NAT SEC

Beware Ramadan: ISIS Extremists Planning “Month of Conquests”

The Islamic holiday has been marked by violence in recent years and ISIS supporters hope this year has even more impact

NAT SEC
REUTERS
Jun 09, 2015 at 12:20 PM ET

ISIS extremists are hoping to mark Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, with a “month of conquests” coinciding with the first anniversary of the jihadist organization declaring its caliphate, according to chatter on Islamic State forums.

Ramadan begins next week and, while the 30 days that follow are meant for prayer and fasting by the world’s Muslim population, ISIS has a history in recent years of using the occasion to launch major conquests and declarations.

“Many people are preparing tons of food to break the feast of Ramadan. ISIS is preparing tons of arms to conquer Baghdad and other cities,” declared an ISIS affiliated account on Twitter.

“In a few days we will mark a year since the declaration of the Caliphate. Oh God, make it easy for ISIS soldiers to conquer Baghdad,” another extremist prayed.

In Ramadan during the year 2012, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, then known as the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, made his first online statement as the head of the militant network. He also launched the “Breaking the Walls” campaign to free its imprisoned fighters. In 2013, the group carried out simultaneous raids on Taji and Abu Ghraib prisons in Iraq during the holy month, setting free more than 500 prisoners who quickly joined ISIS’ ranks.

And just last year, ISIS declared its caliphate, when it captured Mosul in June as Ramadan was getting underway in the northern Iraqi city.

This year, given military campaigns in Ramadi and the recent capture of the Syrian city of Palmyra, some of the group’s supporters believe the holy month will bring more victories and a major territorial conquest, according to chatter on ISIS forums.

In one of the forums, discussions focused on preparing for a “month of conquests” and Jihad against enemies. There has been no official response from ISIS as yet.

Translation: I smell divine conquests coming in Ramadan. Pray for the Mujaheddin brothers.

Translation: If Baghdad will fall into the hands of the Caliphate, so too will fall the dreams of Iran and America to divide the region, and the nightmares of the tyrants of the Gulf will start. Oh God make it in Ramadan.

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