In a departure from official guidance from the WHO, the IS guidance to supporters includes covering the mouth when yawning and sneezing, as well as sealing off water containers
Notorious terrorist group Islamic State (IS) has adopted a safety-first approach to the coronavirus pandemic and advised its followers not to travel to Europe, the Politico reported citing the ultra fundamentalist group’s weekly mouthpiece.
In the latest edition of the terrorist group’s official newsletter, al-Naba, the editors who normally urge followers to carry out attacks on the western countries instead ask them to "stay away from the land of the epidemic" for the time being.
In a full-page infographic on the back cover, a list of pro-tips instructs militants on how to stop the pandemic's spread. IS members are advised to "put trust in God and seek refuge in Him from illnesses," but to also "cover the mouth when yawning and sneezing," and to wash their hands frequently.
1) ISIS issued a coronavirus guide advising “for the healthy not to enter the land of the epidemic and for the infected not to leave from it.” However, seeing it reported in news as an ISIS "travel ban" to Europe…wow, that’s a serious stretch. https://t.co/Y8dQW4EsQe pic.twitter.com/u1sentSgWR— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) March 15, 2020
In a departure from official guidance from the World Health Organization, the IS guidance to supporters includes covering the mouth when yawning and sneezing, as well as sealing off water containers.
One featured hadith, or saying of the prophet, reads: “There is one night in the year when pestilence descends, and it does not pass by any vessel that is not covered or any waterskin that is not tied up, but some of that pestilence descends into it.”
Those who believe they might have contracted coronavirus are told to stay away from areas under IS control in order to preserve the health of others and fulfil the holy "obligation of taking up the causes of protection from illnesses and avoiding them."
2) ISIS’ coronavirus guide is timely, but pretty generic: gives religious text to allow fighters & supporters to follow health guidelines. More, the pandemic stretches far beyond Europe, so not surprising ISIS’ infographic translated to English, Bengali, Urdu & other languages. pic.twitter.com/hhnXSWVLG5— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) March 15, 2020
Much like more conventional publications, al-Naba has been breathlessly reporting on the coronavirus's spread since the beginning of this year, when it first wrote about the "new virus [that] spreads death and terror in China."
Although past editions of al-Naba have expressed concern that members of China's Uyghur muslim minority could bring the virus into areas under its control, in the latest newsletter the editors portray the pandemic as a problem that is affecting the outside world.
The number of confirmed cases in Europe has passed 50,000, with more than 24,000 in Italy alone.
3) Nonetheless, it’s noteworthy what a diverse range of responses extremist groups have to corona virus:— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) March 15, 2020
-It’s a weapon created by evil America
-It’s a useful tool to rile up xenophobia
-It’s the wrath of God against nonbelievers
-It can be used as a bioweapon
Outbreaks of coronavirus have also been reported in other countries where Isis are active, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Indonesia
At a Pentagon press conference on Wednesday US Major General Alexus Grynkewich, the number two commander for the international anti-jihadist coalition in Iraq and Syria, said, “The Islamic State group is weakened but a resurgence is possible if the United States leaves Iraq.”