19 February 2019
ISIS fanatics are calling for so-called ‘lone wolf’ attacks to be carried out in France, using a digitally manipulated image of the Eiffel Tower in Paris going up in flames.
It also shows the black and white flag of the Islamic State flying from the iconic landmark, as another strike is launched on a building nearby.
Supporters of the Islamist terror network have been known to release similar posters in the past, often using images of major Western cities such as New York and London.
They are often shared on encrypted messaging apps such as Telegram, to ‘inspire’ extremists to carry out terror attacks.
On Monday, the same group issued a poster depicting an artillery strike on the White House in Washington DC, the Colosseum in Rome and Egypt’s famous pyramids, threatening to ‘demolish thrones’.
On New Year’s Day, they published a chilling poster showing a jihadist with a sniper rifle looking out over New York, and another of a hooded fanatic standing in a crowd in London.
In the image of London, blood can be seen on Big Ben while other buildings burn in the background.
A jihadist with his face hidden holds a finger to his lips next to a caption saying: ‘Welcome to bloody years – The lone wolf action’.
The New York poster, meanwhile, features the caption: ‘And hit them with the explosive belts and vehicle bomb, and shock them with adhesive explosives and packages, and harvest them with silencers and snipers, horrify and terrify the with the intrusions.’
The latest threatening poster follows a report by the United Nations published this week which claims that¬†ISIS militants have a secret war chest of up to $300 million (¬£230 million) which could be used to sustain its operations and fund new attacks on the West.
The terror group is assessed to have ‘bulk-stored’ some of the money in its stronghold area, while the rest has been smuggled abroad or invested in legitimate businesses.
Even if ISIS militants are forced out of their last holdout this week, the group has concealed the majority of its financial assets ‘with a strategic view to funding larger-scale attacks once the opportunity arises again,’ the report says.
A U.S-backed international coalition including the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has driven ISIS from its core areas of Mosul and Raqqa so that only a small enclave in the eastern city of Baghouz remains under its control.
Around 600 militants are left battling the coalition and U.S. President Donald Trump said they may declare victory over the terrorist organisation within days.
Tens of thousands of people, mostly women and children related to ISIS fighters, have fled the shrinking jihadist holdout to opposition territory, many of them claiming they were not supporters of the terror group.
But the U.N report also warns that foreign fighters and the extremists’ dependents will still pose a threat even after ISIS is defeated.