Salafi jihadists hold public march in Gaza denouncing Assad and el Sisi
On Sept. 4, the Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center (ITMC), a jihadist media unit tied to the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC), released an 11-minute, 27-second video to jihadist forums. The video shows a recent march in the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip that expressed solidarity with Egyptians and Syrians.
In the video, translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, protesters are seen carrying signs with pictures of Bashar al Assad and Abdel Fattah el Sisi and text calling the two leaders "murderers and killers." Another poster seen in the video said: "O our people in Egypt and Syria ... If you seek the law of Allah, you will then only succeed through the law of Allah. Salafi Youth - Ansar al-Shariah."
A separate poster targeted at Shiites and those supporting "the tyrannical dog Bashar [al Assad]" read: "You will not evade the punishment of the people of Islam soon, Allah willing. Salafi Youth - Ansar al-Shariah."
Later in the video, the Salafi jihadists, waving and donning black al Qaeda flags, are heard chanting: "Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!"
A little less than halfway through the video, a speech from Sheikh Ahmad Oweida is heard. In a message "to our people of our Levant," Oweida said, "we will not let you down even when we run out of means." Speaking with al Qaeda flags in the background, Oweida went on to say that "the time is for blood and destruction. The time is for invasions. The time is for battles."
Although the video is undated, it appears to have been filmed in recent days, as Oweida makes reference to the chemical weapons attack in Eastern Ghouta on Aug. 21. "Were it not for the borders, O loved ones, and if it were easy to get to the Ghoutah, by Allah, we would march in caravans! We would march riding, and we would march in groups, seeking the satisfaction of Allah," Oweida declared.
Oweida's comments on Egypt were relatively brief, but he said that Egyptians are the "spear of Islam in the chest of despicable secularism." "You are our hope that Shariah returns to what it was before," Oweida stated.
Video of the recent march in Gaza comes just days after the ITMC released a video praising Fahd Nizar al Habbash, a former Hamas policeman who died fighting with jihadists in Syria. In mid-March, the ITMC released a video about Muhammad Ahmed Qanitah. Qanitah, who had previously trained fighters in Hamas' Izz ad Din al Qassam Brigades, was said to have been killed in a rocket attack in December while fighting for the Al Nusrah Front during the siege of the airport in Aleppo.
In the more recent ITMC video, a narrator noted that "the marketplace of jihad opened in Syria, the youth of Islam rose from every direction to fight" against the Assad regime. The narrator similarly boasted that "convoys of mujahideen" from Gaza have gone to Syria to fight and that some have died while there.