Islamic State Tells Putin They Are Headed to Russia
Published: September 4, 2014 (Issue # 1827)
Members of the Islamic State, a violent group of extremists presently terrorizing Iraq and Syria, have released a video threatening President Vladimir Putin and vowing to wage war in Russia's restive North Caucasus.
Message to Putin
A video released by Al Arabiya and reportedly filmed in a seized airport in the Syrian province of Raqqa features an Islamic State fighter seated in a military jet, saying: "This message is for you, Vladimir Putin! These are the aircraft you sent to Bashar [Assad], and we're going to send them to you. Remember that!"
The voice of a Russian speaker can also be heard in the video, describing the jets seized by Islamic State fighters. "This is Russian technology," he says.
The Islamic State has openly declared war on the U.S., driving its point home by having beheaded two U.S. journalists in as many weeks. This is the first time members of the group have personally taunted the Russian president.
"We will with the consent of Allah free Chechnya and all of the Caucasus! The Islamic State is here and will stay here, and it will spread with the grace of Allah!" a fighter is shown saying in the video, which is available on YouTube with Russian subtitles.
Addressing Putin personally, the fighter added: "Your throne has already been shaken, it is under threat and will fall with our arrival [in Russia]. … We're already on our way with the of Allah!"
Syria and Rise of IS
Russia has provoked condemnation from the Islamic State for seemingly having shielded the Syrian regime through the course of the country's civil war. In the new video, radical fighters vow to destroy Assad, whom they refer to as a "pig."
The Syrian conflict has thrust the Islamic State into the spotlight, with an estimated 50,000 fighters in the country, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. In June, members of the group seized control of several cities in Iraq, where there are now an estimated 30,000 Islamic State fighters.
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