Supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria from all over the world should attack citizens of Western states such as the US, France and UK, according to a statement by the group’s spokesman.
Abu Mohammed al Adnani urged the group’s supporters: “If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way, however it may be,” he said.
“Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”
Adnani seems to be encouraging attacks like the killing of Lee Rigby in 2012 who was knocked down and stabbed in London by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale. The two Britons were members of al-Muhajiroun, a now-banned group which shared similar theories to Isis. There have been recent arrests of people suspected of planning similar attacks in Belgium and Australia.
Adnani also taunted US President Barack Obama and other Western “crusaders”, saying their forces faced inevitable defeat at the hands of Isis.
The US is building an international coalition to combat the extremist Sunni Muslim force, which has seized large expanses of territory in Iraq and Syria and proclaimed a caliphate erasing borders in the heart of the Middle East.
Adnani said the intervention by the US-led coalition would be the “final campaign of the crusaders”. “It will be broken and defeated, just as all your previous campaigns were broken and defeated,” he said.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the group’s call showed once again “the barbarity of these terrorists [and] why we must fight them relentlessly”.
In a statement, he added, using an Arabic acronym for the militants: “We must also eliminate the risk that Daesh represents to our security.”
US and French warplanes have struck Isis targets in Iraq, and on Sunday the US said other countries had indicated a willingness to join it if it goes ahead with air strikes against the group in Syria as well.
Isis recently killed a British aid worker, David Haines, and has threatened to kill another, Alan Henning. A third, John Cantlie, has appeared on an Isis video promising a series of reports.
British jets have carried out reconnaissance over Iraq but have so far not bombed any Isis targets.
In his statement, Adnani criticised Kurdish fighters who are battling the Isis militants in both Syria and Iraq. “We do not fight Kurds because they are Kurds. Rather we fight the disbelievers amongst them, the allies of the crusaders and Jews in their war against the Muslims,” he said.
A US State Department notice described Adnani, born under the name Taha Sobhi Falaha, as the “official spokesman and a senior leader of Isis”. It described the Isis spokesman as the “main conduit for the dissemination of official messages”.
On Monday, Syrian Kurdish fighters halted an advance by Isis to the east of Kobani, a predominantly Kurdish town near the border with Turkey.
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