ISIS Spokesman Calls for Attacks on Arab Nations

Source: The New York Times

Photo

Young men taking selfies atop the ruins of Nebi Yunus shrine in east Mosul, Iraq, after it was liberated from the Islamic State in February. CreditIvor Prickett for The New York Times

In his first statement in 10 months, the Islamic State’s spokesman on Sunday called for violence against neighboring Arab nations, suggesting that the group’s focus was turning closer to home.

The remarks were a departure from the last pronouncement issued by the spokesman, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, which aimed to incite attacks against Europe and North America. It comes as the group is retrenching in its core territory after losing all but 3 percent of the area it once held in Iraq and Syria.

In a nearly hourlong audio recording, released inside the group’s chat rooms in the messaging app Telegram, the spokesman called on fighters to redirect their ire toward the leaders of Arab nations in the region, whom he described as “apostates,” a term the group uses to refer to fellow Sunnis who have strayed from its extreme interpretation of the faith.

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