An official propaganda arm of the Islamic State has released a video praising Omar Mateen, the jihadi responsible for last week’s massacre at a gay club in Orlando, Florida. The video features the English-speaking jihadi Abu Isma’il al-Amriki asserting that the United States is “at war with Allah.”
The video, released over the weekend, bears the title “You are Not Held Responsible Except for Yourself” and features a number of international jihadis: al-Amriki being the first to speak, followed by a jihadi identified as an Indonesian national and a French jihadi praising Larossi Abballa, who stabbed a French police official and his wife to death while shouting “Allahu akbar” last week.
Al-Amriki’s message is a warning that Omar Mateen is only the latest in a string of terror operatives soon to strike in the United States. “Omar Mateen… was one of the few who was truthful to his Lord,” al-Amriki says in the video. “It is through his hand that Allah has punished his enemies.” The jihadi vows that Muslims “will take revenge for every single brother and sister killed by the crusaders,” a term the Islamic State applies loosely to modern Christian nations.
“O America, indeed you are at war with all the true and sincere Muslims around the world who yearn and desire to see the honor of Islam return,” al-Amriki says in the beginning of the video, describing all Muslims as “people who wish to be killed and slain for the sake of Allah.”
The video, the Daily Mail notes, has been specifically claimed by Furat Province, an Islamic State propaganda outlet operating out of Iraq.
This is the second video released praising Mateen on behalf of the Islamic State since last week’s terror attack on Pulse nightclub. Last week, a video surfaced praising Mateen using the widely available selfie photos of Mateen featured on his MySpace account displayed over traditional jihadi nasheeds, or fight songs. That video is not believed to be an official production of the Islamic State, however, but a “fan video” praising Mateen on behalf of the greater jihadi community.
Authorities in the United States have gathered significant evidence illustrating Mateen’s adherence to Islamist ideology. A previous FBI investigation on Mateen found that he appeared sympathetic to the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and Hezbollah, all jihadi groups despite being currently engaged in terrorist activity against each other. During the siege of Pulse, Mateen also pledged allegiance to Islamic State “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook and multiple calls to 911. On Facebook, Mateen left messages vowing that Islamic State jihadis will “kill your children,” referring to America and Russia, the two nations with greatest kinetic engagement in Syria and Iraq.
The Obama administration has been hesitant to identify Mateen as a radical Islamist driven by jihadi ideology, despite his assertions explicitly describing himself as an Islamic State jihadi. Authorities cite the lack of concrete ties between Mateen and Islamic State operatives in Syria and Iraq, though Mateen had been actively consuming jihadi propaganda for at least two years.
On Sunday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the FBI would be releasing transcripts of the conversations Mateen had with law enforcement officials during the Pulse siege. These transcripts would be edited to remove any mention of Islam or the Islamic State.