Who is Pushing for a New IS Province in Jordan?

Mar 17, 2016

Jordan has been the focus of two video messages published this month by supporters of the Islamic State. The first video was released on March 13 under the title "A pledge of allegiance from the people of Jordan to the Caliph Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi," and it was signed "Jordan Province Media Office." The video, which threatens and attacks the Jordanian regime for collaborating with Israel and the West against Muslims, lacks quality and sophistication. It was not followed by any official confirmation from recognized IS institutions, nor was it mentioned in any official IS publication.

A second video was released on March 16 under the title "A testament of four lions of the unity of God from Jordan who immigrated to the Islamic State." The video shows four different Jordanian IS fighters reading their final testaments before embarking on suicide missions in Iraq. This video was issued by the Al-Thibat (Steadfastness) Media Foundation, a relatively new and unofficial outlet, but one that is considered to reflect the atmosphere in IS circles.

Both videos came out shortly after Jordanian security forces carried out a large-scale raid on what they described as an IS cell in the city of Irbid on March 2. To date, IS has made no official declarations that would suggest that the group is about to announce a new "province" in Jordan. However, in view of recent events and unofficial publications, we can infer that there is at least an attempt by pro-IS jihadists in the country to gain recognition from Al-Baghdadi, perhaps through ties with IS members. Official recognition, however, is usually given by IS leadership only to groups that have demonstrated both operational capabilities and survivability. Thus far, Jordan has not produced any group that has met these criteria.


Jordanian IS fighters in Iraq