U.S. gun laws have plenty of supporters at home, but it seems Islamic State is also a fan.
The group has long called on its adherents to stage lone-wolf attacks, but in a video from Al-Hayat Media Center — Islamic State’s media arm — one militant, Abu Salih al Amriki (his nom de guerre identifies him as an American), exhorts would-be attackers in the U.S. to “take advantage” of gun laws to get a rifle or pistol to shoot the group’s enemies and inflame a war between Muslims and the West.
“Take advantage of the fact that you can easily obtain a rifle or a pistol in America. Spray the kuffar [unbelievers] with bullets so that their fear of the Muslim rises and they continue to reveal their hatred towards Islam,” says the bearded militant, sitting amid war-ravaged buildings with a pair of crutches at his side. A prosthetic peeks out of a pant leg of his khaki military fatigues.
In the video released Wednesday, he also proposes that U.S.-based militants “get a knife and slice the throat of the kuffar so that they know that the blood of the Muslims is not cheap.”
Islamic State adheres to an extreme interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law, and considers non-Muslims to be infidels who are to be fought and either converted to Islam or killed.
The slickly produced four-minute video, the sixth in a series titled “Inside the Khilafah [Caliphate],” was released on social media, including the secure messaging app Telegram, where the group continues to maintain hundreds of dedicated “channels” to publish its materials.
Speaking with an American accent, the fighter accuses President Trump (whom he dubs “dog of Rome”) of “entering the White House on the back of [his] crusader rhetoric.”
He then takes a page from the president’s lexicon, saying that “the fake media” had pressured Trump to tone down his anti-Islamic rhetoric.
“You do not liberate cities, you only obliterate them with airstrikes because you are too frightened to fight us on the ground,” he continues.
“You are now witnessing your fake victory. Your war against Islam has only made your homeland more vulnerable and your society cracking into chaos.”
The video then shows a montage of news clips from past mass shootings and bomb attacks in the U.S. and elsewhere, before the scene switches to militants mugging for the camera with severed heads. In the background plays an Islamic song, which says that the “soldiers of Allah are more than ready” and “fight in the day and the night.”
Wednesday’s video is not the first time the group has sought to use U.S. gun laws in its favor; an article in the May issue of Rumiyah, Islamic State’s foreign language magazine, insists “the acquisition of firearms can be very simple,” especially in the U.S.
“In most U.S. states, anything from a single-shot shotgun all the way up to a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle can be purchased at showrooms or through online sales — by way of private dealers — with no background checks, and without requiring either an ID or a gun license,” says the article, which focuses on “terror tactics.”
“And with approximately 5,000 gun shows taking place annually within the United States, the acquisition of firearms becomes a very easy matter.”
The video comes after both the U.S. and Russia declared the jihadis had been routed from all their territories in Iraq and Syria, where the group had established its presumptive “caliphate.”
Bulos is a special correspondent.