Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) jihadists have released a propaganda video targeting the Indian subcontinent, praising the jihadists responsible for the siege of an upscale bakery last week and warning in English that the attack was “just a glimpse” of what is to come.
The video, titled “To the Knights of the Khilafah in Bengal,” is mostly in Bengali, narrated by Bangladeshi jihadists. It begins with commentary by Breitbart News editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka lifted from FOX News, noting that the Islamic State has intensified the frequency and geographical diversity of its attacks within the past year.
Two Bangladeshi jihadists then speak to the camera, directing their words mostly at jihadist sympathizers in the country. The first man to speak, however, speaks in English. “I want to send a message to the Crusaders,” he begins. “When Allah ordered us to fight against you, he did not mean it as a joke,” he adds, arguing that jihadists who commit acts of terror are rewarded either with the death of Westerners or their own “martyrdom.” He states, “There is nothing for us to lose here. This is a battle you can never win.”
“What you witnessed in Bangladesh yesterday was just a glimpse,” he adds, dating the video to Saturday. “This will repeat and repeat and repeat … until Shariah is established.”
The Islamic State has increased its efforts in recent months to attract jihadists in the Indian subcontinent, particularly Bangladesh, where Islamist attackers have executed a string of murders of prominent secularists, atheists, LGBT commentators, and critics of Islam. At least 39 of these murders have occurred since 2013, and Bangladeshi police note with apprehension that popular opinion appears to be in the jihadis’ favor.
“In general, people think they have done the right thing, that it’s not unjustifiable to kill,” Bangladesh’s counter-terrorism police chief told The New York Times in early June. The police have responded by urging bloggers and public speakers to refrain from criticizing Islam.
In the latest issue of ISIS’s English-language magazine, Dabiq, released in April, the terrorist group featured an interview with the “governor” of ISIS’ “Bengal” province. He encouraged jihadists in the region to act and kill “infidels.”
“Bengal is an important region for the Khilafah and the global jihad due to its strategic geographic position,” he assured readers, warning that, in the coming months, the Islamic State would strike harder in the region: “And our soldiers are presently sharpening their knives to slaughter the atheists, the mockers of the Prophet, and every other apostate in the region, bi idnillah.”
The new Islamic State video follows the siege of the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday night, which resulted in the deaths of 23 people and the five jihadists involved. The jihadists forced their hostages to prove they were Muslim by reciting Quranic verses or be killed immediately, and reports suggest most of those killed were murdered at the beginning of the siege. All five terrorists have been identified as wealthy young men of elite Bangladeshi families: the sons of businessmen, technology executives, and politicians, educated in the nation’s most expensive schools. All are believed to be native Bangladeshis, not foreign fighters.