Jihadi Cleric Suggests Using Hostages In Gaza As Human Shields, Urges Targeting U.S. Troops In Arab Countries, Elsewhere In The World

February 12, 2024

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In the aftermath of Hamas's assault on southern Israel on October 7, 2023, and Israel's subsequent war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, jihadi clerics have issued numerous statements approving of the attack and instructions on means of violence in support of Palestinians.

On February 12, 2024, Syria-based jihadi cleric Sheikh Majid Al-Rashid Abu Sayyaf published a series of posts on his Telegram channel suggesting steps to support Palestinians.

"Tie Hostages To Rooftops" To Prevent Further Bombardment

The first post included a message to the Palestinian factions that hold Israelis hostages. The cleric suggests placing each of the captives on the rooftop of a building and handing them cell phones to talk directly to Israeli television channels. Abu Sayyaf's post was originally posted on October 8, 2023, the first day of Israel's military response to Hamas's surprise attack.

"Let their parents in Israel go to sleep fearing for [the fate of] their relatives, just as you do in Gaza."  

Abu Sayyaf suggested copying the Bosnian Serbs' tactic, following the capture of United Nations peacekeepers in Bosnia in 1995 - using hostages as human shields to prevent further NATO airstrikes.

He wrote: "Now that they [Israel] brag about their military power, at a minimum, show to the world the Zionist enemy's helplessness by tying each prisoner to the top of a booby-trapped building away from civilians, and make them call their families directly. This way, the prisoner will either be rescued or several [rescue operatives] will be killed as a result, which will heal our hearts. Make it a battle live on air."

Kill U.S. Soldiers In Arab Countries And Beyond

Addressing people in Arab countries that host U.S. military bases, Abu Sayyaf urged targeting U.S. troops, as their deaths are worth more than Israeli deaths: "The killing of one single American soldier equals the killing of ten Israeli soldiers."

"The American bases are everywhere in your countries, so rise up for your brothers!"

The cleric further noted that there are 800 American military bases in 140 countries, adding that this is a fitting opportunity for those who seek to support their brethren in the Gaza Strip and defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

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