Islamic State have released a new propaganda video showing Belgian-born jihadis celebrating the Brussels attacks and calling them Belgium’s 9/11.
The footage, which appears to have been shot in the Iraqi city of Mosul, shows two French-speaking Islamists claiming to be Belgian nationals and warning that more terror attacks will come to the small European country.
The jihadis, who are named as Abu Abdullah al-Belgiki and Abu Mujahid al-Belgiki, warn Tuesday’s bombings were “just the beginning of your nightmare”, adding: “Today we declare a new 9/11.”
The Daily Mail reports that Abu Abdullah previously appeared in another Islamic State video in November, praising the Paris attacks and warning the city would be attacked again.
The video also shows the Islamists among young children, watching a projection of another Islamic State propaganda video.
The video comes after it was revealed U.S. air strikes had killed Islamic State’s second-in-command, Haji Imam. The US government had placed a $7 million bounty on his head, believing he would be promoted to “caliph” if anything happened to current leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told a press briefing: “We are systemically eliminating ISIL’s cabinet. Indeed, the U.S. military killed several key ISIL terrorists this week, including, we believe, Haji Imam, who was an ISIL senior leader, serving as a finance minister, and who is also responsible for some external affairs and plots.”
He had taught physics in Iraq before joining Al Qaeda in 2004. Although he was imprisoned, he was later released in 2012 and travelled to Syria where he eventually joined Islamic State.
There are also reports the ancient city of Palmyra, under Islamic State occupation since last year, is about to fall to forces of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
Islamic State is believed to have destroyed countless ancient monuments and artefacts during its occupation of the city, provoking UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova to remark: “I welcome the liberation of the Palmyra archeological site, martyr city inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage list, which carries the memory of the Syrian people, and the values of cultural diversity, tolerance and openness that have made this region a cradle of civilization.”