It is yet unclear whether the “Tunisian brother” who carried out the truck-ramming massacre in Nice on Thursday was commissioned by the Islamic State (IS) leadership or acted on his own, a top Salafi jihadist leader allied with IS ideology in the Gaza Strip told Breitbart Jerusalem.
Abu Alayna Al-Ansari, an IS loyalist, said he believes the attack was a “classic lone wolf” operation, inspired by the jihadi Abu Mohammad al-Julani, the IS spokesperson, who called upon young Muslims from around the world to carry out attacks such as Thursday night’s.
Ansari is a well-known Gazan Salafist jihadist allied with Islamic State ideology. In previous interviews, Ansari seemed to be speaking as an actual IS member, repeatedly using the pronoun “we” when referring to IS and even seemingly making declarations on behalf of IS.
IS loyalists reportedly celebrated the attack on social media. The perpetrator was identified to the news media by French police sources as 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a Tunisian who last visited France two years ago.
Ansari said in his estimation IS will only claim responsibility if it actually commissioned the attack.
“We’ve seen that some weeks ago, in France, when the Mujahed, the hero Abdullah Alaroussi killed the French policeman and his lover after pledging allegiance to IS and to the Caliph Abu Bakr al Baghdadi,” he said. “And also in the case of Orlando, with the Mujahed Omar Mateen, the organization claimed responsibility only after it was clear that the perpetrator had pledged allegiance to IS and its leader.
“These are two cases that attacks were carried out by Mujahedeen with whom the organization was familiar. It did not claim responsibility for other attacks that were carried out in the West, even when it was clear that they were inspired by IS’ ideology and carried out by its sympathizers.”
“An attack against the French while they’re celebrating their national day sends an important message to the infidels, whereby they will not enjoy peace so long as their governments commit crimes against Muslims around the world,” he added.
French President Francois Hollande’s pledge to continue fighting against IS “indicates that he failed to get the message, and that it is incumbent upon our brothers to continue sending him similar messages, in their own way, until he gets it.
“Hollande, in effect, invited the Mujahedeen to carry out a similar attack to the one that rocked Paris a few months ago. He can rest assured it will happen. Our brothers are currently working on the next major attack in France and the other terrorist infidel states in the world.”
Ansari dismissed any possible link between the attacks and recent IS setbacks in Syria and Iraq.
“For the leadership of the Islamic State, control of territory is not nearly as important as continuing to develop the operational skills of our brothers in the infidel states, to carry out attacks in America which is the number one terrorist and anti-Muslim state in the world, and the other infidel states, in retaliation against the crimes they commit against Muslims,” he said.
Asked how he could justify the killing of women and children, as well as French Muslims, Ansari said: “Islam opposes the killing of women and children, but these families, by virtue of taking part in the French national celebration, express their support for their government’s policy to send thousands of troops to kill Muslims in central Africa, in Iraq, Syria and other places.
“So I don’t understand why people are taken aback when they are hit by our brothers who retaliate against their governments’ crimes. Who said that the lives of these women and children are worth more than the lives of ours? Why should they enjoy peace and security when our women and children don’t? These governments who send troops to fight against terror are the representatives of terror in the world.”
Regarding potential Muslim victims in Nice, Ansari said: “Our belief says that what Muslims felt in their hearts when they died is what counts. If they celebrated, their death was their punishment. And if they were passersby, they are martyrs. However the most important thing is that the Crusader, infidel countries know that there’s a price for the killing of Muslims by the US, France, Germany and other countries. These countries will continue to pay a price for their participation in crimes against Muslims.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.