ISIS, also known as Islamic State (IS), has made threats before, the most recent instance being its threats to attack polling stations on November 8.
So this threat may mean nothing, but it’s still a good idea to err on the side of caution by keeping your eyes open and your sense alert when you go to church tonight or tomorrow.
Above all, don’t let the jihadist bastards keep you away from celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Joy to the world!
Gilad Shiloach for Vocativ, Dec. 22, 2016, that according to a message posted late-night Wednesday in the Islamic State’s “Secrets of Jihadis” social media group, IS has published a secret list of the names and addresses of thousands of churches in the United States and called on its adherents to attack them during the holiday season.
A user going by the name of “Abu Marya al-Iraqi” posted an Arabic-language message calling “for bloody celebrations in the Christian New Year” and announced the group’s plans to utilize its network of lone wolf attackers to “turn the Christian New Year into a bloody horror movie.”
The series of Arabic-language messages appeared in a pro-ISIS group on Telegram, which also provides manuals for the use and preparations of weapons and explosives for aspiring assailants. The information, distributed in a number of posts, was all previously available online and includes a public directory of churches across all 50 states.
In another group post, a member summoned “the sons of Islam” to target “churches, well-known hotels, crowded coffee shops, streets, markets and public places,” and shared a list of addresses in the United States, as well as in Canada, France and the Netherlands.
Writing for WND, Leo Holmann points out that the reported ISIS hit list of U.S. churches should not “come as a surprise” given recent terrorist incidents:
- Last month, the St. Peter and St. Paul chapel of the Coptic Christian Church in Cairo, Egypt, was bombed by Muslims, killing 25 Copts and injuring several more.
- In July, an elderly Catholic priest had his throat slit on the altar while he was saying mass in Normandy, France, for which ISIS claimed responsibility.
- ISIS also claimed responsibility for this week’s Christmas market attack in Berlin that killed 12 and injured 48. The group said that the assailant was a “soldier of the Islamic State,” who followed organizational orders “to target coalition countries.” The suspect, Anis Amri, was a native of Tunisia who entered in Europe in 2011 as a refugee. He lied about his age, pretending to be a minor, although he was in his 20s. Reportedly, Amri had Salafi and jihadi connections in Tunisia and Germany. The object of a massive manhunt in Germany, Amri was killed in a shootout with Italian police in Milan early yesterday morning, Dec. 23.
- In February, the FBI interrupted a plot to pull off a mass shooting at one of Detroit’s largest Catholic churches in a case involving a Muslim convert, Sebastian Gregerson, who had amassed an arsenal of military-grade weapons including AK-47s, a howitzer and tactical knives similar to those used by ISIS. Gregerson, who changed his name to Abu-Rayyan, reportedly received money to acquire the weapons from an imam in Maryland. Court documents showed the FBI was concerned that imams could be financing similar plots around the country.
Former FBI counter-terrorism agent John Guandolo’s Understanding the Threat blog has received reports in the last several weeks from law enforcement, pastors and citizens that Muslims are conducting pre-operation surveillance inside U.S. churches during services.
The manner of the surveillance is similar in each case: two Muslim males would enter during the service and sit together in the back of the church, taking pictures and recording video. When approached by concerned ushers, they either tell their questioners they are “interested” in becoming Christians or they leave.
Dr. Mark Christian, a former Muslim imam from Egypt who changed his name from Muhammad Abdullah and converted to Christianity in 2005, says churches need to take precautions, especially big churches because ISIS will be looking for the highest number of casualties they can inflict:
“To be honest, in every place where there are public gatherings, there are metal detectors at the front, and I hate to say it but I feel it is time for movie theaters and churches too, they need to have that, to detect guns and knives and explosives … I think it’s time to do it. It’s going to be very expensive for a smaller church, so you have to have volunteers in those churches” who should be proficient in defensive actions up to and including handgun usage. “Metal detectors are not expensive for larger congregations, and they are a must at this time, along with trained volunteers. We live in a time where, even if you are going Christmas shopping, you need to pack heat when you go. This is not the way you should have to live. But we have awakened the giant. We give them the space to run and to expand, so I hate to say it but this is the beginning of this kind of threat.”