The Islamic State has a new spokesman named Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajer, who took over after his predecessor Mohammad al-Adnani was killed in an airstrike near al-Bab, Syria.
Muhajer’s first message calls for “lone wolves” in the United States, Europe, and Russia to strike “markets, roads, and clubs” to terrorize civilian populations. The message, titled “For You Will Remember What I Tell You,” was published through an Islamic State-linked media organization called Al Furqan.
“Your operations make a difference, change the situation… Attack them in their markets, roads, clubs, and any unexpected location and burn the ground under their feet,” the ISIS spokesman urged, as quoted by the UK Daily Mail.
“He also urged ISIS supporters to attack Turkish military, economic and media targets, as well as its embassies around the world,” the Daily Mail adds.
The Long War Journal took a deep dive into Mujaher’s debut performance, noting that he rattled off quite a long list of enemies for the Islamic State, including “Crusader America and Europe, Communist Russia, and Magian Iran, with secular Turkey, atheist Kurds, Rawafidh [Shiites], Nusayris [a reference to Bashar al Assad’s regime], Awakenings, militias, and the tyrants of the Arabs and their soldiers.”
Much of Mujaher’s message seems designed to stoke Sunni vs. Shiite tensions, with the ISIS spokesman charging that Iran-backed Shiite militias have “come with their horses and men to the land of Tal Afar, full of hatred and vengeance towards the houses of Islam, to take them and get the Sunni people in them.”
Tal Afar is a city in northwestern Iraq, where Shiite and Sunni militias have clashed many times before. Shiite militia leaders have openly spoken of launching revenge attacks against Sunnis, once the city is recaptured from ISIS, while Turkey is concerned about the safety of Sunni Turkmen.
He then portrays “worshipers of the Cross” as the true power manipulating Iran, and he later claims Western forces are providing air and artillery support for Shiite operations. He presents ISIS as the defender of Sunnis everywhere, “from Baghdad to Beirut, from Aleppo to Damascus, and from Khorasan to Sana’a.”
He also describes Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a tool of the West, a “beggar before the doors of Crusader Europe” (presumably a slam at Turkey’s aspirations to join the European Union) and a “Brotherhood apostate.” As the Long War Journal notes, ISIS looks down on the Muslim Brotherhood.
Mujaher’s prescription for dealing with Turkey involves attacks on “the secular, apostate Turkish government everywhere – the security, the military, the economic, and the media – indeed every embassy and consulate that represents it in the countries all over the world.”