Bystander video of the Charlie Hebdo attack on Jan. 7, 2015.

ISIS Magazine Calls on Supporters to ‘Race’ to Emulate Charlie Hebdo Attack

The new edition of an English-language monthly magazine produced by ISIS supporters urges followers to “race” to emulate the 2015 attack on the Paris headquarters of newspaper Charlie Hebdo, arguing that governments aren’t doing enough to punish those viewed by the terror group as blasphemers.

The seventh issue of “The Voice of Hind,” released online by ISIS supporters in India, tells Muslims that “the governments you live under are providing full support and protection to every person who attacks our beloved prophet, under the pretext of freedom of expression.”

They highlighted the case of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who was sentenced to death for blasphemy — charges stemming from an argument with neighbors — in 2010, prompting global outcry and her eventual acquittal by the country’s supreme court in 2018. Multiple countries offered her asylum, and she settled in Canada the following year. The “Voice of Hind” writers said the case was “not shrouded from anyone” and that “the agencies of Pakistan provided for her a safe exit from Pakistan and hindered the path of muwahidin who were fuming with anger.”

The magazine then hailed the July murder of Tahir Naseem, an American citizen from Illinois who was detained on Pakistan’s blasphemy laws in 2018 and shot six times in a Peshawar courtroom two years later; the “outraged” State Department said he was lured to the country and entrapped, and called on Pakistan to “immediately reform its often abused blasphemy laws and its court system, which  allow such abuses to occur, and to ensure that the suspect is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” The ISIS writers said the Pakistan government “shamelessly imprisoned” the gunman.

The article then called the Charlie Hebdo attack, in which brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi killed 12 people, an operation “with Faith and riffles [sp]” to “wreak havoc in the broad daylight to avenge the Messenger (PBUH) for being abused by this newspaper.”

The Kouachis and “all those brothers who come out” to attack accused blasphemers are “leaving a clear path for others to follow,” the magazine states. “Yes, my dear brothers; this is the way to defend the Messenger (PBUH), there is no other way! We cannot expect the disbelieving and apostate governments to carry out the punishment for the blasphemy prescribed by Islam.”

That punishment, the article continues, is “nothing but death,” and followers should “race to one another to carry out this obligation.”

“If we do not become forceful, then the assaults on our religion… will continue,” the text states, calling on supporters to “take revenge on each and every one who has insulted our beloved Messenger (PBUH).”

Last month’s issue of “The Voice of Hind” insisted that territorial losses were a tactical decision by the Islamic State, and called for loyalists to be broken out of prisons around the world including in the United States.

The authors mentioned “beloved sister” Aafia Siddiqui, aka “Lady al-Qaeda,” while discussing ISIS prison break operations, as well as the ISIS wives still being held by the Syrian Democratic Forces. “There are still thousands of sisters imprisoned by the apostate SDF in al Houl Camp and they are living in extreme difficult conditions,” the article stated, noting “many others who are still in the prisons of America, Europe and the rest of the world.”

The magazine threatened one European country — “we still consider Spain ours and its revenge is inevitable” — and vowed to “never forsake our brothers who are in the prisons of America, Russia, Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Africa and others.”

The issue added that territory reclaimed from ISIS is only “a temporary transition and it is only a matter of time that Islamic State takes them back, this time more strongly though.”

Between its fourth and fifth editions, the creators released a “lockdown special” edition of the magazine encouraging steps to “annihilate the disbelievers” including stabbing people with scissors and expending “less effort” by spreading deadly coronavirus. The issue tried to goad followers into spreading the virus, calling it “a weapon far greater than stones” and adding, “What better chance can you get to kill the disbelievers in multitudes than COVID 19?”

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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 senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15, a private investigator and a security consultant. She 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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