Holy pandemicIslamic State Calls for Followers to Spread Coronavirus, Exploit Pandemic and Protests

Published 26 June 2020

An Islamic State group online publication in India has called for its supporters to spread the coronavirus, saying “every brother and sister, even children, can contribute to Allah’s cause by becoming the carriers of this disease and striking the colonies of the disbelievers.” The group claims that devout Muslims will not be sickened, because “no disease can harm even a hair of a believer.” It is the latest in an effort by the Islamic State group and its followers to take advantage of the pandemic and general civic instability in the West. Brian Glyn Williams writes in The Conversation that Islamic State followers are excited at the prospect of a massive Western death toll from the coronavirus, which they defined as “God’s smallest soldier.” They also see the virus at work in U.S. military pullbacks related to the coronavirus – such as the March announcement from the Pentagon that it would stop sending troops to Iraq for at least two months. In addition, the U.S. pulled some troops out of Iraq, withdrew many more from six frontline operating bases and ordered the troops remaining in the country to stay on their bases – moves that ended most joint missions with local Iraqi and Kurdish troops.