JIHADI FORUM WARNS OF BETRAYEL BY SUNNI ARAB TRIBES IN AL-ANBAR
The al-Anbar Salvation Council, a collection of tribes in al-Anbar Province that are against the presence of al-Qaeda elements, recently announced that two new Iraqi tribes have joined their coalition (https://www.islammemo.cc, March 8). The two new tribes were the Abu Dhiyab and the Kartan al-Jazirah tribes. The council, consisting of Sunni Arabs, argues that al-Qaeda’s involvement in Iraq has harmed the interests of the Sunnis and that the organization should withdraw from the region. The purpose of announcing this development on the jihadi forums was to warn fellow mujahideen to avoid fighting in Iraq because the Sunni Arab tribes have become traitorous. The statement concludes: “In this forum, I urge al-Qaeda to hasten in getting the Arab Muslim mujahideen who belong to al-Qaeda out of Iraq before it is too late because the situation in Iraq does not look promising for the mujahideen. Sheikh al-Zawahiri must hasten to get the mujahideen out immediately because what is coming is more dangerous to al-Qaeda in Iraq; that is not because of the Americans nor because of the Iranians and the rejectionists. Instead, it is because of the Iraqi Sunni tribes and their sheikhs” (https://www.islammemo.cc, March 8). It is not clear if the statement was propaganda aimed at deterring al-Qaeda fighters since the calls for Muslims to join the Iraqi jihad continue. One recent posting on a jihadi forum allegedly came from a fighter who is part of the Islamic State of Iraq, Abu al-Aynaa, who said that “we see victory with our own eyes…God has enabled the Islamic State of Iraq, and here they are controlling many areas where they are ruling by the Sharia of God. By God, victory is imminent, so join the procession of the Islamic State in the Land of the Two Rivers and pledge your allegiance to the amir of the believers, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, may God protect him. Let it be known that the path to join jihad in the Land of the Two Rivers is easy and smooth for those who are faithful to God.”
GERMANY INCREASES TERROR WARNINGS
In recent days, the German government has released a number of statements warning of the rising threat of terrorism to Germany. The Federal Office of Criminal Investigation has stated that this threat is the greatest that it has been in recent years (DDP News Agency, March 15). The concern comes as a new video that threatens Germany was released on the jihadi forums on the weekend of March 10-11. In the video, the “Voice of the Caliphate” group demands that Germany pull its troops from Afghanistan or it will face attacks inside Germany (Bild, March 13). German media have speculated that the threat followed the pattern of Islamist radical groups warning their targets beforehand, similar to the warnings that were made to Spain before the execution of the Madrid operation (DDP News Agency, March 15). The BKA is concerned that the upcoming G8 summit to be held in Heiligendamm in June may be the target (DDP News Agency, March 16). According to Klaus Jansen, the head of Germany’s detective’s association (Bund Deutscher Kriminalbeamter), “It has been shown that attacks of a highly symbolic character have been carried out with pleasure.” Bavarian Interior Minister Guenther Beckstein warned that even if an attack is not planned from al-Qaeda central, the statements against Germany on jihadi websites mean that “fanaticized Islamist groups in Germany could be encouraged by the appeal to commit an attack” (Passauer Neue Presse, March 13). Nevertheless, German authorities have made clear that they are unaware of any specifically planned operation (Die Welt, March 17).