Europe, US threat­ened

Lesotho Times - - International -

CAIRO — An ISIS spokesper­son has urged sym­pa­this­ers in Europe and the US to launch at­tacks on civil­ians there, if they are un­able to travel to the group’s self-de­clared caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

In a 31-minute au­dio mes­sage re­leased late on Satur­day by the ISIS media arm al-furqan, Abu Mo­hammed al-ad­nani (pic

tured) told his fol­low­ers that, “the tini­est ac­tion you do in the heart of their land is dearer to us than the big­gest ac­tion by us ... there are no in­no­cents in the heart of the lands of the Cru­saders”.

He en­cour­aged lone wolf at­tacks dur­ing the Mus­lim holy month of Ramadan, which is ex­pected to start early next month, “to win the great award of mar­tyr­dom.”

Al-ad­nani also said the Us-led war against the group was doomed to fail­ure and that Amer­ica “fell in the swamp of perdi­tion”.

The speech may have been aimed at boost­ing morale af­ter the group suf­fered a string of mil­i­tary set­backs and lost ter­ri­tory in both Iraq and Syria.

Last week, Brett Mcgurk, the US pres­i­den­tial en­voy to the 66-coun­try anti-isis coali­tion, said that “this per­verse caliphate is shrink­ing”.

Ad­dress­ing these losses, al-ad­nani said that even if it was pushed out of its strongholds such as Raqqa and Mo­sul this would not count as de­feat be­cause “de­feat is the loss of will and the de­sire to fight”.

His men­tion of the pos­si­ble loss of the Syr­ian city of Raqqa co­in­cided with a se­cret trip to Syria on Satur­day by army Gen­eral Joseph Vo­tel, the new com­man­der of US forces in the Mid­dle East. The US is try­ing to de­velop cred­i­ble Arab fight­ers to re­take Raqqa, the Is­lamic State’s self-de­clared cap­i­tal.

— AP

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