For the first time, the Islamic State has called for its members to attack within Russia, releasing a nine-minute video on YouTube on Sunday threatening Russian president Vladimir Putin directly and exhorting ISIS fighters to “carry out jihad” in the former Soviet state.
“Listen Putin, we will come to Russia and will kill you at your homes…Oh Brothers, carry out jihad and kill and fight them,” yells a masked man driving a car through the desert, reported Reuters.
The subtitled video also featured footage of armed ISIS militants attacking armored vehicles and tents and mustering in the desert.
While the video was not immediately verified, a link to the clip was posted on a Telegram messaging account known to be used by the radical Islamic group, indicating its authenticity.
It was not clear whether ISIS was calling on its own fighters to infiltrate Russia, or whether it hoped to radicalize and activate Russian Muslims, who constitute approximately 7 percent of the country’s population.
Putin himself has warned against radicalization in the country’s North Caucasus, where militants are becoming increasingly susceptible to the radical Islamist propaganda disseminated by ISIS.
The call for more attacks against Eastern Europe comes in the wake of a number of vicious ISIS-related attacks in the West, with France and Germany both seeing a rise in terrorist violence by native-born Muslims and newly-arrived refugees.
Most recently, last week a French priest was killed by ISIS-affiliated terrorists, who forced the 85-year-old man to his knees before slitting his throat during a mass service in a Normandy church.