Al-Qaeda terror call ‘aimed at diverting attention from infighting’

Above, a still image of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri in this video released on October 11, 2011. (IntelCenter/AFP)
Updated 09 April 2019
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Al-Qaeda terror call ‘aimed at diverting attention from infighting’

  • The terrorist organization also slammed international treaties relating to women and denounced what it described as the double-edged politics of the West on human rights

CAIRO: The terror group Al-Qaeda has called on all Muslims to commit murder as a matter of duty.

In an article published by the extremist organization’s media arm, identifies the “idiots of the age” (America) and US allies as legitimate targets, Egypt’s Dar Al-Ifta said in a statement on Sunday.

Analysts, however, believe the kill directive is not only a crude attempt to draw world attention back to Al-Qaeda following the breakdown of Daesh, but also a smokescreen to divert from infighting among the group’s leadership. In its call to arms, published by Al-Sahab Foundation for Islamic Media Publication, Al-Qaeda said it did not countenance the shedding of Muslim blood but Dar Al-Ifta said this was just a ploy by the organization to try and gain popularity.

Dar Al-Ifta noted that the first edition of the new publication contained two broad articles about the principles of upbringing in societies and families which attacked the ways of the contemporary family hierarchy, especially in relation to the role of women.

The terrorist organization also slammed international treaties relating to women and denounced what it described as the double-edged politics of the West on human rights.

Alaa Azmy, a journalist and expert in extremist movements, said that the timing of the publication was “confusing and calls for many questions.”

He told Arab News: “Perhaps Al-Qaeda is attempting to restore its status and fill the void left behind after Daesh, especially in the media.”

He said that Al-Qaeda’s media arm had been inactive for years, and the group was struggling with internal conflicts, particularly the appointment of Hamza bin Laden as a leader of the group and the move to topple historical head Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

The latest issue of the new Al-Qaeda publication does attempt to address the internal crisis by warning of the dangers of infighting and calling for obedience to the group’s leadership.

In his opening statement to supporters, Al-Zawahiri said: “If we claim to defend the honor of Muslims, then we should not assault it. Nor should we assault our Muslim Jihadi brothers.” He added: “If we call for unity, we should not rebel against our emirs. And if we call for obedience, we should set an example for it.”

Maher Farghaly, a researcher, told Arab News that the magazine articles highlighted the reality of the crisis facing the group and also exposed Al-Zawahiri’s fear of being toppled. It had therefore resorted to using quotes and articles of group founders such as Osama bin Laden and Abdullah Azzam, Farghaly said.

The analyst added that Al-Qaeda was trying to garner Arab and international attention by promoting its name again.

“Coordinating international and regional efforts to combat terrorism and terrorist groups is crucial,” Farghaly added.


Egypt hands out 11 life sentences for joining Daesh

Updated 22 July 2019
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Egypt hands out 11 life sentences for joining Daesh

  • Giza criminal court on Monday says the defendants all traveled abroad to fight for Daesh

CAIRO: An Egyptian court has sentenced 11 people to life in prison on charges of joining the Daesh group in Syria and Iraq.
Giza criminal court on Monday says the defendants all traveled abroad to fight for Daesh and receive military training.
Two other defendants got 15-year sentences, and another was given three years for the same charges. These include possessing weapons and plotting attacks against security forces and state institutions.
The verdicts can be appealed, and the court has dropped the charges against another defendant.
Egypt is battling its own Daesh-led insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula. That fight intensified in 2013 after the military overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president.
Militants in Egypt have carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting security forces and minority Christians.