Tagged: middle east

Infographic: ISIS fighters proliferate in North Africa, Al-Wasat (Libya), 27 November 2014

Infographic: ISIS fighters proliferate in North Africa

The influence of ISIS is gradually expanding from its stronghold in the Syrian city of Raqqa to extremist groups which have taken North Africa as their headquarters.

Red: Areas of ISIS influence (estimate)

  1. Egypt: Ansar Beit al-Maqdis – formed in 2011, it is made up of 2,000 fighters; after announcing it joined ISIS in November, it is now known as Wilayat Sina’ (Sinai Province)
  2. Eastern Libya: Extremists in the coastal city of Derna – population 80,000 – announced their alliance with and allegiance to ISIS and the establishment of Wilayat Barqa (Cyrenaica Proince) in October
  3. Tripoli: Since August, the Libyan capital has fallen under the control of the Libya Dawn extremist militia, designated as a terrorist organisation; Mitiga International Airport is used as the centre for thousands of fighters from Europe and Africa seeking to join the fighters in Syria
  4. Tunisia: Birthplace of the Arab Spring, source of the largest number of foreign fighters joining ISIS and al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, estimated at about 3,000 fighters; the cause is believed to be their resentment with the political process in Tunisia
  5. Algeria: Extremist group Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria allied itself with ISIS in September after breaking off from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
  6. Morocco: The terrorist organisation affiliated with al-Qaeda calling itself Salafiyya Jihadiyya may have influenced the recent announcement of loyalty to ISIS by Moroccan fighters in Syria

Translated by Kevin Moore.

Emir of Qatar: “Don’t make the people choose between terrorism and tyranny”, Al Jazeera (Qatar), 24 September 2014

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thanni called for not forcing the people to choose between “terrorism” and “tyranny,” and demanded that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to distance itself from “selective policy” and to pass a decision under Article 7 of the UN Charter forcing Israel to stop its occupation since 1967 of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad  Al ThanniIn his speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday, Sheikh Tamim acknowledged that “the takfiri interpretations employed by terrorism is an affront to religion” and stressed that it is Arab society that is most afflicted by it. He said that in order for these societies to stand against it, discrimination and deprivation must not be practiced against them.

The Emir of Qatar demanded serious action to put an end to the bloodshed in Syria, and formed that he had previously warned that not supporting the revolution in this country would push Syrians to defend themselves through force of arms.

He said that the Syrian people are living between the jaws of the Syrian regime and terrorism; between the threat of the Syrian regime’s terrorism and the acts of genocide it has undertaken against the Syrian people and the threat of terrorist forces that have exploited the state of misery that these people are going through.

He stressed that the first danger (the Syrian regime) contributed to the second (terrorist forces), and called on the international community to support the Syrian people against the Syrian regime and terrorism.

On the Iraq portfolio, the Emir of Qatar called on the international community to stand firmly with this country against terrorism and to help it out of its ordeal. He also called for all spectrums of Iraqi society to participate in the political process without exclusion or the practice of any discrimination against any segment of society.

Palestinian portfolio
Sheikh Tamim acknowledged that international peace and security in the world will not be achieved without dialogue relying on equality and international law, pointing out that the Middle East region is going through an extremely dangerous stage, especially after the most recent war against the Palestinian people

He described the latest Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip as crimes against humanity, stressing that the arrogance of power will not conquer the Palestinian people’s resistance.

He confirmed that the legacy of this aggression and unjust blockade necessitates that the international community forces Israel to implement international resolutions.

The Emir of Qatar also called on the international community to support Libya to overcome the ordeal it is going through by respecting the will of the Libyan people and meeting their aspirations.

He urged Libyans to achieve comprehensive reconciliation including all political sides and to enter into a national dialogue to reach an agreement preserving the interests of all.
The Emir of Qatar also lauded the Tunisian experience and said that it bodes will due to Tunisians’ insistence on the success of the experience, despite conspiracies against it.

As for the Yemen portfolio, Sheikh Tamim said that a successful experiment was conducted in this country under UN supervision, but it appears that there are forces that have become entwined with it in an attempt to make it fail. Some of them yearn for the previous regime and oppose any changes, and among them are those would would prefer sectarian war over good governance.

He acknowledged that the use of violence is sectarian or factional logic and constitutes a threat to the country and called upon the UN to implement its resolutions on the national dialogue, rebuilding the Yemeni army and dismantling armed militias.


Translated by Kevin Moore.

Original article available here.

‘Video: Ansar Beit al-Maqdis targets Israel with 5 rockets,’ Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt), 12 July 2014

Egyptian terrorist organisation Ansar Beit al-Maqdis posted a video to YouTube in which it appears the group fires five rockets into Israeli territory from their border position in the Sinai peninsula. While the video cannot be independently verified, the group has claimed previous attacks in the past, and the latest claim comes as Israel continues its bombardment of the Gaza Strip (Operation Protective Edge). The current operation has led to over 120 deaths and retaliatory rocket fire from Hamas. Additionally, rockets were fired into northern Israeli on Friday morning from unidentified militants in southern Lebanon. The current violence is the worst since Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012.

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‘Jabhat al-Nusra announces its withdrawal from Sharia Council,’ Aleppo Media Centre (Syria), 8 July 2014

Jabhat al-Nusrah li-Ahl al-Sham (Eng: The Front for the Protection of the People of the Levant) announced via social networking websites that it is withdrawing from the Aleppo Sharia Council due to internal disputes with other members. Continue reading

‘Ansar Beit al-Maqdis pledges allegiance to ISIS emir Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,’ el-Balad (Egypt), 30 June 2014

The militant Islamist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has pledged bay’ah (allegiance) to the emir of the newly declared Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (now also known as Caliph Ibrahim). In the past, the group has been responsible for multiple terrorist attacks on Egyptian soil, mainly in the restive Sinai peninsula. In addition to this pledge of allegiance, the group has also claimed responsibility for the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. The new Islamic State, declared after major territorial gains were achieved in Iraq  over the past three weeks, has called on all Muslims to pledge allegiance to its leader, which will certainly cause a strain with mainstream al-Qaeda, which disavowed the group earlier this year over its tactics. Continue reading

‘Al-Assad warns that terrorism will spread to countries “supporting and developing” it,’ El Watan (Egypt), 18 June 2014

While meeting with a North Korean delegation in Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned the West and Arab Gulf monarchies that their support for “terrorist groups” in the ongoing Syrian conflict will bring terrorism to their countries. Continue reading

‘Mossad looks to recruit Arab agents through Facebook,’ Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt), 18 May 2014

Israeli newspaper Maariv reports that Israeli intelligence agency Mossad has been pushed to expand its work by the prevailing chaos in Arab states after the revolutions of the “Arab Spring.” The paper says that Mossad is using a major campaign on social networking sites, mainly Facebook, to recruit new Arab agents. Continue reading

‘A message from Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to Egyptians living abroad,’ 15 May 2014

As Egyptian expatriates begin voting in the upcoming presidential election, Field Marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who is pegged to become Egypt’s next president, published a message to all Egyptians living abroad.

Sisi Message Continue reading

‘Sabahi: We dreamed of democracy and social justice,’ Sky News Arabia (UAE), 14 May 2014

In an interview with Sky News Arabia, Egyptian presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi stressed that the dreams of democracy and social justice remain with Egyptians. If he wins, Sabahi said that he is committed to all of Egypt’s international agreements, however, the peace treaty with Israel would need to be be modified to allow Egypt to more effectively control the Sinai Peninsula. Continue reading

‘Number of Moroccans in Syria surpasses 8,000 fighters,’ Al-Massae (Morocco), 12 May 2014

A new report suggests that there could be over 8,000 Moroccans fighting in Syria against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Previous reports suggested a number between 1,000 and 1,500 Moroccans were in Syria, mainly fighting in a unit called “Sham al-Islam,” led by former Guantanamo Bay prisoner and Moroccan national Ibrahim Benchekroun. Continue reading