, 8 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1. Three days ago, a devastating attack on Muslim worshippers in New Zealand shook the world. Today, the ISIS spokesman - a man so secretive we don’t even know what he looks like - issued his first statement in 6 months, calling for revenge attacks in retaliation for those deaths
2. All the major jihadist groups have issued statements milking the New Zealand attack for their ends including al-Qaeda, the Taliban, HTS, Shabaab. All are calling for revenge. Why is the audio released by ISIS’ Abu Hassan al-Muhajir significant?
3. Muhajir - presumably a made-up name of a man who has managed to hide his identity so well that not a single photo of him exists in the public sphere - is a hunted man. This is his first statement in half-a-year and his last recording in 2018 was under 4 min. long.
4. Intelligence officials who hunt high-value targets like Muhajir believe that men like him adhere to a strict security protocol, including *never* using a cellphone or even being in a room with a cellphone. They are also believed to rely on a tight circle of guards.
5. Don’t forget that it was the movements of one of Osama bin Laden’s couriers, who came to bring him news of the outside world, that led to the raid in Abbotabad and the fall of al-Qaeda founder. But wherever he’s holed up, Muhajir got news and details of the New Zealand attack.
6. He also was able to keep up with some rather in-the-weeds developments in current events regarding America’s war against ISIS. For example, he mentions that President Trump (in a Tweet, no less) claimed to not know @brett_mcgurk, the US special envoy in the fight against ISIS.
7. Muhajir was also up-to-date on Trump’s comments regarding the heightened security measures he had to take to be able to make a hasty visit to Iraq in December, including the fact that Trump mentioned the $7 trillion invested in the Middle East. Muhajir’s sarcastic take:
8. Wherever he is, Muhajir is able to get news. To be expected, he also mocked the White House’s claim of having defeated ISIS. And he ends by offering a word of advice from Baghdadi, using language indicating Baghdadi is alive - “May god preserve him,” he says.
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