Month: July 2014

Muhajireen Battalion – Jamaat Ahadun Ahad

Hasan Mustafa

Following a trend among coalescing opposition brigades in Syria, a new Islamic muhajireen formation has been declared named Jamaat Ahadun Ahad (Group of The One and Only, in reference to the strict monotheism in Islam). Extremely little is known about the group, aside from whatever bits of information can be gleaned off of social media accounts. Jamaat Ahadun Ahad formed some time back, but has only been announced recently.

https://twitter.com/Fulan2weet/status/492970910404870144

The flag of Jamaat Ahadun Ahad

Figure 1: The flag of Jamaat Ahadun Ahad

What is know, is that Jamaat Ahadun Ahad is a smaller jihadist group consisting of several anonymous and independent muhajireen (foreign fighter) brigades. A number of Ansar (local Syrian) brigades have also joined the formation. Most of the constituent groups are unknown and not affiliated with either Jabhat al-Nusra or the Islamic State, or even the recently formed Jabhat Ansar al-Din. However they do share the ideological goal of these groups, which includes “making the word of Allah the highest” (instituting Islamic governance). (more…)

Examining the Causes of the Islamic State’s Resurgence in Iraq

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Originally written for Tahrir Souri – Hasan Mustafa

You can also download the report here.

Note:

ISF = Iraqi Security Forces

ISI = Islamic State of Iraq

ISIS = Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham

JAN = Jabhat al-Nusra

JRTN = Jaish Rijal al-Tariq Naqshbandi (Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Way)

JSOC = Joint Special Operations Command

VBIED = Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (colloquially known as car-bombs)

Examining the Causes of the Islamic State’s Resurgence in Iraq

In 2011 an article in the New York Times confidently asserted that the Islamic State of Iraq was “unlikely to regain its prior strength,” in reference to its peak in the Sunni insurgency of 2006 [1]. Analysts who subscribed to such thinking are being forced to eat their own words today as the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has surpassed its prior strength and is among the most powerful militant groups in the world. Indeed, ISIS now controls vast swathes of territory and runs a pseudo-state in north-eastern Syria and western Iraq.

On June 9th 2014, fighters belong to the ISIS launched an attack on Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul. By midday June 10th, the ISIS was in control of much of Mosul as resistance from Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) seemingly melted away. Tikrit was also reportedly seized on June 11th. In addition to these prizes, the ISIS has seized control of the entirety of the Nineveh Governorate, large parts of the Anbar Governorate including Ramadi and the infamous city of Fallujah, as well as parts of the Salaheddin and the Kirkuk Governorates. Under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, there is no doubt that the Islamic State has made a stunning comeback in Iraq. In its nadir in 2010, the organization had dwindled to only 200 “hardcore” fighters [2]. A far cry from the situation today where ISIS is able to control territory and exercise effective denial of area against the ISF. The Islamic State’s meteoric rise is not without explanation as many competing factors have contributed to this reinvigoration. Most prominent among these factors is Sunni marginalization by the Iraqi government, the extreme incompetence of the Iraqi Security Forces and a major change in ISIS operational tactics.

(more…)