ISIS have celebrated Russia’s war in Ukraine, calling it “divine punishment” and expressing hope that the conflict will spread to other European countries.
According to an editorial in ISIS magazine Al Naba (“The News”), the Russian invasion of Ukraine is “divine punishment” sent upon the European “infidels” by Allah. They say that the conflict “will have significant consequences that will change many of the laws of peace and war between those countries.”
The article was reportedly distributed via encrypted messaging app Telegram according to Il Giornale, and calls on ISIS supporters to take advantage of the chaos. They say it is “only the beginning” of a wider battle.
“What is happening today, the direct bloody war between the Orthodox crusaders – Russia and Ukraine – is but one example of God’s punishment for them, as described in the Qu’ran,” the article reads.
“Whether long or short, this Russian-Ukrainian war is but the beginning of the next wars between the Crusader countries, and the images of destruction and death we see are but a small scene of the situation in which the great wars begin.”
They describe some of the foreign fighters engaged in the conflict as “infidel militias” – possibly referring to Muslim Chechen fighters who have entered the battle.
According to a report from MEMRI, Salafi Jihadists have urged Islamic extremists around the world to attack both Russia and Ukraine.
“To the brothers, supporters of the Islamic State in Russia and Ukraine: Seize the opportunity, brothers, and collect weapons – for weapons have been widely distributed to civilians – then attack the crusaders,” an ISIS member reportedly wrote.
Another Telegram channel reportedly run by an al-Qaeda sympathiser featured the message: “Let Muslims see this war as a Divine gift to the Muslims there [in Ukraine], in Russia, and in the entire world. For those who contemplate it, there are indications that it will change the face of the world, and if the Muslims take advantage of it, it will be a large building block that will advance them towards the renewal of their glory.”