Islamic State (IS) mentioned the coronavirus pandemic was divine punishment for its enemies, based on an audio broadcast on Thursday, the place the jihadists additionally vowed extra assaults.
The particular person on the tape, which was posted on one of many militants’ web sites however couldn’t be verified by Reuters, recognized himself as IS spokesman Abu Hamzah al-Quraishi.
“God, by his will, sent a punishment to tyrants of this time and their followers … which can’t be seen by the naked eye,” he mentioned, in an allusion to the COVID-19 illness.
“Today we are pleased for this punishment of God for you.”
It was the Sunni Muslim group’s third such tape since appointing Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi as new chief following the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by U.S. particular forces in northwestern Syria late final 12 months.
Quraishi urged IS fighters “everywhere to prepare whatever strength they could and be as hard as they could on the enemies of God and to raid their places,” based on the tape. “Don’t let a single day pass without making their lives awful.”
He gave no particular targets however talked about international locations the place the group is lively akin to Syria and Iraq in addition to western Africa.
IS has struggled to regroup and develop new technique because the killing of Baghdadi. It misplaced its final vital piece of territory in Syria final 12 months after already being defeated in Iraq.
The SITE Intelligence Group monitoring web site mentioned the tape seemed genuine. “IS spokesman echoes jihadi sentiment of COVID-19 being divine punishment,” it mentioned.