As ISIS loses ground in the Middle East it is no doubt putting pressure on its members abroad to step up terror their efforts.
According to Fox News, ISIS fanatics may be targeting a high-profile member in the UK. They posted a picture of young Prince George at his school through an encrypted messaging app with the words, “Even the Royal Family will not be left alone.”
According to CNN, the fall of their capital city, Raqqa, has meant the end of ISIS reign in the Middle East as a caliphate or state, but it’s far from destroyed. Even now terror cells and lone wolf operators are spread throughout the globe, hiding in the shadows, waiting for instructions or inspiration to attack.
It seems that rogue operatives in the UK are targeting the royal family as part of a terror plot. Extremists using the encrypted messaging app Telegram posted a picture of young Prince George outside his school, Battersea, in South London.
In addition to the threat against the Royal family, it is reported that the address of the school was displayed with the words, “school starts early.” It is reported that the words of a jihadi song were also included, which in English say, “When war comes with the melody of bullets, we descend on disbelief, desiring retaliation.”
Though it has not yet been verified as an official threat by ISIS, it is not hard to believe ISIS would seek to harm the royal family, considering the threats ISIS made against Prince Harry this year and the plot to attack the Queen of England in 2015.
The Sun reports that ISIS released a video challenging Prince Harry to fight them. In the English section of the video, a man named Abu Uqayl issued the challenge: “Why don’t you come here and fight us if you’re man enough, so that we can send you and your Apaches to hellfire.”
The Telegraph reports that in 2015 Britain killed ISIS operative Reyaad Khan in Syria with an RAF drone after it was revealed he had a plan to kill the Queen of England. According to British intelligence sources, he was planning “to attack high profile public commemorations, including those taking place this summer.”
ISIS is also known for using the messaging app Telegram to issue its orders and spread propaganda thanks to its encrypted services that make its users difficult to track. Telegram was used during the Paris attacks in 2015 to spread propaganda and was also used to recruit those responsible for the Christmas market attacks in Berlin in 2016.
Barry Spielman, the owner of internet surveillance firm Sixgill, has been tracking Telegram since 2016. He says ISIS forces are using it for more than recruiting and propaganda. “Now we are seeing explicit threats. It seems that as ISIS continues to lose ground in Syria and Iraq, it has stepped up its threats to hit the West,” he said.
ISIS is making threats against the British royal family. Should Britain take a harsher stance against terrorists?
In any case, whether the threat against Prince George is officially ISIS or not, it does represent the continued threat that ISIS poses even as the organization collapses. Extremists around the world will continue to be inspired by ISIS ideology to spread chaos and devastation. Lone operatives and remaining terror cells will continue to find ways to strike fear into the hearts of their perceived enemies.
Hopefully, the source of this threat against a small child will be found and held accountable. Perhaps one day after ISIS ceases to exist and years of inactivity go by, its remaining operatives will become discouraged and the threat of terror by these extremists will become a thing of the past.