Jihadists killed an estimated 421 people and wounded at least another 729 in nearly 15 countries during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan this year, marking one of the bloodiest Ramadans in modern history.
The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) has been linked to the vast majority of the Ramadan casualties.
An assessment written for Al Arabiya by Sigurd Neubauer, a non-resident fellow at The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, suggests that Ramadan 2016, which began in June 5 and ends Tuesday, is indeed the bloodiest in recent times.
Neubauer notes, “The past 30 days have seen a string of high-profile terrorist attacks that have provided shock factors in regards to their timing, location and magnitude.”
The terrorist assaults this year intensified after ISIS jihadists issued their annual Ramadan call for violence in which they declared, “Ramadan, the month of conquest and jihad… make it a month of calamity everywhere for the non-believers.”
ISIS encouraged Muslims to carry out violent attacks against civilian and military targets “to win the great award of martyrdom” during the holy month, a period when martyrdom and engaging in jihad are especially valued and encouraged by radical Islamic extremists.
“According to Islamic practice, sacrifice during Ramadan can be considered more valuable than that made at other times, so a call to martyrdom during the month may hold a special allure to some,” warned the U.S. State Department-led Overseas Security Advisory Council following ISIS’s recent call for attacks.
This year, even the Prophet’s Mosque, one of Islam’s holiest site where the Prophet Muhammad is buried, was not spared.
The mosque is located in Saudi Arabia’s Medina, the holiest city in Islam after Mecca. The terrorist attack drew the ire of Muslims from all walks of life, including the Afghan Taliban terrorist group.
Monday’s attack in Medina followed a suicide bombing near the U.S. consulate in Saudi Arabia’s city of Jeddah that injured two security officers and two other suicide blasts targeting a Shiite mosque in the Kingdom’s city Qatif. Only the the suicide bomber was killed in Qatif.
“While these attacks remain unclaimed, the bombing near one of Islam’s most sacred sites, during its holiest month, has brought some additional clarity to international observers: Militants do not distinguish between Muslims or Westerns when it comes to killing civilians,” acknowledges Neubauer in the Al Arabiya report.
Some of the deadly terror assaults during the holy month include:
- June 5 in Afghanistan — Taliban claimed attack killed eight people, wounded 32.
- June 6 in Jordan — ISIS claimed responsibility for a suicide attack that killed seven members of the Jordanian security forces, wounded 13 others.
- June 12 in Orlando, FL — 49 people massacred, 53 others wounded at a gay nightclub by ISIS-linked Omar Mateen.
- June 13 in Philippines — ISIS-linked Abu Sayyaf jihadist group beheads Canadian hostage Robert Hall.
- June 13 in France — ISIS-linked Frenchman stabbed police commander to death, killed his partner, also a police officer.
- June 20 in Kenya — Al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab killed five police officers, wounded four others.
- June 20 in Afghanistan — A string of bombings killed 25 people, wounded at least 49. (14 deaths claimed by both ISIS and Taliban, 11 by Taliban).
- June 27 in Yemen — Triple bomb attack by ISIS affiliate killed 43 people, injured 24.
- June 27 in Lebanon — A wave of suicide bombers linked to ISIS killed five at Christian village, wounded nearly 28 others.
- June 28 in Turkey — ISIS-linked terrorists killed at least 45 people, wounded over 230 others.
- June 28 in Malaysia — First ISIS-linked attack in the Muslim majority country injured eight people.
- July 1 in Bangladesh — Militants believed to be linked to ISIS by some killed 22 people and wounded nearly 40 others.
- July 3 in Iraq — ISIS claims responsibility for car bomb (deadliest attack in Baghdad in recent years) that left at least 175 people dead and more than 200 wounded.
- July 4 in Saudi Arabia — Suicide bombings left four security officers dead and seven others wounded.
- July 5 in Indonesia —ISIS-affiliated suicide bomber wounded one policeman.
- July 5 in Syria — ISIS suicide bomber killed as many as 30 people, wounded at least 40.
“While the latest string of high-profile terrorist attacks can be directly attributed to [ISIS’ Ramadan call to violence], ISIS has not only been able to successfully motivate extremists to affiliate with its radical ideology but also managed to convince them to pledge allegiance to the group at the time of the attack, even if no prior ties have been established – as seems to have been the case with Mateen,” notes the Al Arabiya analysis.
Breitbart News’ Ramadan casualties count excludes the estimated 22 jihadists who were killed in the attacks.