ISIS social-media channels distributed a holiday attack list of churches in the US

NEW YORK (TIP): The Islamic State published the names and addresses of thousands of churches in the United States and called on its adherents to attack them during the holiday season, according to a message posted late-night Wednesday, December 21, in the group’s “Secrets of Jihadis” social media group.

A user going by the name of “Abu Marya al-Iraqi” posted an Arabic-language message calling “for bloody celebrations in the Christian New Year” and announced the group’s plans to utilize its network of lone wolf attackers to “turn the Christian New Year into a bloody horror movie.”

The series of messages appeared in a pro-ISIS group on Telegram, which also provides manuals for the use and preparations of weapons and explosives for aspiring assailants. The information, distributed in a number of posts, was all previously available online and includes a public directory of churches across all 50 states. (Vocativ does not publish specific information found in lists like these.)

In another group post, a member summoned “the sons of Islam” to target “churches, well-known hotels, crowded coffee shops, streets, markets and public places,” and shared a list of addresses in the United States, as well as in Canada, France and the Netherlands.

In New York, security measures have been heightened in view of the threat.