The Islamic State terror group is recruiting its followers to carry out violent terror attacks in major Western cities during the upcoming Christmas season, releasing a series of disturbing images showing terror scenes in New York, London, Paris and Rome.
ISIS has been distributing the images through its encrypted online chat channels. One chilling example shows a masked ISIS militant apparently preparing to behead a kneeling Santa Claus figure whose wrists are bound with rope. The scene is superimposed on an image of a popular shopping area in London, festively decorated for the holidays.
“Soon on your holidays,” the image threatens in English, German and French text.
In another upsetting image, a ‘terrorist’ Santa is shown in New York City’s Times Square, standing on a rooftop with a large box of dynamite as a crowd of holiday shoppers bustles below.
“We meet at Christmas in New York…soon,” reads the ominous text on the image.
Yet a third scene is set in Paris, with a terrorist grasping a blood-spattered knife against the backdrop of the iconic Eiffel Tower. “Soon in your holidays,” the text warns in three languages.
But perhaps the most unsettling image is set in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The picture of the “lone wolf” terrorist, armed with a bazooka gun and gazing down at the sprawling compound, is captioned with a terrifying verse dedicated to “the Caliphate’s Lone Wolves”.
“The Crusaders’ feast is approaching,” the text reads, referring to Christians. “Their convoys will crowd themselves in front of you. Prepare and show them the meaning of terrorism.”
It urges suicide attacks, continuing, “Kill them and do not hold back with your blood. The reward is paradise.”
The ode to terrorism concludes, “We will not exclude the young, elderly or women. You are all in the crosshairs of our arrows,” and warns that what is about to come is “even worse.”
Last December, 12 holiday shoppers were killed when a terrorist drove a truck into a busy Christmas market in Berlin. Last week, German authorities arrested six Syrian men in a terror bust uncovering a major plot to carry out a similar attack on a Christmas market in the German city of Essen.
In Australia, officials recently foiled a New Year’s Eve mass shooting in Melbourne planned by a suspected ISIS sympathizer. According to the police, the 20-year-old had found an online guidebook, produced by al Qaeda, with instructions on using a gun and carrying out terror attacks. Luckily, he was arrested before he was able to procure a firearm.
On November 16, the US issued a travel advisory alerting citizens to “the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season.”
“Recent, widely-reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Finland demonstrate that the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS or Da’esh), al-Qaeda, and their affiliates have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe,” the advisory read.