Posters By Pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Media Groups Celebrate Moscow Attack, Threaten And Incite Further Attacks In Russia And The West

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March 26, 2024

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On the evening of March 22, 2024, four gunmen stormed the Crocus City Hall in the Moscow suburb of Krasnogorsk, shot at the estimated 6,000 people who were attending a rock concert, and set the venue on fire, causing the roof to collapse. According to Russian authorities, 137 people were killed in the attack and more than 100 injured. Russian authorities apprehended four citizens of Tajikistan and charged them with committing terrorist acts, while President Vladimir Putin has insisted the "radical Islamists" who committed the attack were linked to Ukraine.

The Islamic State (ISIS) issued a claim several hours later taking responsibility for the attack, and on the following day released a blurred photo showing the four assailants, claiming that more than 300 people were killed or wounded in the attack and threatening: "Let crusader Russia and her allies know that the mujahideen will not forget their revenge."[1]

ISIS' A'maq news agency also released a brief video filmed inside the concert hall showing the attackers shooting multiple people and slashing one man's throat, while shouting "The infidels will be vanquished … Allah Akbar!"[2]

Unofficial pro-ISIS media groups released posters celebrating the attack and threatening Russia with further attacks. Following is a selection of posters, organized by theme:

Celebration Of The Attack, Praise For The Perpetrators

A March 24 Sarh Al-Khilafah poster depicts Russian security forces at the scene of the attack and is titled "There Is No One Left Whose Nose We Have Not Rubbed in the Dirt!" It quotes a line by the poet Hassan bin Thabet, a Companion of the Prophet Muhammad: "We killed them like dogs and did not leave / Them any glory among people, o friend."[3]

A March 25 Al-Murhafat poster depicts the four attackers above an imagined scene of a ruined Western city, along with an excerpt from a poem by ninth-century poet Abu Tammam: "People who when they wear iron [armor], you would think / That they thought death was never created / Look, and wherever you see swords gleaming / They always shine above their heads."[4]

Threats To Russians

On March 23, the Al-Murhafat Foundation released a poster titled "Moscow (Krasnogorsk)," with the threatening text: "O crusaders, as you kill you will be killed, as you burn you will be burned, and as you bomb you will be blown up. We will continue to wage war on you and ruin your loves as long as we live, obeying he command of our Lord … 'And fight the polytheists together as they fight together against you' (Quran 9:36) … So either repent and surrender to Allah, or pay the jizyah tax, willingly and submissively, or else the news will be what you see, not what you hear. You have already seen it with your own eyes."[5]

Al-Murhafat released another poster the following day, titled "Today Is the Day of Vengeance," quoting a nashid [vocal music composition] released by the pro-ISIS Intaj Al-Insar media group in honor of the attack: "Today is the day of vengeance / When forelocks are removed / By the blade of a sword or / With a hail of bullets." Noting that the ISIS claim called the attack "the most violent in years" and that it killed and wounded hundreds of Russian Christians, caused severe damage to the building, and led to the cancellation of all cultural events in Moscow, the poster declares to Russians: "If you have forgotten your killing of Muslims in Syria, Afghanistan, and other Muslim countries, the soldiers of the caliphate have not forgotten you. Today you and your allies will drink from the same cup … Know that the blood of infidels is not made licit or protected by clothing. Civilian garb does not protect blood, nor does a military uniform permit it. It is only protected by Islam and made licit by unbelief."[6]

Threats To European Capitals

A March 25 poster by the Al-Battar Foundation features the Arabic text "After Moscow, who is next?" and "Who is the next" in English. It depicts a hooded ISIS operative looking at images of the Moscow attack, along with images of landmarks in Paris, Rome, Madrid, and London.[7]

Calls For Attacks In Russia And The West

On March 24, the Hadm Al-Aswar Foundation released a poster with the hashtag #Moscow_Raid, titled "So Where Are You, O Monotheist?" Its text quotes from a 2014 speech by slain ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad Al-'Adnani:[8] "O monotheists wherever you are, cause [the West] to let go of the Islamic State, to the best of your ability. The best thing to do would be to make efforts to kill any French or American infidel or any of their allies."[9]

Another Al-Murhafat poster released on March 24, titled "#Moscow_Raid," praises the attackers as "proud men who do not remain silent to injustice. They gladdened the hearts of the believers and filled the hearts of the unbelievers and calumniators with rage … They obeyed the command of their Great Lord to frighten the unbelievers, slaughter them, cast terror into their hearts, and avenge the Muslims against them. Muslims everywhere should emulate the deed and act of their brothers and avenge their religion, brothers, and honor..."[10]

A March 24 Hadm Al-Aswar poster, titled "The Bloody Moscow Attack," quotes slain ISIS spokesman Abu Al-Hasan Al-Muhajir:[11] "O sincere monotheists in America, Russia, and Europe … know that our war against our enemies is an all-out war and their interests are easy to target. Keep them busy with themselves to spare your Caliphate and the land of Islam and remember that your prophet said: 'An infidel and his killer will never meet in Hellfire.'"[12]

A March 25 poster by the Sarh Al-Khilafah Foundation depicts an armed ISIS fighter and is titled "Rise up, o Muslims." Its text reads: "O resting lions … rise up … and strike a stroke that splits heads… When you strike, let it cause death and make the men lament before the women. Follow the example of your brothers in Moscow. Rob sleep from the eyes of the Russian crusaders. Water the earth with their blood, turn their security into alarm and their calm into panic. Enact your brothers' practice against the unbelievers of your countries, by burning, detonating, exploding, shooting, and cutting."[13]

An Al-Dir' Al-Sunni poster does not mention the Moscow attack, but depicts a collage of ISIS claims for major previous attacks in Europe and other countries, along with their perpetrators. Titled "Make the News Yourself," its text urges: "My monotheist brother, wherever you are, make the next news yourself. Show them your anger over what is happening in Muslim countries, follow the path of your brothers who preceded you, and fill the infidels' hearts with terror!"[14]

ISIS Wages A Single Worldwide War Against All Unbelievers

On March 23, the Al-Dir' Al-Sunni Foundation released a poster titled "The Moscow Raid," depicting an armed ISIS fighter looking at a blazing fire, along with a map pinpointing the Russian capital. Its text lashes out at those who blame the attack on parties other than ISIS: "Whenever the Islamic State assaults the crusaders or apostates in a qualitative, resonating raid, there are those who emerge … [and] allege that the operation was planned by the Jews and crusaders and that the Islamic State is only a soldier carrying out their instructions. The truth is that … they do not believe that Allah has free servants who follow only Allah's commands … They wage jihad on all of Allah's enemies like Allah's enemies fight all the Muslims… Let them say what they want. Their slander will not harm the mujahideen … The caravan of the mujahideen will travel on, following Allah's commands and seeking His favor, even if the entire world – Westerners, Easterners, Arabs, and foreigners – are angry."[15]

An Al-Battar poster released on March 24 shows the scene of the attack, along with the number 300, representing the number of victims. Its text declares: "One battle against one enemy, from the far south in Mozambique to the far north in Russia, and from the far west to the far east, a global war, fighting all the polytheists and apostates just as they fight all of us. Blood for blood and destruction for destruction."[16]

 

[2] See MEMRI TV Report: WARNING – GRAPHIC: ISIS Footage Of Moscow Terror Attack, March 23, 2024.

[3] March 24, 2024.

[4] March 25, 2024.

[5] March 23, 2024.

[6] March 24, 2024.

[7] March 25, 2024.

[9] March 24, 2024.

[10] March 24, 2024.

[12] March 24, 2024.

[13] March 25, 2024.

[14] March 24, 2024.

[15] March 23, 2024.

[16] March 24, 2024.


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