In response to U.S. engagement in Iraq, ISIS supporters have renewed threats on Twitter that Americans and the U.S. are at risk of attack. Most of the threats are being posted with the hashtag #AMessageFromISIStoUS.
Although many official ISIS media outlets have been deleted from Twitter in recent days, the Al Battar Media handle, one of ISIS’s official accounts, has been posting threats, with tweets such as “Would you like to taste the losses, pain, death and all what you tasted in Iraq again?” and “O Westerners, your governments have lost their minds, and they will let you pay the cost of their stupidity, the Islamic State is too strong, so you must yield to it, not fight it!”
An unofficial pro-ISIS account that tweets information from Al Battar media has also tweeted such messages as “Listen: All your bases in the Arabian Gulf are our targets, and you know what we’ll do with the employees!” “Targeting Iraq means targeting America and Americans in (sic) all over the world!” and “NOW we’re warning the Americans NOW our words speak After Airstrikes: We’re cutting their heads Our weapons speak!” All were tweetedwith the hashtag #AMessageFromISIStoUS.
The “Shamalmalahem Media” handle, dedicated to releasing pro-ISIS news, has been prefacing all of its tweets (regardless of subject) with the message from ISIS hashtag or the hashtag #CalamityWillBefallUS. Its tweets include descriptions and video of ISIS fighters attacking Kurdish and Iraqi forces, as well as video in which it claims ISIS snipers are “catching the American soldiers in Iraq.”
Shamalmalahem Media has also released an eightand a half minute video addressed “to the people of the united states (sic) and a message especially to the (sic) barack obama (sic)” calling for the U.S. to remember the destruction it encountered in the second Iraq war, and to expect worse should troops be sent. The video has since been removed from YouTube as a violation of the company’s policies.
As is typical for ISIS social media campaigns, multiple ISIS supporters are also tweeting various threats with the same hashtags. A number of the supporters have specifically directed the threat against New York City, posting images of Times Square and of the falling Twin Towers along with the message “The head of ISIS Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said: Our appointment in New York.”
This campaign is the second time that ISIS organized a Twitter campaign threatening the U.S. The first was in June when the group encouraged followers to tweet using the hashtag #CalamityWillBefallUS, to warn the U.S. against engagement in Iraq. That hashtag has occasionally been used in the current campaign as well.