Social Media Jihad: Egyptian jihadist lionizes slain al Qaeda leader

Two noteworthy statements by Ansar al Sharia Egypt’s leader, Ahmed Ashush, have been posted on the Al Bayan Media Establishment’s Facebook page this month. [For more on the openly pro-al Qaeda Ashush, see here, here and here.] Ashush and other Ansar al Sharia Egypt figures are currently attempting to build a broader base of support for their radical ideology. Ashush is an ally of Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, and both served as Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) leaders in the 1990s.

The first Facebook entry I find to be noteworthy was posted on March 4 and contains Ashush’s eulogy for slain al Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al Libi, who was killed in a drone strike in June 2012. Ashush first honored al Libi last year, after al Libi’s “martyrdom” was officially recognized by al Qaeda in September. Ashush says al Libi died “the death of heroes” and was a “hero of Islam.” Ashush prays that al Libi be allowed to join Allah among the ranks of immortals and praises the slain al Qaeda leader’s qualities.

The image used to advertise Ashush’s eulogy on Facebook and elsewhere can be seen here.

Ashush lionizes Abu Yahya pic 13-3-4.jpg

The second noteworthy post contains Ashush’s statement in support of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia. Ashush’s statement was first issued in May 2012, on the occasion of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia’s second large-scale public meeting. The image containing Ashush’s May 2012 statement congratulating Ansar al Sharia Tunisia can be seen below and was posted on Facebook on March 21.

Ashush May 2012 statement to Ansar al Sharia Tunisia.jpg

Ashush spoke out in support of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia on more than one occasion in 2012. As I previously noted, Ashush praised the Tunisian Ansar al Sharia and its leader Abu Iyad al Tunisi, as well as “all those who work for Islam in Tunisia” in a message posted online in early July 2012.

The July 2012 message was titled, “‘They Are Not Equal: Al Zawahiri, the Musk Carrier; Al Ghannouchi, the Blacksmith’s Bellows.” In the same missive, Ashush threw his support behind Ayman al Zawahiri after Tunisian Islamist leader Rachid Ghannouchi publicly criticized al Qaeda’s head honcho. Ashush heaped praise on al Qaeda’s leader and asked Allah to “protect our sheikh, Dr Ayman al Zawahiri, and all the mujahideen.”

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

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.

Tags: , , , , , ,

1 Comment

  • mike merlo says:

    “Al Zawahiri, the Musk Carrier,”Huh? Is a “Musk Carrier” in any way similar to a “Dung Ball Roller?”


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram