New Year’s Eve: Pro-Islamic State Group Urges Jihadis to Target Malls, Hospitals

Shoppers on an escaltor pass by a Christmas tree on a Special Shopping Sunday in the Stadtgalerie in Hameln, Germany, 27 December 2015. Photo: Peter Steffen/dpa Peter Steffen / DPA
Peter Steffen/dpa/AFP

An Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL)-linked group is urging “lone wolves” in the West to carry out attacks during the ongoing holiday season on “public venues including cinemas, malls and even hospitals,” and they are also advising Muslims to avoid locations hosting festivities in order to stay safe, reports The Foreign Desk (FD).

On an encrypted Telegram channel seen by FD, the pro-Islamic State Nashir Media Foundation has posted a picture featuring a jihadist standing next to a burning image of a numerical 2017 that contains an inscription that reads, “We will make your New Year mayhem with bombings and trampling attacks.”

According to the FD, the ISIS-linked group is using a series of “horrific images” to persuade jihadists to carry out New Year’s terrorist attacks.

FD reports:

One brutal image showing a knife-wielding jihadi chasing a “Santa on the run” is captioned, “You disbelieving dogs which prepared for Christmas celebrations, be ready for shedding the blood scattering the shreds and funerals, for the eyes of caliphate lions are looking straight towards you and promise you with bitter deaths.”


Another poster reads, “Oh disbelievers, As you are preparing for Christmas celebrations, we advise you to prepare your coffins as well. Your celebrations have become a battlefield and a fighting area. So, wait for us.”

The postings by the Nashir Media Foundation come after 24-year-old Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri carried out a terrorist attack that killed 12 people and wounded 48 others when he rammed a 40-ton truck into a Christmas market in the German capital of Berlin on December 19.

Amri pledged allegiance to ISIS, which has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack. Italian police killed the terrorist in Milan on Friday.

According to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi activity online, “The Nashir Media Foundation called on lone wolves in the West and in Europe in particular to carry out attacks during the holiday season, and also advised Muslims to avoid locations of holiday festivities”:

Moreover, “jihadists reminded Islamic State (IS) supporters of an idea to booby-trap Christmas trees and called for attacks in America and Europe,” adds SITE:

FD learned that the Nashir Media Foundation makes “a point to warn Muslims to stay safe, away from New Year’s celebrations” in the recent postings on Telegram.

The Christmas market terrorist attack in Berlin has prompted intelligence and law enforcement agencies across the world to remain extra vigilant.

Police in the United States, Europe, Australia, Turkey, and Indonesia believe there is an ISIS terror attack threat for 2017 celebrations across the globe, notes Heavy, citing travel warnings issued by the U.S. State Department and local media reports.

Indonesian and French police have already thwarted New Year’s Eve terrorist attacks. In Indonesia, the attack had been planned by ISIS-affiliated jihadists, reports the Straits Times. Russian police also arrested suspects involved in an alleged ISIS-linked New Year’s terrorist attack.


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