Rita Katz, who heads the SITE Intelligence Group, warned that social media accounts, affiliated with the Islamic State, planned to attack the Italian capital, sparking a storm of public ridicule on Twitter.
Some Italian netizens decided to bring ISIL militants up to speed on the challenges local traffic and logistics pose. Italians are known for reckless driving and traffic in Rome can be bad.
#We_Are_Coming_O_Rome Don't take the Salerno-Reggio Calabria motorway or you won't get to Rome before 2020— Eugenio Mastroviti (@emastro66) 20 февраля 2015
#We_Are_Coming_O_Rome, if you do,do not take the Highway ring around rome in rush hours— Emanuele Caprarelli (@texxet78) 20 февраля 2015
Some gave the would-be visitors valuable tips on what to look out for in Rome, notorious for its pickpocketing and purse-snatchers, and provided other useful information.
#We_Are_Coming_O_Rome…and pay attention to pickpockets: they are everywhere…— Giuseppe Dell'Aquila (@g_dellaquila) 20 февраля 2015
#We_Are_Coming_O_Rome just an inorrmation: in San Lorenzo quarter you can find amazing Pizza take away… Keep note!— Giuseppe Dell'Aquila (@g_dellaquila) 20 февраля 2015
#we_are_coming_o_rome Please visit Rome.There are many beautiful sites to see.For example first visit Piazza Colonna corner to via del corso— Daniele Fratangeli (@superPapino) 20 февраля 2015
Others pointed out that ISIL is too late, citing local authorities that failed to help the country overcome crisis and Feyenoord fans, who clashed with riot police ahead of a football match.
#We_Are_Coming_O_Rome You're too late, Italy is already been destroyed by their governments….— Franco (@campafranco) 20 февраля 2015
On the whole, Italian netizens remained largely unimpressed with ISIL threats, with one user commenting, "That’s what Spartacus said."
The Islamic State gained a foothold in Libya in late 2014 in a bid to project its influence throughout the Middle East. The country is torn asunder by various militant groups in the worst wave of violence since the 2011 uprising that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi, the country's long-standing leader.
On Tuesday, Rome said it was prepared to spearhead an international operation against Libyan Islamists, fearing Libya's proximity to Italy's maritime border.