THE CALIPHATE — Amid growing fears of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic, the Islamic State has announced it is canceling all suicide attacks for the foreseeable future to protect its bombers from infection.
"Many of our best suicide bombing targets are yucky incubators of disease, like crowded bazaars, military bases, and popular cafes," said ISIS spokesman Abu Hamza. "So we have ordered all of our fighters to remain home and avoid these places for their own safety."
ISIS leadership has advised its prospective martyrs to wash their hands thoroughly after stuffing a vest with fertilizer-based explosives or duct taping a homemade bomb to their chest. They have even banned fighters from traveling abroad to top foreign targets like the United States and France.
"They closed down training camp for the next month so we won't spread the virus to our brothers," said Syria-based suicide bombing trainee Malik Jalafi. "Luckily, they're offering online courses on what to shout before you blow yourself up, so I can keep learning from home."
As businesses shutter their doors and governments discourage people from going out in public, ISIS leadership says a string of suicide bombings at this point would probably do more harm than good, and they'll wait until things return to normal to continue their attacks.
"It wasn't an easy call to make, but we believe it's the right one," said Abu Hamza. "The health and safety of our suicide bombers is always our number one priority."