ISIS-allied media groups offered glimpses at preferred 2019 targets in propaganda images this week, including landmarks from New York to Brazil and Asia.
One image photoshops a large explosive device into the center of the UN Security Council chamber at UN headquarters in New York. The timer on the bomb is set to 6:39.
An ISIS flag hangs on the blood-spattered wall as a jihadist in a black hoodie aims a gun. “Unexpected explosion in your building soon!!” states the text on the image.
Another image of a masked, armed jihadist holding up one index finger symbolic of ISIS stands in front of a red-shaded background of cityscapes with the words “See you in 2019.”
The city landmarks included in the threat collage include Big Ben in London, the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Great Wall of China, the Merlion statue in Singapore, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, India’s Taj Mahal, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, the Colosseum in Rome, and the twin Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
The image came from Muharir al-Ansar, one of the active ISIS-affiliated media groups steadily crafting and circulating English-language incitement and recruitment propaganda, which last month circulated a poster vowing “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,” read 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, depicted the U.S. Capitol instead of the White House.
In October, Muharir al-Ansar circulated a poster online showing a drone doing the work of a jihadist to attack Paris.
Another new image released by ISIS supporters doesn’t specifically mention New Year’s, but shows an armed jihadist at the Eiffel Tower as fireworks erupt overhead.
Yet another recent propaganda poster distributed by Al-Ansar Media Foundation directs Muslims to attack Christians over the holidays, and shows fireworks over a cityscape with suggestions of a heavy-truck attack, a bomb and a knife.
ISIS backers have been paying intense attention to New Year’s. Nearly a month ago, an ISIS-supporting media group threatened New York City attacks for New Year’s with suggested tactics including snipers and package bombs in an image of an armed jihadist overlooking New York with a blood-splashed 1/1/2019.
That online threat followed other message from jihadists that specifically cited Jan. 1 in calling for attacks.
One poster distributed online in mid-November superimposed a masked jihadist wielding a bloody knife over a collage of images from the 2016 Berlin Christmas market attack. It stated that New Year’s Day is “the date of retribution.”
Shortly after that, the same ISIS-backing media group behind the NYC poster released an image of a demolished cityscape with multiple fires, warning, “Soon, Allah willing, the disbelievers will see the very thing they feared: 1-1-2019.”