By Bridget Johnson
The pro-ISIS group that in January depicted the invasion of Washington and in February declared “Paris before Rome,” depicting a terrorist invasion that began with cells in the countryside outside Paris before attacking the city, circulated a warning online to commercial aviation.
The Al-Abd al-Faqir Media release comes on the heels of a March video depicting a global caliphate, showing a Facebook-style profile of “John Stephen,” a white man with a closely trimmed beard and an image of the White House exploding in flames as his banner photo.
In the new poster, a clean-shaven dark-haired white man sits in the aisle seat during a commercial flight, a knife blade jutting out from his hand.
“You will be an easy prey,” the poster warned in English, French and Arabic.
While ISIS still distributes propaganda including video, audio, stories and photos through the group’s official propaganda channels, ISIS-supporting media groups have taken up the task of whipping up the grass-roots with suggested attack methods and targets.
A Modesto, Calif., tow-truck driver arrested and charged in December with hatching a holiday plot to attack San Francisco’s Pier 39 apparently paid attention to ISIS supporters’ propaganda posters. Everitt Aaron Jameson loved with a heart, said the criminal complaint, a poster from ISIS supporters showing Santa overlooking Times Square with a box of dynamite at his side.
The Al-Faqir aviation warning was distributed on Telegram and other online forums.
The only knives the Transportation Security Administration allows in carry-on bags are plastic or round-bladed butter knives. All other knives must be in checked baggage.
This month Australia confirmed that one of their citizens was captured in an ISIS plot to bring down an Etihad Airways plane flying from Sydney to Abu Dhabi last year. The explosives were smuggled inside of a meat grinder and Barbie doll, and would have gotten onto the plane had it not been for an Etihad check-in employee at Sydney’s airport who flagged the bag for being 15 pounds over the weight limit.
Australian officials dubbed it one of the “most sophisticated plots that has ever been attempted on Australian soil.”
Lebanese officials said Amer Khayyat tried to smuggle two explosive devices as a backup in case one didn’t detonate as planned. The plot allegedly called for the devices to detonate 20 minutes after takeoff.