A new propaganda video released by the Islamic State (IS) group uses two deaf and mute militants to tell Muslims in Europe that they have no excuse not to come to Syria or Iraq to fight.
The video, which is just over five and a half minutes long, is titled Message From Who Excused To Those Not Excused [sic]. Shared on social media on March 8, it features two deaf militants who give the message that European Muslims have no excuse not to join the IS group if even deaf and mute militants have done so.
The two militants, who say they are traffic policemen with the IS group, are filmed holding rifles and standing beside a road. The militants go on to talk about events in the Iraqi town of Mosul, suggesting that this is where they are located.
The militants both speak in sign language, and their words are also relayed via Arabic and English subtitles.
"We, the deaf and mute, direct our message to the Islamic world," the first militant, who is later named as Abu Abdur Rahman, says according to the subtitles. The militant goes on to address "Muslims in Europe, both Arab and non-Arab."
"The way is open before you to come to the land of the Khilafah [caliphate] and the Islamic State is expanding," Abu Abdur Rahman says.
Abu Abdur Rahman then threatens the United States and its Western and Arab allies. "And we say to America, Britain, Italy, and France, who have frantically mobilized against the Muslims, and we say to the rulers of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, who have allied with them...we will surely come and slaughter you, with Allah's permission," the deaf militant says.
The second militant, who also speaks in sign language, says that he is a "deaf mute who works in the traffic police in the Islamic State." The militant says he shares his job with Abu Abdur Rahman.
The militants address the Kurdish Peshmerga militia, threatening to strike back against them. They accuse the Peshmerga of targeting Muslim women and children in Mosul. "I was determined to take revenge on the criminals. I'm now launching strikes against the Peshmerga militia's barracks," Abu Abdur Rahman says, before the two militants are shown launching mortar shells.
The video also includes a propaganda message about life in IS-controlled territory. The two militants are shown directing traffic on a busy road, while the second militant explains that the Muslims in the town "live in comfort" under Shari'a law.
The IS group's media wing has released a number of videos showing Western militants who call on Muslims in Europe and North America to join IS. While it is not clear where the two deaf militants in this latest video are from, their message is directed explicitly to European Muslims, suggesting that they too may be Europeans.
The video's release comes at the start of the second week of a major offensive by Iraqi and pro-government forces against IS militants in the Iraqi town of Tikrit.
-- Joanna Paraszczuk