The terrorist who attacked a Berlin Christmas market urged Muslims to “support this faith” by using whatever abilities they have to stage attacks.
ISIS’ Amaq news agency released the video of Anis Amri, a Tunisian who had applied for and been denied asylum in Germany, hours after the attacker was killed in a shootout with police in Milan on Friday. Police said the last words of the 24-year-old, who murdered a Polish truck driver and used the semi to kill 11 people at the market, were “bastard cops.”
Amri was not caught through a counterterrorism operation, but by an officer asking to see his papers during normal patrol duties. One officer was wounded in the encounter.
He had previously lived in Italy, where Amri’s father said he served four years behind bars for committing arson at a school.
Amri started the video, speaking with headphones in his ears on a bridge with the sound of traffic in the background, with a pledge to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, vowing “to listen and obey, in times of delight and dislike, and in times of hardship and ease, and to do so selflessly, and to not dispute the matter of those in authority except if we see blatant kufr [disbelievers] concerning which we have proof from Allah.”
“My message to the crusaders who strike Muslims every day: By Allah’s permission we have come to you with the slaughter, o pigs. By him in whose hand my soul is, we have come to you with slaughter,” Amri said. “You strike Muslims. Don’t you know that the mujahideen have an ummah [Muslim community] behind them? An ummah. Their blood will not go in vain by Allah’s permission. By Allah’s permission their blood will not go in vain.”
“We are an ummah behind them, and we will take revenge. We will take revenge for them, Allah willing. By Allah’s permission you will drink from our cup, you will taste our strength. Our drink is bitter, and our strength is great by Allah’s permission.”
Though Amri didn’t mention Berlin in the video, he did emphasize a message from terrorist groups that has grown in intensity: that would-be jihadists use whatever skills or weapons they have to commit even very small-scale attacks. ISIS has recently issued tutorials on knife attacks with suggested victims including a patron stumbling out of a bar or a person walking a dog, and has advised would-be terrorists to rent a U-Haul to drive down people at outdoor markets and events.
“I ask my mujahideen brothers everywhere: Go out, o brothers. Go out, o brothers, to do jihad in the way of Allah. Support this faith. Support this faith. Each of us within their means. Every person should support the faith within their means,” Amri said. “Who can go out should do so. Who can fight at any location, to fight those in Europe, should fight those pigs and crusaders. So each according to their ability. Allah is the grantor of success.”
The State Department has issued no travel alerts for Germany since the attack. The embassy in Berlin encouraged “all U.S. citizens to maintain good situational awareness, a low profile, and exercise vigilance.”
The FBI cautioned law enforcement agencies in the United States that supporters of the Islamic State have been calling for attacks on holiday events and churches, but said there were no known specific, credible threats.