The MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Studies Project (JTTM) released a new report on the second issue of Liwa’ Al-Ansar, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) weekly magazine that was issued online on Dec. 2. A short article in the issue presented recent wildfires in California and Australia as divine retribution for coalition airstrikes on the ISIS-controlled town of Hajin in eastern Syria.
The article, the title of which was Quran verse 8:30 “They Plot, But Allah [Also] Plots,” began: “While the planes and cannons of the Crusader armies and their apostate Arab allies poured their embers on the monotheists in Hajin, destroyed houses on top of women, children, and the elderly, and burned them with white phosphorus and all types of bombs that they declare unlawful in their wars, except against Muslims, and while they were plotting against the monotheists in one small area to deter them from their religion and their jihad, fires broke out in California, America, which caused widespread devastation, made the Crusaders’ families homeless, caused damage to their homes and fields many times what they had caused to the homes of the Muslims in Hajin, ended the lives of about 100 citizens of the defenders of the Cross, and left about 1,000 missing, besides thousands of homes and buildings.”
The article also mentioned the wildfires that broke out in Australia, another member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, toward the end of November. The fires in Queensland, on the country’s eastern coast, forced Australia to evacuate residents from large areas threatened by the fires.
Liwa’ Al-Ansar praised Allah for causing these fires to divert the enemies of Islam from fighting ISIS by occupying them with local problems. The article concluded with a prayer: “We ask Allah not to spare or leave over any of them, to throw back their plot against their own throats and tear them to pieces. We ask Allah to assist the monotheists in Hajin, make them steadfast, and to grant a manifest victory at their hands.”
The idea that natural disasters, recent wildfires in particular, in Western countries are divine punishment for attacks on Muslim countries and jihadi organizations is a recurrent theme among ISIS supporters and in jihadi circles.