In a video released on the Internet on Thursday, Islamic State supporters threaten to blow up the White House and to conduct further attacks against the French.
“Oh Crusader France, Allah willing, we shall pulverize your palaces. Allah willing, you shall know no happiness, and will not live for long,” one jihadist says in the video.
“We started with you, and we shall finish with the false White House, which we shall render black with our fire, Allah willing. We shall blow it up like we blew up the false idols in this good land.”
Another IS operative speaking in the video, made available by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), vows to “roast them with explosive belts and car bombs.”
But the director of the FBI said there was no specific threat to the United States of a Paris-style terror attack and played down video warnings by the Islamic State group.
FBI Director James Comey said: “We are not aware of any credible threat here (in the US) of a Paris-type attack. And we have seen no connection at all between the Paris attackers and the United States.
“ISIL and its supporters put out all kinds of propaganda like videos and magazines, but that is not credible intelligence,” he said, using an alternative acronym for IS.
“Of course we investigate all of those propaganda threats. But instead the threat here focuses primarily on troubled souls in America who are being inspired or enabled online to do something violent for ISIL.”
Underlining the scale of the task authorities face attempting to avert a repeat of the 9/11 attacks, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Justice Department was working “around the clock” to keep the United States safe.
“Since 2013 we have charged more than 70 individuals for conduct related to foreign fighter interest and home grown violent extremism,” said Lynch, speaking alongside Comey in Washington, as they attempted to put a nervous public at ease.
“And we continue to take robust actions to monitor and to thwart potential extremist activity.”
Those efforts include working with Washington’s allies, said Lynch, after the attacks on Paris signaled a dangerous, new phase in the struggle against radical Islam.
“They want us to live in fear, and we refuse,” said Lynch.
“They want us to change who we are and what makes us quintessentially American, and that we will never do.”
Comey said that US authorities had successfully tracked down individuals who wished harm on America, particularly in the lead-up to July 4 Independence Day, and that the Paris attacks had focused anew the drive to keep the US safe.
“We will keep watching them and if we see something, we’ll work to disrupt it,” he said of any would-be attackers.
And he had a message for the people of the United States: “The most important thing I think is do not let fear become disabling. That is what the terrorists want. They want you to imagine them in the shadows. They want you to imagine them as something greater than they are.
“Instead, we hope that you will turn fear into healthy awareness of what’s around you. If you see something that gives you a bad feeling, tell somebody in law enforcement.”
On Wednesday New York police dismissed another IS video threatening an attack on the city, saying there was “no current or specific threat.”
As the video emerged just days after the deadly terror attacks in Paris, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that “stoking fear is the goal of terrorist organizations, but New York City will not be intimidated.”