Islamic State (ISIS) Spokesman Instructs Muslims To Renew Lone Wolf Attacks In U.S., Europe, In Support Of Gaza; Discredits Palestinian Factions For Their Alliance With Iran, Calls On Arabs To Rebel Against Their Rulers

January 4, 2024

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On January 4, 2024, Al-Furqan, the media outlet of the Islamic State (ISIS) Central Command, released an audio message from the group's spokesman, Abu Ḥudhayfah Al-Ansari, titled: "And Kill Them Wherever You find Them."[1]

The 67-minute message is the second by Al-Ansari since August 3, 2023, when he announced that Abu Hafs Al-Hashimi Al-Qurashi would serve as the group's fifth Caliph following the death of his predecessor, Abu Al-Husayn Al-Husayni Al-Qurashi. Al-Qurashi died in a confrontation with Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) in Idlib, and his spokesman was captured.[2]

In his new audio message, Al-Ansari addressed the Israeli military operation in Gaza. criticizing the alliance between Hamas and the Shi'ite regime of Iran and accusing the Arab rulers of colluding with Israel. He further discredited Palestinian officials and cast doubts on any political solution to end the war.

Al-Ansari then addressed supporters residing in the United States and Europe. He urged them to carry out lone-wolf attacks in support of Muslims in Gaza and emphasized that religious sites, such as churches and synagogues, are top priority. He provided a vivid description of suggested targets and tactics.

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'Monotheism Is The Goal, And Jihad Is The Path'

Citing a Quranic verse that reads: "I [i.e., Allah] only created jinns and mankind to worship me," the spokesman started his address by asserting that Muslims' primary goal in life is to devote their time and effort to worship Allah. He continued, contending that jihad is the only way to accomplish such a goal, saying: "Hence, monotheism is the goal, and jihad is the path."

Al-Ansari further discredited any other form of Islamic governance that advocates for a different interpretation, such as those advocating for democracy or secularism. He positioned ISIS as the true guardian of Islam and its laws.

Arguing that ISIS's Caliphate is still going strong, he lauded the group operations in different regions, maintaining that despite the hardships and wars, the group will never give up on its "blessed path" of jihad until Islam prevails.

Al-Ansari explained that his introduction is essential in assessing the religious basis that one should consider when examining what the "our Muslims are facing in the beloved Palestine of a Jewish unjust war which is killing people and destroying the land."

He therefore offered what he described as ideological guidance that he would like to share, as part of ISIS's support of Gazans.

'ISIS Is Religiously Obligated To Support Muslims Of Gaza'

Praying to Allah to accept the Gazans who lost their lives in the war, and for their wounded to recover, the spokesman explained that ISIS's stance towards the events in Gaza stems from the same bond of brotherhood that ISIS feels towards Muslims everywhere. Accordingly, he said, the ISIS ideology of "loyalty [to Muslims] and disavowal of [infidels]," obligates the group to extend its support and advice to the Muslims in Gaza.

Blaming Israel for the escalation of violence in Gaza, he recited a Quranic verse that reads: "You will surely find the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers [to be] the Jews."

He further warned Muslims not to differentiate among Jews, saying they are all the enemy of Muslims, including "the Jews of Palestine and the Jews of the world." He added the battle against the Jews should always be assessed within the Quranic context, not according to "useless political books."

"The battle with the Jews is not a religious battle, neither patriotic nor nationalistic! It is a battle not because of the land, soil, or borders! Rather, it is a battle that derives its legitimacy from the Quran and Sunnah [i.e., the Prophet Muhammad's sayings], and not from the international legitimacy, nor its laws."

'No Political Solution Will Help Palestinians'

Arguing that there will not be a political solution for the war, he said: "The war with the Jews will not end in a one-state solution or two-state solution, as nationalists believe. It is a religious ideological war that will continue until we kill their antichrist under the banner of the Prophet of Allah, Jesus-- peace be upon him. Allah promised, and Allah does not break His promise."

Addressing the Muslims of Gaza, he warned them that the speeches and the statements made by the Palestinian factions who are leading the war against Israel now--Hamas and its affiliates-- reveal that the ideological views of these factions are not based on defending the religion, but rather based on nationalism, revolving around the land and its borders.

He demeaned Hamas and other Palestinian politicians such as Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian National Authority, and Mohammad Dahlan, a Palestinian politician, the former leader of Fatah in Gaza. He argued that they are proxies of America or of Iran.

"It is the religion of Islam that granted status to Palestine, and the land has no value if it is not governed by the law of the Most Merciful, whether Abbas ruled it or Dahlan ruled it, and it does not matter if Gaza was ruled by America's or Iran's proxies [i.e., Hamas]," he said.

'Gaza-Based Factions Should Join Jihad'

Addressing fighters of the Palestinian factions in Gaza, he explicitly invited them to join the ranks of jihad, saying it is unfortunate that their blood will be shed under the banner of Hamas and other factions. He suggested that they are empowering "tyrants" to take power in Gaza who will later rule with an ideology that contradicts Islamic laws.

"O Palestinian fighter, merely fighting the Jews is not an indication of the soundness of the path or the soundness of the approach. Before you, the Jews were fought by the communist fighters, by nationalist fighters, who wrestled in rounds with them. Did their fighting result in the upholding of the word of Allah Almighty and the establishment of His laws?"

'Hamas's Alliance With The Shi'ite Regime Of Iran'

He further discredited Hamas and other Palestinian factions for their "alliance" with the Shi'ite regime in Iran, reminding them that such an alliance represents a "sin" that the Muslim Brotherhood also committed. He further condemned the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran as an "apostate" revolution, stressing that allying with Iran and its "Axis of Resistance" has enabled the Iranian regime to position itself internationally as the defender of the Palestinian cause.

Condemning the Lebanese Hizbullah and other Iran-backed factions in Yemen and Iraq, Al-Ansari accused them of serving Tehran's agenda and engaging in a proxy war on behalf of Tehran. He further incited Sunni Muslims against Iran by highlighting the "crimes committed against them by the Shi'ites throughout history."

'Arab Governments Colluding With Israel'

Discussing the position of Arab rulers on the war in Gaza, Al-Ansari considered them traitors and urged Muslims to rebel against them. "We emphasize that the battle with the Jews today is in fact a battle with their allies more than the Jews themselves. This is confirmed by the recent chapters of the war which they launched against Gaza, and one can see how the collusion of the apostate Arab governments [with Israel] was as painful as the American bombs and missiles. Therefore, the solution lies in fighting these people [i.e., rulers], all of them, as they unite and ally themselves together against Muslims. It is the duty of Muslims to unite and fight them in response to Allah's commands."

Call For Lone Wolf Attacks In The West

In a call for action, the spokesman addressed ISIS supporters and fighters across the region, urging them to carry out attacks against "Jews and Crusaders" in support of the Muslims in Palestine: 

"And because words must be accompanied by actions, and per our religious duty to support our Muslim brothers wherever they are, including Palestine, and based on our faith that the battle is with the Jews and their allies stretches everywhere, the Islamic State is mobilizing its soldiers, especially Muslims who are eager to support the oppressed in general, to target the Jews and Crusaders and their criminal allies, above every land and under every sky," he said.

Calling on supporters in western countries to carry out lone wolf attacks, he added:

"We call upon you today to renew your activity and revive your blessed operations in the heart of the homes of Jews and Christians. You inflicted great losses on them before and brought them a whirlpool of terror and anticipation. O lions of Islam, chase your prey from Jews, Christians, and their allies, in the streets and the roads of America, Europe, and the world. Raid their homes, kill them, and torture them by every means you can."

Further, he instructed supporters in the West to "tighten the plans and diversify operations: Blow them up with explosives, burn them with incendiary bombs, shoot them with bullets, slaughter their necks with knives, and run them over with buses."

He went on to add: "Do not differentiate between an infidel civilian or military, as they are all infidels, and they should be judged the same way. The armies of the Jews and the Crusaders are attacking, with their planes, Muslim countries and they do not differentiate between civilian or military. They bomb mercilessly, and they kill relentlessly. Make them know that their crimes in Palestine, Iraq, and the Levant and other Muslim countries will [cause us to] hunt them down and back in their own homelands in Washington, Paris, London, Rome, and other lands of the infidels."

Providing guidance to targets the attacks, he said: "Aim for an easy target before the difficult ones, and for civilian targets before military ones, and religious sites such as synagogues and churches, before anything else."

'Make Donations'

Urging Muslims everywhere to support ISIS and suffering Muslims with donations, he said:

"We also remind Muslims to make donations for the sake of Allah Almighty, and to send financial support to those who deserve it most who live in Muslim lands, and to those who burdened by wars and crises. Via safe and reliable means, support your brothers with your money."

Concluding, Al-Ansari told Muslims that he wants to convoy the Caliph's message to them, saying that the latter urges them to extend their support to the oppressed people of Gaza.

Finally, he praised "the Soldier of the Caliphate," including "the prisoners behind bars," praying to Allah to grant them victory and empower them to uphold His words.

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