Abu Bakr Shishani (Muslim’s Former Military Amir) Has His Own Jamaat

Two sources say that Abu Bakr Shishani, Muslim Shishani’s former military amir, has his own jamaat in Latakia.

Abu Bakr left the (pretty much defunct) Junud al-Sham (Muslim Shishani’s jamaat) last year to fight alongside Ajnad al-Kavkaz.

Abu Bakr with Abdul Hakim Shishani

Now he’s got his own jamaat, which according to one source is named Seiful Sham (Мечь Шама). However, it’s a very tiny jamaat so far. It’s based in Latakia (the “Syrian Caucasus”).

While we’re here, just to note that I am writing in-depth analyses for IHS Janes, which is where I’m putting my research and information-gathering, though I will still post here when relevant (and when I have time). I’m happy with the way my work is going. So if you can, I’d suggest you subscribe 🙂

Also: one thing I’ve been considering doing here is writing some thoughts on the shortcomings and pitfalls of OSINT, especially social media, which is often taken out of context, because it is so easy to do so. Just because a particular group or individual has a social media account and makes claims there does not mean that those claims are literally true*. Everything has a front and a back, sometimes the front is the same size as the back but often, this is not the case. So we need to understand the context in which the claims are being made, the personalities making them, which unfortunately for a click-based media world requires a lot more time and effort than watching a video (and does require sources and information beyond the social media). I think this is one area in which journalism (as opposed to analysis, or even blogging and yes there are overlaps) is limited, because journalism seeks to storify (and increasingly and depressingly, sensationalize) and in many cases we don’t have a story, just raggedy-edged pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that without context are misleading.

Not everything is a sensational story (sorry). Sometimes it’s boring or ordinary and you won’t be able to use the words “Al Qaeda” or “hotbed” in your headline. Also, information shifts, things change (often rapidly), different sources have different opinions and different experiences because they are people, you will never know everything, collecting information is hard and time consuming, and analyzing information is tricky.

*We know this from our own social media and from advertising. Right?