Islamic State extremists have renewed a call for lone-wolf terrorists to attack targets in the West, hoping to capitalize on their perceived momentum following last week’s terror attacks in Paris, a top NYPD official said Sunday.
John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the Islamic State posted a video on Twitter on Saturday.
“It specifically mentions the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France,” Miller said. “And it is a renewal of a call that they put out in mid-September before a series of attacks in Canada and one in New York City against police officers that occurred in October.
“So we are seeing that they are using the momentum from the Paris attacks in part of their messaging strategy to see, ‘Who can we get to follow this?’ It also specifically mentions as targets civilians, police officers, intelligence officials and military. So it’s something of concern.”
Miller said the NYPD issued an advisory to police officers informing them of the message and reminding them to be “extra vigilant.” The agency’s counterterrorism officers and civilian analysts are also studying the Paris attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper and a kosher grocery store to learn how they might better protect New York.
“Pay attention to your surroundings and pay close attention to approaching vehicles. Pay close attention to people as they approach and look at their hands,” part of the memo read.
Miller, however, added: “I don’t think we are at any more threat or any less threat than we were the day before.”
He said terrorist groups are taking greater advantage of social media to help spread their message.
“It’s the delivery system that’s made the real difference,” Miller said. “They are putting out products on video, on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, but particularly their videos. They’re constructing messaging that rivals the ability of Madison Avenue in terms of packaging, in terms of being compelling, in terms of touching emotions and, frankly, in terms of constructing the story with a cleverly arranged set of facts that leaves out anything inconvenient.
“But the core message is ‘come fight here with us.’ The second part of the message, which is a threat to places like Paris and London and New York, is, ‘if you can’t fight here in Syria, get what weapons you can get your hands on – don’t reinvent the wheel – and fight there.'”
Read more at CBS NEW YORK.