Isil threatens to destroy Kaaba, says report

Protest against the military operation in Fallujah

(The Malaysian Insider) – A member of the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) has said that they planned to capture Saudi Arabia and destroy the Kaaba in Mecca, according to a report in Turkish media.

The report quoted alleged Isis member Abu Turab Al Mugaddasi who apparently wrote on microblogging site Twitter: “If Allah wills, we will kill those who worship stones in Mecca and destroy the Kaaba. People go to Mecca to touch the stones, not for Allah.”

The report said Isil, also known by the acronym Isis, plans to take control of the city of Arar in Saudi Arabia, which is very close to the Iraq border, and begins operations there.

The Huffington Post, however, reported that the Twitter account, which sent the original message, had been suspended.

“The authenticity of the account as belonging to an ISIS member has not been verified,” it said in a brief note accompanying the report on Isil’s alleged plans to destroy the Kaaba.

The Huffington Post said if the statement was indeed from an Isil member, it would be shocking as the group had been attempting to increase recruitment from Muslims worldwide by declaring the restoration of an Islamic Caliphate.

It quoted John L. Esposito, Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, who said: “In terms of legitimacy – unless you’re someone who’s ready to join a terrorist group at this point, for the vast majority of Muslims there is no legitimacy with this group.”

The Huffington Post said the threat to destroy the Kaaba reinforced Esposito’s point, particularly as it comes during the holy month of Ramadan.

The terrorists had also threatened to assassinate the Shia leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a report in the Deccan Chronicle said.

“At present, the Shiite religious leader in Iraq is a person named Ali Sistani who is a remnant of Safavid generation. We warn all Shiites that Sistani should leave Iraq, otherwise, we will kill him,” Isil was quoted as saying in a statement yesterday.

One of the security officials in Iraq’s Southern city of Najaf, where Ayatollah Sistani lives, told Adyan news that security measures have intensified outside the Shia leader’s home, and said, “People should be confident that the dirty hands of Wahhabists will never reach our Great religious leader.”