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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Letter By ISIS Fighter To Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Reveals ISIS-Sinai's Ties To Hamas.

Letter By ISIS Fighter To Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Reveals ISIS-Sinai's Ties To Hamas. (Memri).

On February 24, 2016, a letter from an Islamic State (ISIS) fighter to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was posted on social media. In it, the fighter strongly protests the close ties and cooperation between ISIS's Sinai province and Hamas, particularly Hamas's military wing.

This letter is the first confirmation of ties between the two organizations that comes from ISIS itself, and a unique firsthand account of the nature of these ties. It appears that the document was not meant for circulation outside ISIS, and to have been leaked by Al-Qaeda supporters.[1]

The letter is by ISIS fighter Abu 'Abdallah Al-Muhajir, who presents himself as a Gazan who joined ISIS in Syria. He writes that he decided to appeal to Al-Baghdadi in order to fulfill his duty as a Muslim to give loyal advice to the leader of the Muslims. His letter is based on his own personal knowledge from his time in Gaza, as well as on information provided to him by other fighters who came to Syria from the Gaza Strip.

With regard to the ties between Hamas and ISIS's Sinai Province, Abu 'Abdallah explains the areas in which the groups collaborate:
ISIS fighters in Sinai are smuggling weapons into Gaza for Hamas; Hamas is producing weapons and explosive devices for ISIS Sinai; Hamas is providing logistical assistance to ISIS Sinai, including communications systems and hospitalization for its wounded fighters in Gaza; and ISIS Sinai officials are visiting Gaza and dining at the homes of Hamas government and military wing officials.

Abu 'Abdallah says that he considers these Hamas-ISIS Sinai ties a violation of the principle of loyalty to the Muslims and rejection of non-Muslims (Al-Walaa Wal-Baraa), stating ISIS considers Hamas a movement that has betrayed Islam and that as such there is no justification, even on the pretext of tactical, operational, and logistical necessity, for maintaining ties with it.

Noting that what motivated him to take the unusual step of writing directly to Al-Baghdadi was the rising rage and frustration among ISIS supporters in Gaza who feel abandoned by the ISIS leadership and by ISIS Sinai, Abu 'Abdallah expresses harsh criticism of ISIS Sinai for its warm relationship with Hamas.

Hamas, he says, is persecuting and torturing ISIS loyalists, and adds that the disconnect between ISIS supporters in Gaza and ISIS Sinai itself is so great that the Gaza jihadis are now questioning the sincerity of ISIS Sinai's loyalty to ISIS itself and are hesitant to join with it.

Abu 'Abdallah's letter caused a stir among ISIS supporters, particularly in Gaza, both because of its content and because such a direct appeal to ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi had been posted online.

A group of pro-ISIS media activists in Gaza, Al-Nusra Al-Maqdisiya, which publishes and disseminates pro-ISIS materials on social media. responded to the letter's publication; however, it denied neither Abu 'Abdallah's claims in the letter, nor the details he gave about the Hamas-ISIS Sinai relationship. It was merely enraged because he mentioned the group his the letter. Read the full story here.

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