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ISIS Depicts Their Flag Raised at Iwo Jima Memorial in Bid for Unity

Terror group's magazine also discusses some reasons why Muslims are "staying away from jihad," and claims some potential jihadists are "lacking attributes of manliness."

The latest issue of the English-language magazine produced by ISIS in the Afghanistan region features a silhouette of the Iwo Jima Memorial and depicts the ISIS flag being raised instead of the American flag.

The image in Voice of Khurasan, published by ISIS Khorasan Province’s Al Azaim Foundation for Media Production, is used to illustrate an article about rejecting attempts “to inject the virus of divisions among our ranks” and “uniting the scattered ummah [Muslim community].”

“On one hand, kuffar [disbelievers] have been dividing this nation into many branches with empty chants of nationalism, patriotism, socialism, and so on, and on the other hand, they have been putting discords among the common Muslims regarding the matters of the religion,” the article states. “They want this Ummah to remain divided, as it is secret formula of their safety.”

While arguing that an ISIS caliphate would unite all Muslims, the article decries “many factions raising the empty chants of jihad and Shar’iah, and shedding crocodile tears for the Ummah, lamenting the disunity of the Ummah and exhibiting some empty attempts for addressing such disunity.”

The same magazine issue discusses some reasons why Muslims are “staying away from jihad,” and claims some potential jihadists are “lacking attributes of manliness.”

“When a man owns the qualities of women and children, he prefers staying at home like the women and children, but when a man owns the attributes of manliness, he can’t tolerate shamelessness for a moment thinking of his sister filling the dark chambers of prisons of the filthy disbelievers and the sacred soil of the Islamic lands being trampled by the unclean footsteps of the infidels,” the magazine states.

Another reason “behind the abandonment of jihad by many pious men and mujahidin,” ISIS-K claims, is “trials due to wife and children.”

“Children cause a father to be stingy and heartless, because the person is prevented from fighting in the path of Allah for the love of his children, and for the sake of the children he withholds his property from other people,” the magazine says.

Last month, Voice of Khurasan 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 claimed that “failure in the domestic level” was “the direct outcome” of international security expenditures “especially on the Muslims,” and predicted that citizens living under “severe frustration… looking for a way out from their predicament” could convert in “an Islamic storm.”

“And preventing the repeat of Islamic history on the US soil is far beyond the capacity of the impotent and arrogant US politicians,” ISIS-K added. “And the wind of change can clearly be felt.”

The terror group has recently 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.

After citing gun violence statistics, the article revealed ISIS’ ideological motive in expressing concern about mass shootings committed by perpetrators other than their own operatives, declaring that America “never considered that their pointless war on Islam, in the name of ‘war on terror,’ will be answered in a divinely dictated way, when a shooter having nothing to do with Islam and ‘radicalization’ (in their words) welcomes a mass gathering of US civilians with several rounds of automatic rifle, scoring death toll like the ‘zombies’ do in video games.”

“The Americans will be paid back in such a divine way, from the Lord of the worlds, until they step back from their bellicose foreign policy,” the article concluded.

In a May issue, the magazine invoked recent hot-button elements of the 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.

“These democracies teach children, as young as six, about sex and sexually transmitted diseases as part of their curriculum, together with drug abuse in order to prevent the new generation from being influenced by the widespread ills of their societies,” the ISIS-K article said. “There is a culture of free mixing in the educational institutions where they are encouraged to learn, try and test sexual activities between themselves. Homosexuality is taught as something that is normal and part of the genetic makeup and that we should be tolerant of people of such tendencies. The education is secular taught from the angle of atheism using insane and refuted ideas, such as evolution, to try and fill the void.”

“Do you really want to live in a society that has no bounds allowing and tolerating all possible views and practices?” the terror group said.

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.

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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