ISIS supporters have been tweeting pictures claiming to be from inside Italy. Conquering Rome remains one of the Islamic State’s strategic goals.
Islamic State supporters are now claiming to be on the streets of Italy, awaiting ‘zero hour.’
Pictures have been shared on social media by ISIS affiliated twitter accounts of places in Italy, with cards saying “we are in your streets” and “#IslamicStateInRome.”
Many others on twitter were skeptical of the tweets and accused them of being fake.
The Islamic State has long threatened to attack Italy, specifically Rome, as this video from May 2014 shows.
In January Buzzfeed News interviewed an Islamic State operative in Turkey who said he had organized transit to Europe for fighters disguised as refugees. Some of them, they said, were now waiting for the order to attack.
He claimed the some 4,000 Islamic State fighters are now in Europe, but the real figure is thought to be much lower.
Conquering Rome is a highly symbolic goal for the Islamic State, which it seems to regard as the civilizational capital of the West due to Europe’s roman cultural heritage.
The early Muslim caliphates fought the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) which prior to the arrival of Islamic ruled what is now Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and North Africa.