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ISIS threatens Pope Francis, Catholics with disturbing propaganda images

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
11/21/2017 (3 weeks ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Terror organization vows 'Christmas blood.'

The Islamic State has threatened Pope Francis by name. The tattered terror organization has published a propaganda poster that shows an executioner standing over a decapitated body. A decapitated head on top of the body belongs to Pope Francis. Next to the body is the Pope's given name, Jorge Mario Bergoglio. The terror organization is thought to still have cells in Europe. 

ISIS has issued two disturbing images, pledging attacks on Christians.

ISIS has issued two disturbing images, pledging attacks on Christians.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
11/21/2017 (3 weeks ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Pope Francis, ISIS, terror, threat, Christmas, Vatican


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- The Islamic State has issued a blatant threat to the Vatican, and Pope Francis in particular, vowing "Christmas blood." The threats have come in the form of posters threatening attacks. 

The first poster shows the inside of a car from the perspective between the front seats. On the left, a pair of hands are on the steering wheel. On the right, a rifle and backpack rest against the passenger seat. Through the windshield, the dome of St. Peter's Basilica looms. The implication is clear. ISIS is encouraging or threatening a car attack at the Vatican, possible a suicide bombing. A caption on the poster reads, "Christmas blood so wait..."

In the second poster, an ISIS executioner stands over a decapitated body before a ruined cityscape. On the back of the body is the head of Pope Francis, and in a box to the right is his given name, ‽Jorge Mario Bergoglio." The threat is obvious. Text at the top of the poster reads: "O Worshippers of the Cross, I swear to avenge every single drop of blood that you spilled and every house that you have destroyed. O swear that you will taste the bitterness of the cups of death and make your feasts massacres. You will not even enjoy living in your homes, Allah willing."

The images were both released by the Wafa Media Foundation, which is a pro-ISIS media organization. 

The Islamic State has been destroyed. Pockets of resistance remain in Syria and Iraq, and the terror group still has troops in the field fighting, however, their demise is imminent given the immense pressure from various opposing militaries and militant groups. 

While ISIS is on the decline in Syria and Iraq, they have developed new enclaves in Libya and parts of Africa. The real threat however, comes from terror cells the organization may have across Europe and in the United States. The organization may have lone wolf terrorists, sympathizers, and copycats, as well as organized cells waiting to attack. The posters could be messages conveying orders for cells to spring into action on or around Christmas. 

Or, the images could be propaganda, a desperate attempt to terrorize people and to beg sympathizers to act on their own. 

No matter what, people are encouraged to remain vigilant. The Islamic State and its soldiers remain hunted, and in time their threat will diminish to nothing. For now, the organization is beaten, but not destroyed. It is likely they will strike again, and soon. 

Security at the Vatican is strong, and it is unlikely the Pope faces any significant danger. The real risk is for the millions of people who visit the Vatican around Christmas. Visitors should remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the authorities. In the event of an attack, avoid public areas and make your way to safety, or seek shelter. 

The world may rest assured that ISIS and its sympathizers remain hunted and will eventually be killed or captured and brought to justice.

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