A pro-ISIS group that threatened “more bitter and greater” Manhattan attacks after last week’s deadly ramming on the West Side bike path urged more attacks on the West today with a propaganda poster showing the Eiffel Tower extending upward as a rifle.
Monday is the two-year anniversary of coordinated attacks on Paris in which nine terrorists killed 130 people.
The Wafa’ Media Foundation titled the PR poster “The Specter of Terrorism,” stating in English, “You will pay very expensive price for your war on Islam.”
The message adds: “We will take revenge for the blood of Muslims on your land, we will kill the young before the older watch this.”
Wafa’ issued a justification for the bombing of British teens at a May concert in Manchester, UK. As ISIS has placed a heavy focus on training youths, they’ve also encouraged targeting them: the first issue of their Rumiyah magazine justified killing civilians including “the young adults (post-pubescent ‘children’) engaged in sports activities in the park.”
The Wafa’ posters are circulated largely on Telegram. One released last week was labeled “Manhattan” with a backdrop of burning, crumbling skyscrapers and a semi-truck — significantly more truck than the flatbed pickup Sayfullo Saipov rented from Home Depot — and showed a masked, armed jihadist standing before the scene. Whereas this jihadist wielded a rifle, Saipov brandished a paintball gun and a pellet gun — and had a stun gun in his truck — before he was shot in the abdomen by a real bullet from an NYPD officer.
“O worshippers of the cross in USA,” the poster stated. “Our lone wolves will come to you from where you do not know and we will terrorize you wherever you are and we will show you multitudes of terror and pain that you showed to the Muslims, and what is coming is more bitter and greater.”
In May 2016, Wafa’ warned in a message to the citizens of Spain and all Spanish-speaking countries that lone jihadists existing in those areas would kill the “disbelievers” as “previously planned.” In August 2016, the media foundation said that jihadists had to step up their game to make attacks in Spain worse than terrorist operations in France. Wafa’ pressed jihadists to kidnap or kill Spanish nationals.
After 15 people were killed and at least 130 injured in August when terrorists belonging to a local cell plowed a rented van through crowds on Las Ramblas, a long pedestrian mall in Barcelona, Wafa’ issued a fresh warning that jihad there “has not been fought and gone” and cells remain in Barcelona and beyond. The message was addressed “from the Islamic Republic of Spain to the Government of Spain.”
An ISIS article on the Manhattan attack in their weekly al-Naba newsletter last week referred to the U.S. as “the Islamic State of America.”
Since mid-October, Wafa’ has released several gory posters threatening the World Cup, scheduled next summer in Russia. The images showed FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi dead, French national team manager Didier Deschamps as an orange-jumpsuit-clad prisoner of ISIS being held at gunpoint, and Brazilian national team star Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior about to be executed. “You will not enjoy security until we live it in Muslim countries,” one poster vowed.
Interpol secretary-general Jürgen Stock told reporters this week at a security conference in Qatar, site of the 2022 World Cup, that a “spectrum of threats” looms over these and other big sporting events and “unfortunately, these threats are increasing.”
“It’s getting more international and it’s getting more complex, and that requires more than ever that law enforcement agencies cooperate,” Stock said.
In early October, Wafa’ called for lone wolf attacks in the style of the Las Vegas mass shooting. They also lauded the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting after Omar Mateen’s attack.