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ISIS’S GLOBAL MESSAGINGSTRATEGY FACT SHEETDecember 2014By Jessica Lewis McFate and Harleen GambhirWith Evan SterlingThe attack by an alleged ISIS supporter at a Lindt chocolate shop in Syndey, Australia on December 15,2014 has raised fears of the international spread of ISIS. The incident, which resulted in critical injuries tofour hostages and the deaths of two, bore no signs of formal connection to ISIS. Yet the assailant, ManHaron Monis, requested an ISIS flag during the attack, and had recently posted an online pledge ofallegiance to the “Caliph of the Muslims”, belying sympathies for the group that claims to haveestablished the Islamic Caliphate. ISIS is not limited to Iraq and Syria; the global threat of attacks by ISISis amply attested and requires due consideration.ISIS Calls for Attacks against the WestISIS has publically and frequently encouraged attacks against the West. Since its declaration of theCaliphate in July 2014, ISIS has instructed supporters in the West who cannot perform hijrah, oremigration, to Iraq and Syria to remain in place and organize. ISIS Spokesman Abu Muhammad alAdnani released a more incendiary statement on September 21, 2014 urging “soldiers of the IslamicState” to conduct lone-wolf attacks against the West. On November 13, 2014, ISIS leader Abu Bakr alBaghdadi released a statement accepting pledges of allegiance from groups abroad, declaring fivewilayats, or provinces, outside of Iraq and Syria, and encouraging groups to “erupt volcanoes of jihadeverywhere.” ISIS possesses a global network of foreign fighters and Western influencers who are alsosupporting ISIS by encouraging travel to Iraq and Syria, and so the threat of attacks against Westerncountries exists in the context of ISIS’s main effort in Iraq and Syria. ISIS is, in sum, imparting threeconcurrent messages to foreign supporters:1) Perform Hijrah- participate in jihad by traveling to Iraq and Syria2) Declare Bay’at- remain in place and create communities of ISIS support3) Conduct Lone-Wolf Attacks- remain in place and conduct attacks against the enemiesof ISISThe following factsheet collates known instances of ISIS messaging to Western supporters and reciprocalmessaging from those supporters back to ISIS. Low-level chatter on jihadi forums is intentionallyexcluded. The factsheet also collates known instances of formal bay’at declarations to ISIS by groupsoutside of Iraq and Syria, as well as official acknowledgement of those groups by ISIS. The goal of thisfactsheet is to contextualize the apparent threat to Western countries posed by ISIS on the basis of intentand overt messaging activity. All dates are in 2014 unless otherwise noted.Conduct Lone-Wolf Attacks Adnani Statement. On September 21, 2014, in a statement directed at the “soldiers of the IslamicState,” Adnani imparted the following guidance to those living abroad: “mujahideen in Europe, Australia,and Canada O mujahideen in Morocco and Algeria O mujahideen in Khorasan, the Caucasus, andIran O mujahideen, we call you up to defend the Islamic State .So rise O mujahid. Rise and defendyour state from your place wherever you may be.” Adnani also specified, “You must strike the soldiers,patrons, and troops of the tawāghīt. Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well astheir treacherous agents. Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves.If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or anCONTACT US http://www.understandingwar.org [email protected] @Thestudyofwar

Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including thecitizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, andkill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seekanyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling.Both of them are disbelievers. Both of them are considered to be waging war [the civilian by belonging toa state waging war against the Muslims].”Events Related to Lone-Wolf Attacks in the WestNote: This factsheet focuses only on events in Western countries and Australia, and does not exhaustISIS-related events in the countries listed. Australia. 21 MAR: Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) released a video introducing the Australian preacher AbuSulayman al Muhajir as part of their effort to reconcile the schism between JN and ISIS. AbuSulayman claims to be a member of “Al-Qai’da in the Levant” and uses the video in an attempt toundermine the legitimacy of ISIS. 21 JUN: Al-Hayat Media Foundation released a recruitment video featuring an Australian and aBritish fighter, entitled “There is no Life Without Jihad.” The video targets foreign fighters andclaims that any good Muslim is obligated to immediately join the Islamic State in jihad. 18 SEP: Australian authorities charged two men for an alleged plot to carry out a publicexecution. “The assailants “planned to kidnap a member of the public, behead the victim and thendrape him or her in an ISIS flag.” According to Prime Minister Tony Abbot, the inspiration forthe attacks came “from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL (Islamic State) tonetworks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country."Doubt was later cast on the plot as reports emerged that the sword seized by authorities may havebeen plastic and was a replica of Zulfiqar, the sword of Shi’a religious figure Imam Ali. The useof a Shi’a symbol in an ISIS plot would be very unusual. 18 SEP: Australian government agencies estimate that over 100 Australians are currently fightingin Syria. At least a dozen of those individuals have joined radical groups such as ISIS or JN,including Abu Yahya ash Shami who recently appeared in an ISIS recruitment video. 23 SEPT: 18-year-old Abdul Numan Haider was shot dead after stabbing two officers from theJoint Counter Terrorism team outside a Melbourne police station. The assailant’s family hadcome to Australia from Afghanistan. ISIS mentioned Haider by name in the 5th edition of itsEnglish-language magazine, Dabiq, claiming that his attack was the “direct result of the Shaykh[Adnani]’s call to action.” 20 OCT: Al-I'tisam Media Foundation, one of ISIS’s three main media houses, released“Messages of the Mujahid 5” depicting an Australian foreign fighter threatening Western leaders.The speaker addresses Prime Minister Tony Abbott and President Barack Obama. 15 DEC: Australian federal police arrested two Sydney men charged with funding Australians totravel to Iraq and Syria to fight with ISIS. 22 year-old Omarjan Azari (already indicted from 18SEPT event) and a 25-year old allegedly were “key facilitators in the movement of [up to 15,000of] funds” to support emigrating Australians. 15 DEC: Self-styled Iranian cleric Man Haron Monis took 17 individuals hostage in the LindtChocolate Café in Martin Place, an Australian shopping center. Monis, who had a criminalrecord, reportedly demanded a call with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, as well as thedelivery of an ISIS flag. Australian authorities stormed the café 16 hours after the siege began.Monis, as well as two Australian citizens, Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, were killed in theensuing firefight. Several others were wounded.CONTACT US http://www.understandingwar.org [email protected] @Thestudyofwar

Canada. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot and killed a Canadian soldier at the National War memorial inOttowa, Canada on October 22, 2014, prior to continuing on to the parliament building where he was laterkilled. Two others, one a security guard, were injured during the events. Zehaf-Bibeau was a Canadiannative and radicalized convert to Islam with a significant criminal track record. Two days earlier, onOctober 20, 2014, Martin Couture-Rouleau ran over two soldiers at a strip mall in Quebec. CoutureRouleau had converted to Islam a year ago, and had expressed support for ISIS online. Couture-Rouleauwas possibly obeying ISIS Spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani’s September 21, 2014 speech, inwhich Adnani instructed: “If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelievingAmerican, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife,or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him. Do notlack.” ISIS mentioned both Zehaf-Bibeau and Couture-Rouleau in the 5th edition of its English-languagemagazine Dabiq, claiming that their attacks were the “direct result of the Shaykh [Adnani]’s call toaction.” The magazine also included a picture of Couture-Rouleau. Britain. Four men were arrested in London on October 7, 2014 by Scotland Yard on terrorismcharges. The men, had been under surveillance by MI5, were suspected of plotting a major terrorist attackin Britain. One member of the group was confirmed to have links to the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham(ISIS). United States. Self-radicalized U.S. citizen Zale Thompson attacked 4 police officers with a hatchet inNew York City on October 23, 2014. ISIS mentioned Thompson in the 5th edition of its English-languagemagazine Dabiq, claiming that his attack was the “direct result of the Shaykh [Adnani]’s call to action.”The FBI issued a statement on December 1, 2014 warning members of the US military about the threatISIS posed to their personal security. In particular it warned troops to ensure their social media presencedid not give away personal information or display affiliation to the military. Belgium. A Frenchman named Mehdi Nemmouche fired at civilians in the Jewish Museum inBrussels, Belgium on May 24, 2014. Three civilians were killed and a fourth eventually succumbed to hiswounds. Mr. Nemmouche was later arrested with a Kalashnikov, a handgun, and audio recordingclaiming responsibility, and a, “white sheet emblazoned with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and theLevant.” Pro-ISIS Fighters. Several ISIS supporters have issued separate calls for attacks against the West: 3 OCT: British Islamic State Fighter addresses Cameron, calls for lone wolf attacks in Britain 7 OCT: Islamic State Fighter calls for attacks on Canada 16 OCT: American, French, and German Islamic State fighters threaten to behead Westernsoldiers who come into Iraq, call on Westerners to join ISIS 20 OCT: AQAP Expresses support for fighters in coalition airstrikes, calls to attack America 14 OCT: ISIS supporter calls for attacks on British sheikhs who support War on Terror 17 NOV: Islamic State fighter calls for domestic attacks, mentions Quebec 19 NOV: French fighters in IS call Muslim countrymen to travel to join group, carry out lonewolf attacks in France 8 DEC: Canadian IS Fighter calls countrymen to execute lone-wolf attacks or travel to joingroup 8 DEC: Alleged IS Weapons Maker Claims that "Radioactive Device" has entered EuropeCONTACT US http://www.understandingwar.org [email protected] @Thestudyofwar

ISIS Messages to Foreign Governments Baghdadi Statements. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State and self-proclaimedCaliph, issued a statement on November 13, 2014 entitled “Even if the disbelievers despise it.” Baghdadicreated five new wilayats in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, and Algeria. He also stated, “America,Europe, Australia, Canada, and their apostate tails and slaves from amongst the rulers of the Muslims’lands were terrified by the Islamic State.” Dabiq. The most recent edition of ISIS’s English-language magazine, published on November 21,2014, includes repeated references to ISIS Spokesman Adnani’s September 21 call for lone wolf attacks.As explained above, the publication mentions lone wolf attacks in Australia, Canada, and the UnitedStates. ISIS claimed that “All these attacks were the direct result of the Shaykh [Adnani]’s call to action,and they highlight what a deadly tinderbox is fizzing just beneath the surface of every western country,waiting to explode into violent action at any moment given the right conditions. Suddenly the muhajidin ofthe Islamic State weren’t some esoteric concept fighting in a land nobody knew or cared about, they wereon the doorstep of millions of people living in some of the biggest, most modern cities in the westernworld.” “Lend me Your Ears” Series. ISIS released several videos featuring “news reports” from Britishcaptive John Cantlie. Each episode reflects on the West’s failure to defeat ISIS, and demonstrates aconcerted ISIS effort to track and respond to Western political debates about ISIS. 18 SEP 22 SEP 29 SEP 12 OCT 16 OCT 25 OCT 27 OCT 21 NOV Beheadings. 19 AUG: James Foley beheading 02 SEPT: Steven Sotloff beheading 03 OCT: Alan Henning beheading 13 SEPT: David Haines beheading 16 NOV: Peter Kassig execution videoPerform Hijrah Dabiq. ISIS has published five issues of its English-Language magazine. Each issue of Dabiqcelebrates the global nature of ISIS’s support base. Through Dabiq, ISIS repeatedly reminds Westernaudiences that they have an obligation to perform hijrah and immigrate to the Islamic State. Dabiqglorifies ISIS’s military and governance activity, portraying ISIS as an invincible group creating anidyllic Muslim state. JUL 5: Issue 1 JUL 27: Issue 2 AUG 29: Issue 3 OCT 12: Issue 4 NOV 21: Issue 5CONTACT US http://www.understandingwar.org [email protected] @Thestudyofwar

ISIS Martyr messages. ISIS glorifies its martyrs and showcases those who hail from foreign lands.ISIS regularly publicizes reports of its international “martyrs,” or suicide attackers. Recent examples ofISIS martyr videos highlight attackers from the countries below, though the published list of ISIS martyrsis much more extensive. 11 OCT: Indonesia 23 OCT: France 8 NOV: Iraq, Turkey, and Turkistan 13 NOV: Netherlands 22 NOV: Britain 9 DEC: Afghanistan 10 DEC: France, Saudi Arabia, and Syria ISIS Foreign Fighters. There have been some 15,000 fighters from 80 countries that have traveled toSyria to fight for ISIS. The largest numbers come from Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Turkeyand Lebanon. About two thousand fighters have traveled from the West, primarily from the UnitedKingdom, France, Belgium, Australia, and Germany. This list does not include documentation ofWesterners who have been stopped from emigrating, though there are recorded cases in multiplecountries, including the United States.Declare Bay’at Dabiq. In Issue 2 of Dabiq, ISIS imparts the following instruction to supporters living abroad: “If youcannot perform hijrah (immigrate to the Islamic State) for whatever extraordinary reason, then try inyour location to organize bay’at (pledges of allegiance) to the Khalifah Ibrahim. Publicize them as muchas possible. Gather people in the masajid, Islamic centers, and Islamic organizations, for example, andmake public announcements of bay’ah. Try to record these bay’ah and then distribute them through allforms of media including the Internet. It is necessary that bay’ah becomes so common to the averageMuslim that he considers those holding pack as grossly abnormal.if you live in a police state that willarrest you over such bay’at, then use means of anonymity to convey your bay’ah to the world.” Groups Outside of Iraq and Syria.Note: The list below is of groups that have pledged bay’at, or allegiance, to ISIS outside of Iraq and Syria.Expressions of support from al-Qaeda affiliates are excluded. Groups are listed under “Unconfirmed” ifthey have only voiced support and not pledged bay’at, if their bay’at pledge is unconfirmed, or if theirexistence is unconfirmed.Confirmed 30 JUN: Mujahideen East Timor (MIT) in Indonesia10 JUL: Caliphate and Jihad Movement in Pakistan13 AUG: Ansar al-Khalifah in the Philippines16 AUG: Abu Sayaaf Group in the Philippines16 AUG: Bangsmoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the Philippines14 SEP: Jund al-Khalifah in Algeria. The group is reportedly comprised of the al-HudaBattalion from Algeria and unidentified Algerian brigades.27 SEP: Al Tawhid Battalion in Afghanistan and Pakistan10 OCT: Bangsmoro Justice Movement (BJM) in the Philippines13 OCT: Tehrik-e-Khalifat, composed of Tehrik-e-Taliban in Pakistan (TTP) formerspokesperson, as well as 5 TTP regional commanders18 NOV: Jundullah in PakistanCONTACT US http://www.understandingwar.org [email protected] @Thestudyofwar

Unconfirmed 23 APR: Khorasan Pledge signatories 12 AUG: Ansar al-Tahweed fi Bilad al-Hind in India 19 SEP: Statement attributed to Uqba bin Nafi battalion in Tunisia 29 SEP: Jund al-Khilafah in Egypt 26 SEP: Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in Pakistan 7 OCT: Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem 19 OCT: Jund at-Tawheed Wal Khalifah in Bangladesh November 10 Audio Statements & November 13 Wilayat Announcements. On November 10, 2014,ISIS’s media outlets released 5 similarly branded audio statements from supporters in Libya, Yemen, andSaudi Arabia, as well as from the existing groups Jund al-Khalifah in Algeria and Ansar Beit al-Maqdis inthe Sinai Peninsula. Each group pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. On November13, 2014, Baghdadi formally accepting these pledges of allegiance, and announced the formation of“wilayats,” or provinces, within Libya, Algeria, Yemen, the Sinai, and Saudi Arabia. Baghdadi alsoclaimed that an ISIS leader would be appointed for each area, and gave specific words of encouragementto each group. Media activity from each area is summarized below.Wilayat Sinai 14 NOV: Ansar Bait al-Maqdis releases video of attacks on Egyptian army and rebrands itselfWilayat Sinai 28 NOV: ISIS Wilayat Sinai releases video of civilian casualties from an alleged Israeli droneattack. 5 DEC: ISIS official in Wilayat Sinai incites Muslims to take up arms against thegovernment.Wilayat Barqa and Tarablus (Libya) 3 OCT: Islamic Youth Shura Council in Derna, Libya pledges allegiance to ISIS.10 NOV: “Supporters in Libya” pledge allegiance to ISIS16 NOV: ISIS-linked Twitter account suggests ISIS’s "Tripoli Province" behind bombings atEgyptian, UAE Embassies16 NOV: ISIS Provincial Division in Libya claims suicide bombings, car detonations in eastof country16 NOV: Fighters under ISIS Banner in Libya celebrate pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr alBaghdadi25 NOV: IS Reports on Government Ministry elements repenting in Libya's "BarqahProvince"Aspirational: Wilayat Haramayn (Saudi Arabia) May 6: The Saudi Interior Ministry raided a terrorist cell with alleged links to ISIS and alQaeda in Yemen. The 62 suspects included a Palestinian, a Yemeni, and a Pakistani citizen;the rest were Saudi citizens. The cell was reportedly based in Abha, and focused on humanand weapons smuggling. Saudi officials claimed that the ultimate purpose of the group was“to create chaos in the kingdom and [to] prepare a strategic post.” 26 AUG: The Saudi Interior Ministry arrested 8 Saudi citizens who been “recruiting youth tojoin extremist organizations abroad.” Al Arabiya News channel reported that the detaineeswere recruiting for ISIS. 1 DEC: Pro-ISIS al-Battar Media Foundation released a video in which “Supporters of theIslamic State in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques” allegedly shot Danish citizen ThomasCONTACT US http://www.understandingwar.org [email protected] @Thestudyofwar

Hoepner. Saudi officials later confirmed that a Danish man was shot while driving onNovember 22, and was later treated for shoulder wounds.7 DEC: Saudi authorities arrested 135 “terrorists,” who were involved in recruiting,financing, and making explosives for radical organizations abroad. The detainees includedseveral foreign nationals, including Syrians, Yemenis, Egyptians, an Afghani, an Ethiopian, aBahraini, an Iraqi, and a