In a new ISIS video, Islamic state radicals reportedly threatened to “strike” the United States Capitol in Washington D.C. Although officials have not verified the video’s authenticity, the warning is disturbing in the wake of the November 13 Paris attacks that left at least 139 dead and more than 350 wounded.
The video, which was released on a website associated with the terrorist organization, features several men dressed in turbans and military fatigues. A majority of the speaking is done by one man identified only as “Al Ghareeb the Algerian.”
— Lilian Nwobu (@LilianNwobu) November 16, 2015
As reported by the Jerusalem Post, the video begins with footage from the devastating Paris attacks. Al Ghareeb then proceeds to threaten those involved in what he refers to as “the crusader campaign.”
“We say to the states that take part in the crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day, God willing, like France’s… “
During his address, the ISIS spokesman also made a chilling threat against Europe and the United States Capitol.
“I say to the European countries that we are coming… with booby traps and explosives… with explosive belts… and you will be unable to stop us… by God, as we struck France in the center of its abode in Paris… we swear that we will strike America at its center in Washington.”
Another man, identified as Al Karrar, also confirmed earlier reports that ISIS was indeed responsible for the Paris attacks.
Although the video’s authenticity was not yet confirmed, the participants suggest it was filmed in the province of Salahuddine near Baghdad, Iraq.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is commonly referred to as ISIS or ISIL, is an extremist militant organization that was loosely formed in 1999. Eleven years later, under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS became one of the most prominent and violent terrorist organizations in the world.
Although the organization is centered in Syria and Iraq, ISIS is notorious for their ability to recruit members and supporters from around the world.
As reported by the Guardian, an estimated 700 residents of the UK, including 100 women and girls, have traveled to Syria with the intent of training with and ultimately joining the terrorist organization.
It is unclear what compels so many men and women to join a terrorist organization. However, Shiraz Maher, with the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, suggests there are several factors at work. In Maher’s opinion, Muslims often question their identity and where they “fit in.” Although the organization has a history of brutal violence, ISIS offers its participants “an identity that transcends culture.”
Young men and women are also compelled to join radical Islamic organizations, including ISIS, as an expression of faith. According to reports, the participants become convinced they are doing the right thing, as the terrorist activities are promoted as God’s work.
As the number of participants and supporters has continued to grow, ISIS has become a formidable terrorist organization. Although ISIS initially gained worldwide attention for a series of kidnappings and beheadings, members and supporters have committed numerous violent attacks in the name of the extremist sect.
Most recently, ISIS claimed responsibility for a series of coordinated attacks in Paris, France. The mass shootings and suicide bombings left a total of 139 people dead, including six of the suspected terrorists.
News of the Paris attacks raised questions about the possibility of similar attacks in the United States. A new ISIS video has only increased the worry.
Although the ISIS video raises concern, President Barack Obama’s national security team insists there is “no specific, or credible threat” of the terrorist organization carrying out an attack on American soil.
BREAKING: ISIS releases new video announcing next targets, including this U.S. city https://t.co/WufYCLgIYJ pic.twitter.com/HG2O5YgBCD
— Allen West (@AllenWest) November 16, 2015
As reported by CNN, authorities are monitoring several hundred “suspected ISIS supporters in the United States.” However, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed fewer than 100 known American residents have returned to the United States after receiving ISIS training. According to Clapper, there are no known terrorist attacks or plots attributed to those who received ISIS training and returned to the United States.
In stark contrast, officials believe “thousands” of residents returned to Europe after receiving ISIS training.
Although the Paris attacks were initially attributed to French residents who trained with ISIS and returned home, the tragedy is still under investigation. Government officials contend similar attacks are not likely, despite the release of the new ISIS video. However, they have taken measures to increase security.
[Image via Shutterstock/Orhan Cam]