Arguing that “propagandist mills… such as BBC, CNN” wrongly accuse the terror group of killing innocent people, a new ISIS magazine vows that they will “soon take revenge” for recent Quran desecration in Sweden and the Netherlands while acknowledging ISIS terrorists’ “comparatively long interval between two successive slashes of this sword.”
The 51-page issue of Voice of Khurasan, published by ISIS Khorasan Province’s Al Azaim Foundation for Media Production, traditionally focuses heavily on regional and Middle East issues including Taliban rule, religious conflicts in India, and what they see as apostate leaders and westernization in Gulf countries — decrying in the latest issue a “growing ‘interreligious’ frenzy” and slamming promotion of “peace, love, tolerance, common values, multiculturalism, diversity, and the other ‘nice’ terms” as “the LGBT-etc. ‘army’ is slowly gaining ground.” The new issue includes an article criticizing Qatar for hosting a World Cup that included “unveiled women featured as referees and receptionists at the stadiums” and promoted “the deceptive concepts of ‘pluralism’ and ‘coexistence.'”
It also includes a full-page graphic illustrating “Just Terror” — ISIS’ term for independent acts of jihad — “in the recent times across Europe and America.” The graphic included the names of the perpetrators, photo, death toll, and a short description of the 2015 San Bernardino attack, 2015 coordinated Paris attacks, 2015 Paris market attack, 2016 Berlin Christmas market attack, 2016 Brussels bombings, 2017 Barcelona vehicle attack, 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, 2017 Manhattan vehicle attack, and the 2017 Orlando “mass shooting on gay homosexual night club.”
The first article in the issue focuses on attacks targeting the West and declares that Muslims are being “forcefully fed… the sleeping pills of tolerance” while acting “weak” in response. The image leading the article shows Rasmus Paludan, leader of far-right Danish party Stram Kurs, burning a Quran in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm. Photoshopped over the image is a depiction of a hooded figure with a backpack full of explosives.
ISIS-K said that last month’s Quran burning by the “mentally retarded… kafir [disbeliever]” was a “symbolic event” that “answers to a lot questions, as the secular West is being gradually shifted from their so called religious tolerance to far right extremism.”
The terror group called for a need to “figure out the zealous youth with the iron-hard determination of bringing back the glory of the Ummah [Muslim community],” praising the “lions of Islam” who attacked Charlie Hebdo magazine in 2015 for its depictions of Muhammad as well as the attack on the Hypercacher kosher supermarket in Paris two days later and the 2016 airport and train station coordinated attacks in Brussels.
“Just as these infidels were not safe from our sharp knives of revenge yesterday, they will never be safe today,” the ISIS magazine declared, acknowledging the lack of recent major attacks in adding that “the only factor that makes the infidels forget the impact of this blessed sword of justice is the comparatively long interval between two successive slashes of this sword.”
Later in the issue, an article criticized “multi-billion dollar projects” in the West “to demonize jihad” and jihadists as “dreaded terrorists.” The magazine called it “essential that we take a pause from the West controlled media that feed our thought process 24×7” and analyze whether “blood, corpses, and killings constitutes terrorism and mischief on the land or not.”
“Spilling the kuffar’s blood on account of the kufr they profess is absolutely sanctioned” but “the killings and the bloodshed should not be reckless, and it has to be as per political and military strategy envisaged by the strategists of the Islamic State in respective Wilayat [provinces],” ISIS-K argued.
“Know that we use this bloodshed (handful of kuffar) as a strategic tool … not to spread mischief on the lands, as being made to believe by the propagandist mills of kuffar, such as BBC, CNN, and other kufri media of the world, under their loud and empathy invoking cries of ‘killing of innocents,'” the article continued. “May be, those being killed are innocent in the religion of America, but in the religion of Allah, they are all criminals of higher degree with their destiny the Hellfire.”
The piece concludes with the line “So, what are you waiting for now?” followed by drawings of a rifle cartridge, grenade, handgun, knife, Molotov cocktail, rifle, and hazmat mask.
A separate page in the magazine directly addressed the incidents of Quran desecration — Paludan’s Quran burning and, days later, Dutch far-right Pegida leader Edwin Wagensveld tearing pages out of a Quran near the Dutch Parliament and stomping on them — and said they will “take revenge from such scoundrels by separating their fleshes from their bones and spilling their blood” with an “aim to avenge the despicable and blasphemous actions of the infidels of the whole world.”
“However, you might have deemed these strange mujahidin of the Islamic State weak due to their lack of possibilities and equipment apparently, but they are so rich with the wealth of faith and zeal that they are not in need of anything except Allah Almighty,” the statement added. “Therefore, we assure all the disbelievers and their guardians that, bi’dhnillah, we will soon take revenge from you.”
The terror group also floats their own vaccine conspiracy theory in a piece that decries the International of Committee of Red Cross, claiming that “within the framework of these donations and humanitarian aid, part of which is the medicine and vaccination program, they distribute such harmful drugs in the name of vaccines and other charity drugs that all people have been informed about the harm of these drugs. If those are really vaccines of paralysis (like Polio), as they claim, then what is the reason for running such vaccination programs only on the poor Muslims in the third world countries?!”
With a similar style to the Dabiq and Rumiyah English-language magazines that used to be published by ISIS during the “caliphate” heyday in Iraq and Syria, Voice of Khurasan is now on its 21st issue.
In September, the magazine referenced the August execution of a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago and the reactions of former President Trump and Donald Trump Jr. in declaring that the United States has descended into a “banana republic” ripe for an “Islamic storm” in the terror group’s favor.
The terror group has also sounded off on other U.S. domestic matters. In the July Voice of Khurasan issue, ISIS-K called mass shootings and other gun violence in America “tit for tat” and an “‘unwanted’ population control program” that, despite the motives of white supremacist or grievance-driven domestic shooters, is divine retribution for the U.S. war on terror.
In a May issue, the magazine invoked hot-button elements of the western culture war and talking points arising from debate over issues including sex education, LGBT acceptance and the teaching of evolution as the group argued that “democracy and all that emanates from it is retarded and perverse” and attempted to woo recruits to their extremism.
ISIS-K has also published an article promoting the spread of disinformation as a “duty” of jihadists in order to deceive and ultimately divide their foes and a tactic that should be considered “part of the war policy,” as well as a piece urging a concerted focus on “social media warfare” as critical to advancing on the ideological battlefield and countering the pull of “enchanting” social media influencers.