The Islamic State group has commended the Sydney siege gunman in its monthly English language magazine, Dabiq, calling the death of two hostages a “blessing” and a “noble cause,” and encouraged more attacks around the world. The Dabiq issue, released Monday, mentioned that the Islamic State had added gunman Mon Haron Monis to a growing number of Muslim’s who have answered the Khalifah’s call to “strike” against those waging war against ISIS.
Monis stormed the Lindt café in downtown Sydney, holding 20 people hostage during a 17-hour standoff between himself and police that ended with the death of two hostages and the gunman.
Monis, 50, who had once been a Shia Muslim before converting to Sunni Islam, was an unofficial cleric and had a substantial criminal history. A month before the attacks, Monis had pledged his allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS’s Sunni caliph.
Referencing the success of the caliph's call to arms, the writers said that Monis was able to get the gun “with ease” and attack the “kuffar [non-believers)] where it would hurt them most -- in their own lands and on the very streets that they presumptively walk in safety.”
The issue also contained an interview with captured Jordanian pilot First lieutenant Muadh al-Kasasbeh, 26, who was taken by ISIS after ejecting from his aircraft in northern Syria. Al-Kasasbeh has since appeared in photos wearing a Guantanamo Bay-style orange jumpsuit.
According to multiple media reports, his F-16 was hit by a heat-seeking missile near the Islamic States de-facto capital Raqqa. The pilot was then forced to eject from the jet before landing in the Euphrates River.
He is the first pilot to be captured by the Islamic extremists since U.S.-led coalition bombing of ISIS targets began in September.