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With New Leader, ISIS Supporters Urged to ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves’ and Start ‘Plucking Heads’

"If you lack weapons, then pick up kitchen knives, daggers and home-based poisons, they should be sufficient for you," ISIS magazine states.

Painting coalition targeting of ISIS leaders as ultimately inconsequential for the terror group’s survival or success, a new magazine published by ISIS supporters in India encouraged jihadists around the globe to “roll up your sleeves” and commence “plucking heads” while pledging loyalty to the latest head of ISIS.

Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi “was the best successor to the most excellent predecessor” and “assumed the leadership at an unenviable time… and reminding of the days of az-Zarqawi, he reignited the war on them with such ferocity,” the 26th monthly issue of the English-language Voice of Hind magazine stated, noting the ISIS prison break in Syria in January. “It was a battle in the backyard of the atheists, and it revealed their lack of capability and the weakness of their structure, which was founded on the edge of a crumbling cliff that will ultimately collapse and take them with it, by the willing of Allah.”

Qurashi was killed in Syria shortly after the Ghweiran prison break, detonating an explosive as U.S. Special Forces raided the home where he was staying. The Voice of Hind claimed that Qurashi was “assaulting the enemies … and fighting them head-on” at the time of his death. Later in the issue, the magazine says he “did not let the crusader US army lay even a finger on himself,” and lauded Qurashi’s “extraordinary vision” for encouraging the terror group’s spread to new regions and fighting on “the battlefield or on social media.”

The issue also lauded late ISIS spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurashi, whose death was confirmed by the terror group in March, saying his “words worked like magic” as “he encouraged the believers to take on the Kuffar [disbelievers] not only with guns and bombs but with knives and IEDs.” The spokesman “actively took on the dirty Jews, the worst enemies of Islam, and gave courage to the Muslims to kill every Jew,” ISIS added.

The magazine urged jihadists to “not delay or hesitate to give bay’ah,” or a loyalty pledge, to new ISIS leader Abu al-Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, with their own announcement vowing “to hear and obey, in activism and compulsion, in hardship and ease” and stating that they “won’t dispute the leaders upon the leadership unless we see clear disbelief in which we have evidence from Allah.”

“Be prepared and roll up your sleeves to diligently work in earnest, for the war has revealed its fangs and its flames are reaching higher, and its reins have been taken up by a vigorous imam and courageous knight,” the magazine added. “…Get closer to Allah by plucking the heads of the enemies and destroying their souls.”

The group declared that the killing of ISIS leaders “will not affect the state” because it has “spread to the Jungles of Africa and the mountains of Khurasan” and the jihadists expect “they will kill and be killed.” Fighting will continue “until the crusaders are slaughtered in Dabiq” and mujahideen “establish the prayer in Rome, as conquerors.”

Dabiq was symbolically the name of the first magazine published by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, with the last issue published in 2016. And in the early days of the terror group, ISIS published a series of e-books detailing their goals, including the “Black Flags from Rome” volume that vowed to conquer the city by 2020. That e-book detailed the terror group’s strategy to sack the Vatican and predicted mob bosses would put up tough resistance: “There is no doubt that if Muslims want to take over Italy, the Islamic State European fighters will have to ally with other militias to fight the Mafia before the conquest of Rome.” It recommended starting the fight in Bologna to choke off supply routes to the south.

A subsequent article in the Voice of Hind issue bylined “from brothers in Pakistan” continues to argue that their success won’t be based on the killing or capture of ISIS leaders and stresses that they “should not start worshipping their leaders because of their sincerity and piety, their achievements and efforts,” because “nothing has harmed Islam as much as personalityism.”

“Global tyrannical think tanks have lost their senses and gone insane about what else they can do to intimidate and defeat these monotheistic servants of Allah,” the article continued, asserting that the quick pledges of allegiance to the new ISIS leader “caused great fear” and “exposed the restlessness and anxiety of apostates.”

“The Jihad and fighting is in full swing against the Crusaders, Jews, Christians, Hindus, other infidels and polytheists around the world,” ISIS said, noting the “recent glorious attack” in Israel that “gave surge to the wave in grounds of war.”

If supporters are unable to join jihadists in provinces where the terror group is active, “then pick up your arms to attack Kuffar,” the article continues. “And if you lack weapons, then pick up kitchen knives, daggers and home-based poisons, they should be sufficient for you.”

And an article bylined “from brothers in Maldives” argued that continued targeting of ISIS leaders “shows the significant effect the existence of a Khilafah system has over the wretched nations of Kufr” as “they hope that continuing this trend would lead to an ‘organizational collapse’ of the Islamic State and halt or disrupt the operational capabilities of Mujahideen making it harder for them to continue their attacks.”

“Islamic State has a well-managed leadership structure and succession protocols,” the article added, declaring “the blood of its leaders only strengthens the resolve of its soldiers… unlike other militia groups who unpredictably change their goals or give up on their religion with the demise of their leaders.”

“If the leaders of the Kuffar do not die from the weapons of the Mujahideen, they are more likely to die from the envy they have for the leaders of the Islamic State,” the group said.

They also issued a “stern warning against those who have wronged themselves in delaying the Bay’ah” to repent, adding that ISIS “is determined to take retribution on account of every leader and scholar that has been killed among them.”

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, anti-Semitism 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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