A new ISIS video praises the actions of Omar Mateen, the Orlando nightclub shooter, and promised more attacks in Orlando, New York, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere across the United States, the Clarion Project is reporting.
In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, Mateen, 29, shot and killed 49 people and injured 50 at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, in what would become the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Before the terrorist attack, Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS, although, as Buzzfeed notes, his motivations remain unclear. ISIS, however, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
— WESH 2 News (@WESH) June 12, 2016
The new ISIS video, simply entitled “Orlando Attack,” praises Omar Mateen for his actions that day.
“One of the Islamic State’s lions, set out to restore the glory of the Ummah and avenge the death of Muslims. He shook the head of the Kufr America, terrorized it, and shed its blood. He is… Omar Maten.”
After praising Mateen, the video then goes on to promise more attacks in American cities.
“The infidels of crusade America will no longer have security or comfort. New York, Orlando, Washington and other cities will not feel safety and comfort.”
The video promises more attacks as long as U.S. and coalition forces continue to attack ISIS in Syria.
The second half of the video shows quotes by various Islamic clerics who have supported the idea of terrorists carrying out attacks on the West.
“The smallest act you do in their lands is more beloved to us than the biggest act done here. It is more effective for us and more harmful to them.”
The video, which will not be shared in this post because it contains graphic imagery and content that may be disturbing to some viewers, was not produced by ISIS itself but rather by media outlet Al Battar. Although not directly affiliated with ISIS, Al Battar is sympathetic to their cause.
It bears noting that the video does not present any evidence that ISIS was actually involved with Mateen’s attack in Orlando; even the image of Mateen used in the video was widely released by the news media almost immediately after the attack. By comparison, ISIS videos released following the November 2015 Paris attacks and the March 2016 Brussels attacks show clips of ISIS operatives discussing and planning their attacks.
Still, ISIS doesn’t necessarily have to be directly involved in a terrorist attack in order to claim it as one of their own. The terrorist organization has encouraged so-called “lone wolf” attacks, where a Jihadist sympathetic to ISIS carries out a terrorist attack in their name but without their money or involvement.
Such was the case on May 3, 2015, according to NBC News, when two terrorists attempted to carry out an attack at a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest in Garland, Texas. That attack resulted in both perpetrators being killed and only one person suffering moderate injuries. After the attack, ISIS claimed responsibility, even though they were in no way involved — beyond the perpetrators being radicalized Islamists sympathetic to their cause.
These so-called “lone wolf” attacks are an effective way for ISIS to capitalize on the actions of extremists without the terrorist organization’s actual involvement, according to terrorism expert J.M. Berger.
“Lone wolves are a low-cost, low-resource way to carry out attacks, where the group can then retroactively decide if it wants to claim responsibility or not. If they like it, they can adopt it after the fact.”
ISIS is losing ground in Syria thanks in part to coalition victories in the region, as well as the falling price of oil, which has helped limit the organization’s funding.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]