In a new video, "A Lone Mujahid or An Army By Itself," posted by Al Malahem, the media arm of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), on AQAP’s official Telegram channel, AQAP leader Qasim Al Rimi commending Omar Mateen, the ISIS-inspired jihadist who carried out the 2016 Orlando night club shooting, and urged Muslims living in the West to carry out similar attacks to avenge the killings of Muslims around the world.
[Editor’s note: Read Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) Executive Director Steve Stalinsky’s Homeland Security Today report, Platform Preferences: Jihadis Thrive on ‘Telegram’ App’s Versatility, Making it a Top Online Terror Tool]
Al Rimi, who blamed the US for the "tragic" situation of Muslims in many parts of the world, commended Mateen, “saying that the operation he carried out pleased the widows and orphans all over the world,” said MEMRI, which monitors jihadi social media.
MEMRI reported, “He then reminded Muslims living in the West of the rewards Allah has promised those who die while fighting for His sake, and suggested that they carry out simple operations, saying, ‘Don’t complicate matters. Take it easy and simple and the same as our brother Omer Mateen did; he took an AK-47 and headed towards their gatherings and attacked them … If such operations were to continue whenever there is a tragedy upon Muslims,’ he said ‘we will be transferring the tragedy back to them and it will be an eye for an eye.’”
Al Rimi concluded his message “by reminding the mujahideen of the rewards Allah has prepared for them, stressing that those who carry out operations in the West will contribute in ‘alleviating the distress’ of the mujahideen everywhere,” MEMRI translated.
The AQAP leader’s message comes on the heels of ISIS having called on jihadists to find ways of buying and acquiring firearms to wage holy war on Western infidels in the article, Just Terror Tactics, published in the 9th issue of ISIS’s magazine, Rumiyah, released. The report said, “The acquisition of firearms can be very simple, depending on one’s geographical location.”
The AQAP leader also noted the “important role the mujahideen who live in Western countries can play, saying he views them not as a ‘lone Mujahid,’ but rather as a ‘brigade’ and an ‘army’ belonging to the Islamic ummah,” MEMRI said. “Addressing the mujahideen in the West, Al Rimi said, ‘Know that when you carry out an operation in your homeland, the enemy continuously carries out thousands of operations on a daily basis upon your mother, brother, father, sister and neighbors.’”
MEMRI said, “After emphasizing that all Muslims, regardless of their nationalities, belong to one entity – the Islamic Ummah – and that there is no difference between an American Muslim and an Australian one, Al Rimi said, ‘If every operation carried out by the Jew and Israel against our brothers in Palestine or carried out by the Americans in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sham and in the Arabian Peninsula or anywhere else, if every operation against the Muslims were to be retaliated by a single Muslim living in the West and resulting in the killing of many Americans, then what do you think will happen (as a result)?’”