A new jihadist group calling itself the Brigades of Osama bin Laden has announced its formation, in a statement that was recently released on terrorist-linked web forums.
The Brigades of Osama bin Laden issued a statement, which was released on Aug. 10 by the Al Minbar Media Foundation and subsequently published on its Internet forum, according to the SITE Intelligence Group. The statement was subsequently “posted on
other jihadist forums such as Ansar al Mujahideen,” but then “deleted by forum
administrators,” SITE noted.
“We give you tidings, our people in the beloved West Bank, just as we give tidings to all the people of tawhid [monotheism] all over the world, of the declaration of the formation of the Brigades of Osama bin Laden in the bank of [monotheism], the West Bank,” the new jihadist group said, according to SITE.
The Brigades of Osama bin Laden said its focus is on Jerusalem and it was formed to “support the one religion [Islam] under the pure banner of righteousness that is not besmirched by any factional or sectarian or secular mark.” It did not overtly threaten to attack Israel or the Palestinian Authority, which runs the West Bank.
“What pushed us to go through with this matter was your love and the love of Jerusalem, and before it, the reason to raise Allah’s word, which has been absent from Jerusalem under polytheistic and secular shrines,” the statement said.
The statement was signed “Your brothers in the Brigades of Osama bin Laden, may Allah have mercy on him.” Bin Laden was al Qaeda’s founder and emir who was killed during a US special operations raid on his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The Brigades of Osama bin Laden is the latest jihadist group to form in the Palestinian Territories, and the first to announce its formation in the West Bank. Six other jihadist groups — the Jaish al Islam, Jund Ansar Allah, Jaish al Ummah, Jaish al Mu’minun, Tawhid and Jihad Group in Jerusalem, and Masada al Mujahideen — have formed over the past several years in Gaza. These groups have clashed with Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated terror group that rules Gaza and is supported by Iran and Syria. [For more information on the jihadist groups in Gaza, see LWJ report, Hamas frees al Qaeda-linked jihadist leader in Gaza.]
Across the border in the Egyptian Sinai, four jihadist groups — al Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula and its military arm, Ansar al Jihad, the Mujahideen Shura Council, and Jund al Sharia — have all emerged since the Arab Spring. The terror groups have conducted attacks against Egyptian forces and a pipeline transporting natural gas to Israel. Just last week, one of these groups, likely with the help of one of the Gaza-based jihadist groups, attacked an Egyptian military base, killed 16 soldiers and seized two armored personnel carriers, and then attacked the Israeli border. One of the two APCs made it one mile inside Israeli territory before being destroyed by the Israeli Air Force [see LWJ report, ‘Global jihadists’ overrun Egyptian Army outpost on Israeli border].
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.