Tag Archives: emir al-mumineen

Intra-Jihadi Competition, Iran, and Western Staying Power in Afghanistan

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on September 1, 2015

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The Taliban on August 31 finally confessed all: its leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, had been dead since April 23, 2013. The Taliban admitted that Mullah Omar had passed from this veil of tears on July 30 but was distinctly vague on when. Omar’s death was kept secret because of “jihadi considerations,” namely the “testing” time the mujahideen were having with the “foreign invaders,” the Taliban says. While the Taliban places the emphasis on its struggle with NATO, the reality is that NATO is drawing down and the Taliban’s burgeoning foe is the Islamic State (I.S.). The Taliban is tied to al-Qaeda’s faltering brand, and conditions are militating to help I.S., not al-Qaeda, in “Khorasan”. Continue reading

Jihadi Cleric Makes the Case for the Islamic State Leader as Caliph

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on January 8, 2015

Soon after the public emergence inside Syria of the then-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the spring of 2013, a treatise was published by the Bahraini jihadi scholar, Turki al-Binali, which is to date the only official biography of the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and piloted the idea that he was the caliph, i.e. the leader of Muslims worldwide. Al-Binali’s document, “Stretch [Out] the Hands to Give Allegiance to Al-Baghdadi”,[1] first published on August 5, 2013, would be amplified throughout late 2014 after ISIS declared that it had restored the caliphate last June and Abu Bakr took the mantle of caliph. An English translation of the document was produced on December 21, 2014, by someone using the name Ubaidullah ibn Adam al-Ibrahim on the pro-Islamic State Ansar al-Khilafa blog. It is reproduced below, with some editions for syntax and transliteration, to preserve it for study. Continue reading