The Creation Of ISIS And What It Is Today - Adam Gadahn (Azzam al-Amriki) Rahimahullah
Shaykh Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi (may Allah have mercy on him),
leader of the Tawheed wal-Jihad Group in Iraq, pledged allegiance to the
leadership of Qa'eda al-Jihad Group, and his group became known thereafter as
al-Qa'eda in Mesopotamia. This group, both before and after the pledge of
allegiance, was one of the most lethal and effective forces fighting the
Crusader/ Rafidite Shi'ite occupation of Iraq.
After Shaykh Abu Mus'ab's martyrdom in 2006, leadership of his group was
transferred to Shaykh Abu Hamza al-Muhajir (may Allah have mercy on him), a
former member of the Egyptian Jihad Group, who soon announced (without
consulting al-Qa'eda's central command) the dissolution of the group and the
formation of what was known as the Islamic State of Iraq under the leadership
of Shaykh Abu ‘Umar al-Baghdadi (may Allah have mercy on him), which in turn
declared its allegiance to al-Qa'eda's central command, except that this time
the bay'at (pledge) was kept secret at the request of the brothers in Iraq.
The ISI was controversial from the outset and many in Iraq and elsewhere felt
that the way it was declared and some of the policies it had were detrimental
to the interests of the Jihad and Mujahideen, but despite this, the leadership
of al-Qa'eda continued to support the ISI while at the same time providing
advice and instructions and working for reform behind the scenes.
Then in 2010, Shaykh Abu ‘Umar al-Baghdadi and Shaykh Abu Hamza al-Muhajir were
martyred (may Allah have mercy on them). Following their martyrdom, a new
leadership of the ISI emerged, one largely unknown to al-Qa'eda's central
command. This new leadership (led by one Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) also pledged its
allegiance to al-Qa'eda and stated unambiguously that it was at the beck and
call of al-Qa'eda's leaders. Almost immediately, signs began to appear that
this new leadership of the ISI was not of the same caliber as the old
leadership. However, al-Qa'eda was as patient as ever and continued its dual
policy of support and advice.
In early 2013, following a dispute between the leadership of the Islamic State
group and some of its commanders and fighters whom it had sent to help support
the popular revolution in Syria and defend the Muslims there from the brutality
of the Nusayrite and Rafidites, al-Baghdadi and his aides arrived in Syria and
proceeded to "solve" their internal organizational problems by creating a new
and much bigger problem with negative and far-reaching implications for the
Syrian Jihad and the Ummah as a whole. Their "solution" was to declare a new
"state" in Syria and Iraq called the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (the
Levant), also known as ISIS. This unilateral declaration of another "state"
(again made without consultation with al-Qa'eda's central command) was met with
shock and outrage from almost all quarters in Syria, and was seen as both a
gift to the enemies as well as an attempt by a single organization to hijack
the Syrian Jihad and steal its fruits.
Almost as soon as al-Baghdadi and his commanders arrived in Syria—and
especially after the announcement of ISIS—tensions ran high between them and
the other groups of Mujahideen in Syria, most of which ISIS accused right off
the bat of being Bughaat (rebels), deviants, agents of foreign powers or "Sahawaat"
("Awakening Councils") like the ones formed by the Americans and their proxies
during the occupation of Iraq to fight the Mujahideen; in other words, they
accused them of being apostates! The situation on the ground soon deteriorated
to the point of fighting and bloodshed, especially after the ISIS people began
stealing weapons, ammunitions and supplies meant for the Mujahideen on the
frontline of the war against the regime and taking over their bases,
warehouses, and supply depots; killing and kidnapping commanders and fighters
from the other groups on various pretexts; and targeting hundreds of local
activists, relief workers and media personnel affiliated with the Syrian
revolution for detention and disappearance.
Eventually, this low-level conflict exploded in January of 2014 into all-out
warfare between ISIS on one side and many of the Syrian Mujahideen and
revolutionaries on the other, who felt they had no choice but to defend
themselves and their Jihad against the brazen aggression of ISIS, whose ranks
were now swelled by thousands of fighters from other countries who had joined
it after arriving in Syria, and who now, instead of helping the Muslims in
Syria defend themselves against the murderous regime and topple it (and they
will topple it soon, Allah willing), were now posing—through their behavior—an
obstacle to the Jihad in Syria. As the number of Syrians in ISIS' ranks was and
is relatively small, ISIS was able to portray what was happening as an attack
on the "muhajireen", which was not the case; rather, it was a campaign meant to
defend the Jihad in Syria and prevent it from being derailed, and the fact that
ISIS was made up primarily of non-Syrians was incidental: i.e., if a 100%
Syrian group had behaved the way ISIS behaved, it would have been met with the
Even before the full-blown fighting started, numerous attempts had been made by
third parties to prevent the strife from escalating further and have disputes
settled in an independent Shari'ah court; and these attempts to bring the
strife to a halt intensified after the major battles began in January. But
everyone who intervened eventually came to the same conclusion: that one
faction— ISIS—had no intention of ending the fitnah (strife) nor of abiding by
the rulings of Shari'ah in its disputes with other Muslims and Mujahideen,
prompting even some of those who had once been its biggest sympathizers to
distance themselves from it after they realized the true nature of the group
and its un-Islamic use of deception and deceit.
And so, due to ISIS's evasiveness and unwillingness to compromise, the fighting
raged on and thousands fell on both sides; and to give you an idea of the
nature of the strife and the way ISIS has behaved during it, ISIS carried out
in the space of a few weeks no less than 24 suicide bombings against
headquarters and checkpoints of the other groups in Syria, as opposed to the
mere 8 martyrdom operations it carried out against targets of the Syrian regime
in the months between ISIS's arrival in Syria and the strife that began in
January 2014. Also, the indiscriminate killing and wholesale massacres have not
been limited to rival Mujahideen, but have included even unarmed Muslims in
areas where fighting is under way, such as the videotaped massacre of a group
of Syrians—including children—in a village near Aleppo by a Russian-speaking
unit of ISIS under the command of Abu Usaid al-Uzbeki, and the massacre of
hundreds of members of a single clan over a period of weeks in the province of
Deir-az-Zawr near the border with Iraq.
As for the leaders and commanders of the Mujahideen whom ISIS has admitted to
killing (or at least not denied killing), they include Shaykh Abu Khalid al
Suri—former deputy of Shaykh Abu Mus'ab al-Suri—Abu ‘Ubaidah al-Binshi,
Muhammad Faaris, Dr. Abu Rayyan and Commander Abu Mihjan of the group
Ahraar-ul-Sham; Abu Sa'ad al-Hadhrami and Abu Muhammad al-Fatih of the Nusra
Front (al-Qa'eda's branch in Syria) as well as al-Fatih's brother and their
wives and children; and others too many to mention here.
As for ISIS's categorizing of the other Mujahideen in Syria as apostates, it is
now official and no longer an open secret; see, for example, the communiqué of
the ISIS Shari'ah Council dated 16 Jumaada al-Aakhar 1435, which declares the
leadership and most of the members of the Islamic Front (one of the largest
unions of Mujahideen in Syria) to be apostates, and legitimized fighting them
like apostates are fought, all on the basis of classic Takfeeri logic and
arguments. This labeling of others as apostates has also extended to the
brothers in the Nusra Front and then to al-Qa'eda in general, after al-Qa'eda
cut its ties with the Iraqi branch, made it clear that it wasn't going to stand
by it in this fitnah, and denounced ISIS's baseless Takfeer of Muslims, its
killing and fighting of them without right and its refusal to arbitrate by
Shari'ah in its disputes. This, then, is the sad story of the Islamic State
group in brief, and the story is still unfolding; and one of the most recent
deviations of this group is its unilateral declaration of a "caliphate" (with
its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi playing the role of "caliph,") while at the
same time calling on all other groups of Mujahideen to pledge allegiance to it
and openly claiming that the bay'ats (pledges of allegiance) of other groups
are baatil (null and void) wherever its soldiers are to be found!
Please sum up the most prominent or important deviations of the Islamic State
group in as few words as possible.
Ok, but before I do so, I think it is important to emphasize to the readers and
to our brothers in Iraq, Syria and everywhere else that it is not our intent
today to belittle the Jihad and sacrifices of any person or persons or deny
anyone their due or diminish
from any achievements they may have made or imply that they have no positive
side, nor do we mean to portray them as having perished. No! "Allah does not
let the reward of those who do good go to waste," (Qur'an 9:120) and: "If
someone says the people have been ruined, he is the most ruined of them" (Saheeh
Allah knows that we do not like to focus on the flaws and shortcomings of any
Muslim, much less a group which includes in its ranks hundreds if not thousands
of Mujahideen. However, if we truly want to achieve reform and success, and if
we truly want to do justice to the sacrifices of the martyrs and captives and
complete the mission started by those Mujahideen who went before us, then we
must call a spade a spade, a deviation a deviation and a mistake a mistake, and
we must explain frankly and clearly the difference between right and wrong, and
we must do what is necessary to stop the oppressor from his oppression and the
wrongdoer from his wrongdoing, and we must warn our Ummah against helping him
as long as he persists in his oppression and wrong doing.
Otherwise, we will be doomed to repeat our own mistakes and the mistakes of
others over and over again, and lasting victory and success will continue to
elude us, and Allah will hold us to account in this world and the next. As for
the most prominent and dangerous deviations of the Islamic State group, they
are as follows:
• First, committing murder, oppression and injustice against Muslims and
• Second, refusing to stop fighting with other Mujahideen and agree to abide by
the rulings of Shari'ah in its disputes with them.
• Third, disregarding the rulings, opinions and advice of all the well-known
‘Ulama of the Mujahideen.
• Fourth, ghuloo (extremism) in Takfeer (this being perhaps the root cause of
all the other deviations).
• Fifth, changing the direction of the fighting from the primary threats to
Islam and Muslims in order to focus on conflicts with other groups of Muslims,
best, on secondary threats and enemies.
• Sixth, trying to force itself on the Muslims as their governing body and
considering its ameer to be their legitimate ruler without consulting the
representatives of the Ummah or getting their approval.
• And seventh, spreading fitnah and dissent within the groups of Mujahideen in
various theaters of Jihad and attempting to split their ranks.
[Page 46-49, Resurgence]