William McCant is a U.S. Middle East expert who wrote a book about Islamic State’s end-times vision titled The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State, to be published at the end of September.
McCant told the British news site Express this weekend that ISIS believes “all civilisations will crumble in an imminent apocalypse.” Islamic State has identified four locations for a future battle that will result in the demise of the entire world.
“Three of those sites exist in the Middle East, including two in Syria and one in Israel. But the fanatics have also pinpointed Italy’s capital, Rome, as the site of another great clash between their soldiers and the West,” according to McCant.
The key battle in the ISIS apocalypse will take place near the little town of Dabiq in northern Syria. This battle has a special meaning in the end of times vision of Sunni Islam as ISIS sees it.
ISIS seized Dabiq in August 2014 and has used the town as a symbol for its Jihad. The ISIS on-line magazine is named after the town, and Dabiq was used in several beheading videos that were posted by ISIS on social media. In one of these videos, ISIS executioner ‘Jihadi John’ can be seen with the severed head of U.S. citizen Abdul-Rachman Kassig at his feet, with Dabiq visible in the background.
Sunni Islamists believe Mohammed’s words, specifically “the last hour will not come until a Muslim army vanquishes the Romans at Dabiq or Al-A’maq on its way to conquer Constantinople (Istanbul today),” will become reality at the end of times.
Both Dabiq and Al-A’maq are located close to the Turkish border in the area where Turkey and the U.S. plan to carve out an ISIS-free buffer zone.
Another battle will take place in a town on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus; and after that, the epic battle for Jerusalem will start. Islamic State forces are already in the Kuneitra province, 40 kilometers away from the Israeli border.
A map published by Jane’s Defense last week shows how Islamic State is working to encircle Damascus. The group already has a foothold in the Yarmouk refugee camp in the Damascus area; and today, ISIS entered the Qadam neighborhood of Damascus.
The fourth city that ISIS plans to conquer is Rome. Conquering the Italian capital is a prerequisite for the submission of the entire world to the rule of the caliphate. For this reason, Islamic State is trying to take over Libya and has already seized the Libyan coastal city of Sirte.
Libya will serve as ISIS’ beachhead for the battle against Rome and the West. The country is close to Italy, and there have already been reports about ISIS infiltration attempts in Italy via the swelling stream of illegal immigrants from Middle Eastern countries who use Libya as a springboard to reach Europe.
In Italy, Islamic State supporters have posted videos and photos of ISIS symbols in the streets of Rome on social media. The organization threatened to introduce Sharia law in Rome and to throw gay men from the Tower of Pisa. ISIS also threatened to assassinate Pope Francis, whom they call the “bearer of false truth.”
The Italian government took the threat seriously and talked about preventive action against Islamic State in Libya.
“The risk is imminent, we cannot wait any longer,” Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti told Italian newspaper Il Messaggero on February 17 this year. “Italy has national defense needs and cannot have a caliphate ruling a country so near us.”
Italy closed its embassy in Tripoli and threatened military action after Islamic State promised to flood Europe with 500,000 refugees.
Italy is taking part in the international coalition against Islamic State, but focuses more on Libya than on Iraq and Syria. Italy has also spearheaded the international effort to come to a unity government in Libya, but the preventive military action against ISIS in Libya didn’t materialize.
ISIS, however, has kept its word. More and more illegal Muslim immigrants are shipped to Europe daily.
330,000 illegal immigrants have reached European countries in the first eight months of 2015. They travel the smuggling routes in the Balkan countries and Eastern Europe, but the bulk of them try to reach European countries via the sea between Italy and Libya. Last year, 170,000 immigrants arrived in Italy by boat. Most of the refugees come from Syria, where half the population has been displaced by civil war.
This year alone, 2,636 immigrants perished while trying to reach European destinations. Only this weekend, 270 illegal immigrants died in two separate incidents. On Friday, police in Austria discovered 71 decomposing bodies of refugees in an abandoned freezer truck; and on Thursday, two vessels packed with 400 illegal immigrants capsized shortly after they departed from Zuwara in Libya. Only two hundred passengers survived.
All this is a product of the Islamic State’s manipulation in an attempt to actualize their belief in the apocalyptic Sunni end-times vision.
“In their propaganda, they see themselves waging a war against a crusader alliance, between the US and the UK and other countries of the West that is seeking to eradicate Islam,” Mr McCant told the Express.
They see this battle as culminating soon in the great clash between the Muslim army of the Islamic world and the Christian armies of the West. And this confrontation is going to take place along the eastern Mediterranean – so Jerusalem, Damascus and Aleppo – but they will also take the fight to Rome.
After that, the final battle for world domination will start when 80 nations confront the Muslim armies, ISIS believes. They see the growing anti-ISIS coalition, which now includes 60 countries, as a fulfillment of the Sunni end-times prophesy and are eager to draw more states into the war.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth