At the end of a horrific video released by the Islamic State (IS) group in Libya showing the killings of 21 Christian Egyptians, the group vowed to conquer Rome.
“Today we are south of Rome. We will conquer Rome with Allah’s permission,” a militant in the video said.
As alarming as the warning is, Italians chose to respond mockingly to the hashtag #We_Are_Coming_O_Rome by giving the Islamic State group travel tips and traffic updates for when they arrive in Rome.
On Twitter, Italians warned IS militants about traffic in the old city, while others recommended cheap coffee bars and pizzerias.
Even though the replies are reason to admire the humour of the Italians, the hashtag is no joke to IS, pointed out SITE intelligence group. Islamic State supporters used the hashtag and video to warn of their plan to reach Rome.
Conquering Rome has religious significance to IS militants. Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State, said in July: "This is my advice to you. If you hold to it, you will conquer Rome and own the world, if Allah wills."
"We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women,” Abu Mohammad Al-Adnani, spokesman of IS, said.
“If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market,” he added.