This month, Islamic State Jihadists released a “religious” song for Christmas, “Coldly Kill Them With Hate and Rage”.
Taking the form of Islamic religious chant, the song, according to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute, exhorts jihadists everywhere to murder non-Muslims, “pagans, atheists and polytheists”, from “West Africa all the way to east Asia… through air, land and sea,” Richard Kemp of the GateStone Institute reported on Thursday, Christmas Eve.
Published on Telegram, the post includes the hashtag #MerryChristmas and a photograph of a Christmas tree with dynamite attached.
Christmas is an attractive time for jihadists for three unattractive reasons. First and foremost, they are fighting a religious war and by far their numerically greatest enemies are Christians whose most prominent festival is Christmas.
Second, large crowds joining festive events and filling shopping centers present a target-rich environment. Third, publicity: mass murder at this time of year guarantees additional outrage among Western countries and Christian communities everywhere. The Islamic State song enjoins its followers to “make their media cry and broadcast”.
The propaganda value is particularly powerful for jihadists intent on recruiting and motivating fighters and funders for their cause and creating division between communities aimed at inciting vengeance attacks against their fellow Muslims.
It would be a mistake, however, to dismiss such overt jihadist threats merely as an effort to instill terror among their targets around the world, especially in the West. They mean what they say and their past actions conclusively prove it.
This week, mourners gathered to pay their respects to the 12 people killed and 56 wounded when an Islamic State terrorist drove a truck into crowds at a Christmas market in Berlin on December 19, 2016. This followed a series of jihadist terror attacks in Europe that year, including a nail-bomb planted by a 12-year-old Iraqi boy at a Christmas market in Ludwigshafen, Germany, that failed to detonate.
On the first anniversary of the Berlin rammings, police in the north of England seized bomb-making equipment and arrested Islamic State terrorists believed to be planning an attack in the UK at Christmas, and Russian intelligence services reportedly disrupted a Christmas attack planned for the city of St Petersburg.
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