Politics·Analysis

Gory ISIS video urges massacre of non-Muslims, including Canadians

The latest ISIS video message is a mash-up of older videos and appeared only briefly on Twitter. But it's educational, particularly after the carnage in Paris.

Infidel blood is 'like the blood of a dog,' video says

A video that appeared online last weekend quoting ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani called on Muslims to slaughter civilians and soldiers in countries currently fighting ISIS, including Canada. (CBC)

Maybe the propaganda department of ISIS is short of funds. Its latest effort, credited to the group's "official spokesman," Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, is a mash-up of older videos and appeared briefly on a mysterious Twitter account.

For those who saved it, though, it's educational — particularly after the carnage in Paris. It offers a vivid answer to the question, what were these killers thinking? What ideas did they absorb in the process of "radicalization?"

For one thing, following months of allied bombing, a tone of desperation has crept in to the once-triumphant ISIS propaganda. The possibility is even admitted that the jihadist forces might be "humiliated."

And most of the new video is a lengthy sermon, translated in low-budget white-on-white English subtitles, urging Muslims to resort to the most desperate measures: a massacre of non-Muslims.

If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet ... then spit in his face.— ISIS video

Billed as "A Message to Muslims in Kuffar Lands" — meaning, infidel lands — the video first emphasizes that the stakes are high. Muslims, it declares, are facing one of "the decisive, critical battles in the history of Islam. If the Muslims are defeated, they will be humiliated in such a manner that no humiliation compares to."

However, it goes on, "if the Muslims are victorious — and this will be the case by Allah's permission — they will be honoured with all honour by which the Muslims will return to being the masters of the world and kings of the earth."

To achieve this, it urges Muslims to slaughter civilians and soldiers alike in any of the non-Muslim countries now fighting against ISIS.

Canadians targeted

How this will bring "victory" is never explained. There's no mention that, militarily, the Islamic State forces are no match for Western air power. Rather, the killing seems to be presented as a religious duty.

"If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian or a Canadian or any other disbelievers … including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah and kill him in any manner.… Do not ask for anyone's advice and do not seek anyone's verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military."

A computer screenshot shows the U.S. Central Command Twitter feed after it was apparently hacked by people claiming to be Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) sympathizers on Monday. (Reuters)

Muslims, the video insists, need not be worried about spilling the blood of innocents who are infidels. "Blood becomes legal to spill through disbelief."

So this is the message that devout Muslims in the West are supposed to absorb. As the sermon rolls on, it begins to read like an obsessive rant.

"So whoever is a Muslim his blood and wealth are sanctified. And whoever is a disbeliever, his wealth is legal for a Muslim to take and his blood is legal to spill. His blood is like the blood of a dog; there is no sin in spilling it."

Exactly how the slaughter is to be carried out is not deemed important by the ISIS scriptwriters. Rather, the video exhorts Muslims, again and again, to use any means they can.

"If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet," the sermon continues, "then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman or any of their allies, smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.… If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or business. Or destroy his crops. If you are unable to do so, then spit in his face."

Of course, it seems like the ravings of a madman — but somebody's listening. At least three men in Paris heeded the call last week and set out to kill. And, now, police in Ottawa have arrested three other men who, they say, plotted fresh terror — one of them allegedly stopped at the Montreal airport on his way to the battle in Syria.

"Our community is safer today," said Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau.

Even so, police all over the Western world will be wondering who else is listening to the manic messages of ISIS, and dreaming of becoming "kings of the earth" by murdering infidels.

About the Author

Terry Milewski worked in 50 countries during 38 years with the CBC. He was the CBC's first Middle East Bureau Chief, spent eight years in Washington during the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations and was based in Vancouver for 14 years before returning to Ottawa as senior correspondent.