Jihadists announce deaths of 21 Turks linked to the Haqqani Network
A jihadist media outlet that supports Turkish terrorists fighting along the Afghan-Pakistan border said that 21 of its fighters were killed in a US airstrike in Afghanistan, while another fighter was killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan, Pakistan. All of the Turkish fighters who were killed were linked to the Haqqani Network.
Gazavat Media, a jihadist propaganda website that caters to Turkish jihadists belonging to the Taifatul Mansura, or the Victorious Sect, released a statement that announced the deaths of 21 "Turkish mujahideen affiliated with the Haqqani group," according to the SITE Intelligence Group. The statement was released on jihadist web forums on Nov. 30. The date of the death and the exact location was not disclosed.
"It was confirmed that the number of the Turkish mujahideen affiliated with the Haqqani group was 21, and that there were also mujahideen heavily wounded in the attack," the statement said. The Turkish fighters were killed in a so-called "low-intensity chemical weapon attack," but did not provide any further details. Eighteen of the fighters were identified by name, however three have yet to be named. The statement said the 21 Turkish fighters were members of one of several "mujahideen units" that operate along the Afghan-Pakistan border who attack the "occupiers."
In a separate statement released on Nov. 28, Gazavat Media said that another Turkish fighters was killed in a US Predator airstrike in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan.
"The mujahid of Turkish citizenship, who fought with the Haqqani group known as the Pakistani Taliban, was reported to have been affiliated with the group for the last three years," according to the Nov. 28 statement, which was translated by SITE. "The sources have reported that the Turkish citizen, M.E., who was martyred in a house hit by NATO drones, resided in Istanbul and was a registered resident of Gaziantep."
A number of al Qaeda linked groups from outside of Afghanistan and Pakistan flock to the region, and are known to fight alongside the Haqqani Network. Among those groups are the Islamic movement of Uzbekistan and its offshoot, the Islamic Jihad Union; the Caucasus Mujahideen in Khorasan; Jund al Khilafah; and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement.
The Nov. 30 statement released by Gazavat Media contained rhetoric that is common to the foreign, al Qaeda-linked jihadist groups that operate with the Haqqani Network. Gazavat Media said the West and the US have suffered "military, political and economic losses in the jihadi battlefields" of "Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and the region of patience - the Caucasus."
"The United States of America and the Western countries that spent trillions of dollars on mobilizing armies and on internal security and military projects against the determined fight of the mujahideen, today experience a major economic crisis as a blessing of jihad," the statement continued.
Background on the Victorious Sect
The Victorious Sect is a transnational Turkish jihadist group that operates along the Afghan-Pakistani border and is based in North Waziristan. Its fighters operate in Eastern Afghanistan alongside the Taliban and its powerful subgroup, the Haqqani Network.
The Victorious Sect was established in 2009 by the Islamic Jihad Union, a splinter faction of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, to accommodate the increasing influx of European foreign fighters in the region, according to DPA. Scores of German and other European fighters belong to the Victorious Sect.
The Victorious Sect has issued multiple statements from Pakistan's tribal areas. In June 2010, Abu Yasir al Turki, the spokesman for the the group announced the deaths of two al Qaeda fighters and a Turkish fighter in a US Predator strike in North Waziristan. The Victorious Sect also announced the death of Eric Breininger, a German member of the Islamic Jihad Union who was killed while fighting Pakistani security forces during a clash near Mir Ali in North Waziristan on April 30, 2010. In 2009, Abdul Fettah Almani was seen in a video seated next to Breininger.
In August 2011, the Victorious Sect issued a statement that Mounir Chouka, a German citizen known as Abu Adam, may have been wounded in a US Predator airstrike. The report was not confirmed. Chouka and his brother, Yassin, fight with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in Pakistan. Mounir is also a senior member of Jundallah Media, the IMU's media production arm.
And in October, the Victorious Sect announced the death of Abdul Fettah al Almani, the leader of the group known as the "German Taliban Mujahideen."