ISIS terrorists have issued a chilling threat to football fans planning to travel to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and have released images of jihadis brandishing AK47s lining up against the Russian international side.
An image released by the pro-ISIS Wafa Media Foundation via an Indonesian cell shows the terrorist cell in khakis squaring up against the Russian squad with warnings of “big match”, “IS vs Russia” and “life or death”.
And a poster depicting Argentina’s Lionel Messi apparently having been beheaded has also been circulated.
England are scheduled to play its World Cup fixture against on June 18 at a Russian stadium featured in an ISIS propaganda campaign.
An image released earlier this year showed a terrorist brandishing a sub machine gun and a bomb, with the Volgograd Arena in the south of the country in the background.
Underneath the figure were the words ‘Wait for Us’.
The image has been shared via pro-ISIS channels using an encrypted messaging application called Telegram.
It featured an excerpt from the Quran manipulated to urge jihadis to carry out in the US and Russia.
ISIS groups have shared the image on social media, along with another one of Messi and Brazilian striker Neymar.
The latter was on his knees and the former shown as having been brutally murdered.
Once again, it was created and distributed the Wafa Media Foundation.
It was distributed after Argentinian football representatives meet with the country’s Russian ambassador to voice their concerns following another ISIS image of Messi crying blood.
President of the Argentine FA Claudio Tapia did not disclose the nature of their discussions, but the meeting underlines heightened levels of concern in advance of the tournament.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be played from 14 June to 15 July, with the final at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
Tens of thousands of England fans will be based in St Petersburg for the duration.
Russia’s second largest city was the target of a terror attack in 2017 in which a bomb in a briefcase exploded on the underground, with 14 people killed.
To further complicate matters, British police are also warning that English fans are likely to be targeted by Russian football hooligans during the course of the tournament.