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MOFA says online ISIS threat just a hoax

MOFA says online ISIS threat just a hoax

A threatening video recently circulated on the web, allegedly from the radical Islamist group Islamic State (ISIS), against Taiwan was simply a hoax, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday, urging people here to stay calm.

Chen Chun-shen, director general of the MOFA's Department of West Asian and African Affairs, said that the ministry has launched a probe into the video, and a preliminary judgment found that the threatening language used was just a joke.

The video, which has recently appeared on the Facebook page of a person named Elias Allah Fifa, showed the flag of ISIS, as well as the flag of the Republic of China.

"You wait for it, Allah will achieve 12/28 Taiwan/Taipei," the message read, indicating that Taiwan could face terror attacks on Dec. 28. After the investigation, Chen said that the person who posted the message on Facebook used a fake account.

The reason why the ministry judged the video to simply be a joke was that it failed to correctly write the following sentence in Arabic on the ISIS flag: "La illaha ill Allah (There is no god but God)", Chen said.

Chen said that the sentence is a holy expression to the followers of Islam, so it is unlikely the militant group would make such an error, adding that it was a very serious mistake.

Despite the determination that the message was a hoax, Chen said, the government will continue to be on the alert for any possible threats in order to protect the people of Taiwan.

The MOFA has called for Taiwanese people not to produce any bogus, threatening messages that refer to ISIS, and said that doing so will violate the law in Taiwan.

Earlier this month, a 29-year-old Taiwanese man, surnamed Pan, was arrested and now faces criminal charges after he claimed on his Facebook page to be an ISIS militant, although he said the claim was meant only as a joke.

Concerns over terror attacks against Taiwan have been running deeper since the country was recently named as a member of the U.S.-led coalition against the jihadist group after ISIS gunmen launched attacks in Paris, killing more than 100, in November.

However, the Taiwan government has clarified that it provided only humanitarian assistance -- mainly prefabricated houses and tents -- to Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict in their homeland. (By Tang Pei-chun and Frances Huang)

Updated : 2021-09-26 00:52 GMT+08:00