ISIS terrorist leader calls for ‘lone wolf’ terror attacks in Western Countries
The leader of the Islamic State recently released audio of a 55-minute speech in which he made a direct appeal for “lone wolf” terror attacks in Western countries.
The speech was also noteworthy because the last audio message from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was last September, and in the intervening time, Russia has claimed to have killed the ISIS leader in an airstrike, although U.S. commanders disputed that notion.
While the recording has not been completely verified, some experts have said the voice on the recording does belong to al-Baghdadi, according to the BBC. The same report also noted that al-Baghdadi made reference to an ongoing dispute between the United States and Turkey over an American pastor being detained there, which provides enough current information for experts to believe that the recording was recent.
“In one key passage, he called for lone-actor attacks in Western countries, including bombings, car-rammings, and gun and knife attacks,” according to the Atlantic. “Previously, such calls only came from ISIS’s former spokesman; coming from the self-styled caliph himself, they’re likely to carry more weight.”
The Atlantic report said al-Baghdadi told his followers that an attack in the West equals a thousand in the Middle East.
News of the recording comes amidst different emerging trends regarding the reach and lethality of terror groups and terror attacks in the West.
In June, a report from the Heritage Foundation said that nearly “1,000 people have been injured or killed in terrorist attacks featuring asylum seekers or refugees since 2014.”
Much of the analysis of the Heritage report focused on ISIS and the group’s ability to exploit immigration routes between Syria and Europe, or to infiltrate Western countries with bogus asylum seekers. It also focused on the high number of attacks by ISIS in Germany and France.
At the same time, however, recent numbers from a terrorism database maintained by the University of Maryland also show that the overall number of global terror attacks declined for a third consecutive year.
“The number of attacks ISIS was responsible for in 2017 fell by about 10 percent, yet at the same time the number of fatalities that group was responsible for fell more sharply by 40 percent,” the Washington Free Beacon reported in early August.
In 2017, ISIS was believed to be at perhaps its lowest point in years in terms of territory it possessed, strength of fighting forces, and morale. That situation set off debates in the media—such as this New York Times article from columnist Ross Douthat – as to whether President Trump deserved the credit.
“[I]f you had told me in late 2016 that almost a year into the Trump era the caliphate would be all-but-beaten without something far worse happening in the Middle East, I would have been surprised and gratified,” Douthat wrote. “So very provisionally, credit belongs where it’s due — to our soldiers and diplomats, yes, but to our president as well.”
Source: Free Bacon