IS calls for attacks on the West in Ramadan

IS calls for attacks on the West in Ramadan
The Islamic State group appeared to try to keep morale high among its supporters in a new audio message released Saturday calling for attacks on the West during holy month.
2 min read
22 May, 2016
The message may have been aimed at boosting morale following a string of defeats [Getty]

A new audio message was released by Islamic state on Saturday urging supporters unable to travel to the militant group’s self-declared caliphate to launch attacks on the West during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The 31-minute audio clip, released by IS media arm al-Furqan and posted online, featured IS spokesman Abu Mohamed al-Adnani.

"The tiniest action you do in the heart of their land is dearer to us than the biggest action by us…there are no innocents in the heart of the lands of the Crusaders," Adnani said.

"Will we be defeated if we lose Mosul or Sirte or Raqqa or all the cities and go back to how we were before?" he said, referring to the three IS stronghold cities in Iraq, Libya and Syria.

"No. Defeat is only losing the desire and the will to fight," he said, adding even "20,000 airstrikes" by the US-led coalition had failed to defeat IS. 

The message encouraged lone wolf attacks in the US and Europe during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is expected to start early next month, urging supporters to seek "martyrdom."

The message may have been aimed at boosting morale after the group suffered a string of military defeats, losing territories in both Iraq and Syria.

US presidential envoy to the global coalition to counter IS, Brett McGurk recently said "this perverse caliphate is shrinking."

The US-led coalition dropped flyers on the IS self-declare capital Raqqa in northern Syria over the weekend, urging residents to leave the city ahead of a major offensive to recapture it by anti-IS forces.

Agencies contributed to this report.