The Islamic State (IS) released the 268th edition of its newsletter, Al-Naba, on the evening of 7 January. The main editorial on page three this week dealt with the Trump-instigated mob storming the U.S. Capitol building on 6 January. Al-Naba took this as the culmination of a trend towards internal crisis for the U.S., but was not convinced that the focus on domestic politics in the next few years will mean an American retreat in the world, though, in the case of the anti-IS war, Al-Naba does detect a collapse in the American position to merely trying to delay IS’s victory. Al-Naba concludes by making clear that no President, of any colour or political persuasion, would affect IS’s stance towards the West since their war against America and its allies is based solely on the fact that these powers are unbelievers.
The Naba 268 editorial, entitled, “The War with America, Burdened by Crises”, opens by saying: “The American elections are not the first whose results are contested and questioned, nor will they be the last, and the protests we witnessed yesterday are not the first in America, nor will they be the last, although the symbolism of yesterday’s protests was greater because it witnessed the storming of one of the most important centres of sovereignty in America, the ‘Congress’ Building, during the meeting of the tawagheet legislators … to approve the installation of the new American taghut, John [sic] Biden.”
“Whoever reads the history of the Crusader America finds that it has witnessed during the past decades greater and more dangerous internal events”, Al-Naba continues, the result of one section of the population feeling that other sections are trying to oppress or diminish them. When groups “cannot bring about the change they want through ‘democratic’ means, or are even prevented from using these means, they resort to pressure on governments and other sects in one way or another, threatening to destroy the ‘democratic’ system”.
The Trump supporters’ “bitter sense of defeat … will push them to exert more effort and provide more support to [Trump] during the next four years … to avenge themselves and achieve victory over their opponents again”, says Al-Naba, which will mean both the Republicans and Democrats “focus … on domestic issues to ensure more electoral votes” in 2024.
“What concerns us in all of this”, says Al-Naba, “is that the Crusader America will be preoccupied with itself and that this political conflict within will push its leaders to reduce the spending of resources on the war against the Muslims, to continue to withdraw from their regions, and to focus their attention on internal and external issues that have a direct impact on the lives of Americans inside it and its main security allies outside it”, and that this will distract the “countries in the world hostile to America or those competing with it in the field of hegemony”.
Still, Al-Naba is under no illusions that this means a complete retreat of the U.S. from the world. “[W]e know that America’s preoccupation with its internal problems does not mean its withdrawal from the whole world all at once”, says Al-Naba, despite what some “dreamers” (halemeen) believe. Rather the next period will be America sharing the gains and burdens of its hegemony with “other infidel powers”.
“America, during the past decade, has focused mainly on preserving the prevailing order in the world and stabilizing the gains it had previously achieved, until it can catch its breath”, Al-Naba continues, and this will continue to lead to friction with “rising powers”—presumably referring to China—and perhaps America will have to pull back from some countries as they slip into the orbit of her enemies.
In terms of the concrete effects for the Islamic State, Al-Naba says: “The American focus on the war against the Islamic State has greatly diminished, and the clearest expression of that was their declaration of a false victory over it to justify their retreat”, which was later replaced with the terms “containing” or “curbing its growth” once the falsity of the victory declaration became clear. This terminology, says Al-Naba, shows that America seeks only “to delay the Islamic State’s ability to rule Muslim countries according to the law of God Almighty” because they know this cannot be prevented forever.
“This retreat in the American war against the Islamic State and the withering away of the international crusade against it, not only raises the fear of the pro-American tawagheet in the region, but also scares many parties that claim hostility to America”, yet “who fear the Islamic State and its soldiers more than they fear the influence and hegemony of America”. Al-Naba gives the example of Iran and “the apostate parties and factions that falsely claim adherence to Islam”, a reference primarily to the Muslim Brotherhood.
“As in every stage of the conflict between Islam and infidelity, today we renew our slogan, which we raise after every conquest or retreat, ‘Now … now the fight has come’,” writes Al-Naba 268 in conclusion. The war is with America, its allies, and all infidels, says Al-Naba, and there is no change of course for the jihadists depending on whether “America is presided over by a black or white [President], [a] ‘Democrat’ or ‘Republican’, ‘globalist’ or ‘isolationist’ … [W]e are fighting them for their disbelief and their hostility against Muslims, and not for anything else”.