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ISIS Encourages Different Route for Jihad on Western Nations

ISIS is pushing supporters to carry out violence against Westerners—this time not through a direct, physical assault, but by setting forest fires that could cause mass casualties, environmental ruin, and structural damage.

Four propaganda posters have been promoted on the pro-ISIS Quraysh media outlet encouraging jihad against America and its allies through blazes.

"Oh monotheists [followers of ISIS], ignite fires in the forests and fields, and we are addressing especially those who live in Europe and America, for they are painful to them," read one poster.

According to MEMRI, the first poster in the series was published in April. The second and third posters ran in June and showed American firefighters putting out blazes. The fourth poster, which came out Monday, encourages supporters to light "fires in the forests of America, France, Britain, and Germany, for they are painful to them."

Deadly fires swept through Portugal and Spain this summer. Whether the latest poster was timed to coincide with the wildfires in California is unclear. 

This wouldn't be the first time ISIS sympathizers have encouraged using fire as a form of terrorism.

In 2017, an issue of the ISIS magazine Rumiyah discussed fire as a "quick option for anyone intending to join the just terror campaign."

“With some simple and readily accessible materials (i.e., flammables), one can easily terrorize an entire nation,” advised the magazine.

In the article titled "Arson Attacks," incendiary attacks are said to have played an instrumental role in modern guerrilla war and lone-wolf terrorism.

“Arson attacks should in no way be belittled," the article states. "They cause great economic destruction and emotional havoc and can be repeated very easily. Even if such attacks do not always result in the killing of the enemies, Allah has promised to reward the mujahid for simply harming and enraging them."



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