Several graphics have been circulating on messaging apps used by ISIS supporters which threaten Christmastime attacks against New York City, the Vatican, and in Christmas markets in the UK, France, and Germany.
“We meet at Christmas in New York… soon,” reads the image with a view of Times Square and Santa Claus standing near a box of explosives.
Other images target London, with a similarly ominous message: “Soon on your holidays…”
And also Paris:
A propaganda poster also threatens the Vatican in Rome, with an ISIS soldier standing next to a wolf — an obvious nod to lone wolf attackers:
The accompanying clumsily message read:
“Their convoys will crowd itself in front of you prepare and plan for them show them the meaning of terrorism kill them and do not hold back with your blood the reward is paradise and let them know that you are from an ummah [Muslim community] where mountains bow down to we will not forget our revenge for every drop of blood that they have shed we will not exclude the young, elderly or women you are all in the crosshairs of our arrows and what is about to come is more even worse.”
A picture was also recently circulated of an ISIS soldier beheading Pope Francis.
As reported by Catholic Online, while the image is startling, it could point to the weakening of the Islamic State, which has resorted to seeking outside lone wolves to carry out attacks they no longer have the manpower or resources to do themselves.
The Daily Mail reports that German police foiled six ISIS sympathizers planning an upcoming anniversary attack on the Christmas market in Berlin. Last year, a hijacked truck was driven through a crowd of holiday shoppers, killing 12:
The Syrian men were arrested during raids involving 500 officers in the towns of Kassel, Hannover, Essen and Leipzig. Prosecutors say they were plotting a co-ordinated attack using 'weapons and explosives'. There are reports the target may have been a Christmas market in the north western town of Essen on December 19, but this has not been confirmed by authorities.
Happy Holidays, from Islam.