Despite years of ISIS pushing its soldiers into Europe to inflict acts of terror, the group has about-faced in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and is now telling them to stay out of Europe.
“The healthy should not enter the land of the epidemic and the afflicted should not exit from it,” said the group’s al-Naba newsletter, according to CBN News. The virus is a “plague” and “torment sent by God on whomsoever He wills,” the group continued.
ISIS encouraged any terrorist in Europe to remain in order to inflict “the infidels.” If members are healthy, however, they should “flee from the one afflicted with leprosy as you flee from the lion.” They also pushed hygiene habits, including washing hands and covering their mouths when sneezing or yawning.
The terrorist group has been on alert regarding the growing situation ever since the outbreak began in China last December.
According to Homeland Security Today, the al-Naba newsletter blamed Chinese officials for not fully revealing the scope of the coronavirus’ spread, which, according to them, is a punishment from God for China’s mistreatment of the Uyghur Muslim population.
“The real numbers for the dead and the ill are many times what they announced,” ISIS said. China is “claiming the recovery and discharge of some patients with the disease … to reassure people, and to reduce the catastrophic effects.”
The newsletter focused on avoiding Europe, despite confirmed cases in other countries where they fight, including Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, India, the Philippines and Indonesia.
According to The Guardian, the EU will likely set into motion the strictest travel ban in its history as France, Italy and Spain go into full lockdown.
Iraq has confirmed 124 cases of the virus with 10 deaths. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has shifted the epicenter of the virus to Europe from China. Currently, more than 178,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide with more than 7,000 deaths. Nearly 78,000 people have recovered.
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Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine.