Center for Strategic Communication

Adam Gadahn, the American traitor who works with al Qaeda’s General Command as a propagandist, has released a videotape acknowledging the death of Abu Khalid al Suri, the terror group’s representative to Syria who was killed last month. In the video, Gadahn vows that al Qaeda will avenge Abu Khalid’s death, and notes that he had served under the al Qaeda leader in Afghanistan.

According to the SITE Intelligence Group, which obtained and translated the video, Gadahn’s videotaped statement was released yesterday on the YouTube and Twitter accounts of a jihadist, and not on the al Qaeda-linked jihadist forums.

The video also does not bear the logo of As Sahab, al Qaeda’s official media outlet. The video was posted by a jihadist who goes by the name “sticky bomb” and who is supportive of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham.

Without directly naming the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS), an al Qaeda splinter group disowned by al Qaeda’s General Command last month, Gadahn intimates that the ISIS was responsible for Abu Khalid’s death. Abu Khalid was killed in a suicide attack in Aleppo towards the end of February. While no group has claimed the attack, the ISIS has been actively battling the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front, and has used suicide bombers against both jihadist groups.

“The fingers of accusation have been pointed at a group that is known for its extreme nature and radical behavior, and its tyranny and its going against the people of Islam and jihad in Syria, and the scholars and knowledgeable ones from among the mujahideen everywhere,” Gadahn says. He also claims that “thousands have fallen from both sides” during the jihadist internecine warfare.

Gadahn then says that he “cannot confirm nor deny the accusations that are directed at the aforementioned group for this sinful attack and condemnable crime,” and calls for “a comprehensive investigation.” After the investigation, al Qaeda would take “the necessary procedures against the perpetrators according to the Shariah of Allah.”

Lamenting the death of Abu Khalid, the al Qaeda propagandist notes that he served under Abu Khalid as “a soldier in one of the jihadi groups” during “the time of the Islamic Emirate,” a reference to Afghanistan during the time of Taliban rule.

“The days that I spent in that group [commanded by Abu Khalid] were unforgettable,” Gadahn states.

Gadahn also notes that Abu Khalid was “a deputy to” Abu Musab al Suri (Mustafa Setmariam Nasar), who is a major al Qaeda ideologue. Gadahn indicates that Abu Musab remains in prison, presumably held by the Syrian government, by stating “may Allah release him” after mentioning his name. Abu Khalid himself also indicated in a message released in January that Abu Musab remained in custody. [See Threat Matrix report, Alleged message from Zawahiri’s Syrian representative posted online.]

Abu Khalid al Suri was a longtime al Qaeda operative and a founding member of Ahrar al Sham, one of six Islamist groups in the Islamic Front. At the time of his death, Abu Khalid was a senior leader in Ahrar al Sham. Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s emir, appointed Abu Khalid as al Qaeda’s special representative in Syria in 2013.