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Pro-ISIS Outlet Encourages Arson Attacks In The West In Wake Of Paris Notre Dame Fire

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

On April 21, 2019, the pro-Islamic State (ISIS) media outlet Al-Abd Al-Faqir published a video "Notre Dame is not the Last" focusing on the fire that ravaged the Paris cathedral, and exhorting Muslims in the West to carry out attacks using fire.[1] The slickly edited 3:37 minute video combines archive footage from ISIS videos and western media, with two ISIS songs in French playing in the background.

Banner used for the distribution of the clip.

The video depicts the Notre Dame fire as but one of a series of fires that have recently erupted in Europe, such as the conflagration in the Santa Maria church in Sweden or the fire that ravaged the St Sulpice church in Paris, and promises that these are not the last fires. Although the fires mentioned were unintentional, the video appears to present these fires as symbolic acts of divine retribution in answer to the Muslims' prayers and in fulfillment of the prophetic promise to eliminate polytheism. Presenting natural disasters or accidents as acts of divine retribution is a common jihadi theme.[2] The second part of the video encourages Muslims in the West to carry out incendiary attacks. The video shows an extract from a 2016 ISIS video where a French speaking ISIS fighter exhorts Muslims in the West to carry out attacks on Western soil in retribution for the bombings by the "coalition led by France, Britain and US".[3] The songs in the background emphasize Islam's eternal war against unbelievers,[4] and the promise of terror atrocities in the west as fitting vengeance for the coalition bombings against ISIS.[5] The final images show a poster published in the ISIS weekly Al-Naba' providing tips for arson attacks.[6] Arson has been touted repeatedly as a means for spreading terror, by both official[7] and unofficial[8] ISIS outlets. The prolific Al-Abd Al-Faqir media outlet has previously published material encouraging arson attacks,[9] as well as a video using the same background music in French that singles out Paris as "the capital of degeneracy".[10]

Following are screenshots of the video:

French-speaking fighter in an extract from a 2016 ISIS video, subtitled in Arabic and English.

The video features a poster published originally in the ISIS weekly Al-Naba'

 

[1] Source: Telegram.me/AF, April 21, 2019.

[6] See MEMRI JTTM report, ISIS Weekly Provides Tips On Arson, October 05, 2018.

[8] See for instance, MEMRI JTTM report, ISIS Supporter Encourages Lone Wolves: Set Fires In Your Homelands, August 26, 2018.