Islamic State jihadis in the Philippines are plotting to attack the Miss Universe contest that will be held in their country in 2017, according to a secret jihadi social media channel accessed by The Foreign Desk.
In a thread posted to a Telegram Messenger group called “IS Philippines supporters,” a jihadi, noting next year’s pageant, encourages “everyone who can” to launch attacks at the event.
Addressing “brothers who love martyrdom,” the author inspires followers to target the blood of foreigners whose nations have participated in the war against ISIS.
ISIS leaders have long been encouraging supporters to launch local attacks in their native countries if the possibility of traveling to fight alongside the Islamic State in the group’s Syria and Iraq Caliphate is not feasible.
The Miss Universe contest is scheduled for January 2017 in the Philippines, where the pageant was last held in 1994.
The pageant, which brings together women from around the world, was founded in 1952 by Pacific Knitting Mills, a California-based clothing company. Most recently, Donald Trump bought the entire stock of the Miss Universe Organization from NBC in September 2015, and after three days sold all shares to talent agency William Morris (WME/IMG).
The post offers a downloadable video on how to assemble a suicide belt, as well as a 49-page guide in English on how to manufacture explosives.
Jihadis are advised where to obtain explosive material, and they are instructed to plan ahead and purchase material now to avoid arousing suspicion closer to the pageant date.
Potential recruits, both men and women, are encouraged to use Telegram’s secret chat functionality to coordinate attacks. Telegram chat offers a deeper, stealthier layer of messaging that is erased on the conclusion of the chat similar to Snapchat.
The 2016 pageant was won by the Philippines’ Pia Wurtzbach in a contest memorable for host Steve Harvey’s faux pas, mistakenly announcing runner-up Miss Colombia as the winner.