?Risalat al-Mujahideen? is a new monthly magazine published by the ?Minbar Souriyya al-Islami? [Islamic Forum of Syria], which is opposed to the ?Syrian Baathi Christian regime,? as the magazine calls it. The first issue was posted to the Internet on December 14, 2004, to the website of the Islamic Forum of Syria, www.nnuu.org , ?established so that the truth of this blaspheming Christian Baathi regime be clear to people, for the Christian regime is relentlessly trying to keep the truth hidden, in order for it to continue pillaging the country, and taking the people into slavery.?
Although this magazine is largely focused on Syrian internal affairs, it also stimulates the youth in the area once known as Bilad al-Cham to go for the Jihad. Like any other Jihadi publication the magazine attacks America, Israel, Christians and Jews, but this publication further focuses on the Syrian regime and calls for carrying out the Jihad in the country of the Cham. The magazine aims to foment a revolution in Syria, and seems to be inspired by the current situation in Iraq. For instance, after noting that ?Syria signs a security agreement with Iraq against the Mujahideen,? the publication comments that ?This news reveals the truth of this Christian regime that is opposed to the Mujahideen in Iraq. It also reveals the collaboration with America of the Syrian regime.? Another section notes that Syria?s perceived willingness to resume negotiations with Israel and comments that ?The Christian regime is relentlessly trying to please its masters, the Zionists and the Americans, so that they do not take it out of the game permanently and replace it with another collaborator, like what happened to the Iraqi Baathi regime.?
This publication?s primary thrust, then, seems to be to raise awareness of the Jihad and to bring revolution (as some now see unfolding in Iraq with its insurgency) to Syria. Noteworthy is the symbolism of referring to Syria by the historical name ?Bilad al-Cham,? which mirrors Zarqawi?s eschewal of the word ?Iraq? in naming his organization ?Tanzeem Qaedat al-Jihad Fi Bilad al-Rafidayn? [the Base of the Jihad in the Country of Two Rivers]; both references betray a dismissal of the colonial order and a lack of respect for the national borders emerging from it.
Translated text of magazine is provided to our Intel Service members.