ISIS Delivers On Promise Of Violent Ramadan, Threatens Continued Violence
ISIS militants have marred the Muslim holy month with some of their most brutal acts to date, and there are still three weeks left in the month
ISIS militants had vowed to make Ramadan, Islam’s holy month that began last week, a “month of conquests,” and Friday they were congratulating themselves on having started to deliver on that promise with threats of continued violence in the three weeks still left to go. Just days ago, ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani called on supporters to launch more attacks, telling followers that those ‘martyred’ during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan receive greater blessings than those who die during other times of the year.
At least three separate attacks caused the deaths of dozens on Friday in Tunisia, France and Kuwait. Islamic State supporters heralded the killings as “Bloody Friday” in discussions across secretive online forums and social media, an analysis by Vocativ revealed. The group claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Shiite Muslim mosque in Kuwait City, which killed at least 27 people, and the attack at a beach resort in Sousse, Tunisia, which killed another 39.
Friday’s killings come at the end of a week marred by ISIS showcasing its brutality. Islamic State fighters launched a two-pronged offensive in the Syrian cities of Kobani and Hasaka on Thursday, massacring as many as 146 civilians according to new reports, including women and children. The group released two execution videos that John Horgan, a psychologist and terrorism researcher at Georgia State University, told Vocativ were “sadism at a clinical level.”
ISIS has for several years made a point of using Ramadan for launching significant strikes.
In 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. 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 this time last year, ISIS declared its caliphate after capturing Mosul in June, as Ramadan was getting underway in the northern Iraqi city.