The Global Jihad

Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 31 – November 6, 2019)

On October 31, 2019, four days after the killing of ISIS leader Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS’s new spokesman officially announced the appointment of a new Caliph, codenamed Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi. An audiotape released by ISIS’s new spokesman calls on Muslims around the world to pledge allegiance to ISIS’s new leader and to rally around him. Even after the killing of Al-Baghdadi, ISIS’s intensive activity in Syria continues, mainly attacks against the Kurdish military force (SDF). The “routine” attacks in ISIS’s other provinces around the world continued this week, albeit at a relatively low level of intensity.
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ISIS announces appointment of new leader in place of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

On October 31, 2019, four days after the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS’s spokesman officially announced the appointment of a new leader (Caliph) for the organization, codenamed Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi. ISIS has refrained from revealing the real name and identity of the new leader, but in the ITIC’s assessment, he is an Iraqi senior ISIS operative. According to the spokesman, the decision on the appointment of the new leader was made the Shura Council, ISIS’s supreme institution which is authorized to make such significant decisions.
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Spotlight on Iran (October 20 – November 3, 2019)

The responses of Iranian official to the assassination of ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, reflected an Iranian attempt to minimize the significance of the American action and attribute it to domestic political calculations in the United States. Iran welcomed the agreement reached between the Russian and Turkish presidents concerning the withdrawal of Kurdish militias in northeastern Syria. Following the protests in Lebanon and Iraq, Iranian officials, chief among them Supreme Leader Khamenei, blamed the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia for fomenting the protests. Against the backdrop of ongoing efforts to end the war in Yemen, the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs met in Tehran the spokesman of the Houthi rebels in Yemen and discussed the latest developments in the country and ongoing political negotiations concerning the settlement of the war in Yemen.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 24-30, 2019)

The main event of the week was the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by an elite force of the US Army in northwestern Syria, near the border with Turkey. A few hours after the killing of Al-Baghdadi, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir was also killed. Even after the killing of Al-Baghdadi, ISIS’s routine activity on the ground continued in Syria and Iraq and in the various provinces in Africa and Asia.
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ISIS supporters spontaneously respond to the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, while so far there has been no “formal response”

So far no formal ISIS response has been issued regarding the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (as of the morning of October 30, 2019). Since October 27, 2019, ISIS has issued routine claims of responsibility for attacks carried out by its operatives in Syria, Iraq and its various provinces in Asia and Africa, with no mention of the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
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The significance of the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Initial assessment)

The killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdad by an elite American force is a serious blow to ISIS. A charismatic, authoritarian leader, he was the dominant figure in the ISIS leadership. His uniqueness was his unsuccessful attempt, the first of its kind, to establish an Islamic Caliphate, here and now, which would restore to Islam the glory of its beginnings.
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The Global Jihad

The global jihad is the name given to the international network of Islamist terrorist organizations sharing Al-Qaeda’s ideology. In fact, all the Muslim fundamentalist terrorist organizations in the world regard themselves as part of Islamic jihad. These groups have many supporters within the Islamic world, who adhere to a compelling religious justification for a military interpretation of the term jihad.

The full name of the global jihad is the “World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders.” It serves as an umbrella organization for coalitions of terrorist organizations and independent terrorist networks with common ideologies and shared operational ties. 

The global jihad organizations base their activities on Islamist ideology, which regards the religion of Islam as a way of life, determining not only the individual’s way of life but also the character of the regime and society. The Islamic jihad organizations regard Western culture as the complete opposite of Islam. They consider the free world as the enemy of all Muslims. They despise the values of the West, especially democracy, secularism, equality and human rights. The Islamist terrorist organizations advocate all-out war, jihad, against those perceived as their enemies (in various places, Islamist terrorist organizations fight against different enemies), and perpetrate mass killings and massacres, mostly against unarmed random victims.

All the organizations in the global jihad strive to spread Islam and establish Islamic law in all the countries in the world through a jihad against the West and its allies (among them Israel and the pro-Western Arab states). Global jihad organizations advocate a total, uncompromising battle in which the ends justify any and all means. Some of the global jihad networks carry out independent terrorist attacks and others cooperate with each other at various levels.