The Nashir Media Foundation, a media outfit that supports ISIS, has put together a series of posts online urging Islamic state fanatics to carry out attacks over the Christmas holidays. It has also urged Muslims to stay away from Christmas celebrations. It claimed that attacks by the group would “replace their fireworks with explosive belts and devices, and turn their singing and clapping into weeping and wailing”.
It has exclaimed that celebrations are perfect targets for “lone wolf” style attacks like the one at a Berlin Christmas market earlier in the month that killed 12 innocent people. It had been noted that there had been attempts by ISIS themselves to try and push their followers to carry out attacks on Christian targets over the symbolic Christmas period.
The series of messages also included a reminder of a call to attacks embassies in Turkey. Turkey is an enemy of Islamic state as they’ve backed opposition fighters against ISIS in Syria. The country has been battered by attacks by the group in recent years. Mostly in response to Turkey’s continued involvement in the Syrian civil war.
The series has been discovered by US based SITE intelligence group, who specialise in the communications of various militias around the world. They’ve been monitoring the communications of the foundation. They had noted that the group had used lots of Christmas imagery in the posts in order to make it plain that Christmas festivities were to be targeted.
This new find will only increase the already enhanced security that surrounds much of Europe’s large festive gatherings. As they are likely to be the targets of these so called “lone wolf” attacks. The attacks have become more commonplace recently, with the most recent attack in Berlin only the latest in a series of attacks aimed at large groups of citizens. They include attacks in Istanbul, Paris and the killings in Nice, which bore the most resemblance to the Berlin attack. This style of attack of using a vehicle appears to be a change of tactics by the group. One that has proven to be poignantly effective in striking a maximum number of targets.
The fears of European leaders have so far been unfounded, as Christmas has been relatively attack free. But as the season isn’t finished, security is likely to remain high.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.