ISIS supporters ushered in the holiday season by invoking the 2016 Berlin Christmas market attack and vowing “retribution” to come.
A dozen people were killed in the Dec. 19, 2016, attack when Anis Amri hijacked a truck, killed the Polish driver and plowed it into crowds at the market next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Breitscheidplatz. Amri was killed four days later during a shootout with police in Italy.
The new poster distributed online superimposed a masked jihadist wielding a bloody knife over a collage of images from the attack. It states that New Year’s Day is “the date of retribution.”
ISIS-backing media groups and other followers, who form an online support network that creates and disseminates propaganda for recruitment and incitement on behalf of the terror group, waged a significant offensive last year calling for holiday attacks. Everitt Aaron Jameson of Modesto, Calif., pleaded guilty this summer to plotting a Christmas 2017 attack at Pier 39, a popular tourist spot in San Francisco; he loved with a heart on Facebook a poster from ISIS supporters showing Santa overlooking Times Square with a box of dynamite at his side.
Late last month, a prolific ISIS-supporting media group, Al-Abd Al-Faqir, issued two assassination threats against Pope Francis in what could be a revival of last year’s holiday push by the terror group for violence against the Vatican and Catholic Church.
After the Berlin Christmas market attack, official ISIS media released video of Amri calling on other Muslims in the West to follow his example.
“We will take revenge. We will take revenge for them, Allah willing. By Allah’s permission you will drink from our cup, you will taste our strength. Our drink is bitter, and our strength is great by Allah’s permission,” Amri said.
“Support this faith. Each of us within their means. Every person should support the faith within their means,” he added. “Who can go out should do so. Who can fight at any location, to fight those in Europe, should fight those pigs and crusaders. So each according to their ability.”
The State Department currently has Germany on a level 2 travel adivsory — “exercise increased caution.”
“Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas,” says the advisory.