Homeland Security

Blind ISIS Fighter Rallies Jihadists in New Video

Nearly a month after a one-legged ISIS fighter told jihadists that a disability was “no excuse” for not fighting, the Islamic State featured a visually impaired jihadist in a new video calling for attacks.

The video filmed in Deir Ezzor, Syria, in the Euphrates river valley al-Khayr province near the Iraq border, focuses on Kazakh jihadists just days after President Trump and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev met at the White House.

It also comes as Kazakhstan has spent January as president of the UN Security Council, per the rotation among members.

The video features a handful of Kazakh jihadists decrying Nazarbayev’s government as illegitimate and encouraging attacks in Kazakhstan.

The blind ISIS member, holding a cane, is shown working at a medical facility for fighters as a comrade limps in the background. At one point he gives a forearm and hand massage to an ISIS member lying on an exam table.

The ISIS video focuses frequently on the Kazakh holding his white walking cane.

In a December video, an American-accented ISIS fighter who apparently lost a leg fighting with the terror group called on Western supporters, including the disabled, to conduct knife or gun attacks.

The bearded jihadist was referred to by nom de guerre Abu Salih Al-Amriki, or the American, and was shown using crutches and attaching a prosthetic leg. In “Inside the Khilafah” video released by ISIS’ official al-Hayat Media Center in English and Arabic, Abu Salih also called for would-be terrorists to take advantage of gun availability in the United States.

He began by telling wounded jihadists with “one leg or no legs” that they have “no excuse” to not strike the kuffar, or disbelievers. “To the brothers with limbs and no limbs, I challenge you to a race toward the gates of Jannah [paradise],” he said.

In 2014, Dutch national Taymullah al-Somali, also a blind jihadist, was utilized to recruit the disabled to come to fight for ISIS, saying on social media, “Being blind didn’t stop me from coming to Syria, what’s your excuse?”

Kazakhstan has been ranked in the Global Terrorism Index as a country with a low impact from terrorism. At the White House last week, Trump thanked Nazarbayev “for his full support for our South Asia strategy, including our efforts in Afghanistan.”

“I greatly appreciate the president’s personal assurances that Kazakhstan will continue to provide critical logistical support and access for our troops fighting ISIS and the Taliban, where we have made tremendous strides,” Trump said.

Nazarbayev said that “from the very first days after 9/11, Kazakhstan very steadfastly supported the fight of the United States against terrorism, and now we continue to collaborate closely in Afghanistan with your country.”