Islamic State’s chilling new threat against Australia
Exclusive: Potential jihadi terrorists are being urged to attack Australia and the West using arson and deliberately-lit bushfires, in the latest shocking ISIS recruitment video.
Titled "Incite the Believers" the new video released just days ago cites the numbers of people killed in Victorian fires and the tens of thousands of hectares of land burnt out in Australia's devastating bushfires as incentive for creative new attacks.
The video narration encourages believers, to use "the weapon that is within reach of every hand - at which even children are proficient and people have used since ancient times to harm their enemies - … fire" and to "instil fear in their chests".
Professor Robert Pape, the Director of the University of Chicago Project on Security and Threats said the video which he obtained and studied promotes the use of wild/bush fires to because fires can kill more people than bombings or other attacks carried out on civilians and are an enormous strain on "disbelieving governments'" resources.
Professor Paper said it is a highly sophisticated and ominous signal of what might be about to occur and governments need to pay close attention.
"The fact that previous al-Hayat videos calling for action in the West resulted in attacks in the likes of Paris and London suggests this video should be taken seriously as a warning," he said.
"This is really concerning, coming at a time when countries and governments are distracted by the pandemic and civil unrest. It is of the utmost importance that senior government officials watch this entire video."
The slick production was made by the media arm of ISIS known as al-Hayat. It is the first propaganda video from the western-directed media unit in 18 months.
The video calls on "sympathisers living in disbeliever lands" and for those who want to participate in jihad but are unable to migrate and cannot always find weapons to conduct attacks to use arson and bush fires as a weapon against the West.
Images of President of Trump, references to "Crusaders", and statistics highlighting the loss of human life and land in Australia, Greece, and California make it especially clear the West is a target of the video.
It is being circulated in both Arabic and English language versions and offers practical advice to would-be arsonists to look for dry, isolated areas, dispose of evidence, and beware of law enforcement.
Professor Pape said al-Hayat has historically promoted ISIS's Western-directed recruitment efforts with sophisticated propaganda.
The video uses the latest computer generated imagery and graphics.
Professor Pape said it is "quite a smart video" because it puts ISIS in a no-lose situation.
He said it is encouraging followers in the three countries to follow their instructions but also allows them to claim credit for any fires that are started with or without the help of ISIS inspired actions.
The wildfire season is about to start in the next few months in the US.
Professor Pape said what is so worrying about the video is that "it makes ISIS appear larger than life to people already predisposed to believing in the group's cause."
Professor Pape, whose research unit has obtained and studied more than 7000 ISIS videos, said it will be made available to law enforcement in Australia, the US and Greece.
Originally published as Islamic State's chilling new threat against Australia