matter, and before he got a response from them; he received a second letter from sheikh Abu Yahya Al Libi, with criticism for the delay of a response to his previous letter.

Then Allah willed for sheikh Abu Yahya Al Libi the be martyred in that period, where he was then succeeded by sheikh Abu Ubaidah Al Adm rahimahullah. He also repeated the same request once or twice, and the sheikh throughout this whole period was waiting for a reply from “Iraq”,

Finally he got a response merely saying: “send it through us, through Al Furqan”. The sheikh wrote his response requiring cooperation, so they took permission from him to review and edit it, and he gave them permission. They added to it something dangerous by deliberately forging a part of the letter.. They removed the long introduction in which the sheikh spoke of his project in Sham and scandalously assigned it to themselves.

After what’s mentioned, and also them keeping many letters that were directly sent to us from Khurasan, we couldn’t trust them any further so we sent the letter through other secure methods.


The explosion of the situation and the announcement of Dawlah:

When Al Baghdadi and Al Anbari found out that we sent a letter to Sheikh Al Dhawahiri hafidhahullah, they planned to block the path for both Jabhat and Sheikh Al Dhawahiri at the same time, nullifying “Islamic state in Iraq” and “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and announcing the new name “Islamic state in Iraq and Sham”

They did that despite them acknowledging it was an innocent decision which was unsuitable at the time. They tried justifying it by the importance of blocking the path for Jabhat, and in reality it was a path blocked for Jabhat forcing the situation even upon Sheikh Al Dhawahiri hafidhahullah. However this is what they seeked since their announcement of Dawlah until the first letter of Sheikh Al Dhwahiri arrived which nullified their announcement, but even then they ignored it.. Sheikh Al Dhawahiri then sent another letter with the final decision of which they doubted its authenticity despite them having full knowledge of its accurate authenticity.

Someone from them informed us of the intention of Al Baghdadi to leave (to Iraq) when the letter arrived, but Al Anbari and others prevented him from this; and convinced him to stay, so he came out announcing that he has “shara’i and manhaj issues” with the letter of sheikh Al Dhawahiri!!

Contextually we also mention that Al Baghdadi previously said: “If the response of Sheikh Al Dhawahiri comes in favor of Jabhat, then I’ll kiss the heads of the people of sham, carry my luggage and return to Iraq”. And when the response came he denied all that, committing against the people of Al Sham the worst of crimes which will require volumes to talk about.

Al Anbari commented on the letter of sheikh Al Dhwahiri with: “we’ve fallen into what we accused Jabhat with”. Meaning: disobeying the Amir, but were not same, we didn’t disobey Al Baghdadi.. Rather we raised the issue to his Amir and he (Al Baghdadi) considered it a defection, and about his disobedience to his Amir then it’s known without the need to mention it, and we wish they’d been content with just that.


The leadership of Dawlah relied on activating a number of issues, from it:

Fatwa Al Dhafar (seizure): considering everything in the hands of Jabhat as spoils, and whoever seizes it by any form of force, dispossession and looting is allowed.

They also relied on taking the view of killing for a benefit which Al Anbari rooted for them, without them understanding the sayings of the people of knowledge and the correct reasons, using the saying of scholars: “whoevers evil cannot be repelled except with killing then he is to be killed” and applying it to opposing groups, mainly “Jabhat Al-Nusra”.

They also lifted the restraints from the extremists despite them using these extremists in the first stages for their personal gains. Except that Allah punished them with the same kind of their crime; as the manhaj of the khawarij spread and prevailed amongst them it became a general feature they were prolifically known for, until they became a group from amongst the groups of the modern day khawarij. Their heads and leaders became from the big heads of the khawarij in this era. As I’ve detailed in a previous lecture “that you’ll make it evident to mankind and not keep it back” some of their actions, manners and principles.

Shaytaan played with that group, so it increased extremism upon extremism, until it almost made takfeer on everyone who opposed them making their blood and wealth permissible. So it caused in the arena a corruption what only Allah knows of, and delayed the Jihad many coherent laps.

The greatest calamity was their announcement of an incorrectly faked “caliphate”, and it is only by Allah, from the biggest deceptions of iblees to them, that after the occupancy of it they started to reveal their true colors. Al Adnani shouted with his full mouth: we will separate groups, break the ranks of the organizations and liberate the liberated.. to other than those calamities that cannot be counted or mentioned, and Al Adnanis description of Al Qaeda and its wise Amir as a prostitute; pregnant in its ninth month is only one of those calamities, and Allah is sufficient for us.

Countlessly I have gone in refuting their claim of the caliphate in the chain of lectures titled .. “Important issues in leadership, the right of the ummah”

The reality in essence is that speaking about these people (the khawarij) brings only sorrow, and in this summary there is sufficient enough in sha’Allah.


Thoughts on the ideology of the global Jihad movement embodied by Al-Qaeda (5)

A follow up with Al-Maqalaat – By Tore Hamming

Previous posts:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

The concluding subject: Managing designed savagery

Tore Hamming:

“We know the fitna is of a complex nature and that differences in strategic priorities play an important role. However, to what extent would you say that ideological differences matter? It has been mentioned by scholars that al-Qaida finds its main justification in the works of theorists like Abu Musab al-Suri, while IS is more influenced by Abu Bakr Naji. Do you agree and how does it come out in practice? And do you think that there is something missing from the narrative? Something that is not given enough attention?”


“I do not completely agree. The work of Abu Bakr Naji is misunderstood and misinterpreted by many, including ISIS. When the Islamist party of Ennahda won the elections in Tunisia we saw for example how ISIS assassinated the political opposition leaders Mohamed Brahmi and Chokri Belaid because they wanted to create “chaos” in Tunisia. The famous military and strategic book Idarat At-Tawahush (The Management of Savagery) however talks about managing the coming stage of savagery, and not creating this stage of savagery. The writer Abu Bakr Naji merely calculates this stage. When, not if, the corrupt (world) powers fall, Islam will replace it gradually. We have seen this many times before in history. Abu Bakr Naji advises the readers on how to prepare for this transition. If this transition was possible without a stage of savagery, chaos, and without a period of lawlessness, then why would we oppose that? However reality is not built on our human wishes, it is built on certain Devine laws of nature.

The assassination of Mohamed Brahmi and Chokri Belaid in Tunisia were not claimed immediately by ISIS, they were claimed after more than two years in the eight issue of their magazine Dabiq. The assassinations created a political crisis in Tunisia, it created a lot of confusion, chaos and suspicion. So yes, ISIS indeed caused chaos in Tunisia, just like they wanted. But for whose benefit? The Islamist party of Ennahda was blamed by the secularist opposition, secularist rallies were held as Ennahda became the victim of a political witch hunt. This placed a lot of pressure on them, to the extent that they were driven out of government in 2014, only to make way for the secularist opposition. Abu Bakr Naji indeed talks about polarizing the Muslim society, but what did the Muslims benefit from the polarizing chaos created in Tunisia? Nothing. The chaos they created only empowered the secularist parties. They did not establish any province (Wilaya) in Tunisia, they did not implement any Sharia, they simply empowered the secularists and left.

The strangest thing about this example is that ISIS actually bragged about empowering the secularist parties in Tunisia in the eight issue of Dabiq. The reason for this indifference lies in the fact that they do not see any difference between the Islamist- and the secularist parties; everyone participating in democratic elections is the same for them. They do not see any difference between Morsi and Sisi in Egypt for example, because they do not know the difference between better and worse, they do not know how to outweigh benefits versus harms. Extremism does not know any balance, as ISIS does not see any difference between someone who merely uses democracy as a means to establish an Islamic State and reach the implementation of the Sharia, even if this view is incorrect, and a tyrant secularist who believes that religion has no place in politics whatsoever. How can Morsi who openly called for Sharia, and declared Jihaad in Syria against the regime, and endorsed the Egyptians to travel to Syria for Jihaad, be seen as evil as Sisi?

The well grounded and truthful scholars and Mujahid leaders do not throw everyone participating in democratic elections on one and the same pile. The scholars have excused and refrain from Takfir on Hamas and Morsi for example. Because they openly state that they will implement the Sharia once they reach sufficient authority. The Muslim Brotherhood rejects the doctrine of secularism. So we must consider their rejection of secularism and excuse their deficient understanding and misinterpretation of democracy.

We must differentiate between secularism and democracy, secularism is a doctrine independent from democracy, as it is also adopted in communism, monarchies and other political systems. Islamist parties who engage in democracy do not necessarily accept secularism. The high ranking Mujahid leader from Al-Qaedah Atiyatullah Al-Libi therefore rejected the Takfir on Hamas for example. However ISIS has gone to such an extreme that they do not only make Takfir on all members of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties, they even make individual Takfir on hundreds of millions of Muslims. This has been stated by their jurist Abu Maysarah Al-Shaami and the ISIS media outlet Al-Hayat literally called for the death of countless of Muslims in an article titled “The Murtad Vote”. It states “The Muslim voter is a Murtadd Taghut, whose blood is obligatory to spill unless he repents.” Hundreds of millions of Muslims make the mistake of voting throughout the Muslim- and Western world, and ISIS openly calls for their death.

Some could say that the Islamist parties are deceiving the Muslims as they do not really want to implement Sharia, so this is merely an empty claim. This could be true but we judge on the outwardly, and not on the hidden intention. If the revelation did not show us that Negus accepted Islam before his death we would have judged him to be a disbeliever, and if the revelation did not show us that the hypocrites were disbelievers we would have judged them to be believers. Because we judge on the outwardly appearance, not the hidden intention. The Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) thought that the hypocrites were Muslims, because he judged on the outwardly appearance, until Allah showed him that they were disbelievers. But the revelation has ended so we can only judge over someone on the basis of his actions and his sayings, not based on his intentions.

Some could say that the Islamist parties did reach authority through democratic elections but they did not implement the Sharia. This is a simplification of the issue because we know that the one who reaches authority in a democracy does not necessarily have the power to implement the Sharia. If you do not have the power to proclaim the Shahadah and testify your faith in Allah and His Messenger openly, then you are excused, so if you simply do not have the power to implement the Sharia then you are likewise excused.

The practical example in Tunisia showed that creating chaos is not the goal. It is also not a means. Rather it is a period of time caused by a power vacuum, with which we will have to deal sensibly when the tyrannical powers fall. The world powers and the tyrant governments will not fall without a fight, they will not leave their authority peacefully. Even if they lost the bulk of their control –this is clearly visible in Syria. If we had the choice to liberate Syria without the chaos we are witnessing right now, we would not doubt about it for a split second. But this period of savagery, chaos and lawlessness is preordained, so we have to deal with this period before reaching Islamic authority. We even saw this period when the Soviet-Union changed from communism to democracy.

However Abu Naji also explains that we could skip the stage of savagery in some countries. And this is indeed predicted by the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) as he predicted that Turkey (Constantinople) will be liberated automatically when Shaam is liberated, without any armed struggle, and thus without any bloodshed and without any savagery or chaos. It is predicted that Turkey will be liberated through peaceful means.

Abu Bakr Naji did not say that we should create chaos. He said “The goal is to dislodge the regions from the control of the apostate regimes. It is the goal we are publicly proclaiming and which we are determined to carry out, not the outbreak of chaos.”

The extremists of ISIS make the exact same deviant mistake as the Shia Rawafid in this regard. Because we believe that Al-Mahdi will come when the world is filled with injustice, it is predicted that the Muslims will not be able flee from this injustice. Does this then mean that we must spread injustice on the world so that Al-Mahdi will appear? This is exactly what the clerics of the Shia Rawafid say. They do not oppose spreading injustice and corruption on the world, rather they encourage it, because this will hasten the coming of Al-Mahdi in their twisted and deviant logic. ISIS uses the exact same logic when they want to spread savagery and chaos on the world based on the calculations of Abu Bakr Naji. We could even say that they are more deviant than the Shia Rawafid in this regard, because at least the Shia Rawafid base their twisted logic on the predictions of the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam), while ISIS bases it on the calculations of a mere theorist. His foresights are not to be taken as Revelations, they are mere theories.

It is well known that ISIS misuses theological texts to deceive the youth, they even misused the words of the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) to deceive their followers, so it is not surprising that they misused the words of Abu Bakr Naji to justify their deviances. How many times did they misuse the Prophetic predictions about the great battle of Dabiq for example, and how many youths did they deceive with these Ahadeeth. They recruited and mobilized many youths. But we saw how quickly they eventually retreated from Dabiq without any fight worth mentioning. They also insisted on inviting a Western coalition in Syria before dealing with the regime, as they used their aforementioned twisted logic to ignite the prophesied great battle against the Romans.

Abu Bakr Naji would also disagree on the declaration of a state in this current stage, let alone a Caliphate. He explains the order of stages as; the stage of agitation and exhaustion, then the stage of administrating savagery, then the stage of establishing a state. Looking at the current situation in many territories we are still in the stage of agitating and exhausting the enemies. ISIS did not even reach the stage of savagery, as the enemy still has a firm grasp on controlling many territories, let alone reaching the stage of establishing a state. But even if we did reach the stage of savagery in some territories, this is not the stage of establishing a state. Abu Bakr Naji rejects the exclusivism and extremism of ISIS the same way he rejected this ignorance from the GIA in the nineties.

He said “A group of ignorant and inexperienced people took control of the leadership of the armed Islamic group in Algeria (GIA) after the death of some leaders and the death of those who have a good amount of discipline. The new leadership authorized an unjust rule, based on dubious proofs, which is set forth in the principle “Everyone who is not with us is against us”. They classify uncooperative people as oppressors and innovators.”

Abu Bakr Naji would certainly not agree with the infighting caused by ISIS and the waste of efforts which result from it. He stresses the importance of uniting our goals and uniting our ranks and efforts instead of dispersing them, and the importance of conveying our message to the Ummah through effective propaganda in an understandable language which unites us; so that we can reach sufficient power to confront the enemies of the Ummah. He rejects the groups who only consider the benefit of their own adherents. He stresses the importance of Sharia politics and shuns the groups who only rely upon violence and military activities while they neglect and abandon Sharia politics. In conclusion, many reports that talk about the work of Abu Bakr Naji make it seem as if his book was only talking about the use of violence. But this is certainly not true.

Abu Bakr Naji indeed does call for violence and harshness to scare off the enemies. Shaykh Usama bin Laden however prohibited the Mujahideen from showing beheadings in their media propaganda because this would be unfair to the (Muslim) parents and relatives of the victim, what is their sin for watching their son get beheaded? It also pushes the Muslim masses away from Jihaad the Mujahideen because of their softhearted nature. Again, Abu Bakr Naji stresses the importance of mobilizing the Muslim Ummah with a sensible media campaign to win their hearts and minds, he also agrees that the Muslim masses have become softhearted as they shy away from violence. So even he would disagree with the excessive violence in the media propaganda of ISIS which scares of the softhearted Muslim Ummah. Abu Bakr Naji also states that violence should not transgress the limits of the Sharia, he stresses the importance of outweighing the benefits versus harms resulting from the violence we use, he also stresses that we should balance between harshness and softness depending on the animosity of the enemy. ISIS ignored all of these advises.

Abu Bakr Naji said: “One should note that violence and harshness must not transgress the limits of the Sharia and one must pay heed to the benefit and harms that results from it, which the Sharia considers to be, in the rules of Jihaad, as one of the most important subjects for the guidance of creation, if not the most important subject. Pertaining to this, whenever there are reasonable people among the enemy who recognize the truth which every rational mind must agree to, we can lighten the severity of the violence against them. As for the haughty enemy and his troops and his supporters, that is another matter.”

Shaykh Ayman Zawahiri and many other Mujahid leaders and scholars from Al-Qaedah advised ISIS numerous times to refrain from attacks on public gathering of Shia civilians in Iraq for example, like markets, shrines and other places of worship which are also visited by numerous elders, women and children. As these attacks only harm the Muslims and our cause. However ISIS insisted on targeting these public gathering, and did not consider any of the harms which results from this reckless violence. They did not only refuse to stop with these attacks in Iraq, rather they even launched new attacks against Shia public gatherings in Yemen, Saudi-Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Mujahideen of the Taliban in Afghanistan are busy mobilizing and fighting a war against the US led coalition and the tyrant puppet regime it installed. So what benefit will it serve to attack Shia public gathering in Afghanistan, which will only ignite a sectarian war of attrition that will distract the war away from the US led coalition and its installed puppet regime? A sectarian war of attrition will not only scatter and weaken the efforts of the Mujahideen, rather such a tiring internal conflict will also discourage instead of mobilize the Ummah. Again, Abu Bak Naji clearly stresses the importance of mobilizing the Ummah in a popular Jihad. Focusing on the US led coalitions and their tyrant puppet regimes mobilize the Ummah, while embroiling the Muslims in sectarian wars of attrition discourage the Ummah. Furthermore, the Ummah will not only be discouraged on one side, but the attacks on Shia public gathering will also mobilize an angry Shia mob on the other side. So this impulsive strategy is doomed to backfire. This is very evident in Iraq for example. Shaykh Usama bin Laden was able to mobilize the Ummah against the US invasion and their installed tyrant puppet regime in Iraq, but the sectarian war of attrition ignited by ISIS has discouraged the Ummah, while it mobilized an angry Shia mob.

This is something even ISIS indistinctively admitted. After embroiling the Muslims in a tiring sectarian war of attrition which discouraged the Muslim Ummmah in Iraq, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi made a shameless attempt to escape from his responsibility of mobilizing and defending the Muslims in Iraq. As he lengthily complained about the Sunnis in Iraq, in his latest audio message titled “This is What Allah and His Messenger Promised Us”, because, according to Al-Baghdadi, they were unwilling and lacked enthusiasm in mobilizing their efforts against the Rawafid. Saying “Oh Sunnis in Iraq, why is it that every single time you show no sense? You tasted humiliation and disgrace to the extent that you grazed on it, and you strayed just as the children of Israel strayed before you. Do you not see the Rawafid afflict you with the worst of torment every day?”

Not only did Al-Baghdadi invite all the enemies of the world against the Sunnis in Iraq. Not only did he drag them into senseless secondary battles and sectarian wars. Not only did Al-Baghdadi fight and ban all other Mujahid factions in Iraq, and strip the tribes of their weapons, as he forced them to wage Jihaad exclusively under his command. Not only did he make Takfir on a large portion of the Iraqi Muslims. No, after all of that, he even blamed them for losing the war against the Rawafid. Well, they did not declare a Caliphate. It was Al-Baghdadi himself who declared it, so he is responsible for defending the Muslims in Iraq. Rather not only did he blame them for his failed strategy, he even insists on repeating his failing strategy! After admitting that the Jihaad in Iraq went downhill, he called for pressing attacks in neighboring Turkey, in the very same speech.

Furthermore, he even claimed that it has become a priority to attack it, at a time when thousands of militiamen are marching inside of Mosul –the most important stronghold of their Caliphate. Saying “Turkey today has become a target for your operations and a priority for your Jihaad, so seek Allah’s assistance and attack it. Turn their security into panic and their prosperity into dread, and add it to the scorching zones of your combat.”

It would have made much more sense if he called for attacks against the US which is leading the coalition against ISIS, and the Ummah would be much easier to mobilize against the US. Rather he did not even incite against Iran which is a central enemy in Iraq and Shaam. No, unfortunately Al-Baghdadi kept focusing on Turkey and especially the Muslim Brotherhood. In contrast to Shaykh Khubayb As-Sudani for example, one of the leaders of Al-Qaedah in Yemen, who explained the true nature of this war, in a speech not long after the senseless audio message of Al-Baghdadi, titled “Fifteen Years Since the Launch of the Current Crusader Campaign”. In which he explained that the US is our prioritized enemy, clearly following the methodology of Shaykh Usaman bin Laden.

How will a war against Turkey benefit the Muslim Ummah, especially in Shaam? Isn’t Turkey treating thousands of wounded and injured Syrian civilians in their hospitals? Isn’t Turkey sheltering millions of Syrian refugees in their country? Isn’t Turkey sending billions of aid to the oppressed Syrian civilians? ISIS does not look at these benefits, because again, extremism does not know any balance; for them Morsi and Sisi are the same. That’s why nearly the whole Ummah was happy when the coup was foiled in Turkey, except the extremists of ISIS. Even the scholars who make Takfir on Erdogan were happy that the coup was foiled, because we reject injustice no matter who commits it. The Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) advised the Muslims in Mekkah to migrate to Abyssinia because Negus ruled with justice even though he was Christian, and the Muslims were also happy when Negus foiled a coup against him. We should likewise benefit from the friendly policies of neutral countries. The Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) also said “Leave the Abyssinians alone as long as they leave you alone, and leave the Turks alone as long as they leave you alone.” (Sunan Abi Dawud)

However the book of Abu Bakr Naji should be taken in its historical context, because our situation of today is not like the situation of 2004. His book was written before the Arab Spring and the Jihaad that followed in Shaam. This means, theoretically, that refraining from attacks on Turkey today does not necessarily mean that we should have refrained from attacking Turkey in the historical context of 2004, and visa versa. Political positions and governments can change and the situation of the Ummah can also change. The same goes for other countries like Iran and Pakistan for example; if we were to look at their governments and policies in retro perspective combined with the historical situation of the Ummah. Abu Bakr Naji explains that we should refer to the Mujahid leaders and commanders and the scholars who are firmly rooted in knowledge and authorized to decide whether an action against a certain target is permissible or not. And he talks about prioritizing a limited number of enemy targets, unlike ISIS which focuses on numerous enemy targets simultaneously, although he does not specify which enemy targets. According to him this matter is flexible and can change according to developments and circumstances.

When the government of a neutral country offers fertile ground for Dawah, in which the Mujahideen can move with ease, build educational centers, media offices and spread awareness, recruit, fund raise, etc. Then they should benefit from this political opportunity to build their organization and spread their movement. Especially if neutral Islamist parties gained authority through democratic elections. Al-Qaedah similarly made use of this opportunity when neutral Islamist governments gained power after the Arab Spring, by establishing Ansar Sharia branches in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen. ISIS does not understand that Jihaad should be waged in combination with Dawah and Sharia politics, they do not have the basic wisdom to benefit from such obvious opportunities.

Shaykh Ayman Zawahiri said in his General Guidelines for Jihaad “Avoid entering into an armed clash with the local regimes, except if forced to do so, for example when the local regime is a part of the American forces, as in Afghanistan; or where it wages war against the Mujahideen on behalf of the Americans, as in Somalia and the Arabian Peninsula; or where it does not tolerate the mere presence of Mujahideen, as in the Islamic Maghreb, Syria, and Iraq. However, entering into an armed conflict against them must be avoided whenever it is possible. If we are forced to fight, then we must make it clear that our struggle against them is a part of our resistance against the Crusader onslaught against Muslims. Further, wherever we are afforded the possibility to pacify the conflict with the local rulers so as to avail the opportunity for propagation, expressing our viewpoint, inciting the believers, recruitment, fund raising and gaining supporters, we must make the most of this opportunity; for our struggle is a long one, and Jihad is in need of safe bases and consistent support in terms of men, finances, and expertise.”

It is not our wish to fight against the whole world and confront all our enemies. However certain wars are forced upon us. The people in Syria went out on the streets in peaceful demonstrations to demand their Islamic rights and the fall of the tyrannical regime. This went on for months as tens of thousands of civilians were brutally massacred, until the peaceful protests turned into an armed resistance. If we can reach our Islamic freedom and the fall of these tyrannical regimes without any armed resistance we would have done so. Abu Firas As-Suri explained this very well in his interview with the media activist Bilal Abdulkareem. Allah has preordained fighting even though we dislike it (Quran 2:216). He affirms that we as peaceful people dislike fighting, and He does not ask us to like or love it. On the contrary, we fight because we want to reach our Islamic peace and freedom.

Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa narrated from the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam): “Do not wish to meet your enemies, and ask Allah for safety. But if you do meet them, then be patient and know that Paradise is under the shadow of the swords.” (Saheeh Bukhari)

What is missing in the narrative is the aspect of using peaceful means like Dawah, combined with Jihaad. What is missing in the narrative is the actual reason for the fall of the world powers. Scholars of Al-Qaedah like Shaykh Atiyatullah Libi have advised the Mujahideen in Iraq to strengthen their Jihaad with a proper Dawah and a strong message. Yes the fall of the world powers will create a period of lawlessness, Abu Bakr Naji predicts this fall as well as the power vacuum that they will leave behind, as he gives advices on how to benefit from- and fill this gap. But how will these powers fall?

Will these powers fall only due to our military operations, by draining and exhausting them military and economically? No certainly not. The corruption of the world powers, their tyranny and injustice, is the principal cause for their inevitable fall, like it was the principal cause for the fall of all nations before them. Allah explains in the Quran that they were destroyed because of their injustice. The scholars have therefore stated an important principle centuries ago, as they said “Allah upholds the just government even if it is a disbelieving one, and Allah topples the unjust government even if it is a believing one.” So we saw how the West was trying to uphold its corrupt tyrannical world power by holding on to some human-right values, this gave their system essential fundaments on which it could and did survive. There is also an old Arabic saying which states “Societies are only worth as much as their values, if their values disappear then so will they.”

We witnessed how the human-right values of the West rapidly disintegrated with the legalized tortures and unreasonable imprisonments in Abu Ghrayb and Guantanamo Bay, in addition to their heinous war crimes and massacres in Iraq and Afghanistan. This decadence was soon followed by a devastating global financial crisis throughout the West. The West is still stumbling economically and socially since then as their values continue to evaporate. They have completely lost their moral compass. They keep supporting murderous terrorist militias gone mad in Iraq, while backstabbing the innocent Syrian civilians who are slaughtered by the tyrannical Assad regime and Russia.

The election of Donald Trump and the massive rise of rightwing parties in the West affirm that the West is losing their moral struggle, as the internal divisions keep increasing in their societies. We saw how the rightwing Brexit vote and the rightwing Trump election created a deep division in the West. Extremism always creates division no matter in which society; we already saw how the extremism of ISIS created a devastating division in the Mujahid ranks. The rise of extremism in the West will do the same thing. Except they will not have any wise leaders and scholars like the Muslim Ummah; who know how to minimize the disastrous effects of this division. Extremism in our ranks benefits the enemy while extremism in the ranks of the enemy benefits us. The Muslims were therefore the real winners of World War II, as the rise of Nazism and Fascism, and the consequent world war brought an end to the colonial rule in our Muslim countries.

Abu Bakr Naji said “The overwhelming power of the US is assisted by the cohesion of its society in the central country and the cohesion of its institutions and sectors. The overwhelming military power (weapons, technology, soldiers) has no value without the cohesion of its society and the cohesion its institutions and sectors. But this overwhelming military power may become a curse to this great superpower if the cohesion of its society collapses. Several elements cause the collapse of this entity, elements of cultural and civilizational annihilation, such as the corruption of religion, moral collapse, social iniquities, lavishness, selfishness, giving priority to worldly pleasures, the love for the world over all values, etc. Whenever a large mixture of these elements are combined within the superpower and those elements mix in such a way that they energize each other, that superpower’s speed of collapse increases. Whether these elements are actively present or latent, they need an assisting element to activate them and cause the downfall of that superpower and its power, no matter how much military power it possesses.”

Shaykh Abu Yahya Al-Libi talked about the moral bankruptcy of the West in his very last message “The American Military and the Ethics of War”. Shaykh Usama bin Laden also talked about this in a message to the American people in October 2003. Many Mujahid leaders and scholars focused their ideological strikes on this obvious weakness prevalent in the West. The capitalist system of the West showed the world how it lacks human values and how it oppresses nations and spreads corruptions on the world. We however should show the world how Islam has dignified human ethics, principles and morals. Because this is not only a military war, it is a media war; a war of ideologies; a war of morals and values. The West lost this war like Mullah Muhammad Umar explained in his Eedul Fitr message in August 2012. The US committed heinous war crimes under the administration of Bush Jr. as it showed the world that the West does not stick to any human values, while the Mujahideen showed the world how Islam has noble conducts, even during wartimes. Until the frantic soldiers of ISIS did the opposite of what the Mujahid leaders and scholars were doing, as they portrayed the exact same image of Islam as the West was trying to show the world (deceitfully) for decades. This heavily overshadowed the heinous war crimes committed by the previous US administration; which even the slick damage control of Obama was not able to cover up. The collective memory of the US has been successfully distracted with the jolting miss-representation of ISIS, to the extent that they even voted for someone who is far worse than Bush Jr.

The Muslims must focus on showing the crimes and corruption of the US, not only when it concerns the Muslim Ummah but also the crimes they commit against others like their own Afro American civilians. Shaykh Usama bin Laden even dedicated an audio message to global warming. He explained that the US shares the largest portion in polluting the world and explains how they were the only country which rejected to sign the Kyoto Protocol because they were unwilling to reduce emissions. We must know that all humans share this world and its habitats, not only the Muslims. We will all suffer from the consequences if the capitalist West continues to destroy and corrupt the world. That is why Shaykh Usama bin Laden called upon everyone, not only Muslims, to take this shared responsibility.

The Mujahid leaders and scholars of Al-Qaedah were known for exposing the ugly crimes of the West to a very broad audience. This focus made their media propaganda very effective and successful, and the following Arab Spring and the anti-globalization movements, including the occupy movement, were a clear confirmation that Al-Qaedah won the ideological propaganda war against the capitalist West and their tyrant puppet regimes. However, ISIS does not focus its media propaganda on highlighting the moral bankruptcy of the US. Rather they try to outdo them by torturing their own war prisoners in the most shocking methods. Torturing war prisoners in orange overalls is something the Bush administration used to do; we should expose these war crimes in front of world instead of copying them. While the media propaganda of Al-Qaedah used to mobilize the Ummah, we are witnessing stagnation in this mobilization with the backfiring propaganda of ISIS. However it is expected that this stagnation will not last for long under the Trump administration, his policies will re-boost the anti-western and anti-capitalist resentments in the Middle-East and the rest of the world –even the West.

It is up to the scholars, preachers and media activists to focus on the corruption and crimes of the US. Especially those who are not active on the field of Jihaad, for whichever reason they may have, they can at least support the armed struggle of the Mujahideen through Dawah activities against the enemies of the Ummah. We have seen how The Cold War was won by mere propaganda, so we must not underestimate the importance of media propaganda in this war. Abu Bakr Naji also emphasizes this issue in his book.

Those who can not perform Jihaad for which ever reason can use peaceful means. Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani accused Al-Qaedah in the past for using peaceful means, because the extremists of ISIS do not understand anything except the language of violence. While Shaykh Usama bin Laden also used peaceful means, after the Afghan-Soviet war, in the early nineties in Sudan. He started large construction- and cultivation projects under the Islamist government of Omar Al-Bashiri and Hassan Al-Turabi, instead of attacking the ruling government in Sudan at that time and declaring war against it. If the US did not force the Sudanese government to expel him, then maybe he would not have returned to Afghanistan and maybe the events of 9-11 and the following world events after that would never have happened. We must all learn from this history. The enemies must know that even a small act of oppression could have major consequences. While Muslims must know that Allah could have a much greater plan for us then we might think. We must not despair when we are faced with afflictions and obstacles, they could be guiding us to an imperative destiny. Expelling Shaykh Usama bin Laden from Sudan was a true blessing.

Shaykh Atiyatullah Libi wrote an article titled “The Arab Revolutions and the Season to Harvest” in which he said “Al-Qaedah and the Mujahideen do not prevent from peaceful means all together, you will not find anyone say this in their Dawah. Rather they call for resistance against disbelief and tyranny and oppression and the regimes which commit it, with all legal means depending on the capability, and most importantly and essentially with Jihaad. That which the Mujahideen reject is changing to the methodology of peaceful means completely instead of the methodology of Jihaad; which is preparation for war to fight on the Path of Allah with weapons, with strikes, with killing and bombings. But if peaceful means are available and they can achieve the requested goals or some of it in stages, and its method does not trespass the limits of the Shariah, then the Mujahideen do not prevent from this. They rather endorse it and call people towards it. How many times did the leadership of Al-Qaedah incite the people to mobilize and demonstrate.”

Shaykh Ayman Zawahiri said something similar concerning the use of peaceful means in Egypt in his fifth interview with As-Sahab media. This interview in 2008 was actually an important prelude for the Arab Spring in Egypt. We must realize that some countries are not suitable for guerilla warfare. Shaykh Ayman Zawahiri explained in his book “The Prophet Under the Nights Banner” that the unsuitable geographical nature of Egypt made guerilla warfare impossible. This was the most important reason why he left Egypt and traveled to Peshawar in Pakistan to help with the medical treatment of Afghan refugees.

ISIS however ignores the factors of Abu Bakr Naji we should consider when selecting a country for Jihadi operations. They rigidly stick to their misinterpreted strategy of creating savagery and chaos in every country, without looking at the geographical nature of the country, the weakness or strength of the ruling regime, the nature of the people in this region, etc. They do not care if these countries are neutral, or if they have friendly policies which benefit the Muslim Ummah a great deal. Furthermore, they even attack other Mujahid factions and groups who wage Jihaad against the exact same enemies of the Ummah! Even if Abu Bakr Naji would disagree with the strategy of Al-Qaedah over certain countries, then surely he agrees with the strategy of Al-Qaedah over the Mujahid groups and factions.

If ISIS followed the strategy of Abu Bakr Naji they would have joined the other groups in Shaam, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan in a shared war against the prioritized enemies of the Ummah; even if these groups would have some theological mistakes and deviances. The ISIS media outlet Al-Naba published an info-graphic in November 2016 in which they bragged about killing 87 Mujahideen from the Taliban in Afghanistan last year in 2015, while they did not kill even one US soldier in that same year. In contrast to the magazine Al-Somood published by the media department of the Taliban in which they reported the killing of 31 US soldiers in the month of September 2015 alone. So why does ISIS fight against the Taliban instead of uniting their efforts against the US led coalition and its tyrannical puppet regime? Does Abu Bakr Naji not call for this?

Abu Bakr Naji said “We consider our Jihaad in this stage to be the Jihaad of an Ummah. They are a part of the Mujahid movement, even if they differ over the correct method in intellectual and operational matters. There are several examples of this throughout history. Shaykh Al-Islam attacked the Asharis in his books and exposed the corruption of their school; this was in an instance where he was speaking of their heretical doctrines and actions. Yet even though these people were heretical, they aided Islam and its people. It is clear that even though the rulers in Egypt and Syria used to favor the Ashari scholars, they devoted themselves to aiding Islam and engaging in Jihaad in the path of Allah against the Tartars. Thus, in another instance concerning loyalty, sheltering and assistance, Shaykh Al-Islam said that they were the Victorious Party in Syria and Egypt.

He also praised Salah Al-Din Al-Ayyubi for aiding Islam against the crusaders and aiding the Sunnah against the Batiniyyah, even though the school of the Asharis was the school of Salah al-Din’s state. Therefore, we must respect those among the sects or among the general public who desire Jihaad and give their loyalty to us. We accept them, help them, and assist them, without ascribing any error to them and try to correct it according to the circumstances, need, and opportunity, as long as it does not cause Fitnah and harm which might afflict the Jihaad, especially since the benefit of tolerating their errors will usually be greater than the harm (caused by our rejection of their errors). When rejection causes greater Fitnah or harm, then the rejection must be abandoned.”


Fursan Al Sham Media ~ My First Battlefield Experience

Text by Abu Salman al-Britani published by Fursan Al Sham Media on November 12, 2016


My first battlefield experience:


When you think of a battle, what goes through your mind? What images pop up? Most likely you will picture yourself running at the enemy fearlessly roaring “Allahu Akbar!”. You might even picture yourself doing what ‘Umair bin Al-Humam (may Allah be pleased with him) did when he was standing in the vanguard of the Muslim army eating dates and said, “if I live long enough eat all these dates of mine, it would be a long life”. You might picture yourself as a Rambo-style Mujahid where you would take out an entire army solo. You might even think you will be able to disassociate yourself from the pleasures of this world easily, never looking back. Unfortunately, it is not that simple and no one can feel the reality of a battle regardless of how many movies or clips one watches until he has actually been there. The propaganda clips and videos do not show you the harsh truth, rather the videos show short footage of the Mujahideen attacking, killing the enemy, and taking their positions.

Before coming to Syria, I thought I would read some verses of Qur’an or ahadeeth on the virtues of Jihad and martyrdom, and that would motivate me, giving me the courage to run at the enemy – chasing after death. Yes, reading verses and ahadeeth are essential to a Mujahid, and knowledge is what will keep a brother steadfast in the heat of battle. But even with knowledge one commits sins and has a natural fear. Sins come back to bite you when on the frontlines. I have had brothers telling me that they will only remember their sins when they are on the frontlines. As Allah says, “if you remember Me at times of ease, I will remember you at times of hardship”. When you are in a battle you are coming face to face with death, and at times you get to the point where you think that’s it, you’re done for.

It is in the battlefield where you can test your faith and your desire to achieve martyrdom. When you have artillery shells raining down upon you and bullets flying at you in plain view, it has become real. The prophet said, “the shining swords above the head of the martyr are Fitnah enough”. A brother once told me after participating in his first battle, that now He understood  the hadith, now we understand why there is such a tremendous reward.

My first battle was the offensive on the besieged Shia towns of Kafarya and Fou’a. I was feeling a bit apprehensive because it was my first battle but at the same time I was excited and eager to be a part of the operation. When the battle approached we set off for a frontline base which allowed us to go for guard duty and reconnaissance of the enemy positions. At that point we were not exactly sure when the battle was but we knew that it was very near so we merely observed the enemy positions that we were intending to attack. This gave us a clear picture of the surrounding area. As a solider you do not want to go in blind, you must have a good idea of the region and its important points.

On the day of the battle, we gathered on the frontline as our artillery was hammering regime positions. I was put with the medical team, so my duty was to assist injured brothers in getting to the field hospital and to provide ammunition and food to the brothers deeper inside. The battle started with three martyrdom operations, one carried out by a Scottish brother. When our tanks first began firing I reflexively jumped because I had never heard anything similar to it before, it was a new experience. At one point as I was holding the rifle just below my chin, I again jumped on reflex because of our tank fire which resulted in my rifle hitting my chin.

A few minutes into the battle, my assigned leader called me. There were some brothers who needed medical assistance so we sprinted towards them. Now I was crossing the frontline, I had no clue where the enemy was and if there were any enemy snipers around. My job was to put my head down and run as fast as I could to the injured brothers. Despite being physically active my whole life, I was out of breath due to sprinting while fully geared up.

When we reached the injured, there were four brothers. One was injured in the thigh, another was breathing his last breath, and two were dead. I looked at the scene and froze, I wasn’t sure what to do. I was not panicking but rather it was new to me, it was my first battle. In front of me lay a brother with the majority of his head missing and the whole of his brain exposed. This did not scare me nor did it disgust me. If I saw this in Britain I would have most likely fainted or vomited from the sight but here I had to overpower any fear, survival kicked in. This is also something from Allah; Allah protects his slaves from experiencing any psychological trauma. If you are here to support the religion of Allah then know that Allah will look after you. If you look at the armies of the West like the US or the UK, you find that a large number of their soldiers who served in war zones suffer from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) as a result of the time they served in war. They have to receive constant treatments whereas the Mujahideen never have this issue. I have never come across a Mujahid with any sort of psychological trauma caused by war or battle.

As the battle continued the regime sent their air force to work. Fortunately we had plenty of trenches to use for cover. We ended up resting in the trenches waiting for orders to aid any injured brothers. We would look at the sky every now and then and whenever there was a flash  we knew that a missile was being released from a fighter jet. We would try to protect ourselves as best as we could in the trenches. Then came the helicopters, which hover over you for a while before releasing the infamous barrel bombs. The sound of the barrels spiralling down to the earth is not pleasant, nor does it end well. We were in the trench as the barrel bombs were released over us. During these 15-20 seconds you only have one thing to do and one thing to say. You put yourself in a fetal position with your hands covering your head and recite the Shahada, awaiting destiny.

After the initial assault things calmed down with some sporadic gunfire so we sat down in the trenches waiting for orders, whether to precede, retreat or stay put. We stayed in our position until just before sunrise when we changed shifts with another group and returned to the frontline base a hundred or so meters back. We were all very tired and exhausted due to the battle so most of us were asleep within minutes. Later that morning we returned to the base and the leader informed us that the battle is over, there were peace negotiations going on. We were happy in the sense that we forced the government to the negotiation table in regards to the Muslims in Zabadani but at the same time we were disappointed because we believed this a good opportunity to push on as we had broken the regime defences and they should not be given time to refortify their positions.

While the offensive on Kafraya and Foua were planned and instigated by us, the second battle I participated in was a defensive battle. There are huge differences between a defensive and an offensive battle and most if not all would prefer to be in an offensive rather than a defensive battle. In an offensive battle you are calling the shots, the ball is in your court. The preparations are practically perfect, you have an idea of the area you are attacking and most importantly you are surprising your enemy. Whereas in a defensive battle you might not be as well prepared, the enemy might surprise you with the attack, and the enemy uses the scorched earth policy where they do not advance until they blast everything in front of them. They start bombing the area heavily for hours and hours using all forms of weaponry and then, and only then do they try to precede.

At the time of the second battle we were planning for a series of battles in Hama to try and reach the besieged Muslims in the Northern Homs countryside. It was just after the Russian intervention. We were told to get ready just after sunrise as the regime had just made advancements into Bahsa, a village in the Ghab plains near the Lattakia province. We got onto the buses and proceeded towards the village. When we got to the assembly point, we could hear the government bombardment of the village and at this point I saw something that put fear in my heart, something I had not seen before. In the distance, I saw a village just north of Bahsa lightening up with balls of fire and a few seconds after the blast came the sound wave. The regime had hit the village with multiple rockets. A few minutes later the first causality of the battle had driven past us in an ambulance. It was Abu Omar Al-Halabi, a Syrian who had ran away from an ISIS held village near the town of Al-Bab, in Northern Aleppo countryside. He was a funny and simple brother that could hardly read Surat Al-Fatiha. There are many Hadiths on the virtues of a Martyr that I could use here to highlight the superiority that a Mujahid and Martyr has over those who have stayed behind.

We set off to the village that had just been hit by the rockets and from there we walked to the next village, Bahsa. At this point you are apprehensive because you do not know what you are heading into. There is no clear plan and you are not completely sure where the regime soldiers are. We walked through a dry canal for around thirty minutes. During that time there were a lot of mortar rounds flying over us. Every time I heard one I would duck down whereas the other brothers would not. I still found myself to be inexperienced and not used to the environment compared to the other brothers.

We walked until the end of the canal where we held up defensive positions in case the regime tried to advance from our position. We stayed in the canal for 24 hours where we ate, slept and answered the call of nature. When the sun rose we knew what to expect, constant mortar rounds raining on us, from sunrise to sunset. At times the mortar rounds would strike a few meters away from us and we would ask ‘how did I survive that?’. This is protection from Allah. Then came the attempted advancement of the regime but every single attempt was pushed back. The time in the canal was very difficult and uncomfortable, may Allah accept our efforts.

At first it was difficult to eat, but once you get used to death lingering over your head you manage to get in a meal. During the nights, it was cold with no blankets to cover ourselves with.  After a couple of days the decision was made to retreat to the previous village where we could build a stronger line of defence. Praise be to Allah who granted us the patience and steadfastness to deal with the situation. It was difficult but we walked away with a sense of accomplishment which was struggling for the sake of Allah, and our final supplications are that all praise belongs to Allah the Lord of all that exists.





Written by Abu Salman Al-Britani.