The Islamic State in Iraq and the Sham, a former al Qaeda affiliate that operates in Iraq and Syria, has yet again released propaganda praising foreign suicide bombers. The ISIS has eulogized another Frenchman as well as a Jordanian who each served as suicide bombers in Baghdad.
The ISIS’ “Baghdad Division posted the communiqué on its Twitter account on May 23, 2014, one day after the attacks,” the SITE Intelligence Group, which obtained and translated the statement, noted. More from SITE:
On May 22, the account published pictures of the two suicide bombers, Abu Usama al Firansi and Abu Bakr al Urduni, and brief descriptions of their operations. The French fighter detonated his explosive vest amidst a gathering of Iraqi soldiers in al-Mashahdah, and the Jordanian struck with his explosives-laden vehicle on a headquarters of the Iraqi army in al-Niba’ee, after which other fighters stormed the building. In addition to these bombings, the ISIL claimed nine other attacks in al-Mashahdah and al-Niba’ee, striking Iraqi army headquarters and vehicles.
Abu Usama al Firansi is the second Frenchman identified by the ISIS as executing a suicide attack in Iraq in the past month. The ISIS’ Ninewa Division recently said that another French bomber, Abu al Qa’qa’ al-Firansi, executed a suicide attack in northern Iraq, but the details of his attack have not been released. [See LWJ report, ISIS names Danish, French suicide bombers killed in ‘Ninewa Division.’]
The ISIS has identified 16 wilayats, or administrative areas or divisions, in territory under its control or influence in Iraq and Syria. Over the past several months, the ISIS’ Baghdad, Southern, Ninewa, and Diyala divisions have all released statements that celebrated foreign suicide bombers.
The ISIS has said that suicide bombers from Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan or Pakistan, Tajikistan, the Russian Republic of Chechnya, France, and Denmark have carried out attacks for the group.
The ISIS may be attempting to highlight the international nature of the group’s cadre. The ISIS began to increase the number of statements highlighting foreign suicide bombers just as its feud with al Qaeda began heating up. The ISIS and its emir, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, are attempting to portray themselves as the true standard bearers of international jihad instead of a regional terror group focused on Iraq and Syria. Publishing statements on foreign suicide bombers may be an attempt to bolster their case.