"The Lions' Testament (martyrdom) and Eulogy": (from left) Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi, and Abu Hamza al-Muhajir (right, bottom and top).
Al-Qa'ida Central (AQC; Qaeda, Qaida) has finally released its first official response to the killings of the two heads of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), "Commander of the Faithful" (proto-caliph) Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi and "prime minister/minister of war," and leader of Al-Qa'ida in the Land of the Two Rivers/Iraq (AQI), Abu Hamza al-Muhajir (Abu Ayyub al-Masri). Both were killed in a U.S. air strike on their hideout near Tikrit on April 19. Background on both, as well as the ISI, can be found in my guest editorial, "The Death of a Caliph: Will the Reported Killings of the Islamic State of Iraq's Two Senior Leaders Spell Out the End of the Self-styled Jihadi State?", on Prof. Juan Cole's Informed Comment blog.
AQC's statement, signed by its general commander in Afghanistan, the Egyptian Mustafa Abu'l Yazid, asks God to accept "the martyrs" and raise them to Paradise to the ranks of "the righteous." As is usually done with martyrdom tracts, the verses from Surah al-Imran in the Qur'an that state, "Think not of those who are killed on the path of the One God as dead, no, they are alive with their Lord!" (169-174)," are cited. Supporters of AQC and the ISI, as well as the wider transnational jihadi-takfiri movement, are urged to remain steadfast in their "struggle" (jihad), in order to continue their campaign to achieve victory and in order to gain rewards after death.
AQC...Martyrdom of Baghdadi & Muhajir (May 4)