March 29, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11241

In Audio Address Marking Ten Year ISIS Anniversary, Spokesman Calls For Lone Wolf Attacks In U.S., Europe, Israel: 'Target The Crusaders And The Jews Everywhere; Move The Battle To Their Backyards'; Claims War On ISIS Ended In Syria Only To Expand Elsewhere, Praises Moscow Attack As 'Act Of Vengeance,' Lauds Fighters For Killing Africa's Christians

March 29, 2024
Special Dispatch No. 11241

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

On March 28, 2024, Al-Furqan, the media outlet of the Islamic State (ISIS) Central Command, released an audio address by the group's spokesman, Abu Ḥudhayfah Al-Ansari, titled "By Allah, This Matter Will Be Completed," marking the 10-year anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic State's "Caliphate" in Iraq and Syria.[1]

The 41-minute address is the third released by Al-Ansari since August 3, 2023, when he announced Abu Hafs Al-Hashimi Al-Qurashi as the group's fifth Caliph and himself as the new spokesman, after his predecessor, Abu 'Umar Al-Muhajir, was captured by Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS).[2]

In the new audio message, the spokesman addressed mujahideen worldwide and ISIS operatives in particular, calling on them to seize the opportunity of Ramadan, the month of the establishment of ISIS and the month of jihad in Islam, to unite and be prepared for the next phase. He congratulated several ISIS provinces on their ongoing jihad, with special acknowledgement to operatives in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for their brutal war on local Christians, and to operatives in ISIS's Sahel and West Africa provinces for facing entire armies and establishing shari'a in the areas under their control.

Al-Ansari also praised operatives in East Asia, namely in the Philippines, urging them to move their operations from the forest to the heart of cities. He referred to the recent ISIS attack in Moscow, as well as the January 3 attack in Iran's Kerman, as acts of vengeance.

Referencing his last address, where he spoke extensively about developments in Gaza, Al-Ansari reiterated that the fight against Israel is not complete without also fighting its regional and Western allies, urging attacks against U.S. and Western interests, as well as attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank. He further encouraged Muslims living in the West to carry out lone wolf attacks and emigrate to ISIS-controlled territory.

Similar to ISIS's d"Kill Them Wherever You Find Them" security campaign, launched in support of Gaza in January 2024, the spokesman called for prioritizing attacks against Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) personnel in charge of Syria's Al-Hol Camp. Al-Ansari's call to arms was expressed in the most violent terms, with the SDF as main target.

Below is a detailed summary of Al-Ansari's address:

One Decade In: ISIS Continues To Grow

Al-Ansari began his message by highlighting that, ten years ago, during the holy month of Ramadan, ISIS announced its Caliphate in Iraq and Syria. The message lauded the group's accomplishments in empowering Islam and instituting shari'a. He further praised ISIS fighters who "defeated" Western armies that were part of the Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS.

While describing ISIS's establishment as an edifice of monotheism and listing several purported religious and social "accomplishments," Al-Ansari downplayed the achievements of the U.S.-led Coalition in the war against ISIS. He claimed that as soon as the anti-ISIS military campaign in Syria ended, following one of the longest "wars of attrition on record," the Coalition realized that the Islamic State had expanded into the Sahel region and other parts of Africa and elsewhere. The  Coalition aspirations were thus shattered and its resources were depleted as a result of the prolonged, costly war, lack of solutions, and mounting "inter-Crusader conflicts."  

He continued: "The dilemma of America the Crusader before its war against the Caliphate was limited to Iraq and Syria; the dilemma now, after the war, reached other regions, to include Khorasan, Pakistan, Western and Central Africa, Mozambique, the Sahel, Somalia, East Asia, and other citadels of Islam that joined the caravan of the Caliphate, pledged allegiance to its imam, and raised its banner against the will and wishes of America."

Coalition's War Ended In Syria But Expanded Elsewhere

"Here is the Caliphate after its first decade, still firm on its path, expanding [territory] and growing stronger, while the illusions of its enemies failed and dissipated," said Al-Ansari.

While he implicitly acknowledged that the Coalition's military arsenal was greater, Al-Ansari emphasized that the military campaigns against ISIS in Iraq and Syria failed to weaken the resolve of its fighters and their commitment to the group's ideology. He stressed that ISIS's expansion into Africa, Khorasan (Afghanistan and its surroundings), and East Asia is strong evidence of the group's steadfastness, saying that the seeds planted by ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria expanded the group's reach to other regions.

"A decade has passed since the establishment of the state's Caliphate, a decade in which its soldiers gained epic achievements in Mosul, Raqqa, Al-Baghouz, Sirte, Marawi, Jalbana, and other places. Epic achievements continue to be gained in the provinces of Iraq, Syria, Africa, Sahel, Khorasan, Pakistan East Asia, Somalia, and elsewhere in the existing provinces of the Caliphate, along with its expanding jihad battlefields."

Al-Ansari paid tribute to ISIS leaders and fighters, saying that over the past ten years, the group mourned four leaders, who were killed while showing utmost bravery on the battlefield. Their sacrifices, he claimed, saved generations of Muslim youth from dying under un-Islamic banners.

He went on to discredit other Islamist groups that align themselves with local governments or regional powers in order to advance their agenda. Meanwhile, ISIS's approach, he said, demolished "the idols of our time," including the pacifism, patriotism, and democracy promoted by rival jihadi and Islamists groups, and "preserved the fruit of jihad from becoming cheap loot for the advocates of democracy and nationalists." He then pledged that even after ten years, ISIS never abandoned its commitment to shari'a and the expansion of jihadi activity, despite hardships and security risks, noting that Muslims "continue to migrate from various lands to join the ranks of ISIS and live under its banner."

Advice To Muslims, Mujahideen During Ramadan, "The Month Of Jihad"

In a series of congratulatory notes and operational advice to Muslims in general and the mujahideen in particular, Al-Ansari wished all a blessed Ramadan, saying that the holy month is an opportunity to get equipped and a reminder that the path of jihad is long and replete with challenges. Citing verses from the Quran, he advised fighters to renew their commitment to religious rituals, remain united, exercise patience when facing hardships, obey the group's commanders, and fulfill the pledge of allegiance, which he called a major "pillar of the Islamic State, in the past and in the future."

Main Mission Of Media Operatives Is To Promote ISIS, Disseminate Its Media "Legacy," Unless They Immigrate To Join Operatives On The Ground

Addressing ISIS supporters online, both individuals and media entities, Al-Ansari urged them to make the best of the Islamic State's media "legacy," which still needs to be translated and disseminated across social media platforms.

"Compete with the people of falsehood by spreading guidance, and counter their doubts by spreading the word of truth and nothing else. Champion the shari'a with shari'a-based arguments and invite people to Allah's way with good advice. Address each person according to their capacity to understand, since you are the conveyers of the message," he advised, adding: "This is your primary mission in the field of media support, so do not replace it with anything else, unless you choose to rush forth and join the battlefields."

Praising ISIS's Mozambique And Central Africa Provinces For Ongoing War On Christians

Al-Ansari extended greetings and operational advice to operatives in all ISIS provinces. He expressed special salutations to the "knights of Mozambique" for humiliating Christians and their armies and exacting a "just revenge" in the name of the Muslims of Africa.

He said: "We congratulate our mujahideen for their attacks and recent conquests, as we congratulate them for their tireless preaching efforts in Muslim gatherings and villages on the path of prophethood. The Caliphate soldiers have rightly demonstrated that they are ruthless against the infidels and merciful among themselves. Be a burning fire for the unbelievers and a beacon of light and mercy for Muslims.

"Congratulations to you as you uphold the rule of shari'a in a land which Muslims forgot, but the Crusaders did not, as they continue to advance their conspiracies and increase Christianization. Here you are today, foiling their plots, thwarting their efforts to seduce people and Christianize them, and countering their offensive with the guiding book and the victorious sword."

The spokesman extended similar greetings to operatives in Central Africa Province, namely in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Referring to them as the "giants and lions" of the forests, Al-Ansari lauded operatives for their comprehensive war against Christians in the region and them "killing, capturing, and displacing [Christians] in permanent waves of displacement."

Further praising attacks on Christians in DRC, he said: "[ISIS's operatives] targeted [Christians'] trade and transportation routes until they have no place left to stay or travel. They depleted the resources of their exhausted armed forces, until people gave up on their government and lost confidence in it, after [the DRC] and its Ugandan ally failed to halt the wheel of jihad."

"So, keep up your effort and your jihad, and continue to target Christian gatherings and government centers, for the outcomes [of such an approach] are worse and more severe," he added.

Al-Ansari also congratulated the "lions of the Caliphate" in ISIS's West Africa and Sahel provinces for their war of attrition against the region's armies and affiliated militias. He praised operatives for establishing "divine" shari'a law in every land they stepped foot in, such as Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, and angering the unbelievers and the hypocrites among the Muslims. 

Praising Attacks Against Minorities In Afghanistan And Attacks During Pakistan's Elections

Congratulating operatives in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the surrounding regions, Al-Ansari praised the actions of the "masters" of the Salafi-jihadi method of "loyalty to Muslims and disavowal of non-Muslims," enacted against polytheists, saying their operations are as significant as past blazing operations against the Americans, Russians, and Chinese. The spokesman also praised attacks targeting the places of worship of Shi'ite, Sikh, and Hindu minorities in Afghanistan, "whose blood mixed with that of their guards" – a reference to the Afghan Taliban, whom he called "the heirs of [former Afghan President Hamid] Karzai, and the minions of the Americans."

Addressing fighters in ISIS's Pakistan province, Al-Ansari congratulated the perpetrators of the recent attacks during Pakistan's February 2024 parliamentary election targeting candidates and support rallies for the "chiefs of unbelief and worshipers of modern idols, the advocates of democracy and elections of unbelief." 

Philippines Operatives Urged To Move Fight To Heart Of Cities; Other Provinces Called To Unite And Prepare For "Bigger Events"

The spokesman also addressed the "perseverant few" in ISIS's East Asia Province, congratulating them for their ongoing fight, which he said turned the forests of the southern Philippines into sites of deadly ambushes and hunting officers and soldiers of the "infidel government and apostate affiliated militias."

Inciting Philippine fighters to expand the scope of operations outside their bases in the forests, Al-Ansari advised them to close ranks and begin operating in the heart of cities, saying: "Make the forest your retreat and target the enemy's centers."

Al-Ansari went on to hail ISIS soldiers in Somalia, Yemen, Sinai, Libya, Tunisa, and Caucasus, advising them to hold firm to the path of jihad and urging patience in the process: "Seek unity and be prepared for bigger events."

Attacks In Iran And Russia Are "Acts Of Vengeance"; More Attacks Will Come

Addressing Sunnis in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon, Al-Ansari said that ISIS-claimed attack in Kerman, Iran on January 3, 2024 was meant to avenge victims who were killed at the hands of Shi'ite Iran and its militias in those countries.

He further lauded ISIS's attack in a concert venue in Moscow on February 22, saying that the attack was retribution against Russia, "which fought Muslims" in the past and in the present, in Syria and the Sahel. Describing the ISIS assailants who carried out the Moscow attack as "lions," the spokesman also reminded his audience of ISIS's claim of downing a Russian airplane flying over Sinai in 2015. He then praised ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq for escalating attacks, and for never conceding.

Discussing the reason for the Moscow attack, Al-Ansari said: "We do not need to present religious justifications for the targeting of a country that fought Muslims in the past and still does. We continue to kill and terrorize its soldiers in Syria's desert and the [African] Sahel region. We downed their plane in Sinai before – praise be to Allah for granting us success. We ask the Almighty for more."

On Gaza: "The Battle With The Jews Not Complete Without Fighting Their Apostate And Crusader Allies Everywhere"

Turning to the topic of the war in Gaza, which he discussed in his January address,"[3] Al-Ansari said: "To all Muslims around the world – the Islamic ummah [nation]. What is happening in Gaza, is similar to what happened multiple times and only a few years ago to Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sinai, and Yemen. It is the same thing that is still happening to Muslims in Burma, India, China, and elsewhere. [...] It is one wound which has one solution: To rally behind one Imam and one ideology that will mobilize armies to fight infidels under the banner of shari'a," He reminded Muslims of the campaign "Kill Them Wherever You Find Them," launched in support of Gaza in early January 2024.

Inciting Lone Wolf Attacks In U.S., Europe, Israel: Target The Crusaders And The Jews Everywhere; Move The Battle To Their Backyards

He continued: "In this regard, we renew and repeat our incitement to lone wolves, who strive tirelessly to target the Crusaders and the Jews everywhere, especially in Crusader America and Europe, as well as in the heart of the Jewish statelet in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories," he said.

He urged supporters in the West to transfer the battle to the backyards of Jews and Crusaders, and to "lie in wait to annihilate them."

He then called on Muslims living in non-Muslims countries to emigrate to ISIS-controlled areas, in observance of the mandatory duty of jihad, and to participate in championing the religion and restoring the glory of Islam.

Call To Arms To Liberate ISIS-Affiliated Women Detainees In Syria's Al-Hol Camp – Kill SDF Members "In The Most Gruesome Of Ways... Make The Scenes Of Their Killing A Horror That Will Last Forever"

Addressing detained ISIS-affiliated women in Syria's Al-Hol and Roj camps, Al-Ansari congratulated them for holding firm to their religion and shari'a, and promised to free them by any means available despite the challenges, just as ISIS did when prisons in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, the DRC, Nigeria, and elsewhere were stormed and prisoners released.

He then relayed a message from ISIS leader Abu-Hafs promising the prisoners imminent freedom. Al-Ansari stressed that ISIS leadership received recent news about the mistreatment of female prisoners in Al-Hol by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and urges jihadis in Syria to target them mercilessly in support of their "chaste" sisters.

He said: "Oh soldiers of the Caliphate in Syria, the lions of Al-Barakah, Deir Al-Zour, and Raqqa. When you get this message, draw your weapons and attack your enemy. Go after SDF commanders and investigators, prison guards, and everyone involved with Al-Hol. Show them the horror of your anger and your zeal for the honor of Muslims. Agree in groups and as individuals to die for this cause. Ready martyrdom-seeking and behind-enemy-lines commando operatives for this mission. Be sure to kill your enemy in the most gruesome of ways. Make the news of the scenes of their killing a horror that will last forever. There is no revenge for Al-Hol without horrors."

To All Unbelievers: War Against ISIS Is Not A Single Chapter; After Every Round Of Fighting, ISIS Returns Stronger Than Before

Addressing ISIS's adversaries, Al-Ansari said that the war on ISIS is not a chapter that will end any time soon, claiming that their plans targeting the land of Islam have failed as ISIS continues to fight one round at a time, and that after each round, ISIS "returns stronger than before."

"You have depleted all solutions in your war against the Caliphate in Iraq and Syria, with a global Coalition in which you exerted your utmost effort in mobilizing thugs from infidel countries and the vilest nations. Then you repeatedly declared victory over us, as you did before in Iraq, and here we are, back again, with our jihad and fighting against all your alliances, which stand helpless and humiliated, not knowing what the way out is, because there are no solutions," he said defiantly.

African Coalition Caught In "Holocaust Of Epics" As It Scrambles To Fight ISIS's African And Sahel Provinces

Al-Ansari underlines his claim that America and its allies are stuck in a muddle of a war of attrition, and that ISIS is waging a single campaign that targets the armies of America's allies all at the same time, across many countries, leaving them counting their losses and their dead.

"Look, America, how you started your war on the mujahideen in Iraq about two decades ago, when they were just a few groups and gatherings, and here you are today, fighting their grandchildren, who built for their nation the only state that does not abide by the borders and restrictions of your pre-Islamic world order."

He concluded "What do you have left, Oh America, to fight us with? Is it a new coalition, which wore you out just to form, and which today is divided and threatened by the specter of internal wars and economic crises? Or is it your helpless African Coalition, which you are still unable to unify, which is begging for funding, while it is immersed in the Holocaust of epics in the Sahel and elsewhere in Africa?"


[1] Telegram, Nashir, March 28, 2024.

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