An official media affiliate of the Islamic State released a new video this weekend praising the Orlando attack, calling for similar attacks in multiple languages and portraying a suicide bomber striking Times Square.
Titled “You Are Not Held Responsible Except for Yourself,” the Al-Furat Media Foundation release was distributed online with a promotional banner featuring President Obama, Omar Mateen and scenes from the previous weekend’s carnage.
Al-Furat specializes in Russian-language messages to Muslims in the Caucasus and beyond. Earlier this year, for example, the media wing released the Philippine terrorist group Abu Sayyaf’s video pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The video opens with the tag “USA” in the upper corner and shots of an unseen person assembling a bomb to put in a suicide vest. The person buttons up a blue shirt, straps on the bomb belt, and zips up a dark brown leather jacket to conceal it. He’s wearing a stainless steel wristwatch that reads 9:25.
That’s followed by scenes of Times Square and the torso of the leather-jacketed man walking along the street. A TGI Friday’s sign is shown.
In a close-up of the man with no location shown, he’s pulling the ring on his detonator.
It appears to be mock-up footage from an Al-Jazeera segment, with the network’s logo fuzzed out but still discernible.
News footage is then shown of the ABC News building banner in New York scrolling a headline about the November Paris attacks.
Then, pictures of Mateen along with closeups of the weapons he used in the June 12 attack on the Pulse nightclub: a Sig Sauer MCX .223 caliber rifle and Glock 17 9 mm.
Footage of the attack from American and Arabic TV is shown.
A black jihadist in fatigues with an outdoor backdrop that looks like IS territory in the Middle East is identified as Abu Isamil al-Amriki; he speaks perfect English and is referred to as an American, yet he speaks with a slight accent.
“Do you think you are at war with a small group of mujahideen in Iraq, Syria, Libya and other places? You are sadly mistaken. And do you think you will defeat us by bombing our homes with your drones and F-16s?” Abu Ismail says.
“O America, indeed you are at war with … sincere Muslims around the world who yearn and desire to see the honor of Islam returned,” he adds. “And O America, indeed you are at war with the people who wish to be killed and slain for the sake of Allah… you are at war with the holy Quran.”
Abu Ismail’s message is followed by short speeches subtitled in Arabic from a Russian-speaking jihadist, Abdu-Rahman al-Roussie; an Indonesian, Abu Nusseyba al-Indunisy — who is especially effusive in his praise for Mateen and the Orlando attack; and a terrorist from Uzbekistan, Abu az-Zubair al-Uzbaki. The Uzbek is the only one masked.
More Arabic TV coverage of the Orlando attack is shown, including reporting on the ISIS claim made by its affiliated Amaq news agency the day of the attack.
“All Muslims around the world: Omar Mateen, one of the soldiers of the khilafah [caliphate], one of the few that was true to his lord,” Abu Isamil al-Amriki reappears to say. “While having prepared his weapons and taken steps and having trust and reliance upon Allah, it is through his hands that Allah punished his enemies.”
“Today we are in a time when the Muslims will not be slaughtered, but in fact we will take revenge for every single brother and sister killed by the crusaders,” he says.
A masked French-speaking jihadist, Abu Jannah al-Firansi, talks before the video cuts to footage shot by Larossi Abballa, 25, during his attack on a police commander and his family on June 13.
Abballa livestreamed on Facebook his statement from inside the home of Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42, and Jessica Schneider, 36, a police station secretary, during the attack in Magnanville, about 30 miles outside of Paris. Born in France of Moroccan heritage, Abballa said he was following the directive of al-Baghdadi to kill the infidels in their homes.
“I call upon you to prioritize police officers… I have just killed a police officer and I have just killed his wife. I call upon you to kill policemen, prison guards, journalists, and especially – yes, yes, yes, yes, listen to me well and apply this – attack especially the journalists,” Abballa said in part during that video. Directing his message then to French authorities, he vowed: “We have other surprises waiting for you, for the Euro 2016, I will say no more. The Euro will be a cemetery.”
The Al-Furat video only shows clips of Abballa’s 11-minute video, which was released by ISIS’ Amaq agency last week.