Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami

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Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami (Arabic: العالمي أنصار الجهاد‎, Anṣār al-Jihād al-‘Alāmī, "helpers of the global jihad") is a group that came to international attention in the immediate aftermath of the 2011 Norway attacks, when it was reported that they had claimed responsibility for them.

The group was described by Karen Joy Greenberg, executive director of the Center on Law and Security at New York University School of Law[1] as a Kurdistan-based affiliate of Al Qaeda led by Abu Suleiman al-Nasser.[2] According to The New York Times, unnamed American officials said that, "the group was previously unknown and might not even exist."[3]

Prior to 2011 Norway attacks[edit]

The Middle East Observatory reported on May 3, 2011 that the organization "sent an urgent message on jihadist forums, to all jihadists around the globe to mobilize and prepare to wage jihad operations against the Zionist-crusader alliance" after the death of Osama bin Laden.[4] The individual who reportedly made this statement is Abu Suleiman al-Naser.[4]

2011 Norway attacks[edit]

On July 22, in the hours following the 2011 Norway attacks, the group was said by Will McCants[5] to have claimed responsibility for them[6] by means of a statement to the internet forum Shmukh that he says was eventually removed.[5]

The New York Times reported that the group claimed responsibility for the attacks, citing a statement identified by a terrorism analyst that said they were a response to the presence of Norwegian forces in Afghanistan and "unspecified insults to the Prophet Muhammad." [7] Giving its source as a report on Norway TV, the Wall Street Journal noted the statement from Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami said, "This is just the beginning of what will come"; while also noting that, "It's unclear that the group has taken responsibility."[8] The Times said that Norwegian television reports indicated that Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami had denied involvement in the attacks.[6]

On the same day of the attacks, police arrested and identified Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian with anti-Islamic views, as the shooter in Utøya and also linked him to the Oslo bombings,[9][10][11] and he was subsequently charged with terrorism.[12] According to his defender Geir Lippestad, Breivik has acknowledged that he is responsible for both the bomb and the shooting during interrogation.[13]

Will McCants said someone identifying as Abu Sulayman al-Nasir who had posted the first claim of responsibility later made a further statement to Shmukh retracting it, stating that the attacker "must surely be known to all".[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Leadership & Staff". New York University School of Law. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Grenberg, Karen J. (22 July 2011). "The Norway Attacks: Who is Abu Suleiman Al Nasser?". The New Republic. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Mala, Eliza; Goodman, J. David (23 July 2011). "At Least 80 Are Dead in Norway Shooting". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Ansar al-jihad al-Alami issued an urgent alert to all Mujahedeen mobilize". Middle East Observatory. 3 May 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c McCants, Will. "Alleged Claim for Oslo Attacks". Jihadica. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Mala, Eliza; Goodman, J. David (22 July 2011). "Blasts Followed by Gun Attack in Norway". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Staff Reporters (23 July 2011). "Norway terror attacks: Claim of responsibility fuels suspicions co-ordinated attacks were the work of al-Qaeda". Scotsman.com. 
  8. ^ Duxbury, Charles (22 July 2011). "Deadly Attacks Shake Norway". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  9. ^ Skjærstad, Bent; Taalesen, Hanne; Persen, Kjell (23 July). "Anders (32) i Oslo ble pågrepet etter bombe og massedrap" (in Norwegian). NO: TV 2. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "Named: The blond Norwegian, 32, arrested over 'holiday island massacre' and linked to Oslo bomb blasts, which killed 7 people and injured many more". Daily Mail (UK). 22 July 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  11. ^ Brenna, Jarle et al (23 July 2011). "Pågrepet 32-åring kalte seg selv nasjonalistisk". VG Nett (in Norwegian). NO. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Scores killed in Norway attack". BBC (UK). 23 July 2011. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011. 
  13. ^ Hansen, Birthe Steen (23 July 2011). "Forsvareren: – I hans hode var det nødvendig" [Defence: - In his mind it was necessary] (in Norwegian). TV 2. Retrieved 23 July 2011.