New ISIS spokesman announces campaign to avenge deaths of former leader


On April 17, 2022, the Al-Furqan Foundation, an official Islamic State (ISIS) media outlet, released an audio message by the organization’s official spokesman, Abu ‘Umar Al-Muhajir, titled “Fight Them; Allah Will Punish Them at Your Hands [Quran 9:14]”. The 33-minute audio message, the second one delivered by Abu ‘Umar Al-Muhajir since his appointment as ISIS spokesman following the death of his predecessor, Abu Hamzah Al-Qurashi, announces a “raid of revenge” to avenge the deaths of ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashemi Al-Qurashi and Abu Hamzah Al-Qurashi and calls on supporters in the West to resume the kinds of attacks they had carried out in the past. The message also contains praise for ISIS fighters, especially in West Africa; a call to work to free imprisoned ISIS members; a call for Muslims to rebel against their rulers; and threats against ISIS’s enemies.

ISIS declared a similar “raid of revenge” campaign of attacks at the end of December 2019, after the deaths of the previous ISIS leader and spokesman, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and Abu Al-Hasan Al-Muhajir, who were both killed in October 2019. It seems that ISIS chose to delay the current campaign until the month of Ramadan, which is viewed as a particularly auspicious opportunity for jihad.

ISIS spokesman announces “Raid Of Revenge” campaign

Abu ‘Umar Al-Muhajir begins his message by congratulating “soldiers and subjects of the Islamic State and to all Muslims” on the occasion of the current month of Ramadan, which began on April 2, noting that Ramadan is the “month of raids, conquests, and heroic deeds.” Based on the Quran’s command for Muslims to wage war on unbelievers; a hadith in which the Prophet Muhammad expressed his wish to wage jihad and die a martyr, then be revived and be martyred again; and “to fulfill our promises which we have made to avenge the killings of our leaders and commanders, and seeing this blessed month as auspicious and [a cause for] optimism,” the ISIS spokesman announces a “Raid of Revenge for the Two Sheikhs” to avenge the deaths of the previous leader and spokesman of ISIS, who were killed on February 3 and whose death was announced by ISIS on March 10.

Urging ISIS operatives participating in the newly announced campaign to fight fiercely and to be confident of victory, the ISIS spokesman tells them: “When you strike, cause pain, and when you attack, strike terror.” He calls on ISIS fighters to kill the “heads of unbelief” to make an example of those who fight against the mujahideen and to carry out massive attacks that kill large numbers of soldiers.

ISIS leader Abu Al-Hasan sends greetings to fighters

The audio recording contains five messages. The first of these, addressed to ISIS fighters and commanders, informs them that “The Commander of Believers and Caliph of the Muslims, the mujahid Sheikh Abu Al-Hasan Al-Hashemi Al-Qurashi” sends them greetings. Al-Muhajir tells ISIS fighters: “May Allah bless you, your jihad, and your obedience” and commends them for their unity and alacrity to swear allegiance to the new ISIS leader, calling them “firmly placed mountains who strengthen jihad on Earth, from East Asia and Khorasan to West Africa, and from Europe in the north to Yemen in the south.” In addition to ISIS fighters, he sends greetings in the ISIS leader’s name to the “knights of communication and announcement who are stationed at the media frontiers” and “the supporters who fill the world with news of the Islamic State,” asserting that all of them equally “enrage the unbelievers and rub their faces in the dust day and night.”

Al-Muhajir conveys special praise for ISIS fighters in West Africa and “the epic battles which they record, which have rubbed the noses of the Crusaders and apostates in the dirt as they resist [the unbelievers] and break offensive after offensive,” urging the African mujahideen to remain steadfast as they defend their religion and honor and to constantly invoke Allah so that He grants them success.

Addressing ISIS mujahideen in all the organization’s provinces, the spokesman encourages them to fear Allah, patiently accept difficulties, not become discouraged, and remember that their jihad is a form of preaching, as they wage war on people to induce them to worship Allah alone.

Call to free prisoners

Al-Muhajir tells male and female prisoners that “releasing you and constantly striving to free you from captivity and to ransom you [by sacrificing our] lives or money is a duty for us and a debt around our necks,” declaring that although freeing prisoners is a foremost priority for ISIS, members who are in captivity must be patient and pray for ISIS to attain victory so that they will be freed sooner. The ISIS spokesman recites a poem expressing his resolve to free prisoners: “In the prisons I have brothers of glory / I will not forget their claim [on me] as long as I live / […] Sisters of ours who have been humiliated by horror / So I have prepared my sharp sword / […] Come, heroes of jihad, rise up / To free my sister and brother.”

Urging ISIS fighters to spare no efforts to free prisoners, the organization’s spokesman says: “Let no day pass that you are not planning, preparing, and getting ready to free them from captivity, either with weapons or ransom,” and encourages operatives to kill those who oppress prisoners and make them an example to others.

Call for defectors to rejoin ISIS

In his second message, he addresses former ISIS fighters who have abandoned jihad, calling on them to rejoin the organization. The spokesman asks “those who walked on the path of jihad and tasted its sweetness, knew the mujahideen and associated with them, and saw their virtues and the miracles which Allah bestows upon them,” but then abandoned jihad for worldly pursuits: “Are you not afraid of Allah when you cast off obedience [to the caliph] and abandon the community [of Muslims, i.e., those loyal to ISIS] under these circumstances?” Accusing them of having forsaken the mujahideen in their time of need and of acting out of laziness and cowardice, Al-Muhajir tells these former mujahideen that they are better off “repenting” and returning to ISIS than living in fear that they will be recognized as former ISIS members. Insisting that ISIS is not calling on these men to return because it is suffering from a lack of manpower, Al-Muhajir says that he is appealing to them out of pity and a desire to see them repent.

Call for residents of Muslim countries to revolt

In his third message, Al-Muhajir addresses the Muslim masses who refrain from jihad while living under regimes which do not implement shari’a. Pointing to the recent normalization of relations with Israel by many Arab countries as proof that their rulers are mere “puppets operated by the crusaders and Jews,” he urges Muslims in these countries to rise up against their regimes and wage jihad to implement the rule of shari’a in their homelands. Al-Muhajir asserts that the rulers of these countries felt safe to publicize their “collaboration with the Jews” and to abandon their old slogans professing enmity to Israel and support for the Palestinian cause after they realized “their people’s submissiveness and their great attachment to worldly pleasures.” The ISIS spokesman declares: “Let everyone know that Jerusalem will be conquered only by the monotheists and Allah’s servants, the mujahideen, not by the taghouts [literally “false deities,” a reference to rulers who govern by manmade law] and their lackeys, who are slaves to politics, interests, and whims and whose principles change according to the dictates of their overlords,” with no fixed principle other than hatred of Islam and mujahideen.

Al-Muhajir lashes out at these regimes for abrogating shari’a and replacing it with manmade laws, luring Muslims into apostasy, and calling for a universal “Abrahamic religion,” as well as calling for “brotherhood between Rafidite [a pejorate term] Shi’ites and Sunnis,” claiming that sycophantic pro-government clerics are willing to justify all these actions. Contending that if Muslims do not “wake up and return to [their] religion” their rulers will massacre and humiliate them, Al-Muhajir asks: “Is there a greater humiliation than the taghouts dominating you with their legislation about women – which Allah has not authorized – by granting them rights that the unbelieving nations prescribed which deprive you of guardianship over them?” He urges the “descendants of the conquerors” and the “sons of the Muslims tribes which rejected oppression and humiliation and broke Khosrau and Caesar” to rise up against their regimes and “wage war on every cowardly taghout.

Threats to ISIS enemies

In his fourth message, the ISIS spokesman threatens the “unbelievers, polytheists, atheists, and apostates, and all those who wage war on Allah and His Prophet, show enmity to His servants, the monotheists, and fight against the State of the Muslims,” telling them: “We do not fight you for the sake of wealth, power, honor, a handful of soil, nationalism, or transient worldly goods. We fight you only for ‘There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is Allah’s Prophet,’ the statement of monotheism for whose sake the heavens and earth were established.”

Vowing defiantly that ISIS operatives will fight until they succeed in removing worship of anything but Allah, implementing the rule of shari’a, and enjoining virtue and forbidding vice, or to die trying, Al-Muhajir says that ISIS would prefer that its enemies become true Muslims rather than killing them and urges them to embrace Islam before are in ISIS’ power, telling the organization’s foes that he is confident that Allah will enable ISIS to defeat them and that the organization’s fighters “will restore the rule of Islamic shari’a in all the areas from which the mujahideen have withdrawn.”

Call for renewed attacks In the West

The fifth and final message calls for a renewed wave of attacks by ISIS supporters in Western countries, after the last attack in the West claimed by ISIS was the November 2020 shooting in Vienna Addressing “those who have been absent from the arena of jihad for a while […] those who stunned Europe, America, and many of the crusader countries with their blessed operations and […] put them in constant alert,” Al-Muhajir tells them: “Rise, oh zealous ones – may Allah have mercy on you – to the battlefields which your predecessors filled with terror and return to the unbelievers killing, trampling, stabbing, and striking.” The ISIS spokesman urges them to learn from the perpetrators of recent attacks in Israel, some of which were claimed by ISIS, who “pained the Jews with their blessed operations several days ago and showed that there is a huge difference between one who fights and is killed for the sake of Allah and to elevate His word and between one who fights and is killed for the sake of false nationalistic slogans.”

Praising those who were killed perpetrating attacks in the West as martyrs and urging other Muslims to follow their example, Al-Muhajir says: “We ask Allah to accept our brothers [as martyrs] in the highest levels of Paradise. Follow in their path, oh sons of Islam, choose your targets with care and surveil them, for they are many. Look for those which will hurt the crusaders and Jews the most.” Referring to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the ISIS spokesman expresses hope that it will continue and intensify, so that Europeans suffer: “Europe is heating up as the coal of war glows beneath it. The crusaders are cutting off each other’s heads […] We ask Allah that this war’s fire not be extinguished and that its flame not die out until it burns up the worshippers of the Cross and tears apart their possessions by their own hands, so that they taste what the Muslims tasted because of them and at their hands […] We do not know hidden things and we cannot say for certain that this is a Great War, but its signs are clearly visible […] We ask Allah to keep them preoccupied with themselves, divide them, and make their harm of each other severe.”

The message concludes with the prayer: “Oh Allah, empower Islam and the Muslims, humiliate polytheism and the polytheists, and – oh Lord – destroy Your enemies, the enemies of the religion. oh Allah, disperse them, tear apart their power, and grant us power [to slit] their throats.”


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