ISIS calls for 'all-out war' on West during holy month of Ramadan

A resident painting over an ISIS flag in Solo, Central Java.
A resident painting over an ISIS flag in Solo, Central Java.PHOTO: TEMPO

LONDON - The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group has called for an "all-out war" on "infidels" in the West at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins on Saturday (May 27).

"Muslim brothers in Europe who can't reach the Islamic State lands, attack them in their homes, their markets, their roads and their forums," the Islamist group said, using an alternative name for themselves, in a message entitled, "Where are the lions of war?" and published on YouTube, reported The Telegraph.

The group also defended the suicide attack on Manchester Arena that left 22 people dead, many of them children: "Do not despise the work. Your targeting of the so-called innocents and civilians is beloved by us and the most effective, so go forth and may you get a great reward or martyrdom in Ramadan."

The group made a similar call for attacks during Ramadan last year in what turned out the bloodiest Ramadan on record in terms of terrorist strikes. The body count after the month-long rampage was 421 dead and 729 wounded in incidents that included a bloody assault on a gay nightclub in Orlando that left 49 people dead.

With strikes in multiple countries on multiple targets, the group intends to drive home the message that no one is safe from ISIS. And as countries have tightened their borders to keep militants out, the terror group has modified its message to encourage supporters who are already overseas to carry out strikes in their home countries.

Britain is on tenterhooks over the possibility that a network linked to the Manchester bomber is still active and may have enough explosive material for another attack. So far, eight people are in custody on suspicion of involvement in the bombing.