- The Washington Times - Monday, August 1, 2016

The Islamic State is calling on its followers to “carry out jihad” against Russia, according to a new propaganda video attributed to the terror group over the weekend.

The video, posted on a social media account linked to the group — also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh — began circulating Sunday — a day before a Russian transport helicopter was shot down in Syria killing all five people aboard.

It was not immediately clear whether the two developments were linked.

While Russia’s Defense Ministry said on of its Mi-8 helicopters had been shot down in Syria’s Idlib province after delivering humanitarian goods to the city of Aleppo on Monday, there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The propaganda video, meanwhile, appeared to call on Islamic State sympathizers to carry out attacks inside Russia, away from the Syrian and Iraqi battlefields where the group has held territory for the past two years.

“Listen Putin, we will come to Russia and will kill you at your homes. … Oh, brothers, carry out jihad and kill and fight them,” a masked man driving a car in the desert yelled while wagging his finger in the final minutes of the video, according to Reuters.

The news agency reported that the video is nine minutes long, was linked on YouTube with subtitles and featured footage of armed men attacking armored vehicles and tents and collecting weapons in a desert setting.

While it was not immediately possible to verify that the video was produced by the Islamic State, Reuters said the link to the footage was published on a Telegram messaging account known to be used by the group’s operatives.

If verified, the video would fit within a pattern of recent propaganda posts by the Islamic State calling on its followers around the world to carry out attacks against nations fighting against the group in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, including Libya.

The posts have coincided a series of so-called lone-wolf assaults by attackers using any means possible to inflict carnage on innocents.

Reuters noted the string of deadly attacks claimed by the Islamic State in Europe over the past several weeks. Last week, assailants loyal to Islamic State forced an elderly Catholic priest in France to his knees before slitting his throat.

Since the mass killing in Nice, southern France on July 14, there have also been four incidents in Germany, including the most recent suicide bombing at a concert in Ansbach.

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