The Islamic State (ISIS) has vowed to "turn the Christian New Year into a bloody horror movie," specifically calling on its radical supporters in the United States to attack Christians in their churches during the holiday season.
The ISIS even published the names and addresses of thousands of churches across the United States as targets for lone-wolf attackers, Vocativ reported. The list of targeted churches was posted late Wednesday night in the social media group "Secrets of Jihadis."
In a message posted in Arabic, a member of the group named Abu Marya al-Iraqi posted called "for bloody celebrations in the Christian New Year."
According to PJ Media, the supposed ISIS member might not actually be referring to the first day of 2017 when the New Year is celebrated in the West and other countries when he used the term "Christian New Year."
In the liturgical calendar, the Christian New Year is the first Sunday in Advent, Nov. 27, which has already passed. But Advent is the period leading up to Christmas; hence the purported jihadist might actually mean Dec. 25 as "Christian New Year," PJ Media explained.
This would make more sense since churches are usually packed with more worshippers during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services than during New Year's Day services, the source added.
Other messages were posted in a pro-ISIS group on Telegram, providing its die-hard followers with manuals on the preparation and use of weapons and explosives that they can use for their planned attacks.
The information, relayed in a number of posts, includes a public directory of churches across all 50 states in America, according to Vocativ.
In another group post, a member called on "the sons of Islam" to target not only churches but also "well-known hotels, crowded coffee shops, streets, markets and public places." The member also shared a list of addresses in the United States, as well as in Canada, France and the Netherlands.
The ISIS has published such lists before. In June, the terrorist group posted online a "kill list" that included more than 8,000 names and addresses, including those of police officers in the United States, Vocativ reported. However, the June list did not result in any known attacks.
The ISIS has claimed responsibility for this week's Christmas market attack in Berlin that killed 12 people and injured 48 others. The group said the attacker—identified as Anis Amri, a Tunisian man in his 20s—was a "soldier of the Islamic State," who followed orders "to target coalition countries."
The suspect is now the subject of a massive manhunt in Germany.