The terror group ISIL, or the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, allegedly released a new video Monday, threatening the coalition engaged in air strikes in Syria and specifically threatening to attack Washington D.C.
According to Reuters, the video, which appeared on a site used by Islamic State to post its messages, begins with news footage of the aftermath of Friday’s Paris shootings in which at least 129 people were killed.
It was was not possible to immediately verify that the video is authentic. It claims to be the work of Islamic State fighters in the Iraqi province north of Baghdad.
A man identified in subtitles as “Al Ghareeb the Algerian” delivered the message: “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 and by God, as we struck France in the center of its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its center in Washington.”
Washington D.C. police chief, Cathy Lanier, issued this statement to CCTV America:
“The Metropolitan Police Department is working collaboratively with local and federal law enforcement and homeland security agencies to ensure the security of Washington, DC. We will continue to monitor intelligence reports and work with our federal partners to authenticate and determine the credibility of this new threat. MPD will maintain a proactive posture in response to the tragic events in Paris and the recent threats against our city. Additionally, our resource deployment and staffing have been enhanced.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a statement Friday, saying “we know of no specific or credible threats of an attack on the U.S. homeland.”
ISIL has threatened the United States and its allies repeatedly and security analysts are not surprised to see it happen again.
“I don’t think we are underestimating at all the capabilities of ISIL,” said CIA chief, John Brennan.
He told an audience at Washington D.C. think tank, CSIS, that ISIL’s predecessor, al-Qaida in Iraq was “pretty much decimated when U.S. forces were there in Iraq” with “700-or-so adherents left.”
Brennan said he believes that coalition efforts to strike ISIL in Iraq and Syria had contained ISIL’s momentum and that’s what has pushed them to plan more “spectacular attacks, because what they want to do is to future their narrative about the caliphate which is growing and is successful.”
Brennan said a chief American objective is to “take away any type of momentum or success, both in the area as well as beyond.”
“Unfortunately, the narrative that comes out of ISIL in Syria and Iraq,” he added. “They’re making great use of YouTube and various social media as a way to attract people under the false banner of religion. And that’s what it is. It’s a false banner.”
Hasakeh under attack by ISIL
In Syria, government forces are preparing for another assault in one of the longest running battles in the wars history located in the northeast.
In Hasakeh, the province near the Turkish borders, there were a relentless battle for the control of Syria’s northeastern tip has been going on for years now. Not far from here, the negotiations for the future of Syria dominated the G-20 summit talks in Antalya of Turkey.
Back in Hasakeh city, children continued to play in Guwiran neighborhood, the neighborhood was taken by ISIL and then retaken by the Syrian army earlier this year.
CCTV’s Alaa Ebrahim reports.
Hasakeh under attack by ISILIn Syria, government forces are preparing for another assault in one of the longest running battles in the wars history located in the northeast. CCTV's Alaa Ebrahim reports.
ISIL violence has limited effect on tourism
The terrorist attack in Paris has cast a shadow over the tourism industry there. As many scenic spots are still closed and the police are still tracking down fugitive terrorists, tourism in Paris is still suffering as a result of the attacks.
By the end of 2015, 140 million people will have traveled abroad from China. And Paris has always been one of the destinations to top their wish list. According to Ctrip, one of China’s major travel agencies, the number of Chinese tourists that went to Paris increased by 50 percent compared to last year.
CCTV’s Ning Hong reports from Beijing.