July 11, 2013

Foreign Fighters in Syria: The Muhajireen Army

The Jaysh al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (The Army of Emigrants and Helpers) was officially formed at the end of March, 2013.  It began as three different groups, including the Kataeb al-Muhajireen (The Brigade of Emigrants), the Kataeb al Khattab (The Brigade of Khattab), and the Jaysh Muhammad (Army of Muhammad).  The latter two were Syrian groups, while the first consisted of Chechens, Turks, Tajiks, Pakistanis, French, Egyptians, Moroccans, and others.  A group of jihadists, including Chechens and Bangladeshis, were arrested in London in October 2012, planning to join the Muhajireen Brigade, and in March, a Swedish jihadist known as Abu Kamal as Swedee was killed while fighting with the Brigade.

The Muhajireen Brigade first became visible in early 2013, led by a veteran Chechen commander known as Abu Omar al Chechen, or Abu Omar al Shishani.  While Chechen fighters had been spotted on Syrian battlefields for months, it wasn’t until February that there was any official mention of the Muhajireen Brigade.  That was when Abu Omar appeared in a video with 19 other jihadists on Kavkaz Center‘s website.


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About the Author

is a former Reconnaissance Marine and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He deployed to Iraq in 2005-2006, and again in 2007, with 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Recon Bn. After two years of schools and workups, including Scout/Sniper Basic and Team Leader's Courses, he deployed to Afghanistan with 4th Platoon, Force Reconnaissance Company, I MEF. He is now the author of the military thrillers Task Force Desperate, Hunting in the Shadows, and Alone and Unafraid.

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  • gipbmac

    John Matrix LOL - I thought the same thing when I first saw the pic!...

  • gipbmac

    John Matrix LOL - I thought the same thing when I first saw the pic!...

  • K-Dog623

    PeteN K-Dog623 clluelo Okay thanks guys for all the clarification.

  • clluelo

    With orange beards! Sorry I had to do that Lol

  • PeteN

    K-Dog623 clluelo PeteN There are two general agendas, but within those umbrella movements there are a lot of ideological and tribal vendettas.  It's never simple.