ISIS Warned of 'Christmas Mayhem' Using Photo of Santa Claus

A propaganda poster released by ISIS weeks ago may have been a grim preview of Monday's terrorist attack in New York City. The militant organization has been exchanging images through encrypted channels for several weeks, calling their followers to arms in major cities across Europe, as well as New York.

The image in question was published by the Daily Mail. It shows Santa Claus standing before Times Square in NYC at night. Beside him is a crate of explosives, and across the middle of the frame are the words "We meet at Christmas in New York... soon."

Now, people are speculating about whether or not this might have been a reference to the failed attack this morning. Around 7:30 a.m., a malfunctioning pipe bomb went off in a Manhattan subway station. The intended target is still unknown, but the explosive was being carried by a 27-year-old Bangladeshi man who was living in Brooklyn.

At this time, authorities say the man is injured but in stable condition. Three other people in the station suffered minor injuries, but none are in critical condition. Commuters say the explosion could be felt throughout the subway tunnel and the Port Authority bus terminal above.

The man's ID named him Akayed Ullah, though authorities haven't confirmed that identity yet.

Bill Bratton, a former commissioner for the NYPD, told MSNBC's Morning Joe that Ullah "supposedly was setting the device off in the name of ISIS."

"[It was] definitely a terrorist attack," he said. "Definitely intended."


Ullah is in police custody.

Meanwhile, European countries have to consider whether ISIS posters set in their cities might be credible threats. The terrorist organization has released a whole line of violent images in London, Paris, and Vatican City. Two have the phrase "Soon in your holidays" written in English, French, and German at the bottom of the frame, while the Vatican City picture has a long, unpunctuated paragraph of instructions for ISIS sympathizers.