Ahmad Musa Jibril

Ahmad Musa Jibril is an Arab-American Islamist preacher who has reportedly influenced Westerners to fight in the Syrian conflict.Joseph A. Carter, Shiraz Maher, and Peter R. Neumann, “#Greenbirds: Measuring Importance and Influence in Syrian Foreign Fighter Networks,” International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, April 2014, 8, http://icsr.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/ICSR-Report-Greenbirds-Measuring-Importance-and-Infleunce-in-Syrian-Foreign-Fighter-Networks.pdf. From his home in Michigan, Jibril produces Internet lectures that advocate a Salafist version of Islam that praises jihad, although he doesn’t specifically call upon his followers to join jihadi groups.Joseph A. Carter, Shiraz Maher, and Peter R. Neumann, “#Greenbirds: Measuring Importance and Influence in Syrian Foreign Fighter Networks,” International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, April 2014, 24, http://icsr.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/ICSR-Report-Greenbirds-Measuring-Importance-and-Infleunce-in-Syrian-Foreign-Fighter-Networks.pdf. A 2014 report by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) found that Jibril “adopts the role of a cheerleader: supporting the principles of armed opposition to Assad.”Joseph A. Carter, Shiraz Maher, and Peter R. Neumann, “#Greenbirds: Measuring Importance and Influence in Syrian Foreign Fighter Networks,” International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, April 2014, 23, http://icsr.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/ICSR-Report-Greenbirds-Measuring-Importance-and-Infleunce-in-Syrian-Foreign-Fighter-Networks.pdf. One of the suspected attackers in the June 3, 2017, London Bridge terrorist attack was reportedly radicalized while watching Jibril’s videos online.Martin Evans, Nicola Harley, Harry Yorke, “London terrorist had twice been referred to police over his extremist views,” Telegraph (London), June 4, 2017, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/04/london-terrorist-had-twice-referred-police-extremist-views/. Jibril has not maintained an active social media presence since 2014, but a group of followers created a series of social media accounts in his name in 2021. In December 2021, Jibril began responding to questions over the supporter-run Telegram channel.Ahmad Musā Jibrīl, Telegram channel, January 14, 2021.

In April 2014, ICSR researchers found that 60 percent of foreign fighters in Syria followed Jibril on Twitter.Joseph A. Carter, Shiraz Maher, and Peter R. Neumann, “#Greenbirds: Measuring Importance and Influence in Syrian Foreign Fighter Networks,” International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, April 2014, 19, http://icsr.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/ICSR-Report-Greenbirds-Measuring-Importance-and-Infleunce-in-Syrian-Foreign-Fighter-Networks.pdf. Jibril has directly praised Syrian rebels, comparing them to those fighting on behalf of Islam in the religion’s early days. Jibril’s followers have primarily joined al-Qaeda-affiliated groups, but some have joined ISIS as well.Joseph A. Carter, Shiraz Maher, and Peter R. Neumann, “#Greenbirds: Measuring Importance and Influence in Syrian Foreign Fighter Networks,” International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, April 2014, 24, http://icsr.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/ICSR-Report-Greenbirds-Measuring-Importance-and-Infleunce-in-Syrian-Foreign-Fighter-Networks.pdf. Jibril has been in direct contact with several foreign fighters and families of deceased fighters.Niraj Warikoo, “Dearborn cleric popular with militants faces travel, social media restrictions,” Detroit Free Press, July 7, 2014, http://www.freep.com/article/20140707/NEWS05/307070021/. Jibril “bridges the gap” for Westerners who may not understand Arabic, according to Shiraz Maher, one of the study’s co-authors.Clarissa Ward, “U.S. cleric inspiring jihadists in Syria?” CBS News, April 15, 2014, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fiery-speeches-lure-americans-to-fight-in-syria/. Jibril “provides the political and theological justification” and “comfort” to jihadists, according to ICSR director Peter Neumann.Clarissa Ward, “U.S. cleric inspiring jihadists in Syria?” CBS News, April 15, 2014, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fiery-speeches-lure-americans-to-fight-in-syria/.

On June 3, 2017, three men killed at least seven people and wounded at least 48 more in an ISIS-claimed terror attack in London. According to British authorities, one of the suspects radicalized by watching Jibril’s videos online.Martin Evans, Nicola Harley, Harry Yorke, “London terrorist had twice been referred to police over his extremist views,” Telegraph (London), June 4, 2017, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/04/london-terrorist-had-twice-referred-police-extremist-views/. Jibril’s YouTube page, https://www.youtube.com/user/AhmadMusaJibril, has more than 16,000 subscribers as of June 2017.Ahmad Jibril, YouTube channel, accessed June 5, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/user/AhmadMusaJibril/about. Jibril’s Twitter account, @ahmadmusajibril, has more than more than 43,000 followers.Ahmad Musa Jibril, Twitter page, accessed June 5, 2017, https://twitter.com/ahmadmusajibril. His Facebook page, under the name Shaykh Ahmad Musa Jibril, has more than 240,000 likes, although he has not updated it since July 2014.Ahmad Musa Jibril, Facebook page, accessed June 5, 2017, https://www.facebook.com/ShaykhAhmadMusaJibril/. A second Facebook page called “Gems of shaykh Ahmad Musa Jibril” is updated more regularly with Jibril’s lectures and videos. The page has more than 15,000 followers.“Gems of shaykh Ahmad Musa Jibril, Facebook page, accessed June 5, 2017, https://www.facebook.com/shaykhahmadmusajibrl/.

Jibril also maintains a blog at https://ahmadjibrilblog.wordpress.com/, but it has not been updated since December 2015. Jibril previously ran a now defunct Islamist website, AlSalafyoon.com, which included “fanatically anti-American sermons by militant Islamic clerics,” according to U.S. authorities.Mark Hosenball and David Ashenfelter, “U.S. preacher who inspires Syrian rebels faces Internet monitoring,” Reuters, June 9, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/09/us-usa-syria-preacher-idUSKBN0EK26F20140609. A group of Jibril’s followers created the website www.ahmadjibril.com/, which hosted lectures and articles by Jibril and his students but has not been updated since 2013.

Jibril also maintains a blog at https://ahmadjibrilblog.wordpress.com/, but it has not been updated since December 2015. Jibril previously ran a now defunct Islamist website, AlSalafyoon.com, which included “fanatically anti-American sermons by militant Islamic clerics,” according to U.S. authorities.Mark Hosenball and David Ashenfelter, “U.S. preacher who inspires Syrian rebels faces Internet monitoring,” Reuters, June 9, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/09/us-usa-syria-preacher-idUSKBN0EK26F20140609. A group of Jibril’s followers created the website www.ahmadjibril.com/, which hosts lectures and articles by Jibril and his students. As of 2017, the site had not been updated since 2013. The site had been deleted by December 2021.

Jibril is the U.S.-born son of Palestinian immigrants. He holds a degree in sharia (Islamic law) from the Islamic University in Saudi Arabia as well as a JD and LLM from a Michigan law school.Joseph A. Carter, Shiraz Maher, and Peter R. Neumann, “#Greenbirds: Measuring Importance and Influence in Syrian Foreign Fighter Networks,” International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, April 2014, 20, http://icsr.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/ICSR-Report-Greenbirds-Measuring-Importance-and-Infleunce-in-Syrian-Foreign-Fighter-Networks.pdf.

Jibril has been banned from at least two Michigan mosques due to his extremist views. In 2003, Jibril began to preach at the Masjid Umar Bin Khattab mosque in Brownstown, Michigan. Uninvited, he would rant about Shiites, the West, and Jews, according to Jawad Khan, then a 19-year-old college student and mosque attendee.“Extremism in Our Own Communities?” Beliefnet, June 2006, http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Islam/2006/06/Extremism-In-Our-Own-Communities.aspx. Khan recalled that Jibril would accuse the West of crimes against Islam and ask God to turn Jewish children into orphans.“Extremism in Our Own Communities?” Beliefnet, June 2006, http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Islam/2006/06/Extremism-In-Our-Own-Communities.aspx.

Jibril spent almost seven years in prison on fraud charges before he was released on probation in 2012. A federal judge restricted Jibril’s Internet and social-media access in June 2014 after Jibril violated his probation. The restrictions expired in March 2015. Jibril had not yet returned to his digital pulpit as of June 2017.Mark Hosenball and Alistair Bell, “U.S. online ban of militant Muslim preacher ends,” Reuters, April 7, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/07/us-usa-religion-imam-idUSKBN0MY2CP20150407. Nevertheless, online jihadists continue to share Jibril’s lectures and videos.Freya Noble, “Islamic prayer room in a Sydney university 'being used to radicalise students' - with messages urging them to watch YouTube clips from hate preachers,” Daily Mail (London), updated April 18, 2016, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3529193/Islamic-prayer-UTS-used-radicalise-students.html.

Jibril’s followers have launched multiple social media channels in his name, referring to them as Jibril’s official presence across multiple platforms. On December 1, 2021, students running Jibril’s Telegram channel posted Jibril had agreed to take questions from the more than 2,740 followers of the channel. According to the post, Jibril would record video responses to selected questions.Ahmad Musā Jibrīl, Telegram channel, January 14, 2021. Jibril’s followers have also created accounts on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.Ahmad Musā Jibrīl, Telegram channel, January 14, 2021. As of December 7, 2021, Jibril-related accounts had accrued 4,471 followers on Twitter,Ahmad Musā Jibrīl, Twitter account, accessed December 7, 2021, https://twitter.com/sh_Ahmad_Jibril. 2,110 followers on YouTube,Shaykh Ahmad Musā Jibrīl, YouTube account, accessed December 7, 2021, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpl5DotvksRjBrI7-kk9tCQ/videos?app=desktop&view=0&sort=dd&shelf_id=0. 107 followers on Facebook,Shaykh Ahmad Musā Jibrīl, Facebook account, accessed December 7, 2021, https://www.facebook.com/Shaykh-Ahmad-Mus%C4%81-Jibr%C4%ABl-111604854686683/. and 27,700 followers on Instagram.Shaykh Ahmad Jibril, Instagram account, accessed December 7, 2021, https://www.instagram.com/shaykh_ahmad_jibril/. Each account explicitly stated it was run by Jibril’s students.

Also Known As

Extremist entity
Unaffiliated
Type(s) of Organization:
N/A
Ideologies and Affiliations:
Salafist, Islamist
Position(s):
Preacher, recruiter, propagandist

  • Rhetoric
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