Middle East and North Africa

Islamic State use ‘fake news’ to incite Christmas attacks

The “Sons of Jesus” ‘Fake News’ statement shared on social media by an ISIS media operative who calls himself Kara. Credit: Memri

Islamic State are are using fake news to incite attacks on Egyptian Christians during Christmas, claiming that Christians orchestrated the November terror attack on an Egyptian mosque.

The deliberate attempt to fan anti–Christian hatred was made by the Islamist terror group on a social media site. The fabricated post made under account named the ‘Sons of Jesus Movement’ claimed responsibility for the attack on a Mosque in al-Rawdah, which resulted in the deaths of more than 300 people last month.

Islamic State were the first to draw attention to the false claim, which experts have suggested was “crudely fabricated”.

Shortly after the claims began circulating, IS started calling for attacks on Egyptians Christians during Christmas.

Analysts say that no evidence of the existence of a group calling itself the ‘Sons of Jesus Movement’ can be found. And it is also claimed that the statement was first disseminated by IS supporters. Memri said: “The statement seems, therefore to be a crude fabrication by ISIS supporters in an attempt to defect blame for the horrific attack on the mosque.”

It is widely thought that  the terror attack on the Sufi Mosque in Al Rawdah was the work of IS, who have previously targeted Sufi Muslims, who they deem to be guilty of apostasy.

A message from IS Eypt signed by Salah Al-Din Al-Fateh stated: “A black holidy upon you, oh CHristians of Egypt, and upon whoever brought you. With Allah’s permission, we will take revenge on you, and for the actions of your patrons – the bombing, shelling and destruction of homes and mosques on the heads of innocent subjects of the rule of the caliphate. By announcing your responsibility for the attack on the mosque of Al-Rawdah you opened on yourselves the gates of hell. Even if your announcement is fake, it came at an appropriate time. In any case we are ordered to lie in wait for you, as you lie in wait for us. However, the reward goes to he who believes in Allah alone and wages jihad for the sake of raising His word and His law.”