By Christy Strawser
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) ISIS has issued a new threat, and this time Michigan was targeted as part of the rhetoric.
A message, alleging to be from ISIS, threatens the life of Pamela Geller, a blogger who helped plan a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest. Any depiction of Muhammad is considered blasphemy in the Muslim religion.
“… We will send all our Lions to achieve her slaughter,” the post says on message board JustPasteIt, a site ISIS has reportedly used in the past to display.
In the post, responsibility was claimed for the shooting in Texas Tuesday morning where two men identified as Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi drove up to the building where the contest was being held and opened fire. An unarmed school district security guard was wounded before a Garland police officer returned fire and killed both men.
The post goes on to say ISIS has “71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire.”
“Out of the 71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday, We are increasing in number bithnillah. Of the 15 states, 5 we will name… Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan …”
Andrew Arena, former head of the FBI in Detroit, told WWJ’s Legal Analyst Charlie Langton the threat is credible. “It’s something we have to take seriously, and I think that we have been taking it seriously,” he said.
He added it’s very likely that ISIS has people around the country, around the world, who have been trained, he said.
“The key to a claim like this is how are they defining training. In the old days individuals went over to Afghanistan, they were trained and they came home to their home country,” Arena said. “Now people are trained via the Internet.”
How worried should local residents be? Arena said we’re under the same level of threat we’ve been under for the last 14 years.
“I think there are people throughout the country who are inspired, who believe in this cause, and they support it,” Arena said, adding people who are disenfranchised from society, feel left behind, tend to be vulnerable for recruiting, and those people exist in every state, including Michigan.
His advice? Don’t live in fear, but if you notice a friend, neighbor or family member acting erratically, changing behavior, making threats, alert the authorities.