AQAP Expresses Solidarity with "Muslim Brothers" in Iraq Amidst US Airstrikes, Threatens US
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a statement of solidarity with their "Muslim brothers" in Iraq via Twitter on August 14 in light of recent airstrikes by US forces in northern Iraq.
The statement, reads, “Here, in commenting on this event, we declare our solidarity with our Muslim brothers in Iraq against this Crusader campaign, for their blood is our blood, and their wounds are in our hearts, and supporting them is a duty upon us.” Following up, the statement called for unity within the jihadist movement, claiming:
We also call on all the Islamic groups to support their brothers by afflicting America, and to make it within the plan of their jihad to get America, militarily, economically, and in the media. We call on every Muslim anywhere, especially those who can enter America, to support his brothers by doing war against America with all he can.
AQAP also described the US as leading a Crusade against Islam and commented on Obama’s recent declaration of intervention and recently authorized airstrikes as proof that “the Zio-Crusader” remains “the most dangerous to the Islamic Ummah [Nation].”
Along with the statement of support, the AQAP message also provided advice to IS forces to prepare for coming attacks from the US, advising to be mindful of “spies and those who lurk on the ground,” to be cautious in utilizing “mobile and internet networks,” avoid gathering in concentrated crowds, and to invest in digging trenches as “they are successful in reducing the results of the bombardment.”
The message did not, however, directly address IS or endorse their declaration of the Caliphate.
“It is noteworthy that AQAP’s statement did not mention the Islamic State by name,” says SITE Intelligence Group Director Rita Katz. “This is likely intentional due to the tense relationship between al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.”
In closing, the message threatened President Obama, "...do not delude yourself that if you assaulted any Muslim, mujahid or non-mujahid, that your action will go unpunished.” The message followed up, “We are an Ummah that is summoned to support the oppressed, and there are no barriers or borders between us. Our religion is one and our enemy is one.”
A full translation of the message is available here.