The New York City Police Department is hunting for a suspected ISIS sympathizer throughout the five boroughs on Wednesday; launching the last-minute manhunt after an individual wearing pro-ISIS clothing took a “selfie” outside a New York City museum over the holiday weekend.
According to the New York Daily News, the unidentified man posed for a self-portrait outside the Big Apple’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The suspect was wearing a headscarf emblazoned with the black-and-white logo of the Islamic State.
Late last year, another image with a similar logo was captured outside the World Trade Center.
The photo appeared on social media on Saturday night, just hours before the city was set to hold its famed Times Square New Year’s Eve celebrations. The image was captioned with a chilling warning: “We are in your own Backyard.”
— Daily Star (@Daily_Star) January 3, 2018
“The NYPD is aware of the photograph. As with all terror related threats, the NYPD is looking into the incident. At this time there are no credible threats related to New York City,” said a spokesperson for the NYPD Tuesday evening.
“Maybe it’s Photoshopped, maybe it’s not. It should be taken seriously,” said one security analyst familiar with the investigation.
The Islamic State routinely calls for attacks against the nation’s largest city, posting disturbing images of terrorists in mid-town Manhattan, on subways, and in churches.
CHRISTMAS MIRACLE: Iraqis Celebrate FIRST Post-ISIS Christmas in Mosul
Christians throughout Iraq celebrated the Christmas holiday at churches and public gatherings across the country this year, marking the first-time residents of Mosul were able to openly worship since being liberated from ISIS just months ago.
From Baghdad to Mosul, videos of Christians attending Christmas services flooded social media; with joyous congregants publicly worshipping in what one twitter user described as “ISIS’ nightmare.”
— Methaq Al-fayyadh (@MethaqAlFayyadh) December 24, 2017
Christians in Mosul Celebrate First Post-ISIS Christmas Mass pic.twitter.com/uV6pMT7K06
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 25, 2017
Iraqi Christians have raised a 30-ft. tall Christmas tree in Baghdad to celebrate both the holiday and the expulsion of ISIS extremists by Iraq Security Forces. pic.twitter.com/e96oaR5neN
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 23, 2017
In July of this year, the Iraqi government officially announced that ISIS has been completely eradicated from Iraq’s second largest city and home to a large proportion of the Muslim nation’s Christian community.
Mosul had fallen to Islamic fighters more than three years ago in June of 2014, when ISIS reclaimed the city after months of fierce fighting against coalition forces.
IT WAS ISIS: Terrorist Declared Allegiance to ISIS Before NYC Massacre
The suspect behind Tuesday’s devastating truck-attack in lower Manhattan left behind a would-be suicide note in the cabin of the vehicle, declaring his allegiance to the Islamic State and writing, “ISIS Lives Forever.”
Eight people were killed and 11 were seriously injured when 29-year-old Uzbekistan native Sayfullo Saipov rammed his rented pick-up truck into pedestrians and bicyclists in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood.
According to NBC News, Saipov left behind the ISIS-inspired writings in the hopes that he would be killed by law enforcement during the attack. After crashing into a school bus, the terrorist ran through the streets of lower Manhattan, screaming “Allahu Akbar” while holding a paint-ball gun and a BB pistol.
Saipov was shot in the abdomen and is recovering at a local hospital.
The NYPD and FBI believe the suspect is an Uber driver currently residing in New Jersey with his wife and three children.
“We are horrified by this senseless act of violence. Our hearts are with the victims and their families. We have reached out to law enforcement to provide our full assistance,” an Uber Spokesman said.