The Islamic State has a new magazine called Rumiyah, whose name alludes to the fall of the Roman Empire. The inaugural issue calls for “lone wolf” operatives to stage massacres at Australian tourist attractions, to avenge the death of terrorist Ezzit Raad.
The Sydney Morning Herald notes that the Islamic State’s calls for bloodshed Down Under are more specific, energetic, and detailed than what has been seen in previous publications.
“Kill them on the streets of Brunswick, Broadmeadows, Bankstown, and Bondi,” Rumiyah rages. “Kill them at the MCG, the SCG, the Opera House, and even in their backyards.” MCG and SCG are the Melbourne and Sydney Cricket Grounds, respectively.
“Stab them, shoot them, poison them, and run them down with your vehicles. Kill them wherever you find them until the hollowness of their arrogance is filled with terror and they find themselves on their knees with their backs broken under the weight of regret for having waged a war against the believers, and by Allah’s will, and then through your sacrifices, this Ummah will be victorious,” the new ISIS magazine exhorts. Ummah refers to the worldwide body of Islam.
Rumiyah slams Australia as “a land cloaked in darkness and corrupted by kufr, fornication, and all forms of vice.” Kufr is a derogatory term for non-believers in Islam.
The Sydney Morning Herald explains these cries for murder come in response to the death of 36-year-old Ezzit Raad, who was “convicted in an operation code named Pendennis and jailed for four-and-a-half years,” emerged from prison in 2013 as an even more “emboldened and steadfast” ISIS recruiter, fled to Syria, and was recently “killed after being hit by shrapnel in the city of Manbij, near Aleppo.”
He became a big shot in Syria, becoming the “amir of the Faruq Dam and the surrounding villages” and a personal companion of senior ISIS military commander Abu Bakr al-Iraqi, who was himself killed near Aleppo in 2014.
Raad’s conviction was for a plot to blow up the Melbourne Cricket Grounds, which also involved his brother, Ahmad. As Australia’s Herald Sun recalls, the scheme was considered Australia’s biggest terrorism plot at the time. Raad also recruited his 18-year-old brother-in-law Adam Dahman, who died in a suicide bomb attack against a Shiite mosque in Baghdad.
“Ezzit was in Syria with Majed and his younger brother Mounir — the fate of the other two Raads is not clear,” the Herald Sun adds.
In another bit of happy news, the first issue of Rumiyah also commemorates the death of ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, who was killed in an airstrike last week.
The UK Independent quotes Levi West, director of terrorism studies at Charles Stuart University in Canberra, speculating that the launch of yet another ISIS magazine could be a sign of desperation, an effort to distract from the terror state’s losses on the battlefield.
“We’ve all but decimated the leadership in airstrikes. My guess is they’re pretty rudderless, and having to get to grips with the fact they’re not expanding anymore. The balance has definitely tipped,” said West, adding that in his estimation, ISIS is definitely not on the offensive anymore, but they’re not quite on the back foot yet.”
The new publication is described as shorter and less elaborately produced than the better-known Dabiq magazine, and it seems breathlessly desperate to encourage lone-wolf attacks by ISIS supporters in the West, declaring “businessmen, young adults, and the old man waiting in line to buy a sandwich” to be legitimate targets for jihad.
“The blood of the disbelievers is halal, and killing them is a form of worship to Allah,” Rumiyah explains. “Even the blood of the kafir street vendor selling flowers to those passing by is halal to shed.”