Excerpted from an article by Sasha Goldstein and Jason Silverstein, NY Daily News
ISIS appears to declare war on controversial blogger Pamela Geller on Tuesday in an ominous online message claiming it has fighters across America ready to attack “any target we desire.”
The threat, posted on anonymous message board JustPasteIt, singles out Geller, who helped plan a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest that was attacked by two gunmen in Garland, Texas, over the weekend. ISIS claimed responsibility for the shooting early Tuesday, marking the first time the terror group called an American attack one of its own, though lawmakers believe the two men were influenced by the group, not guided directly by it.
“This is the textbook case of what we’re most concerned about,” Rep. Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told the Associated Press.
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Both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were aware the contest was a potential terror target and issued a joint bulletin on April 20. Organizers, including Geller – who has become a lightning rod for critics who think she promotes anti-Islam views – knew they’d be targeted but refused to back down.
The chilling Tuesday post also boasts of ISIS having “71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack.” It specifically names Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Michigan and California.
“This threat illustrates the savagery and barbarism of the Islamic State,” Geller told the Daily News in a statement she later posted on her website.“They want me dead for violating Sharia blasphemy laws. What remains to be seen is whether the free world will finaly wake up and stand for the freedom of speech, or instead kowtow to this evil and continue to denounce me.”
Asked if she would increase security or cancel any public appearances, Geller told the News, “Of course,” but said she could not elaborate for security reasons.