A new video released by the Islamic State in celebration of Eid al-Fitr, an important Islamic holiday, claims to show fighters recruited from America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Africa. The video has been removed from YouTube, but can be viewed here. The footage, originally posted to Twitter on Saturday by al Hayat, the media arm of the Islamic State (previously known as ISIS), is titled “Eid Greetings from the Land of Khilafah.” It calls for Muslims to join the jihad and move to the self-declared “caliphate” that straddles occupied swathes of Iraq and Syria. The conflict in the region has killed some 5,600 civilians in Iraq this year.
The 20-minute video features several interviews with foreign fighters said to be from countries that include Belgium, Finland, Indonesia, Britain, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia, and the United States. The segments promote the new caliphate, encouraging Muslims and their families to come and experience life under the rule of the Islamic State and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “I’m feeling like I’m still dreaming,” Abu Abdurahman al-Trinidadi, a US fighter originally from Trinidad, says in the video. “You have to be here to understand what I’m saying. If you stand away you will not understand.” ISIS has released several recruitment videos urging young Muslim men from around the world to join the group. Last week, an eight-minute video titled “Join the Ranks” was broadcast on YouTube urging Indonesians to join the Islamic State’s jihad.
A United Nations report released last month accused the militant group of kidnappings, assassinations, the forced recruitment of children, and sexual violence against women and girls, among other human rights violations.