The Islamic State militant group released a new, chilling message that threatened the United States and its allies and urged Muslims to take violent action against “disbelievers.”
In the audio recording, a spokesman for the Islamic State, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, warned “that the matter is more dangerous than you have imagined.”
“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, kill him in any manner or way however it may be,” al-Adnani said.
The statement was released in Arabic late Sunday by the Islamic State’s media arm, Al-Furqan, and appeared on militant sites used by the group. The speaker sounded like one on previous recordings attributed to al-Adnani.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Monday that he is confident about his country’s security.
“This threat to kill civilians, added to the execution of hostages and to the massacres, is yet another demonstration of the barbarism of these terrorists, justifying our fight without truce or pause,” Cazeneuve said. “France is not afraid, because it is prepared to respond to their threats.”
The Islamic State, a break-away branch of al-Qaeda, has seized control of large parts of Syria and Iraq, prompting the U.S. to launch airstrikes against the militants.
In Turkey, around 130,000 Kurdish refugees fleeing Islamic State militants have crossed the border from Syria into Turkey over the past four days, said Turkey’s deputy prime minister, Numan Kurtulmus.
“A refugee wave that can be expressed by hundreds of thousands is a possibility,” Kurtulmus said.
“This is not a natural disaster. … What we are faced with is a man-made disaster,” he said about the surge of mostly women, children and the elderly that started late Thursday.
Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the U.S. expects Turkey to step up in the fight against the militants.
Turkey had been reluctant to join a coalition being formed by the U.S. to fight the Islamic State, primarily because the militant group was holding 49 hostages, taken when the group overran the Iraqi city of Mosul in June. The hostages were released Saturday, but Turkey has not said how that was negotiated. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denied paying a ransom but was vague on whether there was a prisoner swap.
In a separate development, a wave of suicide bombings in western Iraq by Islamic State militants killed 40 soldiers. Another 68 Iraqi soldiers were apparently captured by the Islamic State in Sijir and were likely taken to the nearby city of Fallujah, Gen. Rasheed Fleih said. There has been no communication with the soldiers since their capture Sunday, Fleih said.
Former British prime minister Tony Blair said the West needs to be ready to commit ground forces to deal with the Islamic State. He made the comments in an essay published on his website, Faith Foundation, dated Monday.
“There is real evidence that now countries in the Middle East are prepared to shoulder responsibility and I accept fully there is no appetite for ground engagement in the West,” Blair wrote. “But we should not rule it out in the future if it is absolutely necessary.”
On Saturday, the wife of a British aid worker held hostage and threatened by the Islamic State pleaded for his release. At least two Americans and a British national have already been beheaded by the group.