Online Jihadi Cleric Abu Sa'd Al-'Amili Celebrates Toulouse Murders as Advent of the Western Al-Qaeda Fighter, Says: 'Mujahideen Should Attack France and Undermine Its Stability'

Special Dispatch Series No. 4627,  April 2, 2012

Muhammad Merah's March 2012 shooting spree and subsequent death in a police siege in Toulouse, France caused a furor on jihadi forums. Exploiting the extensive coverage of the affair in France and worldwide, forum members leveraged it for propaganda purposes, emphasizing the effectiveness of lone wolf tactics and claiming that the West had been terrorized by a single jihad operative.

A prime example of the jihadi euphoria over the affair was an essay titled "The Lessons and Secrets of the Toulouse Raid," by one of the online jihad community's prolific writers, a cleric writing under the name of Abu Sa'd Al-'Amili. The essay celebrated Merah's attacks, and hailed him as a hero who had set an example for a new generation of Western Al-Qaeda fighters operating in the enemy's own lands. In his essay, Al-'Amili stressed that France was both one of the main enemies of the Muslims and a major target for the mujahideen, and encouraged further attacks on it.

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