- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 12, 2016

The massacre in Orlando, Florida, follows a major propaganda push by the Islamic State terrorist army to persuade its followers in the United States to kill civilians in honor of Ramadan.

The shooter, Omar Siddiqui Mateen, a U.S.-born Muslim, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, a congressman said Sunday. Ramadan began June 5 and ends July 5.

On May 21, al Furqan, one of the Islamic State’s main media operations, released an audio statement by spokesman Abu Muhammed al-Adnani titled “That they live by proof.”

Addressing “caliphate soldiers,” he said, “And here [the month of] Ramadan has come. The month of jihad, fighting, and conquests. Get ready and be prepared and let each of you make sure to spend it as a conqueror for the sake of Allah and seek what Allah has preserved for you, and make it a month of wrath against the kuffar [infidels] everywhere.”

His message was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“[We specifically call] on the soldiers of the Caliphate in Europe and the U.S.: Oh servants of Allah, Oh monotheists, if the tyrants have shut to doors of hijra [immigration to ISIS territories] in your face, then open the gate of jihad in their faces and make them regret their action. The smallest bit of work that you can carry out in their countries is far better and beloved to us than any major work [i.e. operations] here,” al-Adnani said.

Al-Adnani called on jihadists to attack civilian-filled sites, what experts call “soft targets,” that are easier to penetrate than military ones.

That seems to be the Islamic State’s playbook overseas. It attacked bars and a concert hall in Paris in November and hit a subway car and an airport check-in unit in Belgium in March.

The Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, where 50 innocents were murdered, would fall in that category.

California Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said on CNN that the administration told him that Mateen had pledged loyalty to the Islamic State.

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