As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, an Al Qaeda inspired terrorist organization seeking to create an Islamic empire) gains confidence, territory and expands its extensive online presence, the terrorist group (and its supporters) are increasingly making threats against Israel in response to the ongoing conflict.
One of ISIS’ several media wings, Al-Battar Media, tweeted a series of graphics threatening Israel. One graphic posted July 9 shows storm clouds over Jerusalem with a warning: “Patience, Jews, our appointment is at al-Quds [Jerusalem] tomorrow, for the one who waits is close.” Another image posted the same day shows the Dome of the Rock mosque superimposed in front of militants and features the same language.
ISIS’ Dawla Media Twitter feed, which regularly posts ISIS propaganda materials, tweeted a quoteon July 8 purportedly from a Hamas spokesman saying, “All our military operations till now are just [a] message for Israel.”
Dawla Media has also tweeted a statementon July 9 indicating that ISIS must fight the surrounding Arab states before it can attack Israel “because they are the protective fence supporting the Jews.”
Other statements have been tweeted from a feed associated with the pro-ISIS extremist forum “Al-Platform Media,” which has been tweeting statements by forum users. For example, one tweet from July linked to a conversation on the forum proclaiming, “Allah’s curse upon those of you who have made filth on the holy places. Zionist dogs…I would crucify you.”
ISIS’s online supporters are also tweeting their own threats. One supporter wrote that the kidnappings and deaths of the three Israeli teenagers Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach would be the first of many such attacks. And at least one supporter posted the anti-Semitic “Khaybar” slogan evoking the story of slaying thousands of Jews from the tribe of Khaiber in Arabia 1400 years ago. The slogan has been retweeted and favorited by many ISIS supporters.
ISIS propaganda targeting Israel is not without precedent. Even before the current conflict, maps distributed online by ISIS demonstrating its territorial ambitions regularly included Israel as part of the Islamic State. A map released by ISIS in March claimed that the organization held territory 220km away from Israel and threatened rocket attacks, saying, “We fight in the Levantine and our eyes are toward Jerusalem.”
A video released by ISIS last month before the current conflict included threats against Jews and Christians to rally its militants. The video includes explicit anti-Jewish statements, including “Wherever our war goes, Jewish rabbis are humiliated.”
ISIS has a long history of threatening Israel. As early as 2005, the organization’s predecessor, Al Qaeda in Iraq,
claimed at least 2 rocket attacks against Israel. In 2008, the organization’s leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi issued an audio statement calling for attacks on Israel and proposing to use Iraq as a “launching pad” for missile attacks against Israel.
ISIS has become well known for its sophisticated use of social media, where it disseminates propaganda, threatens western nations and enables supporters to take part in that process.