Social Media Jihad: AQIM praises Hakeemullah Mehsud

AAST Hakemullah Mehsud.png

Since Hakeemullah Mehsud, the emir of the Pakistani Taliban, was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan on Nov. 1, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Shabaab and other jihadist groups have released statements praising the fallen terrorist.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has also now released a statement honoring Mehsud. Addressing their “brothers” in the Pakistani Taliban, AQIM says “the blood of our leaders and martyrs” will only fuel “our battle.” The al Qaeda branch condemns America’s killing of Mehsud and says that the US is seeking to escape Afghanistan.

The AQIM message was posted on an official Ansar al Sharia Tunisia Facebook page devoted to news events. The page is linked to another official Ansar al Sharia Tunisia page that focuses mainly on the organization’s activities inside Tunisia. The graphic posted above accompanied AQIM’s statement on the Ansar al Sharia Tunisia Facebook page. The blue logo in the upper right-hand corner is used on Ansar al Sharia Tunisia’s news posts.

Update: AQIM’s Al-Andalus Media Foundation issued a martyrdom statement on Hakeemullah Mehsud that was dated Nov. 9 and released to jihadist forums on Nov. 19, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which provided a translation. AQIM’s statement praises Mehsud as a leader “who was killed treacherously by the unjust nation America, killed as he was fighting the unjust and the apostates ….” It continues: “Allah honored him by achieving martyrdom after he saw how America’s nose was put in the dirt … after he saw America with its horses and horsemen dragging the tails of defeat and preparing itself to run away from Afghanistan with nothing ….”

Addressing “the brothers in Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan,” AQIM says: “Before we console you, we console ourselves, for the leader Hakimullah Mehsud had a special place in the hearts …. May Allah increase your reward and ours … and make your consolation and ours good. Receive glad tidings O brothers of jihad, for the death of our leaders on the battlefields of dignity and honor is a sign of the correctedness of the health of the plan and the correctedness of the method.”

Addressing “the Crusaders, apostates, and hypocrites,” AQIM warns: “[K]now for certain that the leader Mehsud, may Allah have mercy on him, has left you what will keep you awake and destroy your sleeping areas: lions do not sleep amidst injustice, and they are brave people who were raised before the eyes of the leaders of dignity and jihad ….”

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

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