As Sahab has released a propaganda tape created by an al Qaeda in Pakistan leader thought to have been killed along with Ilyas Kashmiri in a US Predator airstrike in South Waziristan in early June.
In the tape, Ustadh Ahmad Farooq, al Qaeda in Pakistan’s top spokesman and propagandist, “urged Muslims imbued with love for the Prophet Muhammad to apply his teachings and traditions and transform that love into jihad in order to implement Shariah-based governance in Pakistan,” according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
“Farooq denounced classical economists, military strategists, political thinkers and scientists such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Immanuel Kant, Carl von Calusewitz, and Isaac Newton as ‘enemies of Allah,’ and called upon Muslims to instead refer to the Prophet Muhammad to excel in economics, political science, and other subjects,” SITE stated. Farooq also called on Muslims to murder “anyone who commits blasphemy” and praised the killers of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer and Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti as lions of Islam.
Farooq is one of several al Qaeda and Harakat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami leaders and operatives thought to have been killed with senior al Qaeda military leader Ilyas Kashmiri in a Predator strike on June 3, 2011 that leveled a compound in the Wana area of South Waziristan. It is unclear if Farooq’s latest propaganda tape was recorded before or after the June 3 strike.
Immediately after the strike, a purported spokesman for Kashmiri’s 313 Brigade, one of several al Qaeda military formations based along the Afghan-Pakistan border, claimed that Farooq was one of nine terrorists killed in the strike [see Threat Matrix report, Was al Qaeda’s leader of Pakistan killed in the South Waziristan Predator strike?].
Al Qaeda never released an official martyrdom statement announcing the deaths of Kashmiri or Farooq. Abu Hanzla Kashir, who identified himself as the spokesman of Harakat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, did release a signed statement claiming Kashmiri had been killed. But Kashir’s account was immediately called into question when discrepancies in the statement were identified. In addition, a photo that was released with the statement and purported to be that of Kashmiri’s corpse turned out to be instead a photo of the corpse of a member of the November 2008 Mumbai suicide assault team.
One month after the June 3 Predator strike, an unnamed US official claimed that “US agencies had confirmed to their satisfaction that Kashmiri is dead.” US officials did not comment on the reports of the death of Farooq or state why they were confident that Kashmiri was dead.
As Sahab’s release of the lecture by Farooq is significant, as al Qaeda has previously not released propaganda by leaders who are dead without first announcing their deaths. No statements indicating that Farooq was dead accompanied the lecture.
A similar situation has occurred with senior al Qaeda leader Atiyah Abd al Rahman. US officials said they are certain that Atiyah was killed in the Aug. 22 strike in Norak in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan. But al Qaeda has since released two propaganda products in which Atiyah appears. At the end of August, As Sahab released a tape by Atiyah referring to him in terms that indicate they believe he is alive. Also, Atiyah is thought to have authored an article in the 19th issue of “Vanguards of Khorasan,” an al Qaeda publication, which was released in September.
Recent reports on the controversy over claims that Ilyas Kashmiri is dead:
- Top al Qaeda leader Ilyas Kashmiri killed in US Predator strike, June 4, 2011
- Was al Qaeda’s leader of Pakistan killed in the South Waziristan Predator strike?, June 5, 2011
- Questions emerge over HUJI’s statement on al Qaeda leader Ilyas Kashmiri’s death, June 5, 2011
- HUJI releases photograph of Ilyas Kashmiri after death, but it isn’t him, June 5, 2011
- US intel believes Kashmiri killed in June Predator strike, July 7, 2011
- Is Ilyas Kashmiri really dead?, July 15, 2011
- Kashmiri faked death: Indian intelligence, July 30, 2011
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.