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ISIS: Airport Attack Was ‘Announcing the Launch of a New Stage of Eternal Jihad’

Noting that "families are quick to join their brothers," terror group said that the Kabul bomber quickly "took the initiative to register his name in a battalion" after being freed from prison.

ISIS declared that its Aug. 26 attack outside Hamid Karzai International Airport “heralded the start of a new phase” of “eternal jihad,” with the bombing “dispelling the illusions of peace-bearers and drawing a map of light for a new stage” as they hope the attack will draw more ISIS recruits in their claimed Khorasan province from the ranks of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

The new issue of the group’s weekly al-Naba newsletter — which was also their 302nd issue — made a front-page centerpiece image from the photos of the 13 U.S. service members who were killed in the attack. As is customary with representations of women in ISIS propaganda, they clouded the images of the two women killed: Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee and Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo.

Calling it “a double loss” for America to lose “its soldiers and a lot of its prestige,” the terror group noted how President Biden vowed retribution for the attack and “thundered and frothed, threatening the soldiers of the Islamic State” and called former President Trump an “idiot” for saying that ISIS had been “eradicated.” The ISIS article also said America’s security footprint had been “limited to ‘warning of the occurrence of the attack’ not to prevent it.”

While speaking of America’s prestige, the terror group boasted that bomber Abdul Rahman al-Lughari had “smashed it with a pickax of unification.” ISIS claimed that he had been behind bars under the recently fallen Afghan government until the prison was “destroyed,” then “the lion may come out from his lair.”

“The American and global shock from the attack, and the convulsive rhetoric of the American tyrant, and the failed air raid, they are all indications of the extent of the predicament and embarrassment you have fallen into, America, including the rush of the tyrant to announcing the targeting of a ‘leader’ in the state of Khorasan, without mentioning his name, which he did not,” ISIS continued. “…Confused, America started talking in its statements about the state of Khorasan as if only she had just grown up! It’s just to hide their previous false allegations of eradication.”

“A new chapter of the war begins on Islamic State and this chapter will end just as the chapters of those that preceded it have ended! They will fall,” the article said, adding that ISIS would be “a thorn in their throats, fire on the unbelievers… the Islamic State will keep moving forward.”

ISIS also expressed hope that their “blessed attack… awakens the hearts of some” and will lure recruits from the ranks of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan “means only another stage” in the war on terror, they added, that “will intensify soldiers of the caliphate and soldiers of patriotism and nationalism!”

ISIS covered the Jan. 6 Capitol attack in an issue of al-Naba released two days later, stating that rioters “being seen breaking into one of the most important centers of sovereignty in America” signaled that domestic unrest and extremism could work to the terror group’s advantage.

In a separate article within the al-Naba issue that featured the purported photo of the Kabul bomber previously released by ISIS’ Amaq News Agency, the terror group reiterated that the attack was “announcing the launch of a new stage of eternal jihad” and that the bomber was “fresh out of captivity.” Noting that “families are quick to join their brothers,” they said that al-Lughari quickly “took the initiative to register his name in a battalion” after escaping from prison.

The article said Katyusha rockets were fired at Kabul’s airport on Aug. 30 “as a souvenir” before the U.S. withdrawal. ISIS included a picture of a masked jihadist wearing sunglasses standing next to an ISIS flag and half a dozen rockets leaned against the wall.

Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a terrorism analyst and security consultant with a specialty in online open-source extremist propaganda, incitement, recruitment, and training. She hosts and presents in Homeland Security Today law enforcement training webinars studying a range of counterterrorism topics including conspiracy theory extremism, complex coordinated attacks, critical infrastructure attacks, arson terrorism, drone and venue threats, antisemitism and white supremacists, anti-government extremism, and WMD threats. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15 and a private investigator. Bridget is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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