Daesh adopts guerrilla war strategy in targeting Asia
The terrorist Daesh organization has surprised the whole world by launching a series of attacks in Sri Lanka during Easter celebration. The attacks targeted a number of churches and hotels where foreigners reside.
At least 359 people perished in the coordinated series of blasts targeting churches and hotels. Church leaders believe the final toll from the attack on St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo could be close to 200, almost certainly making Negombo the deadliest of the six near-simultaneous attacks.
Standing under a black flag of Daesh, eight men declare their loyalty to the group’s leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. One man whose face was not covered was holding an AK-type rifle.
Daesh claimed the men in the video, released late on Tuesday by its AMAQ news agency, carried out the Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the deadliest such attack in South Asia’s history.
The unmasked man appears to be Zahran Hashim, a self-styled Islamic preacher who was known to hold pro-Daesh views. He was earlier named on social media accounts supportive of Daesh as Abu Obaida, one of the hotel bombers, and CNN News 18 on Sunday named him as the Shangri La Hotel bomber.
This was not the first time that the organization attacked churches as a Sunday morning mass was in progress when two explosions ripped through the Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo, Sulu in January.
Last year, Al-Furqan jihadist media institution, which belongs to Daesh, published a recorded speech by the spokesman of the organization, Abu al-Hasam al-Muhajir, who said the battle against the American, Russian and European Crusaders is no different that the battle against the allies of the tyrant Muslim regimes.
According to him, the battle against the infidels is a duty that will entitle the organization's fighters to a good reward in the world to come and will rid them of the pains of Judgement Day. He also said god will grant victory to the soldiers of the Caliphate in the near future.
Al-Muhajir pointed to the organization’s global network and praises the jihadists who continue to fight in its name everywhere from West Africa to South Asia.
He countered that the “soldiers of the Caliphate in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Khorasan, the Sinai, Libya, West Africa” and elsewhere readily “offer their lives” for the Islamic State’s “cause.” He also claims that the organization’s members in these areas — plus the Philippines, Somalia and Tunisia — are thwarting the designs of America’s “agents.”
Following the defeat in Syria and Iraq, Daesh is currently depending on a long war strategy, according to leadership directives; as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the organization, urged Daesh branches, especially in Asia and Africa, to pursue a long guerrilla warfare to drain the power of countries.
Egypt's Dār Al-Iftāʾ Observatory of Takfiri Fatwas and Extremist Views has been warning since January 2016 that Daesh is active in East Asia, pointing out that it is seeking to establish several proxies in Asia to establish a “remote caliphate”, away from the center of action in the Middle East.
Islamist groups researcher and expert Khaled Al-Zaafrani told The Reference in an interview that Daesh elements in Syria and Iraq have returned to east Asia and contributed to enflaming the region, accusing major countries of taking part in spreading the new wave of terrorism by allowing terrorists to safely exit their strongholds in Raqqa and Deir Al-Zor.
He also pointed out that the attack negatively affected the picture of Muslims and the state of sympathy gained after the New Zealand mosques attack in New Zealand.
He also pointed out that the organization is currently living a state of weakness and will not be able to keep on plotting terrorist attacks using the same way, adding that what happened was a sudden attack after the return of a number of terrorists who joined the fight in Syria and Iraq.