Tag Archives: al-Majlis Shura Shabab al-Islam

How Powerful is the Islamic State in Saudi Arabia?

Originally posted at The Henry Jackson Society

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 27 April 2017

The U.S. Department of State designated Mubarak Mohammed Alotaibi, also transliterated as Mubarak Muhammad al-Utaybi, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT), because he has “committed, or pose[s] a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.” Al-Utaybi is a citizen of Saudi Arabia and is the “Syria-based deputy leader” of the Islamic State’s (IS) branch in the Saudi Kingdom. Continue reading

The End of the Beginning for the Islamic State in Libya

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on December 7, 2016

The “capital” of the Islamic State (IS) in Libya, Sirte, has fallen to pro-government militias. “Our forces have total control of Sirte,” claimed one spokesman on Monday. “Islamic State’s rule over Sirte is now over,” said another. That was slightly premature, though it does appear that the city fell entirely around mid-afternoon yesterday. Regardless, it is clear that IS’s hold on Sirte is soon to be at an end. Positive as this development is, it is what happens after IS’s grip on urban areas is broken that will determine the durability of this victory. IS will remain a disruptive force for some time no matter what happens next, and for that reason it is important to continue military operations in pursuit of IS in its rural sanctuaries. But IS is a symptom of Libya’s political problems, not their cause. Without a government that solves some of those original problems, and has the legitimacy and capacity to keep IS out, the group will rise again. Continue reading

The Islamic State, Libya, and Interventionism

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on February 19, 2015

Rebels with Qaddafi's

Rebels with Qaddafi’s “golden gun”

Yesterday morning in Libya, it was announced that militias from Misrata were moving into Sirte to combat the Islamic State (I.S.). The militias preparing to fight I.S. are drawn from Libya Dawn, the Islamist coalition that ousted the internationally-recognised government in August 2014. Continue reading

The Islamic State Creates Foreign “Provinces”

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on December 6, 2014

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gave his eighth speech[1] since becoming the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS), entitled, “Even if the Disbelievers Despise Such”, on November 13, 2014. The speech was notable for two things. First, it taunted the American-led coalition about the lack of success their campaign has had against ISIS since it began in June and was extended into Syria in September, and invited the U.S. and other Western states to deploy ground troops. Secondly, the speech accepted the pledges of allegiance from groups outside Syria and Iraq for the first time, from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, and Algeria. In Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the groups that have joined ISIS are unknown. In Egypt, the group is Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (The Partisans of Jerusalem). In Libya, the group is al-Majlis Shura Shabab al-Islam (The Islamic Youth Consultation Council). And in Algeria the group is Jund al-Khalifa (Soldiers of the Caliphate). These areas will now become wilaya (provinces) of the caliphate, al-Baghdadi says, and ISIS will send a governor to oversee them. An English transcript of the speech was produced by ISIS and is reproduced below with important sections highlighted in bold. Continue reading