Jihadis React to Indictment of Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir

Publication: Terrorism Focus Volume: 5 Issue: 30

Reacting to the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) indictment of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, several jihadi internet forums discussed Sudan’s situation in response to a posting entitled “Goodbye Omar al-Bashir and Wake Up Sleeping Cells” (al-ekhlaas.net July, 20). Other assessments of Omar al-Bashir’s reign in Sudan were found at hanein.info (July 24).

A forum participant nicknamed “Bashir Taha” commenced his posting by giving a brief prelude on the second Gulf War that exposed, in his opinion, all the tyrants of the Arab peninsula that brought the Crusaders to occupy Islamic holy shrines. The Saudis were the guardians of Islamic monotheism when Syria and Egypt were with the “atheistic team” during the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan, but in fact, the Saudi monotheists were only impostors pretending to defend Islam. At the time, says Taha, Muslims thought it was only a matter of a few years before the return of the caliphate (with King Fahd as the Caliph), thus turning Islam into an international pillar of power. The Gulf War exposed the tyrants when they allowed Crusader tanks to roll up the “Prophet Muhammad’s peninsula.” Taha reminds readers of Osama Bin Laden’s firm rejection of U.S. forces being called on to liberate Kuwait. Bin Laden’s opposition to the U.S. presence in the Arab peninsula forced him to leave for the Sudan or risk incarceration. At first, the Sudanese regime welcomed Bin Laden, but it was not long before Bin Laden realized the insincerity of Omar al-Bashir and consequently moved back to Afghanistan after the Taliban came to power.

Taha accuses the Sudanese president of betraying his oath with God and the mujahidin. Omar al-Bashir, says Taha, extradited many jihadis, violating his commitment not to hand over any jihadi. Taha also accuses al-Bashir of handing over lists of all mujahidin that previously resided in Sudan: “After Omar al-Bashir chose to please Americans over God, God punished him. Americans weren’t content, and wouldn’t be in the future, with all his concessions.” Regardless of all the services he rendered, a warrant for his arrest was issued that could lead to imprisonment or even al-Bashir’s death. “After al-Bashir was reassured by the U.S., he is living in fear of arrest now” says Taha.

Taha is unclear whether he is calling on specific jihadi sleeper cells in Sudan to begin operations, but jihadis are predicting political chaos that would lead to a coup in Sudan masterminded by the United States. Jihadis fear that the coup might bring in a Christian regime in Sudan that would persecute Muslims, and al-Bashir would face the same fate as Saddam Hussein. Taha instructs jihadi movements to exert their utmost efforts to prepare and build an infrastructure to exploit the possible political disruption resulting from a coup. Sleeper cells should prepare to fight a possible Crusader invasion of Sudan; “This is a call to the Sudanese to rid themselves of the erroneous Sufi ideology and revert to Salafism. It doesn’t make sense to engage in the faulty Sufi ritual heresy while the whole infidel world order is conspiring against Sudan.” The posting also urges Sudanese military officers and soldiers to be aware of al-Bashir’s pretension of being pro-jihad and to be ready to support any genuine jihadi movement.

Another forum participant nicknamed “Ayoub 018” commented on Taha’s call by saying the United States would not invade Sudan; instead, it will use the Kenyan, Ethiopian, Algerian, and Egyptian military to launch a proxy war on Sudan.

In another forum, “Hafeed al-Ayoubi” says al-Bashir has many honorable deeds to his credit regarding Islamic issues, such as the President’s strong reaction to the Danish publication of cartoons ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad (hanein.info July 24; for al-Bashir and the cartoons, see: al-Jazeera, February 28; Arab News, February 28). Al-Bashir also refused to hand over any Sudanese citizens to the ICC: “Don’t underestimate Sudan. Sudanese people are mostly religious, contrary to the people in the Gulf States, Iraq, and Syria where the majority are corrupt.” Al-Ayoubi adds that the international media depict Shiites as the number one enemy of international imperialism to manipulate Sunnis into thinking that the West is siding with them against the Shiites, when in fact the West is secretly backing Shiites against Sunni jihadis as part of an attempt to encircle and destroy them. It is Sudan’s turn now on the secret agenda of the West.

Other forum chatters seconded al-Ayoubi’s comments and added that the Sunnis’ fate and challenges are the same in Sudan, Somalia, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chechnya. The United States is drooling over Sudan after big oil discoveries there, says al-Ayoubi. America is interfering in Sudan to prevent China from finding alternative oil supplies other than the Gulf oil already controlled by the United States.

The jihadis believe Africa—the Sudan, in particular—is a familiar and fertile environment for al-Qaeda’s recruiting, training, and jihadist activities due to the wide, uncontrollable areas of Sudan and al-Qaeda’s previous presence there in the 1990s. If the coup they anticipate in Khartoum becomes reality, the jihadis expect al-Qaeda operatives to flock into Sudan and insert themselves into the Darfur conflict, to fight the “long term war against the Crusaders” urged by Bin Laden in 2006 (al-Jazeera, April 23, 2006).