BEIRUT – The spokesman for the Islamic State group has praised the gunman who killed a Canadian soldier at the National War Memorial in October and is calling on Muslims living in Western countries to carry out attacks.
The spokesman says any loyalist who has the opportunity to “shed a drop of blood” should do so.
Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, in a nine-minute audio recording released Monday, praised recent attacks in Australia, Belgium and France — where gunmen killed 12 people in an assault on the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo magazine.
He also praised the gunman who shot and killed an unarmed sentry at the War Memorial in Ottawa on Oct. 22 and then stormed the Parliament Hill’s Centre Block before being killed by security forces, saying: “You all saw what one Muslim did in Canada and its infidel parliament.”
Michael Zehaf Bibeau’s killing of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo came just two days after another attack by a man with known jihadist sympathies who ran down a soldier in Quebec, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.
The attacks ingnited a debate on home-grown terrorism in Canada.
The Canadian government is expected to introduce legislation soon to crack down on suspected terrorists and those who openly encourage them.
Al-Adnani, the spokesman for the Islamic State group, also made reference to the death last week of Saudi King Abdullah, saying Muslims “are happy for the death of the tyrant of the peninsula.”
Monday’s recording did not mention the two Japanese hostages that his group threatened on Jan. 20 to behead unless Tokyo paid $200 million within 72 hours. That deadline has since passed without word on the hostages’ fate.
“We repeat our call to Muslims in Europe, the infidel West, and everywhere to target the Crusaders in their home countries and wherever they find them,” al-Adnani said in the audio released by one of the group’s media arms, Al-Furqan. “We will be enemies, in front of God, to any Muslim who can shed a drop of blood of a Crusader and abstains from doing that with a bomb, bullet, knife, car, rock or even a kick or a punch.”
Speaking about the ongoing airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State positions in Iraq and Syria, the spokesman said they “made the holy warriors stronger, more steadfast and sure about victory.”
Canadian CF-18 jetfighters are among the forces that have been conducting air strikes against the Islamic State group. Some Canadian special forces troops advising Kurdish fighters have been involved in firefights with Islamic State extremists.
Canadian Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney responded Monday to the Islamic State audio message.
Echoing comments made earlier this month by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Blaney said the international jihadist movement had declared war on Canada and its allies. Blaney said that’s why the government committed the Forces to the coalition against the Islamic State group.
The minister’s response also cited planned legislation from the government to — among other things — “criminalize the promotion of terrorism.”
With files from The Canadian Press