After nearly half a year of silence, Daesh spokesman Abu Hassan al-Mujahir posted a new message on social media Monday calling for Muslims to “take vengeance for their religion” in response to the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, that killed 50 Muslims last Friday.
A 44-minute recorded message was posted on Telegram Monday from the Daesh spokesperson, who had been presumed dead, the New York Times reported. In the recording, Mujahir called for revenge killings in retaliation for the Christchurch attack on two mosques by a 28-year-old Australian gunman who himself claimed to be killing in revenge for Muslim terror attacks on Europeans.
“This slaughter in those two mosques is no more than another tragedy among past and coming tragedies, which will be followed by scenes of force that reach all who were tricked to living among the polytheist,” Mujahir said, the UK Independent reported.
“The scenes of death in the two mosques are enough to wake the sleep and incite the supporters of the caliphate who live there, to take vengeance for their religion and for sons of their Ummah, who are killed everywhere in the world.”
It’s long been the political line of Daesh that Muslims and non-Muslims cannot live side by side, so events like that in Christchurch are grist to their extremist mill.
Since the Friday attack, New Zealand’s government has raised the national security threat level, and senior officials have had national security crisis meetings, the New Zealand Herald reported. The Independent noted they’re preparing for “domino effect” atrocities.
Meanwhile in Syria, Daesh is slowly losing its final stronghold in Baghuz, a small city on the Euphrates River near Syria’s border with Iraq, as US airstrikes pound militant positions and Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces advance house-to-house through a network of booby traps, landmines and ambuscades.
“This is not a victory announcement, but a significant progress in the fight against Daesh,” SDF spokesperson Mustafa Bali said on Twitter. “The battles are not yet over. There are still some pockets next to the river. Some of the terrorists have taken their children as human shields. There are intermittent clashes.”
In Mujahir’s recording, he claims to be in Baghuz. That led the Times to raise an important question: given that Daesh leaders eschew electronic devices such as cell phones and even through couriers, how has he learned of the brutal murders in New Zealand?
“Is he hunkered down in a house in Iraq or Syria and relying on local TV coverage?” the Times asks. “Did one of his aides bring him the news?”
Meanwhile, last week the militant group rejected the idea it was defeated and issued a call for local supporters to prepare a new uprising.
By the “standards of this world,” Daesh may seem to have been defeated, a militant who identifies himself as Abu Abdul-Azim says in the video posted on social media last week.
“If we used to hold thousands of kilometers and now only a few kilometers remain, it is said that we lost. That is by the standards of this world. But the standards of the other world and almighty God are different.”
A second audio recording called on Daesh supporters to “rise against the crusaders and… take revenge for your religion,” claiming the group is being subjected to a “holocaust” by the US-led coalition.