‘Jihad Is the Best Part of Worship’: Taliban, Islamic State Gear Up for Ramadan…” the timing could encourage ISIS cells and followers to commit attacks in the next weeks.”

Saturday, May 4, 2019
By Paul Martin

4 May 2019

Terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and the Taliban in recent days made their annual call to arms as Ramadan approaches, claiming Allah exceptionally rewards martyrdom during the holy month.

This year, the holiest month for Muslims is expected to run from the evening of May 5 to June 5, depending on the phases of the moon.

On April 29, days after ISIS claimed to have carried out the wave of suicide bombings primarily targeting Christians in Sri Lanka, the group’s elusive leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, resurfaced in his first video in five years. He urged Muslims to carry out more attacks and pledged to continue the crusade against ISIS enemies, particularly those who demolished the so-called caliphate.

“Our battle today is one of attrition and stretching the enemy. They should know that jihad is ongoing until the day of judgment,” al-Baghdadi proclaimed.

In March, U.S.-backed Kurdish forces pushed ISIS out of its last sliver of territory in northern Syria’s Baghouz region, dealing a final blow to the group’s territorial caliphate.

“Truthfully, the battle of Islam and its people against the cross and its people is a long battle. The battle of Baghouz is over. But it did show the savagery, brutality and ill intentions of the Christians towards the Muslim community,” Baghdadi further declared in the video.

“This is part of the vengeance that awaits the crusaders and their henchmen,” he added, celebrating the heinous attack against Christians in Sri Lanka and beyond, calling it revenge for the complete demise of ISIS’s territorial caliphate in Iraq and Syria in March.

Althgouh it is unclear if the so-called caliph mentioned the holy month, some analysts argue that the new video is a rallying call for a global wave of jihad in the lead-up to Ramadan.

Citing unnamed Arab and European intelligence officials as well as terrorism experts such as Haroro Ingram from George Washington University, the Washington Post reported, “The experts and officials noted that the video was released days before the beginning of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, and said the timing could encourage ISIS cells and followers to commit attacks in the next weeks.”

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