The Russian website RT has reported that ISIS threatened to behead football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at the Russia 2018 World Cup using doctored posters.
The images, released on encrypted messaging channel Telegram, graphically depict masked terrorists kneeling on the two superstars’ backs and slicing at their necks with blades amid a packed stadium.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament will be held in 12 stadiums located across 11 host cities.
Another poster shows a terrorist in combat fatigues clutching what looks like an explosive, while looking out onto the pitch in another full-capacity stadium.
The ISIS is using these posters to imply a threat to attack the World Cup games.
The latest threat follows another one by ISIS in March 2017 when Messi, the Argentina captain, was shown on his knees wearing an orange Guantanamo Bay-style jumpsuit, often seen worn by victims in the terrorists' execution videos. The backdrop was Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
ISIS had followed this up in October with another doctored image of the Barcelona legend to threaten attacks on Russia, says the RT report. Pictures also depicted an exploding World-Cup logo along with threats from ISIS terrorists to come to and fight in the country. Pctures showed Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and Volgograd Arena in the background – venues for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The RT report points out that ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics too , an affiliate of insurgent group Ansar al-Sunna had released a video threatening attacks throughout Russia.