There’s raging Jihadists’ rivalry in Middle East flashpoints, Syria and Iraq, and its taking toll on the players. A Somali jihadist identified as Abu Hurairah Al-Somali aligned to Tahrir Al-Sham group was killed along the Saraqeb town road in Idlib countryside Saturday the 14th of July 2018 making him the latest casualty of the rivalry. Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, commonly referred to as Tahrir al-Sham and abbreviated HTS, is an Al-Qaeda branch operating in Syria. According to open source and social media intelligence reports, Al-Somali though of Somali origin came from Finland. He was executed alongside four other Tahrir al-Sham members. Abu Hurairah al-Somali was killed when he was traveling along the road between Idlib city and Saraqeb town. He was shot dead by ISIS affiliate gunmen, raising to 15, the number of assassinations, assassination attempts and bombings documented. S.I discusses these events and brings out the real picture of how jihadists rivalry is taking toll on the players, and maybe to the advantage of counter terrorism efforts.
Last week Friday the 13th of July 2018, another terror commander in-charge of a cell of the organization was killed in an IED explosion at the outskirts of Sarmin town, in the northern countryside of Idlib. Same week, gunmen opened fire at a local commander in a rebel faction in al-Dana town in the northern countryside of Idlib, also a military commander in Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham was assassinated as well as the injury of an Iraqi commander after being shot by unidentified gunmen at the bridge of Afs in Saraqeb area.
Differing Threat Profiles Between Islamic State and Al-Qaeda
The dispute between the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda is more than just a fight for power within the jihadist circles. The two terror factions differ on the main enemies, strategies, tactics, and other fundamental concerns. While Al-Qaeda seems weaker and less dynamic than the Islamic State, it remains focused on fighting and attacking United States and its western allies. Islamic State’s danger is more felt in the Middle East primarily on Syria and Iraq though its fast establishing foothold in African countries (notably, Libya and a faction in Somalia). The U.S. Department of State amended the designation of Al-Nusrah Front, an Al-Qaida affiliate in Syria, to include Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and other aliases. HTS is the largest jihadist group in Idlib, which was launched in January 2017 by Al-Nusra Front. HTS ideologues hope to transform Idlib province into an emirate ruled under sharia.
Although the ultimate goal of Islamic State and Al-Qaeda is to overthrow they perceive as corrupt “apostate” regimes in the respective country’s they are advancing their campaigns and subsequently wish to replace them with “true” Islamic governments, hundreds of thousands civilian casualties have suffered the blunt of the terror groups. Islamic State is far more successful in achieving its goals comparing to Al-Qaeda. Its military presence is rolling Iraq and Syria and the threat it poses extends to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and especially Lebanon attracting foreign fighters under its banner or from other rival jihadists groups.
What is Jihad & How Youths Continue to Perish in Name of Jihad
Jihad, misunderstood concept by the Islamist terror groupings does not equate to violent concept. Jihad, an Arabic word in often translated as holy way but in linguistic sense the word jihad means struggling or striving. As described by the Quran, “jihad” has many meanings. It can refer to internal as well as external efforts to be a good Muslims or believer, as well as working to inform people about the faith of Islam. The concept of jihad has been hijacked by many political and radical Islamist groups over the ages in a bid to justify various forms of violence. In most cases, Islamic splinter groups invoked jihad to fight against the established Islamic order in bid to topple governments they perceive as oppressive.
There are many factors which push youths into jihadist groups across the world. Notably and distinctively; anger, poverty levels, historical injustices, unemployment, revenge and coercion among others. For example, Somali youths and others from East Africa continue to perish under the yoke of terrorist group following the aforementioned factors that firstly pushed them in the terror camps.