Coronavirus: Isis tells followers not to travel to Europe for attacks because of outbreak

‘The healthy should not enter the land of the epidemic,’ says terror group

Peter Stubley
Sunday 15 March 2020 21:28 GMT
The flag of the terror group Isis is held up at a demonstration in Kashmir
The flag of the terror group Isis is held up at a demonstration in Kashmir

Isis has warned its followers to avoid travelling to Europe because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Reversing its previous calls for jihadists to target the area, the terrorist group advised supporters not to enter “the land of the epidemic”.

It also appeared to back guidance to the public to wash their hands regularly.

The directive is featured in the latest issue of the group’s al-Naba newsletter, which contains a full-page of “directives to deal with epidemics” taken from Islamic texts.

Isis highlights “the obligation of taking up the causes of protection from illnesses and avoiding them”.

“The healthy should not enter the land of the epidemic and the afflicted should not exit from it,” the newsletter adds.

In a departure from official guidance from the World Health Organisation, the Isis guidance to supporters includes covering the mouth when yawning and sneezing, as well as sealing off water containers.

One featured hadith, or saying of the prophet, reads: “There is one night in the year when pestilence descends, and it does not pass by any vessel that is not covered or any waterskin that is not tied up, but some of that pestilence descends into it.”

The number of confirmed cases in Europe has passed 50,000, with more than 24,000 in Italy alone.

Outbreaks of coronavirus have also been reported in other countries where Isis are active, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Indonesia

On Sunday the Iraqi government imposed a week-long curfew in the capital Baghdad after the total number of cases rose to at least 124.

The curfew, which includes a suspension of all flights to and from Baghdad airport, lasts from 17 March until 24 March.

Ten people have died in the country so far, according to the health ministry.

Additional reporting by agencies

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in