Jihadist Forum Monitor (JFM) – 23 November 2010
On 23 November 2010, a video produced by the Mujahidin Youth Movement’s (MYM) [aka al-Shabab], media division, al-Kita’b, was released onto jihadist forums entitled: ‘An Invitation to the Lands of Jihad and Ribat’. It urges Muslims around the world to travel to Somalia and undertake combat training with the MYM and graduate as mujahidin.
The production, dated November 2010, lasts for over 35 minutes and uses a number of video-clips of non-Somali MYM fighters urging their countrymen – in their native tongues – to join the group. Many of the men featured wish their fellow Muslims around the world a happy Eid [holiday], which suggests it might have been produced fairly recently. The video also has narration in Arabic with English and Somali subtitles.
It also features some of the things new recruits would learn such as combat training in light and heavy weapons, as well as tactics. There is a lot of footage of MYM recruits going through combat training drills, as well as shots of a group attending a lecture in a class. The video tries to convey some idea of what life on a camp is like, with shots of recruits working and preparing food. There is also a lot of footage of MYM fighters engaging enemy forces.
Below are comments from some of the MYM fighters featured:
‘Khalid as-Sudani’ – identified as a Sudanese national, addresses supporters and Muslims in general in Sudan on behalf of the group, vowing that the MYM will soon control ‘the whole of Mogadishu, and all of Somalia, God willing, until we end up in Palestine’.
‘Abu Mu’adh’ – identified as an Ethiopian national, addresses Muslims in Ethiopia, saying ‘our Ethiopian brothers are close to Somalia so we call upon you to come here and take part in the jihad along with your brothers’. He continues, ‘you know that jihad has become an individual obligation and because of this we call upon you to cross the border into Somalia and participate in the jihad alongside your Muslim brothers’.
‘Abu Dujana’ – identified as a UK national, whose appearance would suggest that he is of African origin, addresses Muslims in Britain in British-accented English. He urges them to travel to Somalia and train for jihad, and live in a society governed by Sharia.
‘Abu Zaid’ – identified as a Swedish national, appeals to Muslims in Sweden to do the same, and tells them that it is ‘an obligation upon you’. Like, Abu Dujana, his appearance would suggest he is also of African origin, but he addresses his audience in Swedish. He adds: ‘Brothers and sisters, I encourage you to come here to Somalia to take part in the jihad in Somalia. He continues: ‘I want to send this warning to Lars Viks, who was behind the caricatures defaming our Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him. And I say to Lars Viks that wherever you are, if not today or tomorrow, know that we haven’t yet forgotten about you. We will get hold of you and with God’s permission we will catch you wherever you are and whatever hole you are hiding in, God willing. Know what awaits you, as it will be nothing but this: [he then makes a cutting gesture with his finger on his throat]slaughter! For that is what you deserve’. Finally he say: ‘and to my brothers and sisters, I call you to make Hijra [travel to Somalia for jihad], and if you can kill this dog called Lars Viks, then you will receive a great reward from God’.
‘Abu Muthana’ – identified as being a Pakistani national, greets the mujahidin around the world and praises their efforts, saying they are all fighting the same jihad as he is in Somalia with the MYM. He warns ‘our enemies’ that ‘’we will fight you as long as there is life in our bodies’.
‘Abu Ja’afar’ – identified as a Kenyan national, explains that he and his fellow mujahidin have completed their training and are ‘now stationed at the defence lines, and our enemies, the Ugandans, Burundians and Americans are right here in front of us, not very far away’. He continues: ‘We have come here to fight so that the name of God becomes supreme and that there be no fitna [discord/chaos] on earth and that the Sharia of God rules the entire world’. He asks his fellow Kenyan Muslims: ‘So what are you waiting for my brothers? Why don’t you leap forth for this act of worship?’ He goes on: ‘Join us so that we can together fight the forces of infidelity just as they have united together to fight the religion of God’.
A further MYM fighter named only as ‘Muhammad’ from Tanzania makes similar comments to Abu Ja’afar, above. He is followed by another man who speaks in accented English. He is masked but his appearance would suggest he is of Arab or South Asian origin. He warns the MYM’s enemies that he is in Somalia to ‘capture them and slaughter them’.
There are also video clips from two slain Kenyan MYM fighters, one of whom is identified as the ‘Martyr Musa’. The video claims that Musa was the first ‘Muhajir’ [non-Somali fighter] to carry out a suicide bombing in Somalia. Apparently, Musa carried out his attack against Ethiopian forces as the Afgooye military base in 2007.
Snippets of previously released audio/video-messages from prominent al-Qaeda figures also feature in the production.
MYM commander, Ali Muhammed Rage, appears twice in the video addressing Muslims around the world, telling them that new recruits traveling to Somalia to join the group will be welcomed. He says: ‘We rejoice at their arrival and are happy to honour them’. He continues, ‘we pledge by God to protect them with our blood’.
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