AL-QA’IDAH OF WAZIRISTAN – A TESTIMONY FROM WITHIN
By Abū Jarīr ash-Shamālī
I begin in the name of Allah. May peace and blessings be upon Allah’s Prophet who was sent with the sword as a mercy for all creation. May peace and blessings also be upon all his family, wives, companions, and righteous followers unt il Judgment Day. As for what proceeds:
In Jordan and its masājid of ‘Ammān, az-Zarqā’, Irbid, and other cities, I connected with some of the sons of these cities who called themselves Jamā’at at-Tawhīd. Nothing connected us to each other except for walā’ and barā’ which we learned from the Qur´ān, the books of tawhīd, what Abū Muhammad al-Maqdisī wrote regarding disbelief in tāghūt and belief in Allah, what others wrote regarding tawhīd such as ‘Abdul-Qādir Ibn ‘Abdil-‘Azīz (Sayyid Imām) – may Allah bring them both back to what they were upon of truth – and the older books of Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibnul-Qayyim, and others. We learned from these books under the direction of senior brothers with shar’ī knowledge.
We quarreled with all the deviant groups such as “al-Ikhwān al-Muslimūn,” “Jamā’at at-Tablīgh,” the Sufis, and others. Our matter became manifest, and thus we began to be transferred back and forth between the different departments of the intelligence and security services or be sent back to our homes to be placed under house arrest with security restrictions, and so on.
Abū Mus’ab az-Zarqāwī was the example of the muwahhid practicing jihād. He was the focus of all the brothers’ hearts. He was like an amīr for us. I did not see anyone in the arena who opposed this opinion or consensus. Before September 11th, we used to consider Tandhīm alQā’idah to be a jihādī organization with an irjā’ī orientation because of what had been declared in the past (the late 80s and early 90s) by some of its leaders regarding various apostate rulers – especially the Saudis – and their armies, and the hesitance of these individuals in declaring the apostasy of those rulers and their armies. [Editor’s Note: The presence of historical differences in ‘aqīdah and manhaj between Abū Mus’ab and the Tandhīm are indicated in the words of a top leader of al-Qā’idah – Sayf al-‘Adl – who stated, “The points of difference with Abū Mus’ab were not something new to us and were not unique, because hundreds of brothers used to come to us from numerous places of the world, and we would differ with them in a number of matters and issues. All of this was due to the different understandings of some aspects of creed connected to walā’ and barā’ and what is thereby necessitated in matters of takfīr and irjā’. The second matter was how to act and deal with the present state of the Ummah, every mujāhid in his region and original homeland. The most important point for Abū Mus’ab was the stance towards the Saudi rule and the method to deal with and handle it in light of the shar’ī rulings related to kufr and ‘īman” [Tajribatī Ma’ Abī Mus’ab az-Zarqāwī]. Note that Sayf al-‘Adl attempts to downplay the importance of these differences.]
We also considered the Taliban in Afghanistan to have shortcomings with regards to teaching tawhīd to their individual members. This deficiency caused many of their individuals to fall into shirkī matters such as circumambulating graves and wearing amulets. And sadly, these matters exist until now.
Abū Mus’ab az-Zarqāwī went to Afghanistan during the Russian occupation so as to repel the communist enemy assaulting the Muslim land of Afghanistan despite what he saw of shar’ī violations from the laymen of the people. For this reason, we as an assembly divided into two groups: one group that supported working in Afghanistan despite what was there, and a group that did not support working in Afghanistan.
Abū Mus’ab az-Zarqāwī returned to Jordan before the First Gulf War. He then entered prison after the end of the war for a period of 5 years. He was placed in the prisons of Jordan alongside Abū Muhammad al-Maqdisī over a case the Jordanian regime called at the time “the Bay’ah of the Imām.” He left prison and quickly packed and travelled to Afghanistan, remaining there until the events of September 11th took place. He remained there because the arena of Afghanistan was suitable for jihād due to the lack of kufrī regimes in control, the wide expanses of territory for the mujāhid brothers inside it, the ease of movement, and the abundance of arms for preparation and training. But – as it is known – America entered Afghanistan and occupied it.
After the American campaign started, all of the mujāhid groups withdrew and left the arena for other arenas, most important of which was Waziristan. It was full of different groups, creeds, and methodologies ascribing to jihād. They all took part in fighting the enemy (America). From amongst these groups was Tandhīm al-Qā’idah which had become famous because of its special operations, the most famed of which were the demolition of the towers in New York, and the attacks against the USS Cole, and the US embassies in Nairobi and Darussalam.
In the late 90s, Abū Mus’ab az-Zarqāwī and his group of very small numbers had a center in the Afghan city of Herat – a city with a Rāfidī majority – far from the assemblies of the mujāhid muhājir groups. He did so to isolate his group from others at the time and prevent traffic from regular visits and thereby protect his group from intelligence infiltration. He also isolated them because of what he and his group was accused of by members of the other groups. They accused him of being takfīrī, Khārijī, and a person of extremist views.
As for the second group of brothers who remained in Jordan, then we did not support f ighting in Afghanistan (before September 11). Rather we considered it better for us to remain in Jordan and call to tawhīd, especially after a brother came from Afghanistan and described the condition of Afghanistan, the Taliban, and their shar’ī violations.
In the beginning of the new century, the Taliban of Afghanistan destroyed the statue of Buddha on the orders of the amīr Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar, so the souls began to yearn for the arena of Afghanistan, but because there was no way to go, the matter was halted by the conditions.
In 2001, the American towers of Manhattan collapsed by Allah’s grant of success, via the strikes of the brothers in Tandhīm al-Qā’idah. If this indicated anything, it indicated the truthfulness of the soul of this man – Shaykh Usāmah Ibn Lādin – with Allah, and Allah knows best.
In 2002, I met the brother Abū Mus’ab azZarqāwī in Jordan and informed him of my intention to leave Jordan to the arenas of jihād anywhere. The Shaykh (rahimahullāh) prepared a route for me and so I left Jordan. On my way to Afghanistan, I was arrested in Iran a short t ime after the takeover of Baghdad.
Sometime after the attacks of September 11th, Shaykh Usāmah Ibn Lādin (rahimahullāh) explicitly declared the apostasy of the rulers of al-Haramayn and their soldiers and the obligation to fight them in some of his addresses. The obstacles preventing the unification of the ranks of the mujāhid muwahhidīn – az-Zarqāwī and his jamā’ah, and Ibn Lādin and his organization – were thereby removed.
Thereafter, in late 2004, while the legions of mujāhidīn headed by Shaykh Abū Mus’ab were attacking the Rāfidah, the Americans, and those alongside them from amongst the apostates and agents, the Shaykh announced his bay’ah to Shaykh Usāmah. This positioned us – Abū Mus’ab’s group in the prisons of Iran – to also give bay’ah. We had with us a group of brothers from Tandhīm al-Qā’idah in the prisons of the Rāfidah. They were there in prison when the brother Khālid al-‘Ārūrī (may Allah release him) and I were arrested. We, the members of Abū Mus’ab az-Zarqāwī’s group, Jamā’at at-Tawhīd wal-Jihād, gave bay’ah except for the brothers Khālid al-‘Ārūrī and Suhayb al-Urdunī.[Editor’s Note: These two brothers were from amongst the oldest companions of Shaykh az-Zarqāwī. May Allah release them from their imprisonment.] We did not hear any comment from them on the matter. It is possible that it was because they believed the Tandhīm was still soft in its handling of the apostate regime armies and because of differences they had with prisoners from the Tandhīm in Iran who did not consider the Rāfidah nor the jailers to be apostates.
Through the announcement of the Shaykh Ibn Lādin (rahimahullāh), our view of the Tandhīm changed from what it was before. The organizat ion was now a mirror image of what I used to see in the condition of the brothers in Jordan – Jamā’at at-Tawhīd. How much I wished to be released then so as to hug Shaykh Abū Mus’ab (rahimahullāh) for gathering the ranks upon tawhīd and angering the enemies by this bay’ah. The image remained in my mind as such. I was waiting for the moment to leave prison so as to live with the brothers in the arenas of jihād with the new and large organization I now belonged to.
And finally we were all released near the end of 2010, but the Rāfidah kept some brothers in their prisons, amongst them the two aforement ioned brothers who did not give bay’ah to alQā’idah: Khālid al-‘Ārūrī and Suhayb al-Urdunī. I believe that the reason for them not being released was the absence of bay’ah from them to the Tandhīm.
I went to the Pakistani city of Quetta and remained there for a period of 6 months, until I was permitted to enter the area of Waziristan by the Tandhīm. The reason for the delay from them was the severity of American strikes against the brothers in Waziristan. Therefore, my testimony covers what I witnessed and experienced in Waziristan after the passing of the amīr and founder of the Tandhīm – Shaykh Usāmah Ibn Lādin (rahimahullāh) in the operation carried out by the American forces near Abbottabad.
The first surprise and major shock for me was that I used to think the area of Waziristan was an area completely liberated in which a person would travel east, west, north, and south, not seeing the armies of apostasy and not hearing a sound from them. I had thought the mujāhidīn were the decision makers there and that the shar’ī laws were implemented by them there. But alas and sadly, the dominant law was the tribal laws. To the detriment of the Sharī’ah laws, these tribal laws governed the people of the land. The Pakistani armies of apostasy covered every hill and mountain overseeing all clusters of people, and all villages and cities. This Pakistani army set up a curfew for one day every week, so as to move between its various zones and resupply itself with munitions and funds. If an irritating matter occurred to them, they would extend the curfew however they wanted.
If you wanted to travel from one place to another, you always had to stay away and diverge from the road so as not to get close to their encampments and not run into them. And their encampments are many! This would prolong your trip, make it difficult, and increase your hardship.
As for the condition of the mujāhidīn on the ground, then you would see the strangest of things! The chief organization – “Qā’idat al-Jihād” – supposedly had a great reputation which the eyes and the hearts of the good Muslim masses with sound fitar (plural of fitrah) yearned and waited for. They expected the organization to guide them towards liberation, rising up against their tawāghīt, the establishment of Allah’s law upon their lands, and to support their rights and aid their oppressed… But, we did not see any of this in that arena at all, for the Tandhīm was engrossed in categorizing the mujāhidīn of the arena into extremely takfīrī, Khārijī, and partially takfīrī. They would bring closer to themselves everyone who was deeply into irjā’ under the pretense of crushing Khārijī thought and expelling it from the Tandhīm. For this reason, the pyramidal organizational ladder leading up to the leadership was a ladder surrounded by a filter consisting of an intelligence apparatus of manhaj claimants. Thereby, no brother with proper manhaj who they considered to be opposed to them was able to change evil and announce the truth countering what the Tandhīm was upon of shar’ī and military mistakes. Rather, these brothers were dealt with through exclusion, ostracism, marginalization, and even defamation.
As you know, the evil of the Rāfidah became manifest, especially their plots, their schemes, and their buried hatred for Islam and the Muslims from amongst the Sahābah, Tābi’īn, and righteous scholars. Allah exposed them and their wickedness. This media (the Rāfidī satellite TV stations) is just a clear and open proof exposing them, their deeds, and their accusat ions against our Messenger and religion. Their media will be a proof against us in the Dunyā and on Judgment Day for not doing anything against these heretics.
After a few days from me reaching Mīrānshāh, I was threatened and scolded by the amīr of the Shar’ī Committee of Tandhīm al-Qā’idah for using the word “Rāfidī” to describe Iran where I was held as a prisoner for a period of about 8 years. I used the word when I was asked about my condition, point of departure, etc., by brothers who would visit me after my arrival from my trip. I was then accused of being Khārijī and takf īrī! I was told by the amīr of the Shar’ī Committee at the time (Sālim at-Tarābulusī al-Lībī – rahimahullāh), “Go to Jordan and make takfīr there of whomever you want, and we will support you!” That was the second shock for me.
But I decided to remain and persist in reforming what I could. I began to speak with all the brothers in the Tandhīm at all levels regarding issues I would see in the arena. They were:
1) The arena is full of armed mujāhidīn and they have the ability to take control of the land, so why is Allah’s law not enforced upon it?
2) Why were the tāghūtī tribal laws (Jirga) and other laws implemented without any remark or even attempt to advise the people?
3) Why were there mujāhidīn entering and exiting the arena of Afghanistan via the Pakistani army when fighting the Americans?
4) Doesn’t the paving of roads between the cities and areas of Waziristan by the Pakistani government indicate that the Pakistani state had a mission in the region?
5) Why would the sons and daughters of the region enter the secularist government schools to a large and notable extent without there being any direction to or preparation for the establishment of school houses by the mujāhidīn, especially al-Qā’idah central, which had been very neglectful regarding the issue of schools and schooling for the sons of the mujāhid muhājirīn and ansār except for very recently when it was provided for a specific set of the children of the Tandhīm?
6) Why was there insistence on not delving into the shar’ī and behavioral violations and mistakes of the people, claiming that there was a shar’ī benefit in such so as not to turn them away or clash with them?
7) I requested from the leadership of the Tandhīm via their security chief and ideologue Abū ‘Ubaydah al-Maqdisī (‘Abdullāh al-‘Adam – rahimahullāh) to stop excessively praising the Arab revolutions or what is referred to as “the Arab Spring.”
8) We should gather the ranks of the different parties of fighters, unify them, and resolve any pending problems between them and the Tandhīm.
9) We should remove the women from the arena so that their presence does not become an impediment making the movement of the mujāhid brothers difficult in the case of sudden military action as such was expected. Movement is diff icult with them because of the high mountain elevations in the region. There also was no place of consolidation for them to stay in.
These points would be conveyed either via written messages passed on by the brother Abū Sālih al-Misrī (rahimahullāh) or by mouth directly to the brother Abū ‘Ubaydah al-Maqdisī whose responsibilities included being a middleman between the brothers in the arena and the leadership of the Tandhīm. Brother Abū Sālih al-Misrī was a close friend of mine while we were in prison together in Iran. Our relationship continued between us in Waziristan. Allah made this man defend me and cover me through his close relat ionship with the leadership of the Tandhīm. He was also my amīr in some special work we would do together.
The Tandhīm remained upon this condition, not hearing, not seeing, and not wanting to change, especially because it was like a secret society, and reaching its leadership was very difficult, except in rare cases like a visit from a leader to the camps in the mountain. It was to the point that a brother with a need, question, or grief, would not receive a response, and if he ever did, he would be fortunate. A response could arrive after weeks, months, or never. It was an impenetrable class system. The filter of the Tandhīm would filter everyone in the arena. Whoever did not oppose the methodology of the leadership would climb the pyramidal ladder. Sadly, I discovered that the methodology of Qā’idat al-Jihād after the death of Shaykh Usāmah Ibn Lādin (rahimahullāh) was the same methodology as that before his addresses in which he made explicit takfīr of the Saudi regime and its soldiers. So al-Qā’idah before my imprisonment was the same al-Qā’idah after my release. It was a methodology of irjā’ that refrained from many matters under the claim of caution or achieving benefit. The strangest matter was the hesitance in making takfīr of the Rāfidah of the era whose evil is not hidden from anyone whether distant or far. As for the condition of the Tandhīm during the period of my imprisonment, then I do not know what they were upon.
I wouldn’t advise them in a disparaging, defaming, or vehemently conflicting manner, because I didn’t think such would help achieve the goal. I thought that I would eventually find someone with ears or see some kind of change in the Tandhīm. But, sadly, no one would hear from me, not even from the second and third level of the Tandhīm. Instead you would see deterrence, rejection, refusal of the idea, and evasion.
Abū ‘Ubaydah al-Maqdisī was a methodological man carrying “Qā’idī” irjā’ī thought, but he would not abandon dialogue nor discussion, rather he would listen, speak, and discuss. I used to think there was much good in him, despite how loud our voices would get against each other in the public and private gatherings, until I heard strange things from him including his statement that the Tandhīm considered atTantāwī (the former muftī of al-Azhar) and alQardāwī to be Muslim scholars and that they did not make takfīr of them.
At the same time, the Arabic magazine asSumūd released a statement upon the tongue of Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar Mujāhid in which he addressed the Islamic Ummah on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr 1433 AH and explained the future of Afghanistan after the departure of the Americans. He mentioned some clauses that impair Islam and – using a patriotic and nationalistic tone – called to respect of international conventions and borders, congratulated the nat ions of the Arab revolutions that changed their regimes, and asked the people who left those countries – meaning the oppressed muhājir mujāhidīn – to go back to their lands.[ Editor’s Note: The statement of Mullā ‘Umar referred to as well as others of his and his Emirate’s were quoted in the article of this issue titled “The Qā’idah of adh-Dhawāhirī, al-Harārī, and an-Nadhārī, and the Absent Yemeni Wisdom.”]
I would say to myself, where does Tandhīm alQā’idah – which fought America the caretaker of kufr and democracy – stand on this statement? Did this statement just pass by Qā’idat al-Jihād? And this statement came about after prefaces preceding it in the conference of Paris and the meeting with Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar’s delegate in Tokyo University where they spoke with the western world about the future of Afghanistan after the departure of the Americans and the new politics of the Taliban. This question persisted especially because the amīr of Tandhīm al-Qā’idah (adh-Dhawāhirī) used to repeatedly state that he had a bay’ah to Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar and called all the other branches and groups to do the same.
Many questions would arise in my mind.
I wrote a refutation of Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar’s statement and reminded the Tandhīm with the statement. Abū ‘Ubaydah al-Maqdisī had told me to write. I also asked Haqqānī’s faction who represented Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar in Waziristan. They told me to also write a refutation of Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar. So I wrote a refutation and sent a copy with Haqqānī’s faction to Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar. They told me that the response would reach him on Eid al-Adha. But sadly, no response came until now. I met the representat ive of Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar – Muhibbullāh – and gave him a copy of the refutation. Again, sadly, no response has come until now.
I looked around and did not find a place to go where I would see Islam truly with its laws established. The earth confined me. So I thought f irst to go to Burma to fight there. I asked one of my brothers and friends from the senior and eminent mujāhidīn in the arena, from the Punjābī brothers. He told me that going to Burma was impossible because of the difficult and long route and because of the tāghūtī and racist regime of Bangladesh. I then thought of going to Yemen. That was the plan I wanted to execute.
But I learned that there were brothers in northern Waziristan – Tahrīk Taliban Pakistan – in the area of Khaybar. They were upon great good. They carry the Salafī creed and hope and strive to establish the laws of Islam in their region.
I finally took the decision and went there on 26 January 2013. I reached the area of Kūkī Khayl on 7 March 2013. I learned about the nature of the land and its people and other matters that were not clear to me before. I learned about the different groups especially the different ones referred to as Taliban.[to any group appearing to be “students” even if they don’t belong to a single entity and even if they fight against each other.]
1) Taliban Afghanistan such as Haqqānī’s faction. Their origins are Afghani. Their goal is Afghanistan, as they say. They consider Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar to be their top leader.
2) Taliban Waziristan who consider themselves to be Pakistani. They have many leaders including Qalbhadir, Ghulām Khān, Gud ‘Abdur-Rahmān, and others. They consider themselves the Pashtun of Pakistan. They work for their interests in the region even if to the detriment of all the other factions. They have a strong link with the Pakistani intelligence. They consider Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar to be their leader.
3) Independent Taliban in the area of Khaybar, northern Waziristan. They are strongly allied to the Pakistani government. They live off opium and marijuana production. They fight against Tahrīk Taliban Pakistan, and by means of weapons, block them from using the roads. They have many names, including: “Lashkar Islam,” “Ansār al-Islām,” [Editor’s Note: The group has no relation with Ansār al-Islām of Iraq.] “Jamā’at at-Tawhīd,” “Munghul Bāgh,” and others.
4) Tahrīk Taliban Pakistan are migrants from the regions that the Pakistani army entered in Wādī Swāt and other areas near Peshawar. They are perhaps the best group present in the Waziristan arena. But sadly, the Pakistani intelligence was able to infiltrate some of its individuals and incite some of their tribal leaders against one another and towards fighting each other over issues of leadership. They consist of tribal assemblies, each assembly having its own leader. They had established the shar’ī laws in Wādī Swāt before my arrival to Waziristan, and very quickly Tandhīm al-Qā’idah sent a Pashtun man named Muftī Hasan to meet the Tahrīk and convince them to not rush into establishing the shar’ī laws, for the sake of the greater, general good… When Muftī Hasan met Shaykh Maqbūl (the muftī of the Tahrīk), Shaykh Maqbūl convinced him in the soundness of establishing the shar’ī laws at that time. So Muftī Hasan returned with new ideas and posed them to Tandhīm alQā’idah, but he was recompensed with expulsion from the Tandhīm. He is now a member of Tahrīk Taliban Pakistan. These events were narrated to me by some of the leaders of the Tahrīk who witnessed them.
The Pakistani government was able to incite all the different Taliban factions against the Tahrīk in the areas of their presence in northern Waziristan, as it was expected that Tahrīk Taliban would gain control over the region.
The Tahrīk was able to enter and liberate the largest area of northern Waziristan called Mīdān (the area controlled by Taliban “Ansar al-Islām” [Editor’s Note: See previous note.] allied to the Pakistani regime and whose leader is Mahbūb al-Haqq), after raiding the area. Terror quickly entered the hearts of the Pakistani army troops and their allies, and so they quickly f led without fighting. We were there for three months before the army began to bombard the area. Mīdān then became a shooting ground for the Pakistani army and a warzone defiled by the army’s shelling. We then withdrew from Mīdān back to Kūkī Khayl and Tūrā Dārā. The army then entered Mīdān, achieving a victory by which it damaged its strongest enemy force (the Tahrīk) and expelled them from the area.
The government program thereafter was to move south into central Waziristan, the areas of Mīrānshāh, Mīr ‘Alī, and other areas where muhājir mujāhidīn were present… areas which were almost empty of mujāhidīn because of their departure from the arena to other arenas. Tandhīm al-Qā’idah was responsible for this departure. I hold the amīr of Tandhīm al-Qā’idah and everyone who beautifies and supports his deeds responsible for the evacuation of the arena.
Tahrīk Taliban Pakistan are from the best of mujāhidīn who I saw in the arena. They are upon great good. Most of their leaders have a sound creed and are upon the methodology of the Salaf – we consider them as such. As for their laymen, then they have some issues because of their lower degree of shar’ī knowledge and their madhhabī bias.
Their leader Fadlullāh met Mullā ‘Umar more than 15 years ago and gave him bay’ah at the t ime. Mullā ‘Umar gave him his own turban as a gift. He is loyal to Mullā ‘Umar until today despite what Mullā ‘Umar has of significant shar’ī mistakes which Fadlullāh is not aware of.
I decided to go back to Mīrānshāh to convey to the remaining brothers in Tandhīm al-Qā’idah and the leadership – out of a sense of honor and desire to advise them – after I resolved to leave from northern Waziristan and enter Afghanistan so as to completely exit the arena. But Allah prepared for me something better. So I went back to central Waziristan.
When I arrived to Mīrānshāh, I wrote a message to Lajnat Bukhārā (the Committee of Bukhārā – an administrative committee belonging to the leadership of al-Qā’idah set up after the killings of ‘Atiyyatullāh and Abū Yahyā al-Lībī, rahimahumullāh). I explained what had happened and explained my view on the near future of Waziristan and the inevitable entrance of the Pakistani army into the central regions after it completes its domination of the north. I attached to the message a copy of the refutation I wrote against the previous address of Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar to remind the brothers that the arena was now between the hammer of nationalism and anvil of tribalism in Afghanistan and Waziristan. Sadly, I did not receive any response from the Tandhīm about this statement.
A number of matters occurred in the arena during my six-month absence in the north. These matters put the Tandhīm on the brink of extinction. The most significant was the case of the sons of brothers in the Tandhīm, sons of shuhadā’ (we consider them as such), sons of leaders. These sons fell into fāhishah (sodomy), leading them into espionage (as happened before in Sudan with others). Their treachery led to tens of airstrikes killing many brothers. We moved against the silence of the Tandhīm and put pressure on them to set up a trial by the Tandhīm independent of the Emirate of Afghanistan. But the Tandhīm insisted upon its stance of bringing a judge from the Emirate, claiming the Tandhīm belonged to the Emirate and had bay’ah to it. Our request of a trial set up by the Tandhīm and independent of the Emirate was because of the differences between us and the Emirate – due to its madhhabī bias – on the punishment for espionage and sodomy.[ Editor’s Note: The judges of the Emirate are Deobandi (Māturīdī Hanafī). They have irjā’ in ruling upon “Muslim” spies who apostatize by aiding the kuffār against the Muslims. They also have less severe punishments for this wicked deed as well as the sin of sodomy in comparison to other schools of f iqh. Essentially, the Tandhīm’s insistence on referring the matter back to the Emirate was to prevent the execution of the suspects. For this reason, the author and his brothers requested a trial administered by the Tandhīm and independent of the Emirate.]
The Emirate refused to delve into the matter and instead referred it back to the Tandhīm.[ Editor’s Note: The Tandhīm thereby no longer had the excuse of being under the wing of the Emirate to avoid judging directly in the matter.] The story of the youth involved in the case spread everywhere, turning the Tandhīm into a joke. Questions began to be asked by the mujāhidīn and the people. Why did the Tandhīm delay ruling in their case? Why does the Tandhīm insist upon doing so? Why did the Tandhīm release the suspects in the case from prison before a judgment was passed?
At the same time, brothers reached us from northern Afghanistan to Mīrānshāh on their way to the Islamic State. At that point, the State became the focus of eyes and questions, for I had not heard much about it before. I did not know a lot about it because of the weakness of
the internet in the region. It is very slow and complicated. The only source of information on the arena in Shām was the Tandhīm itself. They would not show anyone anything about the State. It was as if it was nonexistent. Also, when the Islamic State of Iraq was announced by Amīrul-Mu’minīn Abū ‘Umar al-Baghdādī (rahimahullāh), the spotlight was not focused on it. The kufrī media would completely hide it from vision. We were also at the time imprisoned in Iran, cut off from the world completely. It appeared to us as being a small group or organization with occasional actions appearing here and there, only to have the curtain drop upon its actions. Even when the State carried on under the leadership of Amīrul-Mu’minīn Abū Bakr al-Baghdādī (hafidhahullāh), prison was an obstacle as well as the scarce media information coming from or about it.
Sadly, even when the State entered Shām via its front, Jabhat an-Nusrah, the Ummah did not know of this because of the security and media program of the State. The matters got worse and made it more complicated and hazy. Also, the issue of our conflict with the Tandhīm in the arena of Waziristan was a cause for me not to pay attention to what in reality was going on in Syria.
But Allah blessed me with the arrival of brothers from northern Waziristan with experience in using the internet. May Allah reward them with good. The picture began to become clearer for me as well as the sharp vision and manifest truth of the Islamic State. This Islamic State was – by Allah’s grace – a gift from Allah that was an alternative to the chaos afflicting the arena at the time.
The conflict with the Tandhīm became more severe. We wrote letters to the Tandhīm encouraging them to judge in the case of the suspects. After putting pressure on them and inciting them with a letter of harsh tone directed to Lajnat Bukhārā, the head of the committee and one of its members – al-Bāshā (al-Bahtītī) – met me. During the meeting, he expressed his refusal to establish a trial independent of the Emirate, away from madhhabī bias. He said on the issue of the case, that it was foolish to establish a trial for the charged individuals because such was not based in wisdom and because the suspects would not admit to their crimes, and therefore the accusers would be flogged instead… The accusers were the head of the Security Committee and his assistant. Then after much tugging and pulling, requesting the suspects be returned to prison and put on trial, he said to get out of the tough spot he was in, “We will gather them all. That is easy. Then we will put them on trial. Then we will release them.”
The meeting ended finally with al-Bāshā agreeing to convince the brothers in Lajnat Bukhārā to re-arrest the suspects and put them on trial. At the same time, the subject of the Islamic State began to react with what was taking place on the ground (the Islamic State had consolidation and established the laws contrary to the condition of the Tandhīm). The issue of the suspects began to reach a dead end because the Tandhīm declared its fear of the suspects’ mothers, saying they might contact the foreign media or hold protests in the streets of Mīrānshāh and incite the people against the Tandhīm. Al-Bāshā then said that the Tandhīm could no longer handle this.
The issue of al-Jawlānī and his betrayal of his amīr began to be discussed and the picture began to become clearer alongside what was transpiring with the Tandhīm.
In retrospect, it’s clear to me that the evacuation of the Waziristan arena was intentionally done by the Tandhīm. I remember how Abū ‘Ubaydah al-Maqdisī, in the beginning of the jihādī action in Syria, would place his hand in the hands of the muhājir going to Syria and ask him to give bay’ah that he would go to Jabhat an-Nusrah, at the time when Jabhat an-Nusrah still had not broken off from the State and there were not many groups yet in the arena. The most prominent groups were the Asad regime, the Free Syrian Army, and Jabhat an-Nusrah. This was a puzzle to me, which I did not understand at the t ime. Why would one ask the mujāhid leaving for Shām to give bay’ah to Jabhat an-Nusrah when his own words speak loudly that he would not go anywhere else? Abū ‘Ubaydah al-Maqdisī would repeatedly make the statement, “We want to establish a place for us in that arena.” It was as if he wanted to bind the mujāhid to Jabhat an-Nusrah as some plot was being crafted by the Tandhīm for the future.
What al-Jawlānī did thereafter, including his refusal to accept the expansion of the Islamic State into Shām, was only an obvious plot from Ayman adh-Dhawāhirī and his cronies who left from the arena of Waziristan carrying secret and private messages implicating adh-Dhawāhirī with al-Jawlānī in their attempt to make a place for Tandhīm al-Qā’idah in Shām at the expense of the Islamic State. What proves this is the immediate acceptance of Jawlānī’s bay’ah by adh-Dhawāhirī. Adh-Dhawāhirī also asked the amīr of the Islamic State to return to Iraq “in exchange” for his “recognition” of al-Baghdādī being Amīrul-Mu’minīn and his state an Islamic state. All this if Amīrul-Mu’minīn returned to Iraq, otherwise his state would be Khārijī and he would not “recognize” him to be AmīrulMu’minīn.
Adh-Dhawāhirī then continually appeared in the media displaying himself to be a gentle lamb on the issue of the State and the bay’ah and insisted upon having “the right” for leadership and “the obligation” to be listened to and obeyed. He began to describe the State and its leader as having the worst traits until the State became the target for everyone who carried arms in Shām and had entered into the maze of adh-Dhawāhirī’s ideas after he caught many people in the traps of his twisted thinking. His ideas contradict jihād and the carrying of arms, and encourage pacifist methodologies [never-ending protests] and the seeking of popular support, all of which led to the new Pharaohs’ takeover of Egypt and other countries.
Many women, children, and men were killed for no reason. They could not do anything except go to the roads, squares, and plazas, practicing the new politics that adh-Dhawāhirī called to and those like him who claimed that what the protestors practice is the real jihād which will change oppression into justice and kufr into Islam. Because of him, truth is no longer as clear from falsehood. The tāghūt [Morsi] is praised and supplications are made for him, and the truth and its people are criticized. He thereby destroyed Tandhīm al-Qā’idah.
At the same time, the Tandhīm did not gather the suspects of the aforementioned crime [espionage and sodomy]. Rather, they made a special camp for them amongst the camps of the Tandhīm called Katībat Usāmah Ibn Zayd (radiyallāhu ‘anh). The two spies – sons of two leaders of the Tandhīm – from amongst the suspects were killed by the Security Committee after it witnessed the disregard from the leadership of the Tandhīm for their case. This stirred an uproar, which has not settled since in the Tandhīm, despite the fact the Security Committee killed them after Siddīqullāh’s faction with the help of Gud ‘Abdur-Rahmān’s faction – who is linked to the Pakistani intelligence and who had a role in recruiting the two spies – tried to free them from prison. The Security Committee was expelled from the Tandhīm, removed from the field, and forced to remain in their homes.
Because of the constant pressure upon the Tandhīm from the Security Committee and many brothers, the Tandhīm was forced to present the case to the brother Abū Mālik at-Tamīmī who reached Mīrānshāh coming from Afghani Nūristān on his way to the Islamic State. The brother Abū Mālik judged that the blood of the two dead spies was lawfully spilled.
I and a number of brothers from amongst those who would later go on to sign the declaration of our bay’ah to the Islamic State prior to my hijrah to Shām, resolved to wage war against Tandhīm al-Qā’idah by exposing it after all the paths leading to a resolution with it were closed. We – Arabs and non-Arabs, muhājirīn and ansār alike – began by inquiring about what was taking place in the arena, and we made a list of questions for the Tandhīm so that it could respond to them and so that these responses would be the final junction ending our relationship with the Tandhīm.
The Tandhīm tried to defuse the anger that we had by purchasing our hearts with positions and wealth, but by Allah’s grace, they failed. As for the requests that were put forward, they were:
1) That the Tandhīm writes out its ‘aqīdah, particularly concerning the Rawāfid.
2) A shar’ī justification for adh-Dhawāhirī’s du’ā’ for the tāghūt Morsi.
3) The reason for adh-Dhawāhirī accusing the Islamic State of being Khārijī.
4) The reason for changing the course of the jihād from being that of fighting to being peaceful demonstrations and in pursuit of popular support.
There came no response to these inquiries, even up until the last mujāhid had left the area of Mīrānshāh, which the Pakistani army had entered and closed off in June of 2014. At that point, in time, when we had given the Tandhīm ample t ime to rethink and backtrack from its mistakes and transgresses, adh-Dhawāhirī was, unfortunately, leading the Tandhīm to the bottom of the pit, even up until the writing of this article.
We disassociated ourselves from Tandhīm alQā’idah and from the shar’ī lapses of adhDhawāhirī, and gave bay’ah to the Islamic State and its amīr, Amīrul-Mu’minīn Abū Bakr al-Baghdādī. This was due to what we saw of consolidation for Tawhīd and Sharī’ah, which was what we had been searching for and what a person’s soul yearns for and what delights the heart and puts the mind at ease, announcing from within the end of the journey in search for the truth, the correct path of jihād, the path of the jamā’ah that would take one to al-Firdaws, bi idhnillāh.
Yes, we gave bay’ah to Amīrul-Mu’minīn Abū Bakr al-Baghdādī after I already had a bay’ah of imārah to Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar and also had bay’ah to Shaykh Usāmah and likewise Dr. Ayman adhDhawāhirī, but only because of Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar and Dr. Ayman adh-Dhawāhirī’s nullification of the conditions of the bay’ah by what Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar wrote in his disastrous messages to the Muslims on the occasions of the Islamic Eid celebrations. As for adh-Dhawāhirī, then it was through his refusal to implement the shar’ī laws (due to flimsy arguments such as the alleged “benefit”) and insisting on that, and turning a blind eye to his amīr Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar’s dangerous shar’ī violations. And because of that I’m not to be blamed, and they have no right upon me to listen and obey.
So the Tandhīm became like a raging bull stumbling about, and its cronies spread out and went to every place and began meeting with everyone, mujāhidīn and non-mujāhidīn alike, and groups and individuals alike, in a desperate attempt to save a drowning entity struggling to breathe in deep water as it is exhausted and fat igued by tiredness and the struggle in the water.
They fabricated lies against us and described us in the harshest of ways: takfīrī, Khawārij, killers of Muslims, Wahhābī… and they would warn the people that we were murderers and that we’d slaughter them.
Tandhīm al-Qā’idah then began playing the chords of madhhab partisanship, particularly because the people are upon the Hanafī madhhab. They also claimed that with this bay’ah we were declaring war on them, on their madhhab, and on their amīr, and that our presence in the arena as soldiers of the Islamic State was in def iance of them and their amīr.
By Allah’s grace, the people began to flock towards us to search for answers to many quest ions, some for obtaining information and others to gain clarification on some shubuhāt that the Tandhīm would spread amongst them.
Some of the brothers – may Allah reward them – began communicating through the Internet, obtaining pictures taken from within the Islamic State, showing them to the people, and showing them the video releases in restaurants and coffee shops. This would be a da’wah for them and a means of shedding light on the Islamic State, the true jihād that it’s waging, and the conquests that Allah has granted it. This had a positive effect on both the Ansār and the people in general. And this, by Allah’s grace, contributed to shaking the Tandhīm and to the people ignoring its video releases, which were hollow anyways.
Likewise, the mujāhid groups in the arena started discussing the Tandhīm’s proposals concerning pacifism and popular support, the jihād that the Islamic State is waging, and the notion that the Tandhīm’s idea of peaceful demonstrations at the expense of jihād would neither eliminate a tāghūt nor remove injustice from the necks of the people. Rather, it was a major source of corruption. And what occurred instead was the killing of women and children in the public squares and on the streets at the hands of the soldiers and policemen of the tawāghīt without their killers paying a price for their actions. In fact, this idea is what is creating the new Pharaohs.
Al-Qā’idah’s cronies raised their voices, declaring war with neither fear nor shame, for the Tandhīm immediately cut off stipends from the families of the brothers who had signed the declaration of bay’ah without any consideration for the presence of women, children, and the sick. Thus, the wealth that generous people were donating to alQā’idah and its members in order for them to wage jihād and so that Allah would accept from the their sadaqāt, was now cut off by adh-Dhawāhirī from those who deserved it for no reason other than their desire for the truth and for supporting the truth and establishing the religion. Instead, adh-Dhawāhirī used it to wage war against the truth and its people, subhānallāh! He will meet Allah in that condition if he does not repent and turn back from what he is upon. And there is no barrier between Allah and the du’ā’ of the oppressed.
Tandhīm al-Qā’idah didn’t stop there. Rather, its men went to the Uzbek group (Tāhir Jān’s group) and their amīr ‘Uthmān despite the existence of a major rift between them because of the fighting that took place in the city of Wānā in late 2008. Tandhīm alQā’idah, at the time, dropped their support for the group when the Uzbeks fought the Pakistani army and its ally Nadhīr, arguing that the Uzbeks were takfīrī, Khawārij, and extremists, which led to many of the Uzbeks being killed. The group was forced out of Wānā in southern Waziristan and then headed towards Mīr ‘Alī and Mīrānshāh. Tandhīm al-Qā’idah attempted to implore them to stand in the face of the brothers with bay’ah to the Islamic State, but the Tandhīm returned without success.
They met with the Rūshin group and spoke with their amīr Hamīdullāh, as well as others from the group. They met the Uzbek group of Afghanistan. They met with the Tājīk brothers and their amīr ‘Abdul-Walīy. They met with Hājī Bashīr’s Uzbek group. They met with the Turkistānī brothers’ group. They met with the brother ‘Abdullāh ash-Shīshānī from the group belonging to the Islamic Emirate of Qawqāz in Mīrānshāh. They met with the allies of al-Qā’idah, the Haqqānī network, which represents the Emirate in Afghanistan – the Emirate of Mullā Muhammad ‘Umar. They met with some of the Tahrīk (Pakistan).
There wasn’t a single group except that they went to in order to alienate them from us and from the Islamic State and incite them against us. But their efforts failed. Rather, many of those whom they moved in pursuit of have either given bay’ah to the Islamic State or are on their way to doing so.
The Tandhīm met with the Afghanistan Emirate’s representative involved in recruiting spies for the Americans and for the Pakistani intelligence, Gud ‘Abdur-Rahmān, in an attempt to reconcile between Gud ‘Abdur-Rahmān and al-Qā’idah after a failed assassination attempt on Gud ‘Abdur-Rahmān. The fruit of this reconciliation was that they left together embracing one another after Gud ‘Abdur-Rahmān stated that his war is against those who wanted to kill him, and he wasn’t referring to Tandhīm al-Qā’idah. Rather, he was referring to the Tandhīm’s former Security Committee, which had been expelled by the Tandhīm and had given bay’ah to the Islamic State.
Tandhīm al-Qā’idah received a representative of Ansār al-Islam [of Iraq] for the purpose of a joint operation in Iraq with the Tandhīm against the Islamic State. The Tandhīm began facilitating for the representative to meet with Kurdish members of Tandhīm al-Qā’idah and bring them down from the mountain to the city of Mīrānshāh for counsel and planning. This counsel and planning was in order to gather Kurdish personnel – both military and shar’ī – from the Tandhīm to assist them in training inside Afghanistan so as to operate in Iraq after passing through Iran. They produced a video for them called “Mullā Ghāzī ‘Abdir-Rashīd Training Camp.” Mullā Ghāzī was killed at the hands of Pakistani forces in Islamabad. We consider him to be from amongst the shuhadā’, and Allah is his final judge. Allah made their plot futile, for Ansār al-Islam declared their bay’ah to the Islamic State. And the great conquests that Allah granted to the Islamic State in Mosul and elsewhere were but a cause that thwarted the Tandhīm’s plot.
And, indeed, my heart was cooled when I used to remember the group of truthful Punjābīs who left Tandhīm al-Qā’idah, leaving behind what remained of the Tandhīm to be played around with by adh-Dhawāhirī and the group of Sufi Punjābīs headed by the two Deobandis ‘Āsim ‘Umar and Ahmad Fārūq. They are the ones to whom the Tandhīm handed over the nerve center of the organization, Sahāb Media in the Urdu language, corrupting all that was left. The Tandhīm’s engineer, Mukhtār al-Maghribī – the link between the Tandhīm and the two Punjābī Deobandis – turned Tandhīm al-Qā’idah into a Deobandi Tandhīm under the name “Tandhīm al-Qā’idah in the Lands of India.” [Editor’s Note: This testimony was written by the author before the announcement of the Indian branch of the Tandhīm. He saw the announcement coming based upon information he had beforehand. See in this issue “The Qā’idah of adh-Dhawāhirī, al-Harārī, and an-Nadhārī, and the Absent Yemeni Wisdom,” as it contains a statement from the Emirate – which the Tandhīm claims to belong to – conflicting with the so-called “expansion” of the Tandhīm.] And they shunned muhājir personnel, not feeling themselves in need of them.
O Allah, bring an end to any project waging war against the Islamic State. O Allah, tear apart any such projects and exterminate them. I ask Allah the Mighty, Lord of the noble throne, to preserve our State and support it, to guide the steps of its amīr upon the truth, to raise its banner high, and to allow us to trample with our feet all those who show us enmity and wage war against our religion. Indeed, He is Mighty and the One who hears du’ā’.
And our final call is Praise be to Allah, the Lord of creation.
Your brother, the seeker of good – and Allah knows all intentions,
Abū Jarīr ash-Shamālī 19 Shawwāl 1435 AH (15 August 2014)
[Taken from Dabiq issue 6 pgs 40-55]