Within the past two days, jihadist groups have published statements praising two recently killed Salafi leaders who operated in Gaza, Abu al Walid al Maqdisi and Ashraf al Sabah. One of the groups, Masada al Mujahideen, released a statement on Oct. 14 that blamed Hamas for the death of al Maqdisi.
That same day, another group, Jaish al Ummah, released a eulogy for al Maqdisi, the former emir of the Tawhid and Jihad Group in Jerusalem, and al Sabah, the former emir of Ansar al Sunnah, who were killed in an Israeli air strike on Oct. 13. The statement was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.
In the statement, Jaish al Ummah expressed support for the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, of which al Maqdisi and al Sabah were likely the leaders. “We here in the Army of the Ummah in the environs of Jerusalem support our brothers, our beloved ones and the crowns of our heads in the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem,” the group said. The statement also called on the group to “[b]e steadfast and continue on the same path on which the martyred commanders walked, and raise the banner after them. Allah willing, we are with you; your blood is ours and we are all in one ditch to raise high the banner of [monotheism] and support the monotheists.”
In contrast to the statement released by Masada al Mujahideen, Jaish al Ummah did not attack Hamas. But like Masada al Mujahdieen, Jaish al Ummah offered a warning to Israel. The Jaish al Ummah statement said Israel must not “feel happy about the killing of our sheikhs and commanders, for their killing is a lamp that shines the path of jihad in the Cause of Allah for those after them. We are an Ummah that lives through the killing of its leaders – their sacrifices raises its determination and their blood washes away the rust from its hearts. The coming days will prove that to you, Allah the Almighty willing.”
In a separate statement obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, the Global Islamic Media Front congratulated “the Ummah of Islam for the martyrdom” of al Maqdisi and al Sabah. “Brothers in the religion and jihad in Palestine, don’t be sad. By Allah, Allah will destine only what is good for you even if you see it not good for you, and the martyrdom of your brothers is the fuel for your journey,” the statement said. The Global Islamic Media Front is an al Qaeda-linked media distribution unit with known cells in Europe, North America, and Pakistan.
Jaish al Ummah
The Jaish al Ummah group released the first videotape claiming to be an al Qaeda-linked group in Gaza. The video showed its masked fighters training in the desert and riding on horseback. Jaish al Ummah warned about the creeping influence of Iran and its proxy, Islamic Jihad.