ISIS Video Depicts Drone, Bombings at Sochi World Cup Venue
A new video from an ISIS-supporting media group depicts a drone flying over Fisht Stadium in Sochi's Olympic Park while multiple explosions detonate around the World Cup venue.
The first game of the World Cup is Thursday morning between Russia and Saudi Arabia. The first match set for Fisht Stadium is Friday between Portugal and Spain.
ISIS supporters have recently intensified long-running online threats against the FIFA World Cup. The 11 host cities for World Cup matches span the far western part of the country, from Ekaterinburg in the east to Kaliningrad on the Baltic coast, from St. Petersburg to the north down to Olympic city Sochi at the Black Sea.
The 10-minute video from Al-Adiyat Media, "Be Violent Toward Them," first shows stock battlefield scenes from the caliphate, along with ISIS' use of drones to film suicide bombers driving toward intended targets and detonating their vehicles. It then focuses on Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov while highlighting contributions of Russian jihadists.
The video shows a cell speaking in Russian and wielding knives before an ISIS flag, with the identities of three of the 11 members obscured.
The video shows footage of a jihadist climbing into one of the makeshift armored vehicles that ISIS has used to conduct suicide attacks in Iraq and Syria.
It then depicts a drone with an ISIS label taking off and hovering over Fisht Stadium.
Several simultaneous explosions then go off, including one in the main stadium and four in the surrounding lots.
It's unclear from the video whether they're depicting the drone simply filming ground attacks, or whether they imagine drones having a role in deploying explosives on the venue.
ISIS propaganda over the past week has included distributing a map of World Cup sites to potential lone jihadists and showing different methods for attacks.
Russia and formerly Soviet Central Asian countries have contributed an estimated 8,500 fighters to ISIS' ranks.
The World Cup is an attractive target for terrorist groups because of the international representation and crowd sizes at the events. ISIS has also long had a beef with the sport so popular in the Muslim world, banning jerseys of European soccer teams in occupied territories and reportedly banning referees for following FIFA rules instead of Sharia soccer laws. One of the 2015 Paris terrorists detonated his bomb outside the Stade de France during a Germany-France exhibition match. And the municipal soccer stadium in Raqqa was turned into an execution center by ISIS; since the Syrian Democratic Forces drove ISIS out of town, games have returned to the pitch.
In an instructional graphic issued in English and Russian last month, would-be jihadists were shown how to target "the infidels in or out of stadiums."