ISISbegan circulating a poster this week calling on Muslims to seize the opportunity of Ramadan to kill civilian "Crusaders" (Christians). The plea appeared June 3 on the semi-official ISIS Nasher channels on Telegram.
“The poster was circulated on the many dozens of Nasher channels and other pro-ISIS channels on Telegram, with the call to kill Christians written in English and Arabic, along with images of a handgun, a knife and a truck,” said the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which monitors all forms of jihadi social media.
The Arabic caption below the poster says,"Kill the civilians of the Crusaders, run them over [with vehicles], (seize [the opportunity of] Ramadan).”
Meanwhile, ISIS claimed responsibility for the London Bridge, Borough Market attacks.
ISIS, through its A’maq news agency, on June 4 claimed responsibility for the the London Bridge and Borough Market attacks. The statement, citing a "security source," said the attack was carried out by a group of Islamic State fighters.
The statement was posted on ISIS’s Telegram channel, and, as of this writing, has been translated into French, according to MEMRI, which added, “Almost immediately after the claim was published on ISIS’s official Nasher channels, the channels published a poster, threatening continued revenge for the crimes against the Muslims, stating, ‘No Compromise … In The Security Of Muslims.’”
But, “Even before any official claim of responsibility was issued for the London Bridge and Borough Market attacks, which were carried out just after midnight on June 4, ISIS supporters expressed joy and satisfaction,” MEMRI said, noting, “Many of them declared, mainly via Telegram, that the attacks were acts of revenge for the bombardment of Muslims in Syria and Iraq by Britain and other Western countries. Several supporters shared a poster that appeared a few hours before the London Bridge attack, in which Muslims were called upon to carry out attacks against the ‘Crusaders’ (i.e., the West) during the month of Ramadan, using vehicles (as indeed was the case in the London Bridge attack). Most of those who responded mentioned the fear and terror that gripped residents of London in particular, and of the West in general, following the attacks carried out in the hearts of their cities in recent years. Some also talked of the continued failure of Western intelligence agencies to thwart the attacks of Islamic State members.”
The following are just a few examples of the responses:
MEMRI said, “The Telegram channel of a supporter called Bayzid Doğandemir, recommended that the people of the West, whom he called ‘worshippers of the Cross,’ surrender to the Islamic State and pay it the jizya (poll tax). The only solution for you is to pay the jizya willingly while subdued. If you do not pay the jizya, you will spend billions of dollars in security expenses and for failing intelligence agencies, which are unable to stop the attacks of the State of the Islamic Caliphate.’”
Another post on the Telegram channel called, "I Am Yemeni and Proud of My Islam," said, "Oh Crusaders, the Caliphate State, may Allah strengthen it, promised you that dark days were ahead. So know, oh infidels, that we keep our promises. You now see your days turning dark and full of fear and terror. You can expect the future to be darker still, with Allah’s help … Rest assured that, just as you burn our children, we will light a fire under your feet and roast your rotten flesh, with the help of Allah the Almighty. We have roared [like lions] in Belgium, France and Germany, and now here we are in London. So expect worse to come. We shall fill your hearts with fear and terror by means of ramming attacks and beheadings."
A user on the Telegram channel, "Ammunition of the Caliphate," wrote that the news photos of British civilians with their hands on their heads proved ISIS has managed to sow fear and humiliation in the hearts of the people of the West. He added, "Oh [people of the] West, we have roaring lions, so have a taste of the suffering we have experienced [at your hands]. We shall pitch you into the arms of our men, strong as lions, and the infidels shall not close their eyes [and get any sleep, for fear]."
According to MEMRI, “ISIS supporters also reposted an image from the November 2016 issue of the organization’s Rumiyah magazine which called to carry out ramming attacks in the West.”
Another user on another pro-ISIS Telegram channel wrote, "I do not know whether they [the London attackers] were Muslims carrying out a lone-wolf attack or not, but I have an opinion about it. Despite all the strict security measures taken by Britain, they managed to attack. The Islamic State has not yet claimed responsibility, but the terror [of the Britons] certainly brings us joy …”
MEMRI said, “An ISIS supporter calling himself Al Hija gloated that attacks in Western cities have a large impact on the West.” The ISIS supporter wrote,"A single attack in one of the countries of the international coalition that is fighting the Caliphate sows fear in [that country] for many months. It causes that infidel country to lose millions of dollars, in addition to the loss of life and the blow to its sense of security, its prestige, its tourism and its global standing. All this undermines daily life in these countries. In addition, attacks of this sort ease the pressure on the lands of the Caliphate because the enemy is preoccupied with himself and with protecting his own security.”
Another pro-ISIS Telegram channel posted a list of messages in English threatening the West, and asked readers to spread them via Twitter. The messages included:
- "Coming at You, To the Heart of Your Lands."
- "We will continue to terrorize you and ruin your lives."
- "Just terror is our way of bringing the flames of war to you."
- “You boasted of your planes and missiles. So the penalty of your strikes will be paid in your lands."
- "Today, we fight you on our land, and tomorrow on your land, by Allah’s permission."
- "Soon, the vehicle attacks will be witnessed on your streets, by Allah’s permission."
- "Where is your security? Where is your ‘intelligence?’ A single mujahid. Look at what he has done to you."
According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), it “is closely monitoring the ongoing situation in the United Kingdom [and] … working with our interagency partners and foreign counterparts to gain further insight into reported attacks against civilians on London Bridge and in the surrounding area.”
DHS said, “US citizens in the area should heed direction from local authorities and maintain security awareness. We encourage any affected US citizens who need assistance to contact the US Embassy in London and follow Department of State guidance.”
DHS said Secretary John Kelly “has been fully briefed on the incidents and the ongoing response,” and “at this time, we have no information to indicate a specific, credible terror threat in the United States.”