WASHINGTON - The New York Police Department and the FBI are investigating images on social media of what appears to be ISIS supporters taking selfies outside museums and other locations around New York as a warning of a possible attack.
The photo shows a masked and hooded man with the ISIS logo on his scarf, standing on a snow-covered sidewalk outside the Upper East Side museum. The caption under it reads, "We are in your own Backyard O worshippers of the cross!"
— Erik Rosales (@ErikRosalesCBN) January 3, 2018
The image is being used to recruit, radicalize, and inspire lone wolf attacks in New York.
Eric Feinberg is the co-founder of GIPEC, a cyber-intelligence firm that keeps track of online terrorism-related hashtags.
Feinberg said the photos and others like them are meant to sow fear and to embolden potential lone wolf terrorists into taking action.
Feinberg believes social media sites need to do a better job at filtering out this terrorist propaganda.
"They need to do a better job and they’ve got to stop with the rhetoric," he explained. "They keep saying we are hiring thousands of people to do this. But yet we’re finding these posts and tweets within minutes and seconds of posting."
A second image shared a few days later shows a telephone with an ISIS logo on the screen being held up in front of One World Trade Center, the building that replaced the Twin Towers, which were destroyed as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
"The NYPD is aware of the photograph," the NYPD told CBN News. "As will all terror-related threats, the NYPD is looking into the incident. At this time, there are no credible threats related to New York City."
Last month, a pro-ISIS online propaganda poster displayed a fake picture showing captive NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill kneeling before a masked terrorist and other images of ISIS supporters in Times Square.
The group repeatedly threatened to attack the U.S. during Christmas and New Year's, but no major terrorist strike took place.
In late October, however, one ISIS sympathizer killed eight people by running them over with a truck in Manhattan.
In mid-December, another ISIS sympathizer unsuccessfully attempted to set off a pipe bomb in New York City subway terminal near Times Square.
Terrorist experts say with ISIS territory in its strongholds of Iraq and Syria almost entirely wiped out, the only motivation the group has right now is to call for lone-wolf attacks in order to prove it's still relevant and influential.