This morning, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released a video in which he calls for a new wave of violent attacks in North American and Europe. "Send the brains flying," he urges followers, according to Global News.
In a country still recovering from a string of attacks for which ISIS claimed responsibility in the last few years, this latest threat is an alarming prospect for Canadians.
Indeed, officials should take seriously any threats of violence.
But Canadians should rest assured that there is likely no concerted effort by ISIS militants to attack Canada.
The recording from al-Baghdadi is more of a rhetorical strategy than viable tactic. By calling for attacks in North America and Europe, he has made it possible for ISIS to claim any subsequent violence on the two continents.
Canadians have already been exposed to such rhetorical tactics. Last month, ISIS claimed responsibility for the shooting on Danforth Street in Toronto despite a lack of evidence tying the shooting to a directive from the extremist group.
Now expelled from its strongholds in Syria, ISIS is attempting to maintain potency by fostering fear in the western public imagination.
To be clear, ISIS is still a threat and claims territory. But Canadians should not compromise their their daily routines out of fear for unfounded threats.
Nevertheless, Canadian and American intelligence officials will likely investigate the latest claims and, if necessary, take appropriate measures to protect their citizens.