In Aleteia today I discuss ISIS’s stated desires and hopes.
Amid all the consternation over the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the future of Iraq, it should not be forgotten that ISIS has more than once indicated its intense desire to stage jihad attacks inside the United States.
There have been many recent signs that such an attack could come in the near future. Just last Wednesday, an ISIS jihadist from Britain, Abu Rashash Britani, called on Muslims in Britain to attack British civilians in order to avenge the murder in Colchester of a Muslim woman, Nahid Almanea: “These kuffar getting out of hand, dare they touch a Muslimah. I call upon any brother to take up a knife and kill as they did [in] Colchester. Muslim sister killed by kuffar in UK.”
If Muslims in Britain heed this call, how long will it be before their coreligionists in the U.S. decide to do so as well, in response to the widespread myth that Muslims in the U.S. are frequently victims of “Islamophobia”?
What’s more, ISIS has praised Salman Ashrafi, a Muslim from Canada, who recently murdered nineteen Iraqis in a jihad-martyrdom suicide attack. Ashrafi, according to ISIS, was a “brave warrior” who gave Muslims a “great example;” Muslims in Canada should “prove their manhood” by imitating him.
It won’t be difficult for a young Muslim in Canada or the United States who admires Salman Ashrafi to realize that he doesn’t have to make his way to Iraq to imitate his hero. He can do it right here at home.
ISIS is trying to make sure that happens. The Washington Free Beacon reported last week that ISIS was “stepping up efforts to recruit Americans and other westerners for jihad in Syria and possibly for future domestic terror attacks, according to U.S. officials.”
Such efforts have domestic support as well. ISIS has just produced a video featuring admirers of the group holding up messages of support from around the world. The blog Alternative Angle noted this week that one of the people featured in the video “is apparently an American national, who is pointing (minute: 03:20) with the forefinger as an indication of affirmation of Allah’s Oneness and holding a poster, which reads in mixed Arabic and English the following: ‘American support of the Islamic State ISIS. North Carolina. USA.’”
Meanwhile, James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, has said that over fifty Muslims from the United States are fighting in Syria now, having proven to be susceptible to the call of jihad. The Daily Mail reported Thursday that a Muslim from Minnesota, Abdirahmaan Muhumed, was at one point not particularly committed to his Islamic faith: “Six months ago the father of nine from Minnesota was shooting hoops in Uptown Minneapolis. He was neither overtly religious nor politically vocal.”
However, for some reason Muhumed changed enough to tell friends that he hoped to help “bring back the caliphate.” He said that if he was considered a terrorist, he was “happy with it.” and wrote: “Family is not gonna save me frm [sic] hell fire because muslims are getting kill[ed] and if I just sit here i will be ask in the [hereafter].” Muhumed declared: “I give up this worldy [sic] life for Allah,” and posted on Facebook a photo of himself holding a Qur’an and a rifle.
How widespread is this view of Islam in Minnesota? The FBI is concerned enough about that question to open an investigation. Reuters reported that “the FBI is investigating men of Somali background who have traveled from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to Syria to fight with Islamist groups against President Bashar al-Assad…Kyle Loven, a spokesman for the FBI’s Minneapolis office, said in the last few months the Bureau had received information indicating that 10 to 15 men from the region’s large Somali community had traveled to Syria.”
Read the rest here