Julian Robinson, Daily Mail, December 29, 2016
ISIS supporters have called for lone wolf attacks in cinemas, malls and even hospitals after releasing pictures of a knife-wielding fanatic chasing Santa Claus.
In one chilling post, fanatics warn ‘disbelieving dogs’ that ‘as you are preparing for Christmas celebrations, we advise you to prepare your coffins as well’.
Another vows to create New Year mayhem while one picture shows a jihadist standing next to a burning numerical 2017 image.
It comes after an ISIS extremist drove a lorry through a packed Christmas market in Berlin last week, killing 12 people.
According to Lisa Daftari of The Foreign Desk, the images and threats were posted on an encrypted Telegram channel by the pro-ISIS group, the Nashir Media Foundation.
One image of a fanatic with a knife chasing a Santa Claus comes with the caption: ‘You disbelieving dogs which prepared for Christmas celebrations, be ready for shedding the blood scattering the shreds and funerals, for the eyes of caliphate lions are looking straight towards you and promise you with bitter deaths.’
Another caption threatens: ‘We will make your New Year mayhem with bombings and trampling attacks.’
And a third warns: ‘Your celebrations have become a battlefield and a fighting area. So, wait for us.’
It comes after German authorities beefed up security for New Year’s eve celebrations in Berlin on Saturday after last week’s truck attack, deploying police with machine guns and securing the festive zone around the Brandenburg Gate with concrete slabs.
‘This year, what’s new is that we will place concrete blocks and position heavy armoured vehicles at the entrances’ of the celebration zone, a Berlin police spokesman said.
While the number of police officers deployed will remain close to last year’s figure of around 1,000, this year, ‘at least some of them will be standing there with machine guns,’ he added.
Germany had already put in place heightened security measures during last year’s celebrations, following the November 13 attack in Paris.
Revellers will once again not be allowed to bring in backpacks or large bags.
All forms of pyrotechnics and potentially dangerous objects such as glass bottles will also be banned at this year’s event where hundreds of thousands of people are expected.
Questions surrounding security are high on the agenda after the December 19 attack, when Tunisian national Anis Amri allegedly hijacked a truck and drove it into a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12 people.
Amri, 24, went on the run and was the focus of a four-day manhunt before being shot dead by police in Milan, northern Italy, after opening fire first.
The Berlin rampage was claimed by the Islamic State group, which released a video last Friday in which Amri is shown pledging allegiance to IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, police officers armed with machine guns were seen patrolling the streets in downtown Berlin.