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Islamic State bribes Arab leaders in order to expand power base

By Missing Peace
Islamic State militants execute Kurdish-manIslamic State terrorists execute Kurdish-man

This report was first posted by the Quilliam organization, a think tank that deals with counter terrorism.


On 13 November 2014, an individual (or individuals) operating under an anti-Islamic State (IS) Twitter handle released a series of Arabic-language tweets that contained intel that, it is claimed, came from the top levels of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s political machinery. It is impossible to independently verify this information, but its implications, if true, are profound. In the past, this has been a valuable source of intelligence regarding Islamic State (and ISIS before it). Indeed, the account in question has been credited with revealing a significant amount of extremely sensitive information about IS and its inner-workings that was a closely guarded secrets before it was leaked. It is important to note that the source, while it clearly disagrees with IS’ modus operandi, does share its jihadist ideology and, hence, the intel it releases is motivated by a very particular agenda. That does not, however, mean it should be dismissed in its entirety.As will be seen below, the claims the source makes are deeply significant. While it is impossible to independently corroborate this information, it is worthy of circulation. It is suggested that the IS leadership is more fragmented than first meets the eye, and has been engaged in an international outreach campaign in order to better its jihadist reputation, one which has involved the attempted bribery of jihadist [ideologues] like Abu Qatada al-Filistini (deported to Jordan from the UK in 2013) and Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi as well as the leaders of, among others, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. If these claims are true, it renders evident a level of desperation for IS that has, hitherto, not been publicly known.For the sake of fluency, the tweets have not been translated verbatim, and some have been combined. Important leaks we received from the heart of al-Baghdadi’s state apparatus on new developments and secret information.

Fragmented leadership

The Saudi Shari’i Abu Bakr Umar al-Qahtani was removed from leadership of IS religious department, and replaced by the Bahraini Turki Bin Ali Qahtani has been stopped from giving fatwas to leaders, and senior commanders have been warned from taking fatwas from Qahtani. Now, they must take them only from Bin AliSaudi clerics have specifically been ordered to stick to preaching in IS mosques and madrasas and, to stop writing electronically without permission [ie. on social media]

International isolation

Bin Ali met the IS leadership – Baghdadi and Anbari – and warned them that IS is externally isolated He went on to say that they must poach experienced sheikhs according to a well-researched operational plan with financial, military, media and religious aspects He warned that, if the state continues while neglecting the influential [jihadist ideologues], it will collapseThe IS leadership – Baghdadi and Anbari – have agreed to Bin Ali’s plan and have given him wide-ranging powers on condition that they have final approval of his next movesBin Ali has presented several points to the IS leadership, saying that plan does not affect goals of IS, but is only aimed at poaching influential [ideologues]

Media strategy

Forbid all official supporters of IS from talking about or attacking influential sheikhs opposed to IS. Don’t takfir and don’t treat them as enemiesEspecially Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Abu Qatada al-Filistini, Abdul Aziz al-Turaifi, Eyad Qunaibi, Suleiman al-Alwan and Umar al-HadushiForbid writing about AQ leadership and branches in any kind of attack, as part of a strategy of gaining support and poaching The media part of this plan was met with total rejection from Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, whose view is that the caliphate can only be built on forceBribing ideologues

As for the religious and financial aspects of the plan, IS leadership feels that they don’t have supporters inside or outside IS that have wide popular appealBin Ali has asked the IS leadership to offer money to sheikhs and influential [ideologues] outside IS to join, and has guaranteed their relocation and provision of residencesIn reality, a number of sheikhs have been offered to join IS via middle men, includin Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians, Moroccans and YemenisFor example, offers include a million [dollars] as well as providing private homes, and relocating their families, household furniture and librariesAs well as guaranteeing the operation to move them and forging passports for them if they agree to the offer. Those who’ve received this offer Include the Jordanians Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and Abu Qatada al-Filistini, as well as the Moroccan ‘Umar al-Hadushi The Saudis Abdul Aziz Salim al-‘Umar and Ali Salih al-Jibali, before the latter was imprisoned by the Saudi authoritiesAnd from Yemen, the religious leader Abdul Majeed al-Hitari al-Rimi as well as other influential religious personalitiesThis idea [offer] has not been accepted by anyone, although some have considered it, but only lately, out of fear of the collapse of ISThe offer has been definitely rejected by al-Maqdisi, Abu Qatada and al-HadushiWhen this idea [offer] was rejected, and simultaneously there was a wave of arrests in the Gulf states of online IS supporters, the religious leadership of IS sent letters via middlemen to a wide Range of influential sheikhs, stating that IS respects their individuality and that their online writing does not represent the will of ISThis range of sheikhs includes 5 Saudis, 3 Jordanians, 2 Sudanese, 3 Kuwaitis and some YemenisBribing jihadists

Offers of large sums of money were made to AQ branches, especially in Yemen and Libya$5 million was offered to the leadership of Ansar al-Sharia in Libya in return for pledging allegiance to Baghdadi$10 million offered to AQ in Yemen for a similar pledge, on condition that this comes directly from al-WuhayshiIS exploited the presence and activities of the Houthis [Shia in Yemen] to make this offer to Wuhayshi, but it has since been rejectedIS attempted to poach [ideologues] in Yemen via a special brigade and financial support until they all join ISIn practice, 37 people, including Saudis, Yemenis and other nationalities, under the leadership of Ma’mun Hatim, have left AQ. They received $500,000Internally, security people within IS speak of individuals within AQ-Syria and Jund al-Aqsa who are supportive of ISIS has tried to influence them to work within their groups to make the largest possible groups splinter off [and join IS]Information circulating within the IS religious circles indicates amounts offered by the Saudi, al-Ahmad, in order to secure the pledge of allegiance to IS from two Saudis in groups opposed to IS. There is doubt about this because there are recordings of al-Ahmad pledging allegiance to the Saudi King Abdullah However, he has given evidence to IS of his efforts to secure the allegiances of Saudis from Ansar al-Din, including Abu Azzam al-Najdi and ‘Umar Sayf from Eastern Saudi Arabia, and these have been achieved There are reports of attempts from the IS centre to poach others from the same group [Ansar al-Din in Saudi], especially the Saudi Abdul Aziz al-Zamil, nicknamed Mu’adh al-Ayidhi IS clerics speak of not trusting al-Ahmad’s claims, since they think that these sound similar to the previous efforts of Saudis in Iraq, such as Walid al-Rashudi and Nasir al-‘Umar, efforts that helped IS at the beginning Military strategy

Two new security cells have been formed, tasked with assassinating the two most dangerous anti-IS personalities in Syria: [Abdullah] al-Muhaysini and Abu Mariya al-‘Iraqi IS have arrested the Iraqi commander Abu Ayman, former emir of Raqqa. Major tension has followed after Iraqi police officers within IS threatened to act if he is not released Abu Ayman was imprisoned for field operations that were accused of being un-Islamic The Iraqi officers have threatened the IS leadership with action if he is not released. There is no further news on this for now We will publish the names of all the other Iraqi commanders within IS after we have confirmed them