Pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Channel Claims Recent Attacks Against Christians In Germany, Spain, Africa Are Retaliation For Quran Burning In Stockholm, Provides Bot To Coordinate Further Attacks

January 26, 2023

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On January 21, 2023, Rasmus Paludan, a Danish-Swedish politician and leader of the Danish Stram Kurs party, burned a copy of the Quran in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm. The incident drew condemnation from a multitude of governments and international bodies, as well as from Salafi-jihadi groups and Iran-backed militias. These responses were compiled by MEMRI JTTM in three reports — see Reactions To Quran Burning In Stockholm: Condemnation And Calls For Revenge Against Sweden; Reactions To Quran Burning In Stockholm: Condemnation And Calls For Revenge Against Sweden – Part II; Reactions To Quran Burning In Stockholm: Condemnation And Calls For Revenge Against Sweden – Part III.

On January 24-25, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Telegram channel published a series of posts discussing the retaliatory attacks that took place following Paludan's actions.

On January 24, the channel published two posts claiming that recent ISIS attacks against Christians in Africa, including the killing of 26 Christians in North Kivu in eastern DRC,[1] and recent attacks against Mozambican soldiers, are in retaliation for the burning of the Quran by a Christian politician in Sweden, as Christians anywhere are to be considered his "brothers."

The channel claimed that attacks against Christians in Africa are akin to ISIS attacking Hindus and "Chinese Communists" in Afghanistan in revenge for India's and China's actions against Muslims, or Shi'ite temples in revenge for Shi'ites insulting the first three Caliphs and the Prophet's wife 'A'ishah. It urged Muslims not to limit themselves to mere "condemnations, demonstrations, boycotts of Swedish products, and hashtags."

On January 25, following up on its previous posts, the channel encouraged Muslims in Europe, and particularly in Sweden, to follow the principle of "an eye for an eye," buy a rainbow flag and a lighter, go to the most famous location in their city and burn the flag.

Muslims are urged to consider an insult to the Quran and Islam as being against oneself or one's family, therefore requiring a person "to shed blood" and "shred [the insulter] to pieces and feed him to the dogs," especially if made in public by "slaves of wood and nails [i.e. the Cross, i.e. Christians]." Religion must be defended if one wants to go to Heaven, the channel stressed.

The channel asked sarcastically if the mother of the Chechen man who beheaded a French teacher in October 2020 for showing caricatures of the Prophet has become barren, implying that other "heroes" are needed to carry out such attacks

Later on January 25, the channel posted updates and images from two attacks carried out the same day: a stabbing by a Palestinian man on a train between Hamburg and Kiel in Germany, in which two were killed, and a machete attack in two churches in the southern Spanish city of Algeciras, in which at least one was killed.

Regarding the attacker in Germany, the channel wrote that hopefully "his motives were purely terroristic," and that "Muslims wish they were in [his] place!" With respect to the perpetrator of the Spanish attack, whose identity at the time was still unknown, the channel noted that from the images he appeared to be dressed like a Chechen.[2]

Following its updates on the two attacks in Germany and Spain, the channel wrote a post urging those in Europe who want to "act in support of their religion and don't know how, where and when" to contact its Telegram bot.


[2] It later emerged that the man, Yasine Kanjaa, is a 20-year-old Moroccan. Source:, January 26, 2023.

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