On seven occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding new threats by the Islamic State. Beginning Monday, AlertsUSA subscribers were informed of a new propaganda / threat poster published by an Islamic State's media arm and widely circulated over social media platforms showing a figure dressed as Santa Clause overlooking a crowded Times Square with a case of dynamite at his side along with the threat;
"We meet at Christmas in New York... Soon."
This was followed on Wednesday by the Islamic State's release of a horrific new hour long video with English narration entitled 'Flames of War II' which references past attacks for which they have claimed responsibility ranging from Nice, France to Las Vegas, positions battlefield losses of Raqqah and Mosul as tests for true believers and the purification of jihad's ranks, threatens President Trump, and ultimately the raising the Islamic State flag over the White House.
Two additional propaganda / threat posters were also published by the Islamic State later in the week carrying threats of attack on both a busy shopping street in Amsterdam, as well on the Mormon Temple in San Diego, California. [Late Addition: Another was issued early Saturday morning threatening an attack on London.]
It is important to bear in mind that that many, but not all, attacks by the Islamic State in Western countries have been preceded by the release of propaganda posters and other public threats. Thus, notification of the release of such posters should be duly noted if you live in or are traveling to the locations specified therein.
The four posters we reported on this week are shown below:
|New York / Times Square
|San Diego Mormon Temple
On Friday, AlertsUSA subscribers were also notified of the evacuation of a Christmas market in the German city of Potsdam near Berlin following the discovery of a nail-packed bomb in front of a pharmacy near a children's carousel. This incident is significant as just under one year ago, Germany experienced one of it's worst terror attacks when a Tunisian asylum seeker intentionally drove a large cargo truck through a busy Christmas market, killing 12 and injuring 56. The truck's original driver was found shot dead in the passenger seat. The Islamic State claimed responsibility.
Readers are reminded that not only are end of year holidays wonderful times of thanks, worship and celebration with friends and family, they are also, with growing regularity, a prime time for angry Muslims / Islamists to carry out terrorist attacks in the West.
If you are traveling this holiday season, you would do well to familiarize yourself with latest State Department travel alerts and warnings, as well as maintain a high level of vigilance and situational awareness when in lightly secured public gathering places and events.
AlertsUSA continues to monitor the overall domestic and international threat environment, and will immediately notify service subscribers via SMS messages of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.