A sign carried by a protester in Ferguson, Missouri, declaring the presence of the Islamic State, or ISIS, is an act of intimidation, warning Americans they should fear the Middle Eastern Islamic jihadist group even in their own homes, according to an expert.
Islam analyst Robert Spencer, whose Jihad Watch website website monitors Islamic jihad worldwide, said the sign, which says, "ISIS here," is "in line with supporters of the Islamic State taking photos of the Islamic State flag held in front of the White House and other landmarks."
"The objective is to 'strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah' (Quran 8:60) and to emphasize the desire of Islamic State jihadis to strike within the U.S.," he said.
"The fact that they have supporters here in the U.S. who can hold the banner in Missouri and the sign at the White House shows that that is a very real possibility," he warned.
The Islamic State is the terror army that has taken over large areas across Iraq, killing and scattering Christians and other non-Muslims. The atrocities have included the slaughter of men, women and children, forced sex slavery and the destruction of religious sites, including what is believed to be the tomb of the prophet Jonah.
Now, in Ferguson, where mobs have been rioting for more than a week over the shooting death of a black teen by a police officer, Islamic State is claiming a presence.
Video of CNN's Jake Tapper delivering a report in Ferguson shows someone carrying the Islamic State sign down the street, keeping pace with Tapper.
The Daily Mail in the United Kingdom reported other ways ISIS is threatening Americans in Ferguson.
Among the social media messages monitored by the paper was one from Amarka Al-Ahlam, who said, "I believe that all #IS members in America should travel to Ferguson and prepare to establish a revolutionary Islamic state."
Amreeki Witness said: "It's time to strike fear into the hearts of the oppressors. #FergusonUnderIS."
The Mail said one ISIS supporter, Mujahid Miski, said he was based in Africa. He reportedly was leading the campaign of fear, writing: "So how is democracy treating you guys? #FergunsonUnderIS."
The Mail reported, "In one message Amreeki Witness mocks the curfew police have imposed in Ferguson to bring an end to the disorder, saying: 'We IS guys hate you for your freedom, eh? Just like that freedom uplifting curfew in #Ferguson? Wake up, or they'll never let you outside.'"
Another social media jihadist wrote: "Any and all #IS members in the kufar lands – I urge you to travel to #Ferguson and form brigades there, to take the unrestful land Inshallah."
The violence in Ferguson erupted after a police officer shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown Aug. 9. Autopsy reports suggested the suspect in a strong-arm robbery of a store just a few minutes earlier was rushing at the officer when he was shot.
Critics of police claimed Brown had raised his arms and was surrendering when he was shot.
Police in the St. Louis suburb have used tear gas, smoke bombs, Long Range Acoustic Device weapons, curfews and dispersal orders to try to contain the unrest. There were about 30 people arrested overnight Monday and a few injuries.