Given the holy nature of the Christmas holiday to Christians as well as it being a cornerstone of western tradition, it is a prime target for Islamist terrorist attacks. The Unshackled previously reported on Islamic State’s call to action to its supporters and sympathisers to undertake lone wolf attacks around the western world this Christmas. A major Christmas terror plot targeting major landmarks in Melbourne, Australia was thwarted two days before Christmas. Security has been stepped up in public places throughout the west in response to these threats and the recent attack in Berlin.
These terror threats by ISIS have not been made in vain with an attack on a Catholic Church in the town of Midsayap in the Philippines on Christmas Eve. An explosive device was thrown at a police car guarding the church with the blast injuring thirteen people, luckily there were no fatalities. The town of Midsayap is on the island of Mindanao which is home to a substantial Muslim minority. They have engaged in decades of armed rebellion and some of the rebel groups have pledged allegiance to ISIS.
It was lucky that the local police took proper precautions in protecting churchgoers as the attack could have had the potential to kill and further injure a large amount of people. We can only hope in the rest of world where Islamist terrorists are planning to carry out Christmas attacks that the authorities are just as prepared to thwart any potential attacks such as this one.
In the state of Arizona in the United States a man was arrested after authorities uncovered suspicious internet activity which included how to be a martyr for Islam, where the local Midnight masses were occurring and attempted to purchase a firearm but could not since he was a convicted criminal.
ISIS has published a list of churches around the United States that can be attacked by its supporters so many more churches are taking extra precautions. A church in Richland County, South Carolina had to be evacuated because of bomb threat, although it turned out to be a prank. Nevertheless the precaution taken shows the seriousness authorities are taking these threats and the high alert citizens around the world are in due to recent terror attacks and threats.
The Unshackled will keep our readers updated about any other incidents that occur around the world but we hope and pray that this Christmas is overall a peaceful event, as it used to be.