As ISIS loses its power in the Middle East, it hopes to rebuild its reputation and credibility by executing assassination plots.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, ISIS operatives issued a terrifying threat against a member of President Trump’s family on Nov. 21st. They posted the name and address of Barron Trump’s school on a social media channel, encouraging members to assassinate the young boy.
The message was sent out on the messaging app Telegram, an encrypted service commonly used by ISIS members to avoid detection. The creator of the message was named Dak Al-Munafiqeen, Arabic for “striking the hypocrites.”
He posted a photo of Barron Trump and the name and address of the private school he attends. The message included the hashtag “handle the son of the mule of America” and a post simply saying “Barron Trump goes to this school in Washington.”
The message was originally discovered by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) which tracks ISIS activity on Telegram. They said this message was widely shared on a number of other pro-ISIS channels within the app that have since been forwarded and shared many times.
It’s unclear how effective such an attempt on Barron Trump would be. Mr. Trump has had strong security for himself and his children during his career as a billionaire businessman. Now it is intensified thanks to Secret Service protection for his role as President of the United States.
Nevertheless, this potential threat it is concerning. The idea that some lone ISIS operatives may try to assassinate the boy is a testimony to the group’s ruthlessness. Such an event almost occurred in 2015 when a teenager, rumored to have ties to ISIS, tried to hire a sniper in the hopes of assassinating Pope Francis during a Philadelphia mass.
The young man, Santos Colon, 17 years of age at the time, attempted to hire a sniper to kill the Pope and had plans to set off bombs across the city in the hopes of spreading mass chaos. He reportedly obtained instructions on how to create the explosives from ISIS sources.
His assassination plot was foiled, however, when it was revealed that the sniper he attempted to hire was, in fact, an undercover FBI agent. The FBI quickly arrested the young man who pled guilty to masterminding the assassination attempt.
This call for the assassination of Barron Trump follows another call for assassination targeting Pope Francis in a recent propaganda poster, according to Newsweek. The poster depicts a ruined city backdrop with a jihadist standing over the beheaded body of the Pope.
Above is the caption” “O worshipers of the cross. I swear to avenge every single drop of blood that you spilled and every house that you have destroyed. I 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.”
Experts like Harrison Akins, a researcher at the Howard Baker Center, believe these calls for the assassination of important figures are nothing more than empty threats in the hopes of giving ISIS more power then it currently has.
ISIS is issuing calls for followers to assassinate notable individuals. Do you take this threat seriously?
Mr. Akins told reporters: “Terrorist groups, given the uncertainty over their capabilities and desire to instill fear, already have an incentive to misrepresent their strength as greater than it actually is. As they lose territory and therefore resources, this incentive is exacerbated.”
Hopefully, Mr. Akins is right and these calls for the assassination of young Barron Trump and Pope Francis are nothing more than the empty threats of a dying organization. Ultimately, these threats still need to be taken seriously as ISIS sympathizers may be inspired to keep ISIS alive by committing horrible acts in its name.