The launch of the military campaign against the Islamic State (IS), in which France and Belgium have enlisted, has sparked a flurry of French-language posts by IS supporters and fighters on the social media calling for terror attacks in Europe and particularly in France.
Before the U.S.-led coalition launched its campaign against the Islamic State, the organization concentrated its rhetoric on local enemies, while largely refraining from threatening Western countries. Following the campaign’s start the the US and Western countries became the main targets. On September 21, 2014, IS spokesman Abu Muhammad Al-‘Adanani called for retaliating against members of the international coalition, urging IS supporters worldwide to perform attacks in their countries of residence against both military and civilian targets using any means possible. He specifically identified France as a recommended target .
Al-Adnani’s call triggered online discussions among IS supporters and fighters , including most appropriately French-speakers IS operatives active on Facebook began to incite and goad their online friends and followers to follow up Al-‘Adnani’s order by carrying out acts of terror against civilian targets, including women and children, in their home countries. Such threats are at unprecedented frequency levels.
Following is a selection of threats made by IS fighters or supporters in French on Facebook:
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