Jihadis have posted messages urging supporters to carry out vehicular attacks similar to Thursday’s incident in Times Square - when an allegedly intoxicated Richard Rojas, 26, plowed his car into a crowd of pedestrians, injuring 20 and killing one - even as law enforcement officials confirmed that the incident had no connection to terrorism, the Foreign Desk Reports.
From the Foreign Desk:
"Pro-Islamic State jihadis shared images and messages such as, “Soon, the vehicle attacks will be witnessed on your streets, by Allah's permission,” in an attempt to lure so-called ‘lone wolf’ attackers to carry out same-style attacks but in the name of the Islamic State.
The terror group has even been using relevant hashtags such as #NewYork #Times_Square and #USA in their propaganda posts."
One image, posted on the Telegram messaging app, featured a large truck with “We will continue to terrorize you and ruin your lives,” urging "believers" to give up this "temporary life" and earn everlasting reward in paradise, the Foreign Desk Noted. A screengrab of the image is posted below:
The poster continues: "O Muwahhid (believer), Indeed it is a single soul and a single paradise, so sell it to Allah and purchase Jannah (afterlife). Sell what is temporary for what is lasting, for how blessed a transaction is that transaction! Blessed would be the seller and blessed be the buyer!"
After encountering challenges transporting would-be jihadis to Syria, the Islamic State launched a new campaign where it encouraged Western sympathizers to use everyday objects as weapons such as kitchen knives, axes and cars to carry out acts of jihad.
At his arraignment on Friday, Rojas said he wanted to "kill them all" and that police should have shot him to stop him, the Associated Press reported. Rojas added that he was high on marijuana laced with PCP.
Officials are awaiting toxicology results, though a police official said Rojas "had glassy eyes, slurred speech, and was unsteady," during his arrest, according to the criminal complainted, cited by the AP. The incident hasn't been deemed an act of terrorism, though it bore a shocking resemblance to vehicular attacks in London and Nice, for which ISIS did take credit.