Homeland Security

ISIS Knife, Bomb Christmas Threat Targets Downtown Toronto Square

An ISIS-supporting media group depicted a hoodie-clad, knife-wielding jihadist approaching a Christmas-decorated Toronto shopping and entertainment district in a new threat.

The image shows Yonge-Dundas Square lit up at night, with the Christmas tree outside of the Dundas subway station entrance. Photoshopped at the base of the Christmas tree are two grenades, sticks of dynamite with a timer, and a blood-spattered backpack.

“O cross pigs we’ll color your Christmas with your blood,” states a message in the corner of the image, which was distributed online. “So drink its toast and your children’s presents will be your corpse pieces if Allah wants.”

Other posters recently distributed by the same group include a call for more attacks after last month’s Melbourne attack, and a later message to Americans vowing “our burning flame and sharp knives will reach you.”

Just days ago, a poster from the group depicted Washington in flames with images of President Trump and a jihadist wielding a rifle. “O Trump the fool, you are only good at tweeting!” said the message. “Look at what happened to your army, and wait for even more!”

The Toronto Christmas threat comes as other ISIS-backing media groups, which conduct a sizable share of the Islamic State’s current online recruitment and propaganda ops, have skipped straight to New Year’s Day threats.

In April, a vehicle attack killed 10 and injured 16 along a stretch of Toronto’s Yonge Street farther to the north. Behind the wheel of the rented van was Alek Minassian, 25. His trial has yet to begin, but Minassian reportedly wrote on Facebook the day before the attack, “The Incel Rebellion has already begun!… All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!” Incel refers to involuntary celibates, the movement espoused by Elliot Rodger as the motive for his 2014 Isla Vista, Calif., murder spree.

It was Canada’s deadliest vehicle ramming attack.

In July, an 18-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl were killed and 13 more injured when Faisal Hussain, 29, opened fire along Danforth Avenue in the Greektown neighborhood of Toronto. Hussain died at the scene, and ISIS quickly claimed responsibility online in stock language: “The person who carried out the attack on the city of Toronto in south-east Canada on Sunday evening is one of the soldiers of the Islamic State and he carried out the attack in response to calls for targeting citizens of the coalition countries.” Toronto police said there was “no evidence to support these claims.”

Hussain was not on any terror watchlists, but had been referred several times for psychiatric evaluation and was designated an Emotionally Disturbed Person by law enforcement in 2010.

In June 2017, Rehab Dughmosh, 32, allegedly tried to attack customers with a golf club and knife at a Toronto department store, then pledged allegiance to the terror group in court. “Damn your legislation, damn your nationality, go to hell,” she said. “Hey, you infidels, I do not worship what you worship.”