What would the holidays be without a bit of religious intolerance and terror? Not much, according to ISIS. They’re at it again, advertising their intentions. The plan this year, according to some promotional fliers circulating online, is to take the terror to Paris. They’re hoping to ring in the new year right with some low-tech attacks on European revelers.
Is there any meant on these bones? It is too early to tell. ISIS is hardly going to advertise when and where they intend to attack. And digital fliers like these can be cobbled together easily, even by the technologically challenged ISIS loyalists.
That doesn’t mean it is a joke. As The Daily Mail reports, “the image shows crowds of people in front of the Arc de Triomphe and the photograph is overlaid with a carving knife dripping with blood.”
That’s enough to meet the technical aspirations of terror, as many are likely to change their plans. “We will make New Year’s Day hell,” the poster reads.
Europe has a rich tradition of Christmas markets where large groups gather to shop and revel in the holiday atmosphere. These markets have been the target of ISIS fighters driving large trucks, like the attack in Berlin in 2016. 12 people died in that attack.
New security measures, mostly barricades surrounding pedestrian areas, are making truck attacks more difficult. In response, ISIS vows to attack pedestrian areas on foot.
“Another poster shared on encrypted channels show Santa kneeling in front of a terrorist with London’s Regent Street in the background,” the Mail writes.
A third show a jihadi on Oxford Street. It seems every large western city is a target. The Mail reports that the group is also calling for attacks on the Queen of England, the Pope, and the World Cup.
The Wafa Media Foundation is the group responsible for the calls-to-action.
“Wafa Media Foundation specialises in these types of graphics. Wafa’s threat, like others recently issued by pro-ISIS media groups, is a specific attack directive within a larger push by ISIS for lone wolf attacks as it rapidly loses territory in Iraq and Syria,” Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intelligence Group, told the Mail.
“Though these threats should be taken seriously, there is also a publicity element to pro-ISIS media groups’ threats against places like the Vatican or events like 2018 FIFA World Cup.”