TYSON’S CORNER, Va. – The Islamic State has taken it upon itself to ‘adopt’ a portion of Interstate 495, otherwise known as the Capital Beltway, according to Jeremiah Morrison, an official with the Virginia Department of Transportation who oversees the state’s Adopt-a-Highway program.
“The segment of 495 which they’ve opted to take responsibility for begins at Exit 50A for Arlington Boulevard and ends at Exit 47A for Leesburg Pike-Tyson’s Corner,” Morrison said. The VDOT spokesman went on to say that ISIS has vowed to uphold cleanliness standards set in place by the Department of Transportation while also enforcing its own brand of Islamic law within the four-mile stretch of roadway.
As of Friday, February 26th, drivers reported seeing several flags bearing the Islamic State’s logo hanging from overpasses and other signage along 495 North. “I think it’s nice they’re taking an interest in preserving our roads,” one commuter, who identified himself as Derek, told WTOP-FM, a Washington Metropolitan area radio station.
At the request of the Islamic State, VDOT is advising drivers who frequent the four-mile stretch between Clarendon and Tyson’s Corner to observe Islamic values and laws while passing through. “Drivers should keep a spare change of traditional Islamic clothing in their vehicles,” Mr. Morrison said, continuing, “In accordance with Islamic law, women are not permitted to operate a motor vehicle while driving on this portion of 495 unless they are accompanied by a male relative.”
In addition, the Islamic State has declared it will administer “swift justice” to the occupants of any vehicle caught using 495’s Express Lane without a properly displayed EZPass device mounted on the windshield. “It is the will of Allah himself that any infidel caught traveling in the Express Lane without an EZPass shall face death by crucifixion,” proclaimed a member of the Islamic State on Twitter Friday evening.
ISIS isn’t the only extremist group to take advantage of the Adopt-a-Highway program. The Hutaree militia, part of Michigan’s right-wing militia movement, was a prominent contributor to the program until several of its founding members were arrested for plotting to kill law enforcement officials. More recently, the Ku Klux Klan, a white-supremacist hate group, found itself in a heated court battle over whether or not it has the right to ‘adopt’ a segment of a major highway in Georgia. The American Civil Liberties Union, a well-known rights organization, has opted to represent the KKK in the case.