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ISIS is urging its fighters to avoid Europe because of the coronavirus pandemic

John Haltiwanger , Business Insider US
 Mar 18, 2020, 08:53 AM
A member of the Iraqi forces walks past a mural bearing the logo of the Islamic State (IS) group in a tunnel that was reportedly used as a training centre by the jihadists, on March 1, 2017, in the village of Albu Sayf, on the southern outskirts of Mosul.
AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images
  • ISIS is telling its fighters not to go to Europe and stage attacks due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  • The terror group's newsletter calls on militants to "stay away from the land of the epidemic."
  • ISIS no longer controls a large swath of territory across Iraq and Syria but it's estimated the terror group still has as many as 20,000 fighters in the region.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.  

ISIS has issued a travel advisory for Europe to its fighters due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, asking fighters to suspend travel to the region for terror attacks.

The latest edition of the terror group's newsletter, Al-Naba, calls on its fighters to "stay away from the land of the epidemic," Homeland Security Today recently reported.

"The healthy should not enter the land of the epidemic and the afflicted should not exit from it," the editors of the newsletter stated.

The newsletter also offered militants advice on how to avoid getting infected, including "cover the mouth when yawning and sneezing" and "wash the hands before dipping them into vessels." There's a full-page graphic on the back cover that cites Islamic texts for "directives to deal with epidemics."

See also: Covid-19 update: SA now has 85 known cases, with local transmission in GP, KZN, and WC

The terror group's newsletter has been following the novel coronavirus pandemic closely, reporting on the spread of the virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, since the beginning of 2020.

In a February edition, ISIS said "many Muslims rushed to confirm that this epidemic is a punishment from God Almighty" for China's oppression of the Muslim Uighur minority, but went on to warn that the "the world is interconnected" and transportation "would facilitate the transfer of diseases and epidemics."

ISIS no longer has a self-declared caliphate, meaning it doesn't control a large swath of territory across Iraq and Syria anymore. But it's estimated the terror group still has as many as 20,000 fighters in the region, and a recent UN report said the group has $100 million in reserves.

There have been confirmed cases of coronavirus in a number of countries where ISIS has fighters, including Iraq and Afghanistan. As of Tuesday afternoon, almost 196,000 people worldwide have been infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and more than 7,800 have died.

Europe has been hit especially hard by COVID-19, particularly Italy, where over 30,000 people have been infected and over 2,500 people have died as of Tuesday.

For more information direct from the source, see also:

the NICD hotline for Covid-19 is: 0800-029-999.

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