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As the so-called Islamic State faces defeat in Mosul, Iraq, it has released a new grisly video calling on its followers to carry out lone-wolf attacks against non-believers across the world.
The jihadist propaganda includes instructions on how to kill, urging individuals to use simple tools and craft homemade bombs or weapons. In trademark style, the video reduces to violent snuff—showing gruesome and graphic executions. At one point an individual is beheaded with a knife, while another is blown up running through the desert.
The narrator praises those who have already carried out such attacks on Westerners as having “cast dread into their souls, and filled their hearts with panic.” It specifically mentions the damaging effect that this violence is likely to have had on U.S. war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
High-ranking members of the terrorist group, which has suffered major losses in recent weeks, are trapped in Mosul and the release of this barbaric video is deemed to be an act of desperation and frustration. Mosul has been under Islamic State control since 2014 and has been a stronghold for the terrorist group in northern Iraq.
A force of over 30,000 Iraqi troops, Kurdish Peshmerga, and Shia militants have been attacking the city from all sides supported by U.S.-led airstrikes. It’s estimated that there are less than 8,000 Islamic State militants left in the city which is still heavily defended.
As coalition forces captured the areas around Mosul, a huge intelligence haul uncovered plans by the terrorist group to carry out more attacks in Europe. The new video corroborates this, but the digital intel stored on laptops, amounting to over 10,000 documents worth, is currently being sifted through by British security forces in a dedicated unit.
“There is a huge amount of intelligence, documentation, electronic material that has been exploited there that points very directly against all sorts of nations around the world,” British Major General Jones explained to the press. “It will be a labyrinth of intelligence and we need to get that into the hands of the intelligence agencies.”
This intelligence, which includes financial information, will be key to cutting off the group’s income and disrupting attacks worldwide as it makes its desperate final stand.
David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology.