Salafi-jihadi groups in the Gaza Strip have recently launched Twitter fundraising campaigns to finance their activities, with the stated goal of purchasing weapons and ammunition, paying jihad fighters’ salaries, financing military activity, and otherwise aiding in waging the war against Israel. The campaigns remind supporters that the “money jihad” is religiously important and propagate the idea that while it is not equal to active participation in jihad, assisting the jihad via financial contributions is still a religious obligation. Gaza jihadi groups are also using Twitter to provide information for contacting the campaigns and for donating via other services such as Skype, Whatsapp, Gmail, and the Telegram messenger app. The campaigns have been endorsed by online jihadi activists.
The following are two major Twitter fundraising campaigns for Gaza Salafi-jihadis:
The Nafir Al-Aqsa Campaign
The Nafir Al-Aqsa (“Mobilizing For Al-Aqsa”) campaign was launched on Twitter (@nafeeraq) on November 1, 2014. Those behind the campaign do not identify themselves with any group, but the endorsements received clearly show that they are associated with pro-Islamic State (ISIS) elements in Gaza. The campaign’s Twitter account promotes its Skype and Gmail addresses, and encourages supporters to contact it through the Telegram messenger app, which encrypts messages. The phone number provided uses the 970 Palestinian Authority country code.
In a series of tweets, the campaign administrators explained the campaign’s goals and why the campaign is necessary. A November 1, 2014 tweet read: “The campaign aims to equip the Jerusalem [area] mujahideen striving to raise the banner of monotheism, repel the Jews’ aggression and liberate Al-Aqsa Mosque. Your brothers, the lions of monotheism [Salafi-jihadis] in Jerusalem [area] and Gaza, have suffered greatly due to the shortage of funds which [in turn] led to shortages in military equipment and procurement, and as a result of which many operations were cancelled. In the recent war on Gaza, your brothers had difficulty providing money for meals before and after the [day’s] Ramadan fast, let alone for [purchasing] military equipment and ammunition. Sadly, most of the Sunni-provided support goes to the nationalist groups, while your brothers sometime cannot [even] afford to bury their martyrs.”
Nafir Al-Aqsa campaign poster providing contact details on Gmail, Twitter, and Skype.
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