The Islamic State militant group has issued a chilling message to America warning of future attacks on Western soil.
In yet another violent threat against the US, the group released a video stating: ”We will drown all of you in blood.”
The group formerly known as Isis - having changed its name to the Islamic State after conquering significant swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria - also released a photograph of an American who was beheaded during the US occupation of Iraq.
According to Reuters, the group has warned it will strike Americans “anywhere” in response to US attacks against its forces.
Recent US airstrikes in northern Iraq have helped desperate Kurdish fighters take back some of the territory captured by the militants and forcing thousands of the Yazidi ethnic minority to flee.
But an American intelligence official warned last week that the group “sees conflict with the US as inevitable.”
Harrowing images of mass executions have left the world horrified by the group’s brutal rampage through Iraq.
And now reports have suggested that Isis is now seen as a greater threat to America than al Qaida was before the September 11, 2001 attacks.
"In global reach, fundraising capabilities and pure operational ability, they are certainly outpacing Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda," CBS News reported.
An investigation has been launched after a message was apparently posted by the group on Twitter last week saying: "We are in your state, we are in your cities, we are in your streets" with a picture of the Islamist black flag with the White House in the background.
Richard Barrett, who handled counterterrorism operations for Britain's Secret Intelligence Service both before and after the 9/11 attacks, told the Huffington Post UK that the latest military intervention by the West "does rather play to the [jihadist] narrative that these bad regimes are being supported by outside powers and, therefore, if you get too close to overthrowing them, the outside powers will come and beat you up."
He warned that taking military action could, inadvertently, exacerbate the threat to people living in the West.
"If ISIS pull back from Mosul, as a result of air strikes, they're not going to disappear, they'll still be out there," he said, pointing out that fighters from the UK and other European countries would return home and be much more motivated to attack targets in the West.
"Their justification will be: 'If it hadn't been for air strikes we would be fine, establishing our caliphate [in Iraq].. Why did you mess with us? Now we'll mess with you.'"Suggest a correction