Islamic State have called for attacks on churches across the United States, France, Canada and the Netherlands. As well as popular hotels, busy streets, markets, coffee shops and public places on Christmas Day. The call out from ISIS was posted on a popular Jihadist ISIS run social media group “Secrets of Jihadis” on Wednesday night.
One user going by the name of “Abu Marya al-Iraqi called “for bloody celebrations in the Christian New Year”. Al-Iraqi went on to claim that the group planned to unleash its network of lone wolf attackers to “turn the Christian New Year into a bloody horror movie”
Western nations across the world are already on a heightened sense of alert after the terrorist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, which claimed 12 lives. A major manhunt continues after the terrorist was able to escape from the scene of the attack after plowing his truck into the popular Christmas markets. German authorities have released details of their key suspect, Anis Amri, a Tunisian asylum seeker who arrives into the nation among the flood of over one million refugees. German authorities have admitted that the fugitive was recorded by German security services making an offer to carry out suicide attacks for Islamic State over two months ago. German security services were monitoring him, but still somehow managed to lose him. ISIS has already claimed responsibility for this attack through its Amaq News Agency.
Several European nations as well as the United States and Canada had already increased security after the Berlin attack. Canadian cities Montreal and Toronto installed Barriers at their Christmas Markets as part of their beefed up security. While several cities across the United States including New York City put extra officers on patrol.
Meanwhile back in Australia, a major terrorist plot was thwarted today. The plot included setting off multiple explosive devices across key landmarks in the Melbourne CBD including St Paul’s Cathedral, Federation Square and Flinders Street Station. The explosions were expected to be followed with additional attacks using knives and firearms. Overnight raids across Melbourne saw seven people taken into custody, with five charged with acts in preparation of a terrorist event and two released back into the public.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has promised to increase police presence on Melbourne Streets over the Christmas and New Year period. Melbourne will host the annual Boxing Day test with increased security to be deployed. Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland said “Our security team is in contact with the relevant authorities to ensure we have the appropriate level of security at the Boxing Day Test”
The events over the past few days including the successful attack in Berlin, the thwarted attack in Melbourne and now the call for attacks on Churches across the world is sure to raise fears at a time where we should be celebrating the Christmas season.