Lionel Messi
With a disturbing image of Lionel Messi, the Islamic State threatens to attack the World Cup 2018. ISIS promises to sabotage the tournament and lash out against Russia. Getty Images

The terrorist group of the Islamic State has again threatened to attack the 2018 World Cup. Using the image of one of the world's best footballers, Lionel Messi, the terrorists have published a creepy poster, where the Argentine professional athlete appears behind bars and crying blood.

Under the motto of "just terrorism," and tagline "You are fighting a state that does not have 'failure' in it's dictionary," they promise to sabotage the tournament and lash out against Russia, one of the main enemies of ISIS. The Arabic text on the image translates to "maximum affect" in English.

Before making the image public, the extremists had placed different ads throughout their social networks. Among them is the image of a militant jihadist armed with an AK-47 and several explosives, while he looks to the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, where the opening match and the final of the next World Cup will be played. Another promises a massacre, saying: "Oh, enemies of Allah in Russia, I swear that the fire of the mujahideen (soldiers in the holy war) will burn them, just wait."

According to Times Now, the Russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee released a statement assuring that anti-terror perparations were “already underway.” Igor Kulyagin told Russian news agency TASS via Russia Today: “We have taken into account the huge experience, accumulated by the National Anti-Terrorism Committee and the security organizations involved in providing security for the Sochi Olympic Games, the Kazan Universiade and other huge events.”

“Of course, special attention will be paid to providing anti-terrorism safeguards of the infrastructure that will be used for hosting the competition, such as the teams’ stadiums, accommodation units and training facilities,” he added. The World Cup which is scheduled to kick off in June next tear, will be played across 12 venues in 11 cities of Russia.

RT also reported that Russia says ISIS controls less than 5% of Syria, however, in some of the territories liberated from Islamic State life remains a struggle.

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