A week after a pair of “lone wolf” jihadis were killed in an aborted terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, ISIS supporters are generating a wave of social media chatter under the hashtag #LondonAttack, promising a new wave of terrorist violence.
It is not clear if any of these threats are serious, or even what Islamic State’s fan club means when it speaks of a “London attack.” Some of the tweets harvested by Vocativ originate in the UK and talk about carrying out operations in the city of London proper, while others appear to use the memory of the London terrorist bombings in 2005 as generic imagery for mayhem in any large European or American city.
For example, one jihad enthusiast tweeted, “Brothers and sisters, if you are in Europe, stay away from police stations or government buildings,” and looped in the Twitter accounts for the American FBI and Department of Homeland Security.
Another #LondonAttack message sent on Monday warned of a specific and imminent attack on the Covent Garden district in London and warned Muslims to clear the area but, as of Tuesday evening, no such attack has occurred.
Some of these messages employ a second hashtag spun off from #LondonAttack, #QaribanQariba, which means “Coming soon.” Many of the posts include photographs of guns and bombs, including bombs packed with nails and ball bearings to inflict maximum carnage. Some contributors to the #LondonAttack thread are known to have disseminated ISIS propaganda in the past.
According to the Mirror, British government sources say “none” of the bomb threats against London targets have originated within the UK—many of them appear to emanate from Syria and Iraq. However, the threats are being taken seriously, and the United Kingdom’s terror threat level remains at “Severe.”
The Mirror also claims all of the accounts issuing threats have been suspended from Twitter.