In a previous post I provided a translation and analysis of the first article in a series in the Islamic State's al-Naba' newsletter that discusses the group's insurgent tactic of temporarily taking control of areas. That first article emphasized the point that the guerrilla forces of the Islamic State, in pursuing this tactic, would not seek to enter into a decisive confrontation with enemy forces. This second article in the series discusses in-depth the goals of these expeditions. In summary, the objectives can be as follows:
- Inflicting damage on the enemy (nikaya) while also taking necessary war spoils (ghanima) for the mujahideen to continue their operations.
- Freeing prisoners by various means, including launching raids to destroy documentation that might incriminate prisoners, thus their release is secured through the courts for lack of evidence.
- Harassing the enemy whereby they may send reinforcements to an area under attack but the Islamic State fighters will have laid ambushes and IEDs for the reinforcement convoys.
- Forcing the enemy to concentrate large forces in certain areas, preventing them from utilizing their full force to attack the mujahideen.
- Demonstrate the strength of the mujahideen and perhaps force the 'hypocrites' and apostates to abandon their support for the idolatrous tyrants (Tawagheet) and repent. Those hypocrites and apostates may be deterred from joining the ranks of the enemy army in certain areas, while Muslims feel more confident to join and support the mujahideen.
- The enemy can gradually be broken down allowing the mujahideen to secure tamkeen (control/being enabled) in certain places. At first the enemy will try to secure all areas, then be forced to protect more vital ones while losing complete control over others (e.g. granting Islamic State effective control of certain places by night), paving the way for tamkeen.
Below is the article translated in full with the original text.
Bringing down the towns temporarily as a method of operation for the mujahideen 2
There are numerous aims of the mujahideen from using this method (tactics) in their long-term war against the disbelievers, and especially in the stage of fighting in the form of guerrilla groups preceding tamkeen. Among the aims is what is directly achieved during the hours of the expedition, and what is achieved in the medium and long term, and especially with the repetition of this method multiple times, and the distribution of attacks over wide areas.
Nikaya and ghanima
Among the most important direct aims is inflicting nikaya [damage] on the enemy and their supporters through taking them prisoner, killing them and seizing or burning their wealth, and that is in order to weaken their force and push them to abandon fighting the mujahideen and so that the apostates may repent from their apostasy.
Also among the aims to take the wealth of the disbelievers in booty and spoils, and secure the needs of the mujahideen in weapons, ammunition, fuel, vehicles, food, medicine and wealth and other things. This is especially so when it is difficult to secure these needs on the account of the weakness of their own hand or because their enemies have imposed the siege on them. In such a case getting provisions for oneself from the enemy and their supporters is the best and most blessed means by the permission of God Almighty.
Among the aims also is to free the prisoners of the Muslims who are held in the prisons of the enemy or their stations and security centres: through assaulting them, breaking their walls and breaking their locks, or taking prisoner a number of the leaders of the enemy and their soldiers and supporters, which can allow for the ransom of prisoners through them. Or the means might even consist of destroying the documents that condemn them and are present in the security centres or courts of the Taghut, which will facilitate- by the permission of God Almighty- the closing of the open cases for them in those courts, on account of the lack of evidence against them.
And likewise the aim from assaulting a village or locality and assaulting the enemy in it is to harass the enemy into sending forces from neighbouring regions to save their soldiers who seek help from them, while there will lie in wait for the reinforcements ambushes of the mujahideen and their IEDs on the ways to slaughter them, and inflict on them the greatest losses. And through the repetition of the operation of harassment and traps multiple times, the enemy will fall into a dilemma between being pushed to save their forces that are exposed to attack, and the safety of their forces that they will send for the purpose of rescuing and which may fall into deadly ambushes.
Things get to the point that any position for the enemy refuses to offer support and relief for the neighbouring positions, and the request is for every position to rely on itself, while the soldiers may resort to fleeing from the positions or surrendering when they are exposed to an attack that they consider to be beyond their ability of defend against, amid their despair about the coming of any allied support to help them. And the harassment may be longer term than this and that is when the enemy fortify themselves in their positions, and move with strong caution between them, and refrain from entering the regions in which it is easy for the mujahideen to hunt them. In that case, it is possible to harass them through assaulting the villages and localities that are weakly protected, and realizing nikaya against their soldiers and followers, and adopting that as a means to humiliate them and bloody their noses in the soil, which may push them to come out of their fortresses to pursue the mujahideen, and seek revenge against them, and being pushed without taking precaution towards regions of danger.
The mujahideen will have done well in paving these areas with IEDs and fields of mines, ambushes, and concentrations of snipers and hunters of armored vehicles, such that it would result in an incineration of their soldiers and vehicles that they could only get out with great losses, and they return to their fortresses, worn out with wounds and determined not to return to pursue the mujahideen again. This then permits for them greater freedom of movement in the areas of their operation, and then they can repeat the harassment of them in a greater form to push them again to dangerous mobilization.
Fixing down the enemy
And to the complete contrary of that, the aim of the mujahideen in attacking the villages and localities may be to compel the enemy to fix great forces in them in order to defend them and protect their interests, reinforcement routes and supporters. And the importance of this becomes prominent when the enemy desire to implement an attack on the positions of the mujahideen, and that is in barring them from a great portion of the power of their army that will be expended on protecting targets that may be of little importance. This is especially so when the mujahideen repeatedly assault villages in areas far off from each other. In this case, the enemy are forced to distribute their forces over wide areas, as they fear the occurrence of penetration in any place, and it is better that the mujahideen choose for their targets areas that are distant from where they expect the enemy to attack, so that the enemy may not benefit from the forces that they designate to defend the villages and localities in reinforcement and support when they need to do so.
Repressing the hypocrites and supporting the believers
And among the aims of these expeditions is to break the force of the apostates, and raise the zeal of the Muslims, for the hypocrites, when they see weakness from the mujahideen and supremacy for the Tawagheet and their armies, they are pushed towards apostasy, affiliating with the armies of disbelief, and supporting them against the Muslims and spying for their interest against the mujahideen. And likewise they are blocked off in harming the Muslims and their families, especially those of them who are in the ranks of the mujahideen or supporting them, at a time when many of the people of faith in this stage face humiliation and weakness imposed on them, and many of them hesitate to join the mujahideen out of fear of harm coming to them and their family.
And therefore when the mujahideen launch assaults against the hypocrites and apostates in their areas, arrest their heads, inflict punishment on the apostates, and destroy their wealth for whose sake they have apostasised from the religion of God Almighty, and likewise show them the inability of the armies of the Tawagheet to protect them, this will push those of them who have been safe from the power of the mujahideen to abandon what they are upon, and perhaps it will lead them to repenting from disbelief, while it strengthens the determination of the Muslims, and heals their hearts from those who have oppressed them, and helps them strengthen their faith in the victory of God Almighty for them and their brothers, and jihad against their enemies.
And this matter is very important not only in distancing the people from apostasy and luring them to Islam, but also it has a great role in weakening the enemy army, by reducing the averages of enlistment of fighters from the inhabitants of the area into its ranks, and likewise all other forms of cooperation from offering information or offering support, and that is out of fear of the consequence of the mujahideen for the one who apostasises from the religion of God Almighty in that. At the same time the Muslims are encouraged to help the mujahideen, when they see their force and ability to defeat their enemies, by the permission of God Almighty, and their certainty in their victory against them.
Paving the way for tamkeen
And likewise this method in fighting may be made a cause by God Almighty in the realization of tamkeen for the mujahideen in the land, and that after the repeated implementation of the method many times in multiple areas, for the enemy will at first try to cover all the areas, in a permanent sense or in the way of making available reinforcements on alert to enter into a battle against the mujahideen in any region in which they appear, while showing their army in the beginning to be active in this regard.
But with the repeated occurrence of the matter, and the multiplying of great losses in their arms, it becomes necessary for the army to choose between reasons according to the degree of their importance with regards to them or the mujahideen, so at first the connection between the sectors of the army present in the neighbouring areas ends, so that each area becomes responsible for its own security, and that is on account of the danger of moving forces between areas during the attacks upon them. Then they are compelled to offer protection to the areas that they are very concerned to protect, or prevent the mujahideen from seizing them, while partially leaving other areas, such that they lose control over them in specific times (during the night for example) or longer than that as their presence is limited to temporary moments in which they strengthen their presence through great convoys patrolling with them between the regions over which they have lost complete control. And it is expected that the mujahideen will avoid clashing with them in them temporarily, for when they encounter some painful strikes, or become preoccupied with another matter, they leave those areas totally, and they become areas devoid of control, which paves the way for the mujahideen to have tamkeen in them by the permission of God Almighty.
So these are some of the important aims that the mujahideen strive to realize through temporary control over areas, and we will discuss in the next article by the permission of God Almighty the means of implementing this method of combat. And praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds.