The jihadist terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) organized a parade to celebrate its advances in Iraq this week. The parade, down the streets of the large city of Mosul, showcased the stolen American-made military equipment ISIS may use to continue its march toward Baghdad.
The Long War Journal reports that the ISIS subdivision dedicated to controlling the province of Ninewa staged an extensive parade throughout Mosul using the vehicles they had taken from the Iraqi army, which in large part abandoned the city when ISIS attacked. (The soldiers who remained were killed in mass executions widely publicized by ISIS.)
The photos released by ISIS, the Journal reports, include “released photographs of its forces seizing control of several bases, displaying captured military hardware, and executing Iraqi soldiers.” They also include images of the parade proper, which included images of “ISIS technicals, as well as several captured US-supplied Humvees, armored cars, and even artillery pieces.” The number of ISIS jihadists involved in the parade appear to be in the hundreds, and some cars are seen filled with children holding automatic weapons–a staple of ISIS propaganda.
ISIS has expanded its efforts to publish its own propaganda online, this week announcing the creation of a new media wing, Al-Hayat, aimed at Western audiences. It has also begun to release videos intended to intimidate the rest of the world by showcasing the ethnic and national diversity of the jihadists it has recruited. In a video posted on Youtube, titled, in Spanish, “Mercenarios Asiáticos Combaten en las Filas Terroristas” (“Asian Mercenaries Battle in Terrorist Ranks”), apparently Asian jihadists greet the camera shouting “Allah Akbar!” and showing off their weaponry:
Malaysian authorities, the New Straits Times reports, are working to confirm the identities of the individuals in the video and vow to act if they are revealed to be Malaysian nationals. The newspaper states that the video “was detected while Malaysia was requesting the Syrian authorities to confirm allegations of Malaysian involvement in militant activities in the Middle East.”
The Malaysian government has come under particular scrutiny regarding the ISIS threat due to comments by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that appeared to commend the work of ISIS in Iraq. Speaking to members of his party in what was intended to be a political pep talk, Najib told the crowd to be “brave” like ISIS jihadists:
As proof — whether we agree or not is another matter — the group ISIL with the strength of just 1,300 people, can defeat an Iraqi army of 30,000 soldiers, until four, five generals with three, four stars run for their lives, jump out the window at night. Why? Because they are afraid of those who are brave.