The Islamic State group has denounced Iraq’s new prime minister, Mustafa al-Kazimi, calling him an “American agent” and criticized the closure of the largest Islamic shrine in the Saudi city of Mecca for the coronavirus, the Associated Press reported.
In a message allegedly read by the group’s chief spokesman, Abu Hamza al-Qurayshi, the spokesman asked why mosques were being closed and people were not allowed to pray at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, suggesting that Muslims were inaccessible to the coronavirus.
The spread of the disease disrupted traditional Islamic worship, with Saudi Arabia banning its citizens and other residents of the kingdom from making small pilgrimages to Mecca in late March. In other countries in the Middle East, Friday prayers have been suspended to limit the spread of the virus.
The new Iraqi prime minister, a former US-backed intelligence chief, took office this month after playing a role in the war against Islamic State for years. The group was declared defeated in Iraq in 2017.
Al-Kazimi remains the “sword of intelligence” aimed at Muslim heads, al-Qurayshi said, and called on Islamic State militants to carry out daily attacks in Syria, Iraq and other countries.
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