The Islamic State is threatening to attack the White House and New York City in its propaganda posters as America is set to celebrate Independence Day on Thursday.
One image showed ISIS fighters watching planes crash, according to Homeland Security Today.
“Another image from al-Irbaad Media Foundation shows a U.S. soldier fleeing down a New York street away from the Manhattan Bridge,” the site said. “Al-Irbaad was founded in December, calling on the ‘knights of media and the lions of information, graphic designers, producers, and writer alike’ to join and ‘intensify their efforts’ to wage war from ‘both a military and a media point of view.’
The message on the New York attack poster read:
“Know O Crusader infidel that you — Allah willing — will soon be pursued in your own homeland. You will be pursued in the streets and in the alleyways and you will burn by the flames of the IEDs; only this time you will be feeling the pain of what you have inflicted for decades upon the Muslims, of killing, burning, destruction, and displacement in refugee camps. What is coming will — Allah willing — be directed at you, and in your own homeland. So be on the lookout until then.”
Another image showed an ISIS fighter in front of a burning White House, holding an RPG over his shoulder, and earlier in June a photo of President Donald J. Trump in an orange prison jumpsuit, kneeling in front of a masked jihadist.
“Today a document circulated among ISIS supporters stressing that their ‘war’ is three-pronged: physical, ideological and psychological,” the report said. “Another poster distributed online wordlessly depicted a jihadist driving a car rigged with explosives down a nondescript tree-lined road.”
The report also noted that authorities have been alerted to particular threats made by militant groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, though such threats are common around U.S., Christian, and Jewish holidays.
The FBI, DHS and National Counterterrorism Center distributed a bulletin warning that large crowds at July 4th parades and celebrations make “attractive targets for violent extremists.” Firearms, knives, vehicles, and explosive devices are all among the items that DHS noted could be used by radical Islamists in attacks against unsuspecting Americans.
“The Fourth does have significance to ISIS: July 4, 2014, was the day when leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi climbed the pulpit at the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul for his first video, declaring himself caliph and rallying support for the new Islamic State,” the report said.
It also noted that July 4th plots by terrorists have been foiled by counterterrorism authorities as recently as 2018:
Last year, Demetrius Pitts was arrested and charged with planning to attack Independence Day festivities in Cleveland on behalf of al-Qaeda. “I’m trying to figure out something that would shake them up on the 4th of July,” he allegedly told an undercover FBI employee, according to the Justice Department. “What would hit them at their core? Blow up in the, have a bomb blow up in the 4th of July parade.”
Trump’s foreign policy has all but eliminated the Islamic State in its last stronghold in Syria. Still, the threat of lone wolf attacks still exist, and may even be heightened given the group’s desperate state of affairs.
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