New Issue of the Martyrs’ Biographies Released

Publication: Terrorism Focus Volume: 4 Issue: 8

On March 12, a jihadi website posted links to the 29th issue of Martyrs’ Biographies. The latest issue, which is part of a series of biographies released by al-Furqan Media Production Establishment, is the biography of Tunisian Ziyad al-Mahrazi, also known as Abu Tariq al-Tunisi, who was killed when he allegedly drove an explosives-laden car into a building occupied by U.S. forces and detonated the car amid a group of 15 Humvees. The date of the operation was not posted (http://emara.goodbb.net).

The author of the 29 issues of Martyrs’ Biographies, Abu Ismael al-Muhajir, says of al-Tunisi, “he memorized the Quran, migrated to God, sold himself to God and adhered to Islamic tenets in these times of perversity.” According to the document, al-Tunisi was studying at the Faculty of Commerce in Tunisia when he could not tolerate the immoralities he saw on campus where unmarried, non-restrictive couples mingled freely. Therefore, al-Tunisi decided to dedicate more time at the mosque to studying the Quran. Al-Tunisi was imbued with the idea of jihad, crying every time he read pertinent verses, and decided to go to Iraq. He persistently tried to travel to Iraq despite poor odds since he was going as a traveling student. In Syria, he was told that only willing suicide bombers or the highly-skilled can join the mujahideen in Iraq. To that effect, al-Muhajir says of al-Tunisi, “Abu Tariq refused to abort his mission and stayed in Syria, saying he would keep trying until God allowed him to enter Iraq and, in the meantime, he prayed and asked God to open the way to jihad for him.” Finally, he managed to infiltrate as a fighter.

Al-Tunisi was fascinated by suicide bombings and immediately volunteered as a suicide bomber. While waiting for his suicide mission, which was delayed for security reasons, he was promoted to deputy amir, keeping jihadi morale high among his subordinates, raising the slogan “master of the people is also their servant” until it was time for his mission. One Friday afternoon, he was called upon to execute the mission, which he did successfully.

This latest biography is just one of many published by al-Furqan as far back as May 25, 2003. Occasionally, jihadi forums post different issues of these biographies. One jihadi website uploaded 25 issues of the biographies in one of the free file hosting websites (http://70.84.212.53/vb/showthread.php?t=37257, May 10, 2006). Almost all issues of the biographies contain alias names for jihadis who come from many Arab and Islamic countries and who died in Iraq fighting U.S. and Iraqi forces. In the biographies, al-Muhajir talks about each jihadi from his personal experience, hence implying that he himself is in a leading position with al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Clearly, the purpose of releasing the biographies is to convince and lure in more young Muslims who want to repent for past sins by joining the jihad. Also, the biographies show that jihadi suicide group leaders are professionals who thoroughly case each target for success—an extremely hard task in times of anarchy and lawlessness—and use effective concealment for explosives-laden vehicles, such as using ambulances as car bombs.