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ISIS is planning multiple terror attacks against crowds in public places in 2016
The sick terror group will activate hundreds of sleeper cells in "dozens of countries" in an unprecedented bid to destabilise western governments and spark a huge military retaliation in the Middle East. In 2016 ISIS wants to show its global reach. From cells, to lone wolves, to bedroom jihadists Ė to target landmarks and crowds in dozens of countries across the world - ISIS expert Dr Theodore Karasik.
The shock claim, from one of the world's leading authorities on the death cult, comes amid fears of a New Year's Eve terror plot in London and other major world cities.
Islamic State has carried out more than 50 attacks in 18 countries that have killed 1,100 people and injured 1,700 since it declared its caliphate in 2014.
And next year will see a huge increase in both the number and scale of major terror attacks, according to Dr Theodore Karasik, a Gulf-based analyst of regional geo-political affairs who has extensively studied ISIS's behaviour.
He warned: "ISISís media operation is taunting its enemy to come to fight their Final Battle.
"But first, it wants to show its global reach with zeal...from cells, to lone wolves, to bedroom jihadists Ė to target landmarks and crowds in dozens of countries across the world."
ISIS is plotting to lure western governments into a 'final battle' in the Middle East
Dr Karasik added: "There are close to 40 ISIS affiliates globally with millions of adherents and believers around the world. The New Year may ring in with disturbing terror attacks.
"ISIS is an airborne disease and still remains robust as the movement enters into a new combative and aggressive phase.
"Many of us see the change of year as 'turning over a new leaf' and ISIS may do the same.
"The level of ISISís destructiveness, to force confrontations across the world, indicates that 2016 is likely to be more chaotic than 2015.
"The threat is real, and the requirement for international, regional, and local cooperation is truly necessary and will be tested again and again in perhaps unexpected places."
The warnings come as the west is on heightened alert after last month's terror attacks in Paris, in which 130 people were killed and hundreds wounded.
Earlier this week ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released an audio message boasting that his forces were "doing well" and urging his followers to "be confident God will grant us victory".
The message from the ISIS chief, the first in nearly a year, referred to the formation of a Saudi-led coalition of 34 Muslim nations against Isis, which was announced on December 15.
Baghdadi called for the overthrow of the Saudi government and promised his forces would soon advance on Israel.
"You will never find comfort in Palestine, Jews," he said. "Palestine will not be your land or your home, but it will be a graveyard for you."
He also taunted America for not sending troops to Syria and Iraq. "They do not dare to come, because their hearts are full of fear from the Mujahidin," he said.
Dr Karasik believes Baghdadi will now accelerate his campaign of terror.
He added: "He is following the script announced in 2014 to expand in the Levant into the upper tier of the Arabian Peninsula by 2019.
"ISIS still run rampant and firmly believe in their stated goals.
"They want to destabilize Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Gulf states. The messaging is clear: ISIS is continuing to challenge its enemies near and far.
"Baghdadi taunts America and its allies who are afraid to put boots on the ground against ISIS to fight because of what waits in Dabiq and Ghouta, which is a reference to what the leader describes as the Final Battle.
"This type of language plays well with ISISí audience, wherever they may be."
He told Al-Arabiya: "ISISís branches, notably the Sinai and Libyan outfits, are still active and are seemingly not planning on degrading their capabilities in the New Year.
"ISIS is also energetic in other parts of North Africa, Yemen and in Afghanistan where shifting religio-political alliances are omnipresent against Al Qaeda affiliates and brigades and the Talibanís many sub-divisions.
Last week the Archbishop of Canterbury warned Islamic State - also known as Daesh - has sparked an "apocalypse" which could wipe out Christianity in the very region where the faith was born two millennia ago.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby used his Christmas sermon to brand the Islamic extremists as "a Herod of today" - a reference to the despotic king of Judea at the time of Jesus' birth.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that ISIS could wipe Christianity from its birthplace
He told the congregation: "They hate difference, whether it is Muslims who think differently, Yazidis or Christians, and because of them the Christians face elimination in the very region in which Christian faith began.
"This apocalypse is defined by themselves and heralded only by the angel of death."