The New York Police Department and other law enforcement agencies are on heightened alert over a new threat from the ISIS terror group.
The threat came in the form of a video from the Islamic terrorists, in which the group’s spokesman Abu Mohamed Al-Adnani told followers to kill officials and law enforcement.
“Do not let the battle pass you by wherever you may be,” he said. “Strike their police, security and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents.”
He also called for so-called lone wolf attacks, which have one person or a small group killing people without contacting ISIS directly.
Al-Adnani said such people who don’t have “an (improvised explosive device) or a bullet” handy, can “smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car.”
An internal NYPD safety memo alerted officers to the threat. The memo was circulated on social media over the weekend.
“Pay close attention to people as they approach and look for their hands as they approach you,” the memo said.
Although the message from ISIS is similar to ones conveyed to followers in recent months, the NYPD noted that this one should be taken more seriously in light of the attacks in France.
The FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a similar bulletin to law enforcement across America, reported CNN.
“They are hoping that the attacks in Paris by a group which included a self-professed ISIS follower will inspire other attacks in the West,” terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said.
John Miller, the NYPD deputy commissioner for counterterrorism, said that the NYPD is always on a heightened security posture compared to almost any other police department, but did say that the terror group is trying to use the Paris attacks as a way to gain new adherents.
The video, which takes some scenes and messages from an older video, is “using the momentum from the Paris attacks in part of their messaging strategy to see: ‘Who can we get to follow this?’ ” Miller said on CBS.
Attorney General Eric Holder said that he’s particularly concerned about the so-called “lone wolves.”
“Although there’s not a specific, credible threat that I can point to, I certainly think that the environment has changed over the years,” he told ABC. “We have a very small number of people, without huge amounts of planning, without huge amounts of resources, inflicting very severe damage.”