Friday, February 12, 2010

Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi, Amir of the Islamic State of Iraq, Blasts Upcoming National Elections & Shi'i-dominated Government

"Our Beloved Shaykh, Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi", and "their (Iraqi government's) dumbest", among them Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, president Jalal Talabani, and Sunni political leader Tariq (Tareq) al-Hashemi.

UPDATE (February 13): An Arabic-language transcript produced by the Jihadi Media Front, a transnational jihadi-takfiri media outlet, is available HERE (via Scribd).

UPDATE (February 14): A Kurdish translation of Abu 'Umar's speech is available, via Scribd, HERE.

UPDATE (February 15): An English-language translation produced by the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), a shadowy transnational jihadi-takfiri media and translation outlet, has been released today and is available, via Scribd, HERE.

The media outlet of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), the Al-Furqan Media Foundation, has just released an audio message from its leader, Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi (Abu Omar al-Baghdadi), who has never been shown on film despite having released dozens of audio messages since the formation of the ISI in October 2006. The audio message, embedded below, is entitled "The Crime of Legitimate Political Elections and Our Duty Toward Them," and, clearly, are concerned with the upcoming (in March) Iraqi national elections. From a quick listen to parts of the message, al-Baghdadi hits the expected talking points: the treachery of the "Rafidah", literally "ones who reject (true Islam)" i.e. Shi'i Muslims, and the impermissibility of national elections in an "Islamic state" as defined by the ISI and jihadi-takfiri groups like it. He says that the ISI will use "military means" to disrupt the elections. Al-Baghdadi claims to be both a native of Iraq, thus his nisbah "one from Baghdad," as well as a member of the Prophet's line of descent via one group, Bani Hashem, and tribe, the Quraysh.

"Islamic State of Iraq: Hope of the Ummah [Muslim nation] and its Coming Glory...(the) Portal to Liberation for the Land of Palestine..."

The Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has falsely claimed to have captured al-Baghdadi twice in the past, including May 2009. He is addressed as "amir al-mu'mineen," a title historically reserved by Sunni Muslims for the caliph, the ruler of the Muslim state (caliphate). Mullah Muhammad 'Umar (Omar), the leader of the Afghan Taliban, is also addressed in this way by jihadi-takfiris, including senior Al-Qa'ida Central (AQC) leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

"God protect our commander and amir [leader], Commander of the Faithful, Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi"

The ISI is an umbrella organization that includes as members several of the most violent and radical jihadi-Salafi groups operating in the country, including al-Qa'ida in the Land of the Two Rivers/Iraq (AQI). Its formation was announced in a video tape released in October 2006, though it mostly involved a change in name for a previous umbrella, the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC), of which AQI was also the largest member group. Since August 2009, the ISI has carried out multiple large-scale attacks on primarily government buildings in Baghdad, including massive attacks on the main forensics center and hotel complexes on January 26. I have argued previously that the ISI is currently forgoing frequency for potency in their attacks.

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