Postmortem Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi (top left), with other eminent transnational jihadi-takfiri "martyrs" (from bottom left): Shamil Basayev (Chechnya), Khattab (Chechnya), Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi (Iraq), and Shaykh 'Abd al-Latif Musa/Abu'l Nur al-Maqdisi (Gaza). The inclusion of Musa is particularly interesting to me, since the group he was spiritual leader for, Jund Ansar Allah (Soldiers of God's Partisans), was not publicly endorsed by Al-Qa'ida Central and its allies.
Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP; Qaida, Qaeda), based in Yemen, has finally issued a statement on the "martyrdom" of the two senior leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi and Abu Hamza al-Muhajir (Abu Ayyub al-Masri), on April 18. The AQAP statement follows the same pattern as those released by other transnational jihadi-takfiri groups such as Al-Qa'ida Central (AQC) and Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Background on al-Baghdadi and al-Muhajir, 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.
The statement offers condolences to the ISI and transnational jihadi-takfiris around the world, says al-Baghdadi's and al-Muhajir's blood was spilled on the "path of victory," and urges unity of the movement's supporters around the world but particularly inside Iraq (an implicit call for other insurgent groups to unify under the ISI's banner, which most Iraqi insurgent groups, such as Jama'at Ansar al-Islam, have declined to do.)
AQAP on Baghdadi & Muhajir