Members of the Islamic State terrorist group have celebrated the ongoing conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, expressing hope the war will spread to other European countries.

The Islamic State magazine Al Naba is said to have published an editorial regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine, labelling the conflict a “divine punishment” and going on to state that it “will have significant consequences that will change many of the laws of peace and war between those countries.”

The writers of the editorial, which is said to have been distributed on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, also called on supporters of the Islamic State to take advantage of potential chaos, claiming the conflict is “only the beginning” of a wider battle, Il Giornale reports.

“What is happening today, the direct bloody war between the Orthodox crusaders – Russia and Ukraine – is but one example of God’s punishment for them, as described in the Qu’ran,” the author of the editorial said, referring to the combatant states’ predominant faith.

“Whether long or short, this Russian-Ukrainian war is but the beginning of the next wars between the Crusader countries, and the images of destruction and death we see are but a small scene of the situation in which the great wars begin,” the Islamic extremists stated, going on to condemn foreigners fighting for Ukraine as “infidel militias.”

A prior report from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) claimed that Islamic State chat servers have urged supporters in both Russia and Ukraine to carry out attacks in retaliation for the countries’ roles in defeating the group in the Middle East.

“To the brothers, supporters of the Islamic State in Russia and Ukraine: Seize the opportunity, brothers, and collect weapons – for weapons have been widely distributed to civilians – then attack the crusaders,” a member of the terrorist group wrote.

Another Telegram channel said to be linked to a sympathiser to al-Qaeda from Jordan commented on the conflict saying: “Let Muslims see this war as a Divine gift to the Muslims there [in Ukraine], in Russia, and in the entire world. For those who contemplate it, there are indications that it will change the face of the world, and if the Muslims take advantage of it, it will be a large building block that will advance them towards the renewal of their glory.”

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