The Battalion of Muhammad’s Army [henceforth BMA, Arabic: Katibat Jaish Muhammad] is a small independent jihad group of some 150 fighters operating in northwestern Syria. On June 10, 2015, the group launched a Twitter account in French (@JM_Sham), apparently operated by a French fighter, which imparts information about the group’s activities and policies and also answers questions from the public. The choice to communicate in French – rather than Arabic or English – is interesting, especially since about 20 of the group’s fighters are French, and more may be French-speaking. (The group does have an Arabic Twitter account as well, @shal1001, but it is inactive).
The following is a profile of BMA based on the information provided on its Twitter account. An examination of this group – which, despite its small size, remains staunchly independent of both Jabhat Al-Nusra (JN) and the Islamic State (ISIS) – can provide an interesting and fresh perspective on the jihad arena.
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