Ahead Of New Year 2022, Pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Media Group Urges Lone Wolf Attacks In West To Avenge Western Anti-Muslim Actions

December 29, 2021

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On December 28, 2021, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) outlet released a 10-minute video titled, "O Lone Wolf: When Will You Wake Up?"[1] The video urges ISIS supporters in Western countries to perpetrate lone wolf attacks during the current holiday season, encouraging them to follow in the footsteps of others who have carried out attacks of this type in Europe and the U.S. in recent years, at various times of the year.

The above poster announces the release of the video.

The video opens with a hooded figure walking down a hallway, getting into a car, and driving on a highway, which appears to be in the U.S., somewhere in southern Tennessee. As the figure walks and drives, Arabic phrases appear onscreen, such as: "Revenge, revenge, for the Muslims, kill the polytheists […] Defend Allah's religion, raid them in their homelands […] Arise, brother," and "Who will defend Islam?" as well as the hadith "An unbeliever and his killer will never meet in Hellfire," and the Quranic verse (16:126) "And if you punish, then punish with the likes of that which you were harmed." As the hooded figure sits overlooking a city, apparently deep in thought, a recitation of Quran 9:111 is heard: "Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their possessions in exchange for Paradise. They fight for the sake of Allah, so they kill and are killed […] So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted, for that is the supreme triumph."

A screenshot from the video shows a figure driving on a highway in the U.S.; road signs show the cities of Nashville, Tennessee, and Birmingham, Alabama, ahead.

A screenshot shows phrases inciting an attack in the West in retaliation for Western actions against Muslims.

The soundtrack of the video is comprised of ISIS nasheeds [Islamic religious chants] in French, English, and Arabic, inciting supporters to carry out attacks.

The video features Western and Arab newscasters discussing the terror caused by ISIS lone wolf attacks and the virtual impossibility of preventing them. Simulated footage of imaginary attacks is shown, such as New Year's Eve fireworks near London's Big Ben, which are replaced by the ISIS logo, whereupon the tower crumbles and collapses; an explosion on one of the bridges over the River Thames; and a plane flying through the air over a generic Western city and hitting a commercial building in a crowded area, together with the English and Arabic text: "Coming soon."


A sequence from the video shows fireworks near London's Big Ben culminating in the tower's collapse after the ISIS logo appears on screen.

A screenshot shows an imaginary scene of a plane being flown into a building.

Arabic text on the screen reads: "For you, my brother, is some of what your brothers, who preceded you to the Gardens of Eternity [i.e. Paradise] did before you […] Do not disdain any small action you can do. Remember: Many a small deed has caused [its doer] to inherit Paradise." This is followed by media footage of some notable lone wolf attacks that occurred in the West in recent years, for most of which ISIS claimed responsibility.

The attacks shown include the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing; the January 2015 attack at the Paris Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket; the November 2015 attacks in Paris; the July 2016 Nice truck ramming attack; the December 2016 truck attack at a Christmas Market in Berlin; the June 2017 London Bridge attack; the August 2017 Barcelona attacks; and the November 2020 shootings in Vienna. The video includes media footage of the shootout at the Hyper Cacher supermarket and text onscreen identifies Amedy Coulibaly as "the perpetrator of the attack on the Jewish store – may Allah accept him [as a martyr]." A poster featured in the video, bearing text in Arabic and French, depicts the "nine lions of the Caliphate" who perpetrated the 2015 Paris attacks, for which ISIS claimed responsibility. The video also features a video message recorded by Anis Amri, the perpetrator of the 2016 Berlin attack, declaring his readiness to act in revenge for Germany's bombing of Muslims.

A screenshot shows the perpetrator of the Hyper Cacher attack during the shootout.

A screenshot features a poster glorifying the nine perpetrators of the 2015 Paris attacks.

A screenshot shows the perpetrator of the 2016 Berlin attack in his final video message.

A section of the video shows photographs which depict various methods for carrying out an attack, such as by means of firearms, poison, vehicles, drones, and hacking, with the text: "And many others, so make plans and surprise the unbelievers."

A screenshot shows methods for executing an attack.

The video concludes with an excerpt from a September 2017 ISIS video featuring an English-speaking fighter urging Muslims to carry out attacks against unbelievers everywhere and to follow the examples of Omar Mateen, who attacked an Orlando nightclub in June 2016, and Larossi Abballa, who perpetrated a knife attack in Paris during the same month.[2] The fighter, who was identified as Abu 'Abdallah Al-Muhajir, tells supporters in the West: "Do you know that many brothers here would wish to be in your place because they realize that killing a kafir [unbeliever] citizen from the countries of the crusader coalition in their backyards or elsewhere is more painful to them than killing one hundred from the local apostate forces here? […] The shahadah [martyrdom], whether you achieve it here or there, will both feel the same if you are sincere. [It is] nothing but a mild pinch and your soul will be flying in Jannah [Paradise]. […] What is it that is stopping you from striking the head of the snake? Do you want to see more destruction happen to your brothers and sisters? […] The least we as Muslims can do to them is to punish them with an equal punishment. Target the kuffar [unbelievers] wherever you find them all over the world, not only in the West. Rely on Allah, take available means with special emphasis on secrecy, and we ask Allah to support you." The narrator of the Tala'i' Al-Ansar video ends by echoing Al-Muhajir's words: "And we ask Allah to support you. Arise, o monotheist."

A screenshot from a 2017 ISIS video shows a fighter calling for attacks in the West.

In late December 2021, as they have for the past few years, several pro-ISIS media groups have released videos, audio messages, and posters urging Muslims in the West to carry out lone wolf attacks during the holiday season.[3]


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