The New AMEF Forum: ‘Ansar Alkhelafa Europe’

January 19, 2016

Introduction

Ansar Alkhelafa Europe (AKE), an online jihadi forum that publishes Islamic State (ISIS) content, is a reincarnation of the Ansar Al-Mujahideen English Forum (AMEF), which for years was a top jihadi forum that catered to English-speaking audiences. In June 2015, AMEF announced that it was closing, naming as reasons for doing so “current developments” and its desire to provide “the best media platform” for the mujahideen in Syria. Later, however, it announced that it was launching AKE, and invited those wishing to join it to contact the AKE administrators.

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AKE banner

Prior to its shutdown, AMEF was unaffiliated with any jihad group; it operated on the Clearnet, the visible and indexed part of the Internet, via the domain ansar1.info. In contrast, AKE was created for the sole purpose of supporting ISIS, and to appeal specifically to European Muslims to do the same. AKE operates on the Clearnet via the domain alkhelafa.eu. AMEF functioned as a tightly knit community, rarely opening its doors to outsiders and enforcing strict security measures to sift through and ban any lurkers; AKE appears to take the same approach. For example, in order to join, applicants must be vouched for by other members who are already trusted. It also appears that some of AMEF’s admins and long-standing members have migrated to AKE’s, and are possibly members of its “shura council.”


AMEF’s announcement, on ansar1.info, about shutting down and opening AKE.

AKE’s presumable European-ISIS connections – it calls itself “Supporters of the Caliphate [in] Europe,” was established as a specific platform to support ISIS and to call upon European Muslims to do likewise, and appeals more broadly to English speakers in general – warrant a closer look at it.

AKE is password-protected, and does not currently offer a direct way for users to join. Interested parties must submit a request form to AKE’s admins.

Applying To Join AKE – The Process

AKE’s application process appears to be stricter than that of its predecessor, AMEF – whose application process was, as of 2011, similar to that of other top-tier jihadi forums.

The application to become an AKE member begins with contacting the AKE administrators via a contact form on the website, which asks for the applicant’s name and email address. AKE administrators reply with an email asking about the prospective member’s religious doctrine, reasons for wanting to join the forum, social media accounts they have had, and any technical skills they possess by means of which they can contribute to the forum – in addition to the names of “trusted individuals,” likely referring to existing AKE members, who can vouch for them if necessary.

Currently, the application process for joining other top-tier jihadi forums, such as Al-Fida’ and Shumoukh Al-Islam, is much simpler. To begin with, these forums hold open registration several times a year; also, a user is typically granted immediate access after submitting basic information and a brief request for membership. Also, members can remain dormant as passive observers for extended periods of time on the forum without ever being asked to contribute to discussions and so on.

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