Irvadi Freedom Defence Front
|Irvadi Freedom Defence Front|
جبهة الدفاع عن الحرية
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Emblem of the Irvadi Freedom Defence Front
|Dates of operation||January 2017-present|
|Leader||Khalid Ali Haydari|
|Motives||Withdrawal of Koy forces from Irvadistan, establishment of an Islamic Collectivist state in Irvadistan, end of the Amin Kamel regime|
|Major actions||Numerous suicide bombings, Crimes against life and health, attacks against civilians, assassinations, hostage taking|
|Notable attacks||Mount Qaboun Hotel bombing, Tal Athbah bombing|
|Status||As of March 2017, has numerous cells across Irvadi regime territory.|
|Means of revenue||Irvadi Freedom Forum, Fellowship of Patriotic Irvadis, Irvadi Liberation Fund|
The Irvadi Freedom Defence Front or Freedom Defence Front (Arabic: جبهة الدفاع عن الحرية Jabhat al Difae an al-Hurria; IFDF, FDF, JDH), also known as the Black Hand (يد سوداء, Ed Sawda) is an Irvadi Islamic Collectivist and secular terrorist group, aiming to force the withdrawal of foreign forces from Irvadistan and the establishment of an Islamic Collectivist state. The group was formed in January 2017.
The Freedom Defence Front was reportedly established by an Irvadi army Captain, Khalid Ali Haydari, in opposition to what he called the "occupation of the motherland by Oriental oppressors", he also cited the continued domination of Koy officers over the Irvadi People's Defence Force as evidence of Irvadistan being "absorbed" into Koyro. The Front also opposes the Amin Kamel regime, blaming it for the rise of the Caliphate, the Irvadi Civil War and the allowing of the Koy occupation. Haydari was assisted by Mahmoud Bazrahi, a former government official who fled the country following the Caliphate's capture of Habroun in 2014.
According to the Irvadi Observatory for Human Rights, the FDF is comprised mostly of disgruntled Irvadi regular soldiers and some civilians. Due to Bazrahi's extensive stay in Ankoren, the IOHR believes that the FDF may be receiving support from Ankoren in terms of money, training and equipment. The IOHR also reports that the FDF may operate over 50 cells of various sizes across regime territory and operates a high quality media campaign, aimed at recruitment and the spreading of its message.
In April 2017, the FDF carried out its first major attack on the Mount Qaboun Hotel in Qufeira, killing 77 people including XX Koy and injuring 200 others. This was followed by a bombing of a restaurant in the Qush Tepa suburb of Tal Athbah, killing 14 people, including two close allies of President Kamel.
Membership and support
According to the IOHR, the FDF operates a highly de-centralised structure, in which the individual cells have virtually no contact with one another. They cite several statements by Front members in that cells can be of varying sizes, depending upon the area they're operating in. As a result, one unnamed FDF member claimed that a cell in the capital Qufeira has over 80 members, while a cell in a rural town between Qufeira and the cost has only six members.
Operations are planned and carried out by individual cells, which are generally devised in relation to a generalist instruction by the central leadership, in that targets must be of "relevance to the cause of liberation"; such as regime officials, regime properties, Koy officials and Koy soft targets. The central leadership, according to the IOHR has not ruled out mass casualty attacks against supporters of the regime.
The IOHR also states that the central leadership's role is focused upon recruitment, the creation of new cells and the media and propaganda effort.
Motives and objectives
In the online video posted on January 18 2017, declaring that the FDF had been formed, the masked individual stated that the Front's objective are built around "three swords" (hence the use of the triangle in the group's emblem):
- Removal of all foreign forces from Irvadistan; also includes the destruction of the Caliphate in Irvadistan.
- Destruction of the Kamel and Socialist regime.
- Establishment of an Islamic Collectivist state.
The group has already exploited the popular discontent over corruption, the war and reduction of government subsidies. According to a February 2017 IOHR report, the Front is fighting "for things that all Irvadis crave: government accountability, the end to corruption, end of Kamel, end to the war, regular utilities, fair fuel prices, job opportunities for ordinary Irvadis and the end of the foreign military presence". In an interview with Radio Harmony in March 2017, Hussein al-Bukhari, a Front leader, said that Front's preferable political system is an Islamic Collectivist republic with elections where women can also hold political positions, much like Ankoren, but with less focus being on military-politicians.
However the Front's primary focus for the "immediate turn" is the removal of foreign forces from Irvadistan and an end to the Kamel regime. The Front justifies the use of terrorism, in an online message it read, "we must use violence against the occupier like so many occupations before. The Koy only respect force and so we must show force and hurt them more than the Takfiri, to make it clear they are not welcome here".
The Front also claims that using violence against the Koy and the regime will prove to the people of Irvadistan that the occupier and its "puppet regime" can be hurt and revolution is possible. The Front has dismissed claims that withdrawal of the Koy would allow the Caliphate to expand, citing Operation Hydra by the Ankorenis as proof that the "terrorists are near defeat" and that "the lie that the occupier's withdrawal will lead to our destruction is impossible to defend".
One of the first acts conducted by the Front was the mass posting of anti-regime and anti-Koy messages and statements across social media in Irvadistan. The Front would later make daily statements via social media, both through written posts and videos and audio files. On February 6 2017, the Front reportedly hacked into Fajjar Jadid, the state news agency of the country and replaced new stories on its website with stories of government corruption, failures of Koy led offensives and the use of Irvadi soldiers as "cannon fodder" in order to ease the losses on Koy forces. The website remained this way until February 8 2017, when the Irvadi government regained control.
Between February 10 and April 6 2017, the Front began mass producing leaflets that were then distributed widely throughout poor communities in Qush Tepa, Da'Qurr, Mersaba and Qufeira. The leaflets detailed the same stories as were posted on Fajjar Jadid's website, the Irvadi Interior Ministry estimated that 10,000 leaflets were distributed and only 3,000 were confiscated by the security services.
On March 18, the Front hacked the People's Word, the official newspaper of the ruling Irvadi Socialist Party, replacing its main story with a list of government officials who waved their son's conscription. It total it listed 276 government officials who used their influence to stop their sons from being conscripted into the army to fight the Caliphate.
The IOHR and international analysts have claimed that the Front's access to such information and the quality of its political operations leads to the belief that the "Front may have significant assets in high levels of government and the military, with substantial financial backing".
Combat and terrorism
Due to the Front's opposition to both the regime and the Koy presence, their targets for violent attacks have been focused on the two respectively. So far the Front has conducted two acts of violence, which have been categorised as acts of terrorism:
- Mount Qaboun Hotel Bombing: On April 5 2017, the Front conducted a suicide truck bombing on the Mount Qaboun Paradise Hotel in Qush Tepa; the hotel was a popular residence for Irvadi regime officials following the evacuation of Qufeira in 2015 in light of rapid Caliphate advances towards the city. The bombing killed 77 people, including 14 foreign nationals, of which seven were Koy. However the 63 remaining fatalities were Irvadi, including two members of the National Council for Salvation and at least 20 senior civil servants.
- 2017 Athbah Bombing: On April 8 2017, the Front conducted a car bombing of a popular cafe in the affluent suburb of Athbah in northern Qush Tepa. The bombing killed 17 people, including Finance Minister Walid Sadiqqi and close ally of Amin Kamel and businessman, Mohammad Ali Aziz and injuring 50 others. The killing of Finance Minister Sadiqqi remains the most high profile assassination in Irvadi history.