Violent Jihad

ISIS Spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani Releases New Audio Message

ISIS calls for new attacks, does not claim credit for downing EgyptAir 804.

BY Immanuel Al-Manteeqi · @Al_Manteeqi | May 23, 2016

ISIS’ al-Furqan Media has purportedly released a new Arabic audio recording on Saturday, May 21st entitled, “That They Live by Proof.”  The audio recording contains an approximately thirty-one minute monologue by the notorious mouthpiece for the Islamic State, ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, who appears after an absence of several months after unconfirmed reports that he had been critically injured in January of 2016. Significantly, in the recording al-Adnani calls on attacks against the United States and Europe during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.[1] As Reuters reports, Al-Adnani reminds the “fighters and supporters of the Caliphate in Europe and America” that Ramadan, which is around the corner, is “the month of conquest and jihad,” and he exhorts them: “Get prepared, be ready…to make it a month of calamity everywhere for the non-believers.”

In this year of 2016, Ramadan will fall between June 5th and July 5th, and so security personnel in the West will do well to be on heightened alert during this time period. This is especially true since al-Adnani’s calls to violence have not gone unheeded in the past. For example, as CNN reports, in September 2014 al-Adnani called on lone-wolf attacks against the West. The next few weeks after al-Adnani’s call to violence, the world witnessed events such as an ISIS sympathizer attacking a New York police officer with an axe, and the deadly Islamist assault on the Canadian parliament. Furthermore, only eighteen days after al-Adnani called on attacks against Russians in 2015, the Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 was brought down by ISIS militants. So, the West should take calls to violence from the spokesperson of the “JV team,” to use Obama’s nomenclature, seriously.

The following is a summary of the other content in this audio recording.

The opening of the recording starts with traditional anti-Jewish and anti-“Crusader” propaganda. However, it is not just propaganda  emerging from a vacuum. Some of al-Adnani’s statements  are backed up by citations from the Islamic source texts. For example, he cites the following anti-Jewish hadith from Sahih Muslim (the second most trusted collection of ahadeeth) in the beginning of the recording:

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger [Muhammad] as saying:

The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews, and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and the  stone or  tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.

Obviously, and contrary to what many liberals in the West claim , the anti-semitism of groups like ISIS does not just emerge out of the ISIS members’ individual hatred for Jews, but ultimately comes from, and is catalyzed by, traditional Islamic texts such as the one just cited.

Al-Adnani also speaks of the mayhem that America caused with its invasion of Iraq in 2003, and notes that it has proven to be a catastrophic failure. Whatever one’s stance on the moral propriety of the Iraq war, it seems clear that Obama’s decision to remove troops from Iraq was an overly hasty decision, and one that has proven quite costly, as Islamist groups like ISIS quickly filled up the power vacuum.

Much of what al-Adnani says in the audio recording is just standard babble about, for example,  the “Nusayriya,” a reference to the Alawite Shi’is who are in power in the Syrian government, and about all the alleged aggressions that Muslims are facing around the world at the hands of the “Crusaders” and “atheists.” However, just like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s speech in Mosul’s Grand Mosque of An-Nuri, al-Adnani’s speech is rendered in exceptional classical Arabic, representing a degree of linguistic acumen that very few Arabs attain.

Towards minute 20:00 of the audio recording, al-Adnani starts to call Muslims to jihad against the infidels. In doing so, he cites a number of Islamic source texts that seem to call for violent jihad. They are as follows,  listed in the order they are cited by al-Adnani):

Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them and satisfy the breasts of a believing people (Q 9:14).

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book [i.e., Jews and Christians], until they pay the Jizya [a poll tax] out of their hand in humiliation (Q 9:29).

And when you find those who have disbelieved, then smite at their necks (Q 4:47).

And fight them until there is no more fitna, and all religion will be for God. (Q 2:193)

After citing these texts that al-Adnani ostensibly assumes  his audience  to know very well, he goes on to say that ISIS will not beg anyone to accept Islam. No, if a person chooses to accept Islam, then that is great; if a person does not do so, then ISIS will “force his nose” (نرغم انفه), i.e., forcibly make him Muslim. He goes on to talk about how many so-called Islamic groups are secular and warns ISIS followers, by citing Islamic source texts, that they should not mingle with such hypocritical groups. Towards the end of the audio he cites another hadith found in Sahih Muslim, which has Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, stating the following:

You will attack Arabia and Allah will enable you to conquer it, then you would attack Persia and He would make you conquer it. Then you would attack Rum [Byzantium] and Allah will enable you to conquer it, then you would attack the Dajjal and Allah will enable you to conquer him. Nafi’ said: Jabir, we thought that the Dajjal would appear only after Rum [Syrian territory/Byzantium] would be conquered.

Coming to understand texts such as these is vital to understanding what motivates Islamist militants like ISIS fighters. Many in the Obama administration have unfortunately removed the study of ideology in this sphere, and make lame pronouncements such that ISIS recruitment is perpetuated by a short of jobs. No, ISIS has an ideology that it believes it is acting in accordance with. That ideology is Islam. Therefore, combating ISIS will involve understanding their ideology, and viewing it without the lenses of political correctness.

Al-Adnani is a very important figure in the Islamic State. It is suspected that he is not just a spokesperson for the global terrorist organization, but someone who coordinates many ISIS operations in Syria. Since 2015, The U.S. State Department Rewards for Justice Program has called him a “specially designated global terrorist,” and has placed a $5 million dollar bounty on the head of Abu Muhammad al-Adnani. Al-Adnani was reportedly critically injured in a coalition airstrike which occurred in the town of Barwanah, which falls in Iraq’s Western Anbar province.

Significantly, al-Adnani does not mention that the crashing of EgyptAir Flight 804. The following can be reasonably inferred from this:

If this audio recording were in fact done very recently, and after the crashing of EgyptAir Flight 804, then this is good evidence that ISIS is not responsible for the plane’s crashing. This is because usually ISIS claims responsibility for its terrorist attacks, just as it did when its members brought down a Russian commercial plane. It is unlikely that al-Adnani would not jump at the opportunity to announce the recent successful ISIS operation, if it had in fact brought the Egyptian airliner down. So al-Adnani’s omitting mention of the recent crash of  EgyptAir Flight 804 is good evidence that ISIS is not responsible for the plane’s crashing. However, this is true only if the audio recording was recorded very recently, and after the crashing of EgyptAir Flight 804. This is because if it was recorded prior to the plane crash, then al-Adnani’s omitting mention of the crash would be totally expected; therefore, his omitting mention of the crash would not translate into good evidence that ISIS is not responsible for it. Perhaps, as some commentators have suggested, the EgyptAir Flight 804 crash was perpetrated by Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers who are growing increasingly impatient with President Sisi’s government.

[1] In the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, an annual period of roughly thirty days, Muslims are supposed to fast from sunrise until sunset from all sexual relations, food and drink—including water. Exceptions are made for people who are sick or traveling, which exceptions have their basis  in Qur’anic verses. It should be noted that in many majority Muslim countries, acts of publically drinking from a water bottle, or even just carrying it in public, especially if perpetrated by a non-Muslim, are considered offensive.



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