Islamic State terrorist channels have begun to celebrate the assassination of Andrei Karlov, who was shot and killed in Ankara by police officer Mert Altintas, 22. Altintas was filmed giving the “tahwid,” or ISIS’ index finger signal, while shouting “Allahu Akbar.” Altintas was later killed in a gunfight with security forces after the assassination.
A full translation of the video provided by Shaheryar Mirza reads:
Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria. Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria. You will not taste the safety unless our fields are safe. Only death can get me out of here. Whoever has a share in this tyranny will pay for it one by one.
According to the BBC, “Several other people were reportedly also injured in the attack, a day after protests in Turkey over Russia’s military intervention in Syria.”
Russia and Turkey officially normalized relations in June following a rocky period last year when Turkey shot down a Russian jet on the Turkish-Syrian border. Turkish entry into the Syrian Civil War in August further strained diplomacy between the two nations who disagree on the future of Assad’s role in Syria but, according to Al-Monitor, are using each other to support their non-Western foreign policies.
Ankara’s mayor, Melih Gokcek, said the attack was aimed at disrupting relations between Russia and Turkey, Reuters reports.
The shooting comes as diplomats from Turkey, Russia and Iran plan to meet in Turkey to discuss the situation in Aleppo, Syria.
Turkey is a Sunni Muslim majority country while Syria is also majority Sunni but ruled by Assad and his Shia government. The split between Shia and Sunni occurred in the year 632. According to The Express:
Mohammed died without appointing a successor, leading to a split in the religion over whether its next leader should be chosen democratically or whether the Prophet’s blood relatives should reign. The Sunnis believed Mohammed’s friend and advisor Abu Bakr was the rightful “caliph” of Muslims, while Shias thought that his cousin and son-in-law Ali was chosen by Allah to rule. Abu Bakr held the title first until his death, while Ali was crowned caliph fourth after two previous rulers were assassinated.
Both Turkey and Russia are currently in the Middle East fighting ISIS, a Sunni extremist organization.
The tawhid is the “ISIS salute.” According to Foreign Affairs:
When ISIS militants hold up a single index finger on their right hands, they are alluding to the tawhid, the belief in the oneness of God and a key component of the Muslim religion… But for ISIS, the symbol is more sinister than a mere declaration of monotheistic beliefs. As Salafi jihadists, members of the group adhere to a fundamentalist interpretation of tawhid that rejects non-fundamentalist regimes as idolatrous. In other words, the concept of tawhid is central to ISIS’ violent and uncompromising posture toward its opponents, both in the Middle East and in the West.
Altintas also shouts “Allahu Akbar,” an Islamic phrase known as the “takbir.” It means “God is [the] greatest” and is a common Arabic expression that doesn’t always have terroristic connotations.
Below is a screenshot from a chat thread of ISIS sympathizers discussing the attack by Altintas. Further discussion about the attack shared the video of the aftermath of the shooting, which can be viewed above.
However, beyond Altintas using the tahwid and takbir, there is no official claim by ISIS that the attack was coordinated by them. In fact, some ISIS sympathizers are actively discrediting his cause online because he was a police officer, which means he upheld “secular laws.”
It has also been floated that Altintas may have been a member of the failed Turkish coup in July.
Altintas seemed more concerned about Aleppo, which some activists have labeled a genocide.
The city, which had been ripped in two by Shia Assad forces and Sunni rebels, was recently retaken by Assad, who is backed by Russia. According to The Star, as Assad resume control over the city, reports of mass executions committed by his forces surfaced.
According to USA Today, there were reports that “pro-government forces had executed civilians on the besieged city’s streets, including women and children.”
However, according to global terrorist watchdog group Site Intel, jihadists around the globe are capitalizing on the assassination and disseminating information about locations of Russian embassies around the world to incite further attacks.
Read more about ISIS in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com: