Thursday, October 22, 2015

ISIS Campaign: Encouraging Palestinians To Carry Out Lone Wolf Attacks - M. Shemesh and R. Green

by M. Shemesh and R. Green

In recent days, several Islamic State (ISIS) media organs have released a series of videos aimed at Palestinians, as part of a campaign supporting the wave of Palestinian terrorist attacks currently underway in Israel

The following report is a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here

In recent days, several Islamic State (ISIS) media organs have released a series of videos aimed at Palestinians, as part of a campaign supporting the wave of Palestinian terrorist attacks currently underway in Israel.[1] Although the call for more attacks naturally receives the most attention, a substantial part of these videos is dedicated to ideological attacks on Hamas and Fatah. The videos were produced by various Islamic State provinces, so as to give an impression of a global campaign.
Beyond the calls for more attacks, the campaign also serves ISIS propaganda goals: First, it enables ISIS to insert itself into events surrounding the Palestinian issue, which drives headlines worldwide. Second, ISIS sees itself as the force defending all the world's Muslims, and as such it must portray itself as influential in all things concerning the Palestinian issue and the struggle for what is considered one of the most important issues for all Muslims – Al-Aqsa mosque. Third, the campaign counters the criticism by ISIS's rivals that it does not devote sufficient attention to the events in Jerusalem and does not fight Israel.
It should be stressed that except for statements of support and encouragement for the attackers, the videos include no ISIS statements of intent to actually join in the war on Israel in the foreseeable future. Organization spokesmen in them stress that at this stage, ISIS is busy with their wars in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.
The videos convey several messages:
·Unqualified support for the "mujahideen of Bayt Al-Maqdis [i.e. Jerusalem, a symbolic term for all of Palestine]" and motivation for them to continue killing and slaughtering Jews with "lone wolf" attacks using all means available – stabbings, vehicular attacks, car bombs, throwing stones, IEDs, poisoning, and more.
·Calls to the Muslims in Bayt Al-Maqdis to join the jihad against the Jews "for the sake of Allah."
·Calls to all the Muslims to fight for Islam, instead of for empty values such as secularism, nationalism, or partisan interests.
·Harsh criticism of Palestinian organizations and groups that claim to defend Islam, particularly Hamas. According to ISIS, Fatah has become an agent of the infidel Jews and Christians, while Hamas is doing the bidding of the Shi'ites (Iranians) and 'Alawites (the Syrian regime).
·Promising that the soldiers of the Islamic caliphate will ultimately reach Jerusalem and liberate Al-Aqsa. Speakers in the video reiterate that although they and their comrades are fighting in Syria and Iraq, they have their sights set on Al-Aqsa.
·Calls to jihadi fighters to unite under a single banner – that of ISIS.
These videos are an addition to a widespread campaign now underway on social media, disseminated also by ISIS supporters, encouraging more murders of Jews.[2] As part of this campaign, social networks and jihadi forums are featuring various banners promoting continued attacks. For example, the ISIS news agency A'maq posted an infographic on its Facebook page recommending murder methods: stabbing, burning, poisoning, running over with a car, use of explosives and even cast off from a high place.[3]

Following is a review of six of the videos, as posted on Twitter, the jihadi forum Shumoukh Al-Islam, and elsewhere:
Video From Ninawa Province, Iraq: "Terrorize Them With Car Bombs"
A nine-minute video by the information office for ISIS in Ninawa Province (Mosul), titled "Message To The Mujahideen In Bayt Al-Maqdis,"[4] featuring a man saying that the response to Jewish crimes against Muslims is for the descendants of Salah Al-Din (Saladin) to pick up knives and carry out the commandment to wage jihad for the sake of Allah.
The first speaker in the video congratulates the Palestinian attackers on their recent attacks on the Jews, and declares: "Oh mujahideen, we call on you to prepare yourselves spiritually and materially to strike terror and fear into the hearts of the Jews... Oh mujahideen, continue your jihad against the Jews, showing determination and carrying out the commandments; terrorize them with car bombs, disperse them in all directions, turn them into lifeless corpses and scattered body parts. Know that the soldiers of Islam are fighting here in Iraq, Syria, Khorasan [Afghanistan], and West Africa, but their sights are set on Bayt Al-Maqdis. They will yet enter it and conquer it, with Allah's help. This is the promise of Allah, and Allah does not break His promise."

First speaker in Ninawa Province video
The second speaker in the video criticizes Fatah and Hamas and argues that there is no difference between the two, against a backdrop of photos of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud 'Abbas shaking hands with Hamas leader in Gaza Isma'il Haniyeh. He says that they, along with the other factions, are operating out of narrow interests; some of these groups, he adds, are agents of the Crusaders and some are agents of the Safavids (Shi'ites). Attacking the "tyrannical" Arab rulers, he says they have bargained away the Palestinian cause in favor of their own interests.
The third speaker praises the mujahideen in Bayt Al-Maqdis for their success in instilling fear and terror among the Jews, and says that Allah permits fighting the enemies of Islam only by means of jihad, not with negotiations, elections, political parties, or any other way. He also hints at Hamas' participation in the political process: "I call on you [jihad fighters] to continue the momentum of your battle; I ask you that your campaign not be based on counteraction alone, and that it not fade away. Remember that our war with the Jews is a war between belief and unbelief, so continue your battle and use all permissible means of fighting them – stab them, run them over with cars. Don't forget the IEDs that your brothers in Iraq, Syria, and Khorasan [Afghanistan] have used to target the infidels."

Another speaker in Ninawa Province video
Video From Al-Janoub Province, Iraq: We Will Not Rest "Until We Liberate The Al-Aqsa Mosque From The Defilement Of The Sons Of Apes And Pigs"
The information office for ISIS in Al-Janoub province (southern Iraq) released a video titled "The Promise Is Nearly Fulfilled,"[5] featuring a speaker named Abu Nour Al-Ansari who states that it is the duty of every Muslim to fight those who attack Islam. Therefore, he says, it is an obligation to combat the Jews and Christians, who work day and night to convert Muslims.
Al-Ansari attacks infidel governments and secular parties (i.e. Fatah) that collaborate with Jews and Christians, and addresses the mujahideen in Bayt Al-Maqdis, saying: "We have not and will not forget you; we will not enjoy our lives or take pleasure with a lavish abode until we liberate Al-Aqsa from the defilement of the sons of apes and pigs [i.e. the Jews].[6] Here they are, the soldiers of the ISIS caliphate, fighting in Iraq and Syria, and advancing on Palestine. Your day approaches, oh community of Jews."

Abu Nour Al-Ansari
Video From Fallujah Province, Iraq: Stab, Run Over, Burn The Jews
Abu 'Abdallah Al-Ansari, the first speaker in a nine-minute video, titled "Message For The Proud In The Third-Most Holy Site" and released by the information office of ISIS in Fallujah Province, Iraq,[7] recommends that Muslims in Bayt Al-Maqdis stab the Jews use intelligence when they stab Jews, aiming especially for the heart and neck. He says that their actions have brought joy to the hearts of all believers, and stressed that the mujahideen's war is jihad for the sake of Allah and not for nationalist purposes, and that it does not allow for collaboration with secular elements, Iranian Shi'ites, or 'Alawites (i.e. the Assad regime).

Abu 'Abdallah Al-Ansari
The second speaker in the video, Abu Hanifa Al-Maqdisi, whose nom de guerre suggests that he is Palestinian, called on Muslims in Bayt Al-Maqdis to "throw an arrow or rock [at the Jews], run them over with a car, stab them with a knife, burn them with fire or boiling oil." He also called on lone wolf attackers to use any chance they get to harm the Jews.

Abu Hanifa Al-Maqdisi
Video From Al-Kheir Province, Syria: In Praise Of Lone Wolf Operations
The information office of ISIS in Al-Kheir Province (Deir Al-Zor) released a 10-minute video titled "Bring Back Terror To The Jews."[8] It opens with a narrator presenting a historic account of the crimes of Christians and Jews, claiming that Judaism is the mother of all sins – Jews control the world's evil, spread corruption, support the Zoroastrians (Iranians) and the "tyrants" (Arab leaders). He says that they cannot be dealt with via agreements and negotiations and calls on Muslims to attack them in their homes, stab them, burn them, poison them, and terrorize them. Assuring the Jews that the men of ISIS will conquer the Al-Aqsa Mosque, he adds that they will also pursue the Jews and treat them like their Muslim ancestors treated the Jewish Banu Qurayaza tribe.[9]
Another speaker in the video, Abu Muslim Al-Masri, praises lone wolf attackers and advises them to continue operating alone and not as part of an organization: "Oh men of monotheism [Salafis] in Palestine – it is better for you to be lone wolves killing the enemies of Allah than members of groups and parties claiming to work for Allah's religion while acting as to separate the mujahideen from jihad... Oh men of monotheism, what are you waiting for? Are you waiting for these groups to open their armories and give you weapons to fight the enemies of Allah?! ... Oh brothers in Islam, rise as lone wolves [against] the enemies of Allah, bear any weapon you can carry, and kill them where you find them."

Abu Muslim Al-Masri
Video From Kirkuk Province, Iraq: Stabbings Express Loyalty To Allah
"Strike Terror And Fear Into The Hearts Of The Jews, Oh Sons Of Bait Al-Maqdis," a seven-minute video by the information office for ISIS in Kirkuk Province, Iraq,[10] features speaker Abu Dhar Al-Ansari congratulating the mujahideen in Bayt Al-Maqdis and expressing the wish that they will continue to fight and kill the Jews. He stresses the need to carry out stabbing attacks out of loyalty to Allah and the three holy sites (Mecca, Medina, and Al-Aqsa), and not to please secularists, nationalists, or agents serving Western or Eastern powers. Against a backdrop of an ISIS flag, Abu Dhar calls on the mujahideen to fight united under a single banner.

Abu Dhar Al-Ansari
Video From Aleppo Province, Syria: The Solution Is Jihad, Not Negotiations
A video published by ISIS in Aleppo Province[11] features a speaker stressing that there is no place for negotiations with the Jews, particularly when they are being run by "the Zionist" PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas. He says: "The truth is that negotiations [between Israel] and 'Abbas are [negotiations] between Jews and Jews... The solution for restoring Palestine, Jerusalem, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque is jihad for the sake of Allah and joining your brothers in the Islamic caliphate state, the bastion of the ummah and its hope."
A second speaker called on the Palestinians to "kill the Jews and expel them. You must [use] car bombs, which are the way to terrorize them. My brothers, do not miss the convoy, for the caliphate exists. The soldiers of the caliphate are spread out over the earth, to the point where the infidels do not know where they will attack from... There can be no peace between us and them, there can be only blood... Do not think that victory can come from the dreams of Fatah and Hamas, who have led many astray. Our path to greatness and victory is only with Allah's law and with freeing ourselves of all these tyrants [i.e. Fatah and Hamas]."

ISIS member in Aleppo Province video
Video From Hadhramaut Province, Yemen: The Dispute With The Jews Is A Conflict Between Truth And Falsehood
An activist from the Islamic State province of Hadhramaut, in Yemen, stressed that the war against the Jews is strictly religious in nature: "The conflict with the Jews is not terrorist or over a piece of land. It is a conflict between truth and falsehood. The Jews are fighting us only because of our religion... this is  none other than war, until the truth rises and triumphs and the falsehood stands alone and humiliated."

ISIS activist from Hadhramaut province
Video From Al-Baraka Province, Syria: Threats Against Jews – And Hamas
In a video produced by Al-Baraka province (Al-Hasaka province in Syria), activist Abu Osama Al-Falastini referred directly to criticism of ISIS for its noninvolvement in the Palestinian issue. He said, hinting that the Hamas government in Gaza, which he says is preventing attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip, is responsible for this: "Why do the soldiers of the Caliphate not come to liberate Palestine? Why do the mujahideen set out in the first place from Palestine, which is [already] a land of jihad? We say to them [i.e. to anyone who expresses such criticism of ISIS]: 'We set out from it only because of the separation between us and the jihad there, and because of the separation between us and the Jews. Anyone in Palestine knows this.'"
Abu Osama went on to threaten Hamas, saying: "We say to them: By Allah, when we reach the Jews, we will reach them as well, Allah willing..."[12]
Abu Osama Al-Falastini
Video By The Al-Nusra Al-Maqdisiya Media Institute
In addition to videos by official ISIS media organizations, the Al-Nusra Al-Maqdisiya media organization, operated by ISIS fans in the Gaza Strip, released an eight-minute video titled "The Slaughter Of The Jews."[13] The video includes a well-known militant ISIS song, "Soon, Soon,"[14] as well as segments of speeches by previous ISIS leader Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi and current ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, both of whom promise that the mujahideen will soon reach Bayt Al-Maqdis and take Al-Aqsa, and encourage continued stabbing attacks against Israelis.

From the Al-Nusra Al-Maqdisiya video

* M. Shemesh is a Research Fellow at MEMRI; R. Green is a Research Fellow at MEMRI.
[3], October 19, 2015.
[4], October 18, 2015.
[5], October 18, 2015.
[6] The origin of this expression is Koranic verses that say that "the men of the Sabbath" who violated the dictates of Allah were punished by being turned into apes and pigs.
[7] Islamic tradition considers the Al-Aqsa Mosque to be the third-most important shrine after those in Mecca and Medina., October 18, 2015.
[8], October 18, 2015.
[9] Banu Qurayza was a Jewish tribe in Medina during the time of Muhammad. In 627 CE, after the Battle of the Trench, the tribe was accused of treason, leading to its men being beheaded and its women and children sold into slavery.
[10], October 19, 2015.
[11], October 19, 2015.
[12], October 19, 2015.
[13], October 19, 2015.
[14] See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1179, The Songs Of The Islamic State – A Major Tool For Reinforcing Its Narrative, Spreading Its Message, Recruiting Supporters, August 11, 2015.

M. Shemesh is a Research Fellow at MEMRI; R. Green is a Research Fellow at MEMRI.


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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