The FIFA World Cup in Qatar may end up becoming a major disaster if local authorities fail to thwart terrorist attacks that are allegedly being planned to take place during the showpiece event. Recent reports have revealed that social media channels are being used by supporters of the Islamic state to encourage attacks during the competition.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to kick off in less than a week in Qatar, and according to Marca, social messaging app Telegram is being used as a platform for IS supporters to send cryptic messages to one another. The plan is to organise attacks that would target participating nations that are known to have been fighting to destroy the Islamic State.

Spanish media, including La Razon, have reportedly seen messages wherein IS supporters are planning on targeting members of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Unfortunately, the attacks appear to be aimed towards fans of national teams such as Canada, Belgium and France, among others.

The attacks are being labelled as "cleansing campaigns" and terrorists are being encouraged to "be part of the World Cup in Qatar and score your goals. The goal is open." Some of the messages are cryptic but others are more directly calling for "violent and biological" acts against enemies of the Islamic State.

Needless to say, the terrorists know that there will be mass gatherings of citizens from nations that have been working against terrorism, and they have been presented with a "golden opportunity" to identify their targets and launch attacks.

Travelling fans are already dealing with the possibility of encountering issues with law enforcement due to the strict Islamic laws and traditions that are being followed in Qatar. Now, it appears as though they will also be in a vulnerable position against terrorists.

Qatar has vowed to keep the peace and to keep visitors safe, and it remains to be seen if things will go smoothly. Unfortunately, the human rights issues surrounding the host nation have been taking the spotlight over the football itself, and the last thing everyone would want is for the World Cup to become a terrorist party.

World Cup 2022
FIFA World Cup 2022