NEW YORK — The New York Police Department is on high alert after ISIS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, issued a call on Saturday for Muslims to “strike police” and other civil authorities—a threat that the government is taking seriously following last week’s dual Islamic attacks in Paris.
“Do not let the battle pass you by wherever you may be,” ISIS spokesman Abu Mohamad Al-Adnani declared in an online video. “Strike their police, security and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents.”
“[For those] who don’t have an improvised explosive device or a bullet, [you] can smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car,” he said.
According to officials, the threat was similar to those issued last fall by the terrorist organization.
“It is a renewal of a call that they put out in mid-September before [a] series of attacks in Canada and one in New York City against police officers that occurred in October,” John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for counterterrorism, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European—especially the spiteful and filthy French—or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way, however it may be,” The Independent reported ISIS as stating in September.
In response to the latest threat, issued just days after Muslim men believed to be affiliated with Al Qaeda carried out a strategic massacre on a French newspaper that had been known to publish cartoons mocking the Islamic prophet Mohammad, the NYPD sent out a memo to officers urging extra vigilance.
“If you are assigned to a fixed post, do not sit together in the RMP [police car],” the e-mail, obtained by The New York Post, read. “At least one officer must stand outside the vehicle at all times. Pay attention to your surroundings. Officers must pay close attention to approaching vehicles . . . Pay close attention to people as they approach. Look for their hands.”
On Monday, reports also stated that hackers had broken into the Twitter and YouTube accounts for U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), publishing pro-ISIS messages and images.
“American soldiers, we are coming. Watch your back. ISIS,” the first Tweet read.
Military documents were also shared, some of which included the contact information for senior military personnel.
“We won’t stop. We know everything about you, your wives and children,” one Tweet claimed.
The profile photograph for CENTCOM was also changed and the page cover read “CyberCaliphate” and “I love you ISIS.”
The account was later disabled, and an investigation was launched into the hack. CENTCOM’s YouTube page, to which Islamic State videos had been uploaded, was also taken down.
“CENTCOM will restore service to its Twitter and YouTube accounts as quickly as possible,” the Department of Defense said in a statement. “We are viewing this purely as a case of cybervandalism.”
But House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said that he was concerned that someone was able to break into the accounts in the first place.
“The fact that individuals claiming to be affiliated with ISIS took control of the U.S. military’s Central Command’s social media accounts today is severely disturbing,” he remarked.
Photo: Cezary Piwowarski