On April 27 Rita Katz and SITE tweeted photos of ISIS supporters holding up notes before Italian landmarks, including the Colosseum.
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) April 27, 2015
Arabic text translated by SITE claims ISIS is in Rome and “observing and locating the target, waiting for the zero hour.”
On Sunday the Daily Mail ran a story linking the unverified imagery to ISIS and the claim the group’s “fighters are already in the heart of Europe” and ready to attack.
“There have been growing fears that militants would take advantage of tens of thousands of migrants surging across the Mediterranean to send operatives to Europe,” the British newspaper reports. “Now it appears… they have already arrived.”
On Monday International Business Times also ran with the story.
“The images have emerged at a time when the Libyan intelligence warned that Isis is exploiting the Mediterranean refugee crisis to smuggle its fighters into Europe. The development is worrisome, Italy is just a short ride across the Mediterranean from Libya,” writes Johnlee Varghese.
The Huffington Post also headlined a story on the supposed threat, although its reportage was a bit more critical of the ISIS invasion of Europe meme floated by SITE and the neocons.
“Think about it, in a chaotic migration of thousands each month, what prevents ISIS making sure that many of those are part of a future army poised for such an invasion? This is pure speculation at this point, but it is also the type of projecting that simply makes sense,” writes Kevin Price.
Information released by SITE, short for Search for International Terrorist Entities Intelligence Group, is routinely accepted by the corporate media as legitimate despite the group’s obvious neocon connections.
James F. Tracy writes that the “media have failed to closely interrogate what the private company actually is and whether the material it promotes should be accepted as genuine…”
SITE Intelligence Group consists of Katz and two “senior advisers,” one of whom is Bruce Hoffman, the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation and former director of the RAND’s Washington DC office.