The Islamic State has issued chilling propaganda hinting at a Christmas attack at Washington’s National Cathedral and in New York.
A poster of the burning cathedral, with an ISIS fighter in front of it holding a gun, was distributed in an encrypted channel of the Telegram app, Newsweek reported.
“We meet at Christmas in New York soon,” the caption read in English.
Another poster distributed on the same encrypted channel captioned a photo of a gunmen aiming at a crowd of concertgoers with “See you soon on your holidays.”
And the caliphate is now encouraging its soldiers to leave the scene of their crimes and survive, rather than committing suicide missions, because it has had trouble recruiting people who want to die for their cause, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge told Martha MacCallum on Friday.
“ISIS is incentivized to make threats like this, which come at no cost to them. ISIS is not dispatching fighters around the world for complex coordinated terrorist attacks, but has largely relied upon individuals and citizens already living in Europe and the United States to commit unsophisticated attacks,” Howard Baker Center researcher Harrison Akins told Newsweek.
But the poster is an example of how inept the terror group has become.
“This shows the ineptitude of the group by referencing ‘Christmas in New York’ while showing a photo of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC,” Akins said.
The plan is likely not a reference to a planned attack by the group, but more likely an ode to inspire lone wolf attackers.
“For ISIS, Christmas is the gift that keeps on giving,” Brookings Institution Middle East expert, Chris Meserole, told Newsweek. “By calling for attacks against prominent places of worship, they’re mainly trying to say something outrageous enough to generate a lot of public attention — which they then hope will inspire supporters to carry out holiday attacks wherever they happen to live.
“If a lone wolf attacks their local church rather than the National Cathedral, they’ll still take that as a big win,” he said.
The caliphate has been getting destroyed in Iraq and Syria which is why, a source told Fox News, the group “ISIS has not been more aggressive taking responsibility for the 27-year-old suspect and Monday’s New York City subway attack.”
And the destruction of ISIS has brought a familiar name to the forefront.
Hamza bin Laden, the son of Al Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden, is seen as someone who might be able to “bring together Al Qaeda and the remnants of ISIS because he’s young, doesn’t have the baggage of the current Al Qaeda leadership and — for obvious reasons has the name recognition,” Herridge said.
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