As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) increasingly finds itself under attack in Iraq and Syria, it has used the murder of an individual it alleges was a Mossad spy to threaten Jews and Israel and thereby attempt to rally its supporters.
Anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiments are regularly utilized as tools by terrorist groups including ISIS to build support and mobilize followers.
The murder is depicted in a video with narration promising to conquer Jerusalem, praising the killing of Jews, and referring to anti-Semitic violence in France. Like the threats ISIS issued against Israel this summer, it maintains that the group is currently occupied in Syria and Iraq but aspires to attack Israel in the future.
Some quotes from the video include:
- “O Jews, Allah has gifted us with killing your followers in your own stronghold in France”
- “As for the near-term, you will witness the legions of the Khilafa pounding your lands and your fortresses. They will liberate Jerusalem from your filth, by Allah's permission”
- “Today we say to you, the Islamic conquests have begun, and the Jews have become frightened because the promise is near.”
- “So we fight in Iraq and our eyes are on Jerusalem”
The video’s victim, an Arab-Israeli named Mohamed Musallam, is shot on camera by a boy who appears to be between 10 and 12 years old. Both the boy and the man supervising him are apparently French citizens, according to officials and news reports. Some experts believe that the man is Sabri Essid, reportedly the half-brother of Mohammed Merah. Merah is responsible for a 2011 shooting in a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, that left four dead, including three children.
At its conclusion, the video also names 13 other individuals, all of whom have Arab names, who it claims are spies for Israel. Several appear to be Musallam’s family members, including his father and brother. The video provides their names and maps their addresses. It also provides several pictures for most of the individuals it named. This information was reposted in a JustPaste.it document that was also shared on Twitter.
According to his family, Musallam had traveled to Syria to join ISIS but later changed his mind and wanted to leave the group.
Some ISIS supporters attempted to ensure the video was seen by Israelis by promoting the link with a trending Hebrew-language hashtag that translates to “the end that they don’t tell you.”
ISIS supporters online also responded to the video with additional anti-Semitic sentiments. One supporter, for example, tweeted, “For those who said why don’t you fight Israel. Here is the good news, today we kill the agents of Jews and tomorrow - God willing - those cubs will kill the Jews.” The term cubs is a reference to youth being indoctrinated to support ISIS, such as the boy in the video. ISIS militants are sometimes referred to as lions.
ISIS and its supporters have used anti-Semitism and threats against Israel to appeal to followers on multiple occasions, including through threats against Israel this summer, a video issued in June 2014 that threatened Jews, and in a prominent speech by ISIS spokesman Mohammed al-Adnani that alleged Jews control U.S. foreign policy and are responsible for American intervention in Iraq and Syria.
ISIS supporters have also recently established a cyber-alliance with anti-Israel hackers in an attempt to increase cyber-attacks on behalf of ISIS.