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.
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).
A fighter with the group has also stated that they are neutral in regards to infighting plaguing the Syrian jihad. It must be noted that foreign fighter battalions operating in Latakia had always shared a closer relationship with Jabhat al-Nusra than with the Islamic State.
Jamaat Ahadun Ahad is active mostly in the Latakia countryside, and its constituent brigades were involved in the 2014 Al-Anfal Offensive in Northern Latakia. Indeed, the groups of Jamaat Ahadun Ahad were among the last to leave the town of Kessab when it fell to the Syrian Arab Army. The overall commander of Jamaat Ahadun Ahad is a man named Al Bara Shishani, further highlighting the prominent role Chechen foreign fighters have played in this conflict. It is unclear whether or not Jamaat Ahadun Ahad shares any sort of relation with the Caucasus Emirate, but it is unlikely as the group is not solely a Northern Caucasian formation. This group shares a number of similarities with Muslim al-Shishani’s Junud al-Sham such as the fact that both are led by a Chechen, both operate heavily in Latakia, and both have attempted to stay neutral and independent in regards to the jihadist infighting. As a mostly foreign fighter brigade, Jamaat Ahadun Ahad boasts many Chechens, Turks, Arabs, Europeans, and even several former members of the Taliban. Based on social media activity on Twitter, many of the group’s supporters are Turkish.
On July 26th, it was announced on social media that Jamaat Ahadun Ahad would be launching their first combat operation, most likely against Syrian regime targets, titled “Laylat-ul-Qadr Operation.” The operation is named after Laylat-ul-Qadr (The Night of Power), the holiest night in Islam which falls on an unknown date sometime in the last ten days of Ramadan.
Jamaat Ahadun Ahad has also set up a Twitter account where they tweet in Arabic, English, Russian and Turkish.
Figure 2: Soldiers of Jamaat Ahadun Ahad waiting for Laylat-ul-Qadr Operation. Forestry in the back indicates this Jamaat is active in the coastal region.
Figure 3: Soldiers of Jamaat Ahadun Ahad posing in front of a truck, in preparation for Laylat-ul-Qadr Operation.
Figure 4: Tent encampment belonging to Jamaat Ahadun Ahad.
Figure 5: Inside one of the tents.
Figure 6: Eid-al-Fitr greetings in Turkish and numerous other languages from Jamaat Ahadun Ahad, highlighting the diverse foreign fighter composition.
A possible reason as to why the group waited so long after formation to announce itself and why it is so unknown. Many groups and fighters stay away from fame or recognition to ensure they fight only for the sake of religion.
-Most information regarding Jamaat Ahadun Ahad was found on social media accounts of a well-known European foreign fighter by the name of Abu Fulan al-Muhajir. This is constantly updated as more information is discovered regarding this group.