ISIS has called on its members and supporters to wage jihad against Europe and Israel while the West is distracted by the situation in Ukraine.
According to an online message cited by the Times on Monday, ISIS has told jihasists to avenge the death of its leader and launch attacks while ‘the crusaders are fighting each other’.
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The groups new spokesman Abu-Omar al-Muhajir said Russia’s invasion in Ukraine has ‘preoccupied’ non-Muslim nations, and presented them with a chance to strike.
RT reports: The terror group’s mouthpiece told followers to arm themselves, calling for a campaign of revenge for the death of leader Abu Ibrahim al Hashimi al Qurayshi – though he was allegedly killed earlier this year in a US raid, not by Europeans or Israelis.
The slain ISIS head, who had himself replaced founder and fellow US raid target Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been replaced by Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, said to have been selected by his predecessor to become the group’s next leader.
While the Western Europe is preoccupied with the Ukrainian conflict – and also what it means for energy supplies – Israel has largely stayed out of the conflict.
However, it has been scaling up attacks on Palestinians, conducting frequent raids in the West Bank in the wake of two terrorist attacks by ISIS sympathizers. The surge in violence culminated in a confrontation between Israeli police and Palestinians at the al-Aqsa mosque on Friday, which left more than 150 Palestinians injured.
While the recording included talk of “liberating” Jerusalem through the formation of a caliphate – one of the group’s favorite talking points – experts cited by the Times no longer believe ISIS has the ability to conduct major operations abroad. Declared officially defeated by then-US President Donald Trump in 2019 with the killing of al-Baghdadi, the group has been relegated to a relatively small area in Syria, a country in which it once held significant territory, after years of fighting by the Syrian Army, Russia, Iran, and the US.