New Magazine for al-Qaeda in Iraq

Publication: Terrorism Focus Volume: 2 Issue: 5

Posted on the jihadi forum al-Qal’ah (, a new 44-page jihadi magazine, Dhurwat al-Sanam, “The Pinnacle”, and subtitled the “Pinnacle of Islam” made its appearance on March 2. The magazine is billed as a “periodical issued by the information department of the Organization of the Qaedat al-Jihad in the Land of the Two Rivers (the full name for al-Zarqawi’s organization).’

In the Foreword by the editorial board, the publication is described as a “Pulpit for the Mujahideen, which has tasked itself with granting the Muslims insight and calling mankind to the belief and path of the people of the Sunnah … the victorious denomination.” In so doing, from its warning of the threat of “infidelity in whatever form,” and from the tenor of the Qur’anic passages cited – referring to the need to avoid dissension – it appears that some of the emphasis of the publication will likely be to meet the new challenge facing the mujahideen from the forthcoming Shi’a political ascendancy in Iraq.

While the majority of the articles are strongly doctrinal in tinge, this first edition carries a number of features relevant to the military struggle. These include a message of greetings from Osama bin Laden to the Mujahideen in Iraq, followed by greetings, in turn, of Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi to the Commander bin Laden. The articles thus reflect the exchanges between the two groups last December, and establish the legitimacy of the Iraqi group in the global jihad.

There follows a Declaration from the Legal Committee regarding the elections – a detailed ideological refutation of the theory of democracy – and a letter from bin Laden to the Mujahideen in Fallujah praising their efforts.

Conspicuous among the articles is an interesting piece by Abu Maysara, the official spokesman of al-Qaeda in Iraq, entitled “This is Our Identity,” defining the aims and purpose of the organization. These he lists as:

-To restore the pure monotheism brought by the Prophet;

-To carry out jihad in God’s path to liberate Muslim lands from the infidel and Apostates, establish the Shari’a and free Muslim prisoners;

-To aid Muslims wherever they are and restore their dignity;

-To restoration of the Caliphate, the avoidance of spilling a single Muslim’s blood without justification;

-The gaining of God’s approval, who ordained the jihad, and the expulsion of those who prey on the lives, honor and wealth of Iraqis;

-The rescuing of our brothers’ honor, the virtue of our sisters, the innocence of our Muslim children snatched from them by the Americans and their Shi’ite partisans in the Badr (or rather ‘Treachery’!) Brigade and the Islamic Da’wa Party (‘the Party of the Call to Satan’!);

-The return of the Caliphate to Baghdad, as it was in the time of Harun al-Rashid

-The killing of all those fighting in the ranks of the infidel (‘the police and the intelligence agents and all those that aid the Americans’)

-The text then moves on to diagnosis the reasons for the weakness of the Muslims (lack of preparation; lack of unity in Islamist ranks; Muslims’ silence on matters of forbidden things) and a call to Muslims to come to the aid of Iraq.

The magazine appears to be a complement to another publication recently appearing on the web, Majallat al-Fath, ‘Magazine of the Conquest’ (two of issues have appeared to date) and which have featured more military tactical material. In this sense, where ‘The Conquest’ corresponds to Mu’askar al-Battar (Al-Battar Training Camp) of the mujahideen in Saudi Arabia, the ‘Pinnacle’ magazine seems designed to fill the complementary role played by Sawt al-Jihad (The Voice of Jihad) in providing ideological and doctrinal justifications for the jihad in Iraq. Both the Voice of Jihad and Al-Battar Training Camp magazines ceased production last November. As in the defunct Sawt al-Jihad, what is interesting from the coverage of ‘Pinnacle’ magazine is the level of importance attached by the mujahideen to ideological and doctrinal justification, in even the smallest details of their jihadist activity. For as long as it lasts, the ‘Pinnacle’ magazine will likely prove a useful source for tracking the development the Iraqi Al-Qaeda movement.