A threat from ISIS supporters directed at the White House and U.S. Capitol was included in a barrage of post-Melbourne calls to violence from jihadists fired up about last week’s deadly stabbing rampage in Australia.
Sisto Malasspina, 74, owner of an Italian restaurant, was killed and two others were injured by Shire Ali, 30, who was shot and killed by police. ISIS quickly claimed responsibility for the attack; acting deputy commissioner for national security Ian McCartney said “it’s fair to say he was inspired” by ISIS.
Several weeks before the Bourke Street attack, online threats circulated by ISIS-supporting media groups encouraged jihadists to concentrate on poisoning Australia’s food supplies; they were inspired by Australia’s strawberry contamination crisis in September when there were more than 100 reports of needles found inserted into berries.
Quickly after Friday’s stabbing, groups circulated images of the attack, which was filmed by numerous bystanders, with the vow, “We strike whenever we want, wherever we want, however we want #Australia”
A new poster circulated by Muharir al-Ansar vows “soon” painted on the side of a white cargo truck like that used in the Nice, France, 2016 attack, with a masked jihadist popping out of the top.
“Soon, the vehicle attacks will be witnessed on your streets, by Allah’s permission,” reads the text.
The same group circulated another poster declaring “Soon: the White House under fire: Just Terror.” The image of a jihadist pointing a rifle outfitted with a scope through a defensive position in a broken wall, though, depicts the U.S. Capitol instead of the White House.
The group issued yet another poster telling Melbourne “await for more” and showing a leather-jacket-clad jihadist tucking a bomb inside.
Al-Abd Al-Faqir media issued a blood-spattered depiction of a black-masked jihadist in a black-and-white striped shirt wielding a large knife and sneaking up behind a police officer on a city street. “What happened in Australia was just the beginning,” the message vowed.
Another image depicted the Eiffel Tower in flames with the “Just Terror” slogan that ISIS has long used in its publications to inspire lone jihad. A black-clad jihadist wearing a leather, zip-front vest stands before the scene, with the message, “Terrorize them in their lands. O Crusaders, we have prepared for you what never crossed your mind. For our goal is to horrify you and terrorize you and harm you.”
Yet another threat shows a masked gunman pointing a handgun with a silencer at an image of crowds outside the Sydney Opera House.
Propaganda and incitement recently released by Muharir al-Ansar has included a concert image with a cleaver-wielding attacker calling on Muslims in “Europe, America, Russia, Australia and elsewhere” to wage attacks.
Another poster from the group declared “Terrorize the Crusader nations” over a blood-spattered background. A light-skinned male hand holds a butcher knife, as a handgun is shown below.
Days before that, Muharir al-Ansar released a poster with shadowy imagery of the 2016 Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando, along with images of a soldier and an explosive device. “Soon in your homelands,” the message said.
Al-Faqir is another prolific media group in ISIS’ online support network, recently threatening grenade attacks at music venues and issuing two assassination threats against Pope Francis in what could be a revival of last year’s holiday push by the ISIS and backers for violence against the Vatican and Catholic Church.