A report first published by Vocative Media and later republished by sources including the USA Today, AOL and ABC affiliates, allege that the Islamic State (ISIS) has published the names and addressed of thousands of churches in the United States, calling on its adherents “to attack them during the holiday season.”
According to the report, a message posted in Arabic late-night Wednesday in the group’s “Secrets of Jihadis” social media group call for “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 social media post specifically calls upon the followers of ISIS to target “churches, well-known hotels, crowded coffee shops, streets, markets and public places.”
The report comes just hours after ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack at a Berlin Christmas market which killed a dozen people and injured nearly 50 others.
No Federal security agencies have offered the list of specific churches, however, terrorism monitors say this year’s Christmas holiday may provide a highly symbolic target for ISIS, as December 25th falls upon a Sunday and many of the Christian faith’s faithful will be gathered in churches on the holy day.
In the wake of this week’s attack in Berlin and with the latest revelation of calls for church attacks, many localities across the country have upgraded their security throughout the holiday week.
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