Strike West as it’s distracted by Ukraine, ISIS tells members — Analysis

A message online cited Monday by the Times said that the Islamic State terrorist group (formerly ISIS/ISIL), called for its supporters and members to wage jihad against Europe as well as Israel. The West has been distracted by the conflict in Ukraine.

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Jihadists should strike Europe and Israel while those the group considers “Crusaders” are fighting each other, IS’ new spokesman Omar al-Muhajir said in the message, released to coincide with Islam’s holy month of Ramadan.

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.

Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi has replaced the slain ISIS leader, who was also the founder of US-targeted raids on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He is believed to have been chosen by his predecessor as the next leader. While Europe is preoccupied with the Ukrainian conflict – and by what this means for their dwindling energy supplies – Israel has largely stayed out of that war. It has increased its attacks against Palestinians and conducted frequent raids on the West Bank following two terror attacks by ISIS sympathizers. On Friday, more than 150 Palestinians were injured in an altercation between Israeli police officers and Palestinians at al-Aqsa mosque.

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. The group was declared defeated in 2019 by US President Donald Trump with the death of al-Baghdadi. This is despite having once held substantial territory in Syria.

Attempted attack on a US-based base in Syria from the inside

An offshoot group of ISIS, ISIS-K, attacked Kabul Airport in Afghanistan as part of US efforts to evacuate servicemen and get out of Afghanistan after twenty years of war. ISIS sympathizers have been responsible for several attacks on Europe, such as the murder of David Amess (a UK MP)

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