English Jihad Magazine Targets Western Audience
Updated: April 23, 2010
Posted: July 17, 2009
Defenders of the Truth, a self-described "English Jihad Magazine" disseminated via the Internet, is among an increasing number of online Muslim extremist materials published for Western and English-speaking audiences.
The media wing of Al Mosul Islamic Network, an apparent Internet-based group created to provide a forum for English translations of Islamic poems, essays and other extremist material, has released multiple issues of Defenders of the Truth since the summer of 2009. The online publication, which consists of essays and articles written by members of Al Mosul, calls for Allah to "destroy the enemies of Islam…the Jews, Christians, Atheists, and the betraying criminals."
According to the editor's note, Defenders of the Truth is published to educate Muslims about the "war on Islam" and "the treacherous governments of the so called Muslim countries who bow down to the Christians and the Jews." The magazine also aims to "reveal the truth" about why the Mujahideen, or Muslim warriors, engage in war against the U.S. and its allies.
Defenders of the Truth, which is circulated via Web sites and forums commonly used by Muslim extremists, propagates what its writers perceive as the mandatory and perpetual nature of jihad and suicide operations, as well as Al Qaeda’s anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric.
In the inaugural issue, for example, Hamzah al Farooq, who appears to be a member of Al Mosul, wrote about "the most glorious attacks" of September 11, 2001, and called for future large-scale attacks against the "enemy crusaders (Americans, Jews, British)," who "stole Holy Land from the Palestinians and gave it to the Jews [sic]." Farooq further claimed that Islam permits Muslims to kill all Westerners on Muslim lands and that "all the people living on the land of Israel which once belonged to Palestine can be killed."
In the aftermath of the November 2009 shooting at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas, Defenders of the Truth included several articles expressing support for Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Muslim cleric who exchanged more than a dozen emails with the alleged shooter prior to the attack. For several years, al-Awlaki has distributed radical online lectures encouraging American Muslims to attack non-Muslims and Western interests.
The magazine also praises Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), Al Qaeda's Iraq-based affiliate group that seeks to expel the U.S.-led coalition forces from the region, and its founder, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, for their perceived success against the American-led forces in Iraq. In the January 2010 issue, for example, Abu Tharef, a frequent contributor to Defenders of the Truth who claims that the U.S. and its allies are "the biggest enemy of Islam today," celebrated AQI's 2004 beheading of Nick Berg, an American telecommunications contractor.
Defenders of the Truth also perpetuates Al Qaeda's global agenda of fighting the non-Muslims throughout the world, including in the Palestinian Territories, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, the Caucasus, Somalia and North Africa. The August 2009 issue, for example, praised "the heroic Mujahideen warriors" of Jund Ansar Allah, an Al Qaeda-inspired group based in the Gaza Strip, who attacked an Israeli border post in the summer of 2009.
Three months later, the third issue of Defenders of the Truth criticized the Muslims for failing to fight against Israel to reclaim Jerusalem. "The Holy land (Jerusalem) and its surroundings today is being occupied [sic]," one article read, "and the Muslim Ummah is just sitting down."
Several articles in Defenders of the Truth discuss the merits of martyrdom, provide evidence from the Qur'an and Qur'anic exegesis that call for jihad, encourage women to participate in the fight against the non-Muslims and praise Al Qaeda leaders and their affiliate groups. Additionally, the online magazines emphasize the importance of using the computer as a tool to overcome "the British and Israeli plans to change Islam on the internet."
While Defenders of the Truth features original commentary about terrorism activity throughout the world, Al Mosul's now-defunct Web site included promotional videos produced by other Muslim extremist media organizations, including Al Ansar Media Batallian, which distributes media and press releases of Al Sahab, Al Qaeda's media wing, and Sawt al-Qoqaz, or "the Voice of the Caucasus," a group that has also released an online jihad magazine in support of the Muslims fighting in the Caucasus.
Al Mosul's Web site also included various images of "global jihad," including one of soldiers carrying a coffin draped with a Canadian flag adjacent to a poem that read, "O Allah, take every one of them and kill one after another and don't let anyone of them escape." The site also linked to a Web site that supports Fatah al-Islam, an Al Qaeda-inspired terrorist group based in Lebanon that aims to reform Lebanon's Palestinian refugee community, confront Israel and drive the U.S. out of the Muslim world.