ISIS has declared a new 'global offensive' against the West amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
We're now 55 days into Russian president Vladimir Putin's 'special military operation' in Ukraine. While shelling and attacks continue across the country, the 'battle for Donbas' has begun, according to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Between the harrowing footage, leaders meeting to discuss the conflict, and evolving sanctions, the world has been gripped by the war - which is exactly why ISIS wants to take action.
Abu-Omar al-Muhajir, a newly instated spokesperson for the terrorist group, called on its jihadist supporters to take advantage of the West's distraction with the Russian invasion and stage terror attacks while 'the crusaders are fighting each other'.
In a speech delivered online, timed for the holy month of Ramadan, Al-Muhajir described the war as an 'opportunity' as non-Muslim nations are 'preoccupied' with the conflict.
He also urged jihadists to take revenge for the death of Abu Ibrahim al Hashimi al Qurayshi, also known as Hajji Abdullah, in February this year during a US special forces operation in Syria.
In a Telegram audio message, he said (as per The Times): "We announce, relying on God, a blessed campaign to take revenge... fight them all and Allah will answer and punish them at your hands."
The speech also comes after ISIS sympathisers killed six people in two terror attacks across Beer Sheva and Hadera in Israel last month. A Palestinian man linked to ISIS was arrested last week in connection to three further murders.
Al-Muhajir urged supporters to 'arm themselves with weapons and carry out further attacks', also claiming Jerusalem could only be liberated through a 'caliphate', meaning a public office or institution governing a territory under Islamic rule.
In June 2014, ISIS proclaimed itself to be a worldwide caliphate, claiming authority over all Muslims. While vastly rejected, the group held an area between western Iraq and eastern Syria containing more than eight million people, all forced to obey its interpretation of Islamic law.
In 2019, the terrorist group suffered heavy defeats in Iraq and Syria, as well as losing its founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
According to Olivier Guitta, managing director of GlobalStrat, ISIS hasn't directly staged any attacks in Europe for years, and that any recent attacks are only inspired by the group.
He said: "ISIS [believes it] needs to carry out attacks in Europe and in the US in order to regain credibility and put itself back in the news.
"The question is whether ISIS has the logistical capacity to carry out a spectacular attack in Europe like in 2015 in Paris or 2016 in Brussels."
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