Will ISIS Attack on the June 29 Anniversary of the Caliphate?

A photo posted by ISIS today of their caliphate police force

A photo posted by ISIS today of their caliphate police force

PJ Media, by Bridget Johnson, June 1, 2015:

It’s not the best time for the United States to be facing a terror threat from within.

Intelligence services have been overwhelmed with not just covert communications but a massive web of open-source outreach including tweets, chats, books, videos, new slick radio [2], memos, photo essays and magazines by terror organizations, members and sympathizers. Even when a suspect is known to authorities, such as Garland, Texas, shooter Elton Simpson, they’re flying under the radar.

It’s a time when ISIS is emboldened from the seizures of Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria, expanding their territory as their opponents squabble over who gave up the Iraqi city 80 miles west of Baghdad. As ISIS contractors around the globe are written off as “lone wolves,” [3] the terror group is letting its followers know that they needn’t come to the caliphate to train but can prep for and execute a lethal attack at home. And if someone does choose to get on a plane, they need only get their confidence boosted by today’s report[4] that Transportation Security Administration screeners caught just 3 out of 70 attempts to sneak banned items, including dummy bombs, through checkpoints by red-teamers for the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.

Jihadists didn’t attack a heavily armed “draw Muhammad” event last Friday outside the Phoenix mosque attended by Simpson and fellow attacker Nadir Soofi, though the organizer has gone into hiding after threats. Online jihadists were relatively subdued about the event, though al-Qaeda did release guidelines [5] last week detailing which blasphemers would be on their hit list.

So what is ISIS waiting for? Their anniversary, perhaps.

British jihadi Siddhartha Dhar, who now goes by Abu Rumaysah al-Britani after slipping off to the Islamic State when UK authorities arrested him but failed to take his passport when he was released on bail, recently penned what he passed off as a rather innocuous guide pitching the homey comforts of the caliphate from lattes to pickles. Yet he stressed in “A Brief Guide to the Islamic State [2015]“ [6] the importance of an upcoming date: He called the founding of the Islamic State on June 29, 2014, a “date right up there with 11th September 2001.”

“In fact, in many ways it surpasses it purely for what it symbolizes,” he added.

Rumaysah ended the 47-page guide on a decidedly dark note: “As the Islamic State army edges closer and closer to Damascus and Baghdad, as a lion stalks its prey, watch closely at how defeat eats away at the loser, because these two cities are just appetisers. When we descend on the streets of London, Paris and Washington the taste will be far bitterer, because not only will we spill your blood, but we will also demolish your statues, erase your history and, most painfully, convert your children who will then go on to champion our name and curse their forefathers.”

June 29, a Monday, is one day before the P5+1 deadline for a final nuclear deal with Iran. Congress is in recess that week for the Fourth of July holiday. The Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins June 17.

Charlie Winter, a researcher at the Quilliam Foundation, told [7] The Independent that he believes ISIS will be “more active than ever” as their anniversary approaches.

“There is a concerted effort to appear as relevant as ever, stronger than ever and more defiant than ever in the face of international opposition,” he added, predicting the group would be planning “more violence, more advances, more attacks.”

They may not be specifically aiming for a U.S. attack; the Islamic State hacking division just days ago published the names and addresses of Italian military commanders online as targets, the faces of the women cut out.

Maurizio Gasparri, a senator with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, last month accused [8] the government of “bringing in Islamist fundamentalists and using Italian ships as taxis for potential jihadists” with migrants trying to get from Libya to Italy.

Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni warned [8] that they “don’t have months and months” to address the migrant crisis with humanitarian and national security implications. “The double risk of an advance of the Islamic State group in Libya and the waves of migrants means we are in a race against the clock,” he told Corriere della Sera.

ISIS’ desire to sack Rome warranted an entire e-book [9], predicting “recruits” from among “left-wing activists” in Europe sympathetic to their cause “will give intelligence, share weapons and do undercover work for the Muslims to pave the way for the conquest of Rome.” They also predicted, though, that the Mafia will put up a fight.

Here in the United States, nearly a month ago the Pentagon raised the security level at military bases to the highest level since the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

FBI Director James Comey warned around the same time that “the haystack is the entire country” when it comes to finding ISIS.

“We are looking for the needles, but increasingly the needles are unavailable to us. … This is the ‘going dark’ problem in living color,” Comey said. “There are Elton Simpsons out there that I have not found and I cannot see.”

As far as specific threats for America, a message [10] to “brothers and sisters fighting for the Sake of Allah” was posted on an online file-sharing site days after the Garland attack by a user claiming to be an ISIS-affiliated American.

“We have been watching closely who was present at this event and the shooter of our brothers. We knew that the target was protected. Our intention was to show how easy we give our lives for the Sake of Allah,” said the message, which was tweeted by a user who described him or herself as “stuck in the lands of the kufr [nonbelievers],” with a photo of an ISIS flag and a residential suburban neighborhood in the background.

The message said ISIS has stationed “71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire.”

“Out of the 71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday, We are increasing in number bithnillah. Of the 15 states, 5 we will name… Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan,” the posting continued. “The disbelievers who shot our brothers think that you killed someone untrained, nay, they gave you their bodies in plain view because we were watching.”

“The next six months will be interesting.”

The Newest Guide On ISIS: Comparing Self-Declared Caliphate to “Plush Holiday Resort”

tourist-guide-cover

CSP, by Rachel Silverman, May 27, 2015:

Abu Rumaysah, a British jihadist who fled the UK to join ISIS in Syria, has released an ebook guide titled, A Brief Guide to the Islamic State (2015). This guide targets western recruits and compares territories under the extremist group to a “plush holiday resort.”

When describing the food, Rumaysah writes, “If you thought you would be living on stale bread and septic water then erase that culinary fib from you mind. The great thing about food in the Caliphate is its freshness. You can be sure that the vegetables you crunch down on basked gloriously in the sunshine before reaching your dinner plate. And what about the olive groves? Yes, there are plenty of them and the pickles and rich oils that spring them beat anything from your local Tescos.”

Rumaysah boasts of the education offered in the Caliphate, “There are no classes promoting homosexuality, evolution, music, drama, interfaith and the rest of the rubbish taught in non-Muslim schools. You child’s delicate mind is well and truly protected in the Calihpate.”

Despite the strict curriculum, Rumaysah goes on saying the Caliphate, “screams diversity” and has become a “magnet for talent.” “If you thought London or New York was cosmopolitan then wait until you step foot in the Islamic State, because it screams diversity. In my short time here I have met people from absolutely every walk of life, proof that the Caliphate’s pulling power is strong and tenacious.”

There is, however, no mention of the sex slave markets, beheadings for being gay, dismemberment, stoning, violence and tyranny widely reported in Syria and Iraq.

Rumaysah extols the improvements to transportation under ISIS and how one can now travel freely between Iraq and Syria now that the “satanic boundary” has been bulldozed, even though the guide makes no mention of the historic monuments, antiquities, and religious sites it has also destroyed.

Just like the guide that was released in late March, How to Survive in the West: A Mujahid Guide (2015), this ebook is also just another propaganda piece designed to convert more Westerners to join fighters in Iraq and Syria, as ISIS strengthens its grip in the Middle East.

The guide ends with a chilling message for the West, “When we descend on the streets of London, Paris and Washington the taste will be far bitter, because not only will we spill your blood, but we will also demolish your statues, erase your history, and, most painfully, convert your children who will then go on to champion our name and curse their forefathers.”

Islamic State Magazine Asks: ‘Did You Think We Were Joking?’

Islamic State Terror Handbook Trains Western Jihadis To Avoid Capture

MEMRI

MEMRI

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, May 15, 2015:

Affiliates of the Islamic State terror group are distributing a new handbook aimed to help Western jihadis avoid capture by the police and train them to clandestinely build bombs and transport weapons, according to a review of the guide, which is being distributed across the Internet as an e-book.

The handbook, “How to Survive in the West,” instructs Western jihadis on how to blend into their societies and hide their terror activities. This includes hiding their belief in Islam and keeping any weapons-related work confined to their homes, according to the guide, which was analyzed by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

The chapter of the manual focusing on homemade bomb-making provides tips on how to assemble cellphone detonators and other types of secret explosives.

The handbook “explains that while al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula taught its readers how to make three different types of bombs, whereas this chapter ‘will focus on six different types: Molotov cocktail, nail bomb, microwave airbag bomb, gas canister bomb, remote controlled bomb, and car bomb,’” according to excerpts of the guide provided by MEMRI.

The accused Boston marathon bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, are hailed as a model for Western jihadists.

“The book explains that the microwave airbag bomb was used by the Tsarnaev brothers in their attack on the Boston marathon, and that their bag contained: ‘A mini microwave oven, car airbags (containing sodium azide) or aerosol, [propane] spray cans placed in the oven, nails/sharp rocks/metal balls (shrapnel) put in the microwave oven, and a timer,’” according to the chapter on bomb-making.

“They put the timer on to when they wanted the oven switched on. When the microwave was on, it would heat up the airbags or aerosol cans. The airbags or aerosol cans would explode due to intensity in heat and pressure, forcing the microwave door to open forcefully. The nails/sharp rocks etc. in the microwave would come flying out of the microwave in the direction of the target.”

A step-by-step guide on how to construct a cellphone detonator also is included.

Instructions for making a cellphone detonator

“The principle in this is simple,” the handbook states. “Buy two cheap cell phones, wire one up to explosives (like leaking gas in a fully closed car) and use the other as a detonator by simply ringing the phone wired to the explosives. The mujahideen use this technique all around the world. It keeps you safe because you can be far away when activating the device, and it is easy to make!”

Another section of the terror guide provides tips on the best ways to secretly transport weapons. Western terrorists reading the guide are encouraged to mimic drug smugglers and other types of gangs.

The guide states:

After buying weapons, transporting the weapons and huge sums of cash/jewelry from one location to another in the boot of the car can be dangerous and will give you a long-term jail sentence. You could be jailed for smuggling, laundering and dealing in arms. The best method gangs have used throughout the world is to take your car to a garage, and make hidden compartments within the bodywork of the car. These hidden holes are usually made within the car body’s interior, since security services and border guards simply do not have enough time or equipment to search all cars for hidden compartments. Gangs place bags of money, drugs, and weapons within these hidden compartments. They then ask the lower ranked “transporters’ in their gangs to deliver and transport this car from one country or city to another without fear of being detected.

 

The terror guide additionally instructs any jihadi living in Western countries to make efforts to blend into society

“By not showing you’re Muslim, you’ve already excluded yourself being in the ‘Terrorist watchlist,’” the guide states. “Don’t make it too obvious you have become a practicing Muslim.”

Men are told to not grow beards and women are encouraged to avoid wearing a hijab in public.

“When a Muslim goes out in public, he wants to fit into society to make himself look as normal as possible. Remember this isn’t because he fears his Islamic identity, but he is doing this so he is not suspected of being an outsider enemy,” the guide says.

Pentagon struggles to counter success of Islamic State social media, info war

The Islamic State’s latest mass-beheading video purports to show the executions of dozens of Ethiopian Christians against multiple backdrops — including one replete with blood-colored waves lapping up from the Mediterranean. (Associated Press)

The Islamic State’s latest mass-beheading video purports to show the executions of dozens of Ethiopian Christians against multiple backdrops — including one replete with blood-colored waves lapping up from the Mediterranean. (Associated Press)

The Washington Times – Wednesday, May 13, 2015:

The Pentagon is struggling to counter the information warfare efforts of the Islamic State terrorist group that are effectively exploiting U.S. social media and Western press freedoms to recruit jihadists and communicate among themselves.

Bureaucratic red tape within the military, specifically the U.S. Central Command and Pentagon, is preventing rapid responses to IS propaganda and activities, Inside the Ring has learned from knowledgeable sources.

One problem is the cumbersome approval process needed before U.S. information warriors can carry out counter-actions online. Prior to doing so, they’re required to go through several layers of approvals along a lengthy chain of command.

As a result, in some cases U.S. information operations against IS propaganda were delayed for days or weeks, often making the responses ineffective or useless.

Additionally, U.S. information operations have been weakened and limited in conducting counter-information attacks because of concerns the American hand will be exposed. Another problem has been fear among U.S. higher-ups that IS will step up both information and kinetic attacks in response.

Outright lies — such as false reports of U.S. troops deployments — are more easily countered. But those cases are infrequent. Aggressive online programs to dissuade would-be jihadists and expose IS propaganda programs and activities have been stifled. Counter cyber attacks against known IS operators also have been limited.

The U.S. information warfare effort has been hampered by officials have said is a cultural bias against propaganda activities, which are sometime regarded as contrary to U.S. freedoms. That is said to be changing, however, as terrorist groups like IS and al Qaeda are increasing their use of soft power methods to attack the West. Nation-state information warfare, particularly by China, Russia and Iran, also is gradually being recognized as a growing strategic threat.

The IS information threat was highlighted by the alert issued last week raising the security threat level on U.S. military bases. The alert was prompted by an IS-linked hacker group that posted a notice online warning of an “another surprise for America” — interpreted as a possible attack.

As a result, U.S. Northern Command commander, Adm. Bill Gortney, ordered military bases to tighten security from “Alpha” to “Bravo” level around the country. Force-protection level Bravo is ordered in response to a somewhat predictable terrorist threat.

The group making the threat was the same hacker group that successfully conducted a cyber attack on Central Command’s social media accounts in January, replacing web pages with IS propaganda and the name “Cybercaliphate.”

The group conducted some low-level cyber attacks against several Pentagon web sites last week in attempted “denial-of-service” cyber strikes whose impact was limited.

One example of IS’s online agility is its use of Twitter. IS operatives and supporters are using multiple Twitter accounts to send well-crafted videos and propaganda materials. Usually, IS terrorists open up to six Twitter accounts, with successive accounts being used after one or more of the accounts are shut down by the social media giant, often at U.S. government urging.

One effective propaganda and recruiting video was posted on a Russian Internet site and targeted Central Asia Muslims. The five-minute video was described as extremely professional in both content and production values.

Another trend is a recent shift by IS away from Web-based social media sites to mobile devices that are being used to communicate through text messaging, and propagandize by mobile videos shared directly between hand-held devices.

Additionally, IS information operations to inspire Islamists to conduct attacks in the United States also are shifting to the so-called “Dark Web,” the gray Internet underworld used by criminals to share information and software.

IS also appears to have studied information dissemination methods used by neo-Nazi groups, in order to communicate and spread their message in the English-speaking world.

The target audience for IS includes Islamist sympathizers who are not directly linked to the Syrian/Iraqi based IS terror group.

‘Terrorism has gone viral': US officials, lawmakers warn of growing jihad-inspired attacks

ISIS_Twitter_2Fox News, May 10, 2015:

Top U.S. officials and lawmakers on Sunday intensified concerns about the growing threat of jihad-inspired terror attacks against the United States, after last week’s attempt in Texas and the dire FBI warning that followed.

“I think there’s been an uptick in the stream of threats out there,” Texas GOP Rep. Mike McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, told “Fox News Sunday.” “We’re seeing these directives on almost a daily basis. It’s very concerning. Terrorism has gone viral.”

McCaul’s comments follow the May 3 attack by two gunmen outside a “Draw Muhammad” event in Garland, Texas.

Tweets by one of the two gunmen, killed by police in the attack, appear to link him to radical Islamic terror groups. And Internet chatter purportedly tipped off officials about a possible attack on the event.

On Thursday, FBI Director James Comey said the attack, in which a security officer was shot in the leg, highlights the difficulties the FBI faces — as social media facilitates communication between terror groups and potential homegrown extremists.

He also said the Islamic State terror group has thousands of English-language followers on Twitter, including many in the U.S.

tfss-01f17193-eb53-4fa3-b838-98d2381295de-811740152The group also is increasingly steering followers into forums that allow for encrypted communications that can be harder for law enforcement officials to access.

In addition, the Islamic State has been encouraging followers to travel to Syria to join the self-created caliphate there, but if they can’t do that, to “kill where you are,” Comey said.

“The siren song sits in the pockets, on the mobile phones, of the people who are followers on Twitter,” Comey said. “It’s almost as if there’s a devil sitting on the shoulder, saying ‘Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill,’ all day long.”

McCaul said Comey was “exactly right” and that trying to find ISIS’ calling for terror attacks across the broad spectrum of social media is “like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”

He also said the terror threat now is “one of the highest that I’ve ever seen” and warned of similar incidents in the future.

“It’s going to get worse, not better,” he said. “This is very difficult to stop.”

Also on Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the U.S. is facing a new phase of terrorism in which a so-called lone-wolf terrorist, inspired by Islamic State propaganda on social media, could “strike at any moment.”

The Obama administration has said the attack in suburban Dallas last week was a “lone wolf” effort.

“We’re very definitely in a new environment, because of ISIL’s effective use of social media, the Internet, which has the ability to reach into the homeland and possibly inspire others,” Johnson said on  ABC’s “This Week.”

On Friday, the Pentagon increased security measures for military bases across the country based on what officials said are increasing but non-specific threats from Islamic State extremists and supporters.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Sunday also agreed with Comey.

“I think [the Islamic State’s message] is ‘kill, kill, kill,’ ” she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It’s a force that we really haven’t seen before, and we have to begin to cope more seriously with it, and that includes social media.”

She also suggested a changing terror environment in which Islamic extremist groups encourage a lone wolf to commit an attack, then “take credit for it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

U.S. Military Bases Raise Security Level as FBI Director Warns of ISIS Threat

CSP, by Aaron Kliegman, My 8, 2015:

FBI Director James Comey warned on Thursday that potentially thousands of people inside the United States are consuming recruitment “poison” and directives to attack the U.S. from Islamic State (ISIS), which he compared to “a devil sitting on the shoulder saying, “‘Kill, kill, kill, kill’ all day long.’”

Comey elaborated to a small group of reporters that ISIS is using social media in an unprecedented manner to reach large amounts of people on personal electronic devices. From Syria, the jihadists are initially contacting individuals on Twitter and then directing them to encrypted venues where U.S. authorities lose the communications.

J.M. Berger, an analyst at The Brookings Institution, told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, “We’re [the US] getting creamed on social media.” He added that ISIS’s magazine, Dabiq, which is named after a key town in Islamic eschatology where the Muslim and Christian armies will face each other, is another effective propaganda tool.

Social media, however, does not sufficiently explain why people join ISIS; a tweet in itself will not cause someone to kill and wish to join the caliphate. People who support ISIS must first be indoctrinated to accept shariah law obligations regarding waging jihad.

Comey noted that ISIS’s recruitment is difficult because the group says if foreigners cannot travel to “the caliphate” to fight, then they should kill wherever they are, thus breaking down the model of “‘inspired’” versus “‘directed,’” making it difficult to determine if someone is a “‘talker or a doer.’”

In a chilling assessment, Comey described how “the haystack is the entire country. We are looking for the needles, but increasingly the needles are unavailable to us. … This is the ‘going dark’ problem in living color. There are other Elton Simpsons out there that I have not found and I cannot see.”

Simpson was one of two men who launched a failed attack in Garland, Texas against a “Draw the Prophet” Muhammad contest before being killed. Authorities have been watching him since 2006 for terrorist-related activity, and he was convicted in 2011 and sentenced to three years probation.

Simpson was indoctrinated well before reaching out to Islamic State from attending the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix (ICCP), which has produced multiple terrorists beyond Simpson and his partner Nadir Hamid Soofi. ICCP’s imam has strong connectionsto Muslim Brotherhood front organizations. It is reasonable to ask what role the Garland shooters’ mosque played in preparing the men to be susceptible to ISIS propaganda.

The Texas attack is not an isolated incident as other ISIS-inspired acts have taken place on American soil. As recently as Thursday, for example, 21-year-old Christopher Lee Cornell, who was arrested last year for planning an assault on the US Capitol, was additionally accused of providing material support to ISIS. Furthermore, 20-year-old John Booker, Jr. was arrested a month ago for allegedly trying to bomb Fort Riley in Kansas in support of ISIS.

The FBI Director’s warnings and aforementioned events, among others, helped cause all US military bases to raise their security levels to “Bravo,” the third of five levels of alert and the highest point since the 10th anniversary of 9/11, because of a threatening environment created by ISIS. The Pentagon defines level “Bravo” as an “increased and predictable threat of terrorism.”

Admiral William Gortney, head of the U.S. Northern Command, which manages U.S. military instillations in the continental US, signed the order “as a prudent measure due to a lot of things in the news lately.”

Comey’s comments and Gortney’s security order make clear that Islamic State’s ability to recruit sympathetic Muslims from within the United States poses a real threat to the American homeland, and not just to Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

In countering this enemy, however, the U.S. must remember that it is the ideological content of the message, and not the chosen media, that leads jihadists to join the fight.

***

Also see:

FBI knew shooter might go to Muhammad drawing contest

FBI crime scene investigators document evidence outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas where two men opened fire Sunday night on police who were guarding a contest to draw cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed. (Brandon Wade/AP)

FBI crime scene investigators document evidence outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas where two men opened fire Sunday night on police who were guarding a contest to draw artoons of the Prophet Muhammed. (Brandon Wade/AP)

Washington Post, by Adam Goldman, May 7, 2015:

FBI Director James B. Comey said Thursday his agents learned hours before the start of a cartoon contest and exhibit depicting the prophet Muhammad that one of the gunmen had expressed interest in going to the controversial event in Texas, but there was no indication he was planning an attack.

Comey said the FBI sent an intelligence bulletin to local authorities through its Dallas field office that included a picture of Elton Simpson, 30, and other details such as his associates and possible license plate numbers.

“But we didn’t know more than that,” Comey said in an interview with reporters at FBI headquarters.

Simpson and his roommate, Nadir Soofi, 34, who lived in Phoenix, were killed by a local traffic officer as they opened fire at a conference center in Garland, Tex., where the competition was taking place.

The two men were heavily armed, U.S. law enforcement officials said. They had six weapons — four handguns and two semiautomatic assault rifles. Soofi is thought to have purchased one of the rifles on Craigslist, officials said.

All of the weapons were purchased legally, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

Comey also provided details about the FBI’s long-standing interest in Simpson. He said FBI agents in Phoenix began investigating Simpson in about 2006, based on information that he was looking to travel to Somalia to join al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda affiliate and a U.S.- designated terrorist organization.

Simpson was arrested in 2010 after he bought a plane ticket to South Africa. He was charged with lying to FBI agents in connection with terrorism. He was convicted, however, of a lesser charge the following year and sentenced to three years’ probation.

Comey said the FBI continued to investigate Simpson until 2014. Agents in Phoenix reopened the case in March, Comey said, after “we developed information that he was making statements on social media that might indicate a renewed interest in jihad, but this time with” the Islamic State.

He added that the “investigation was open, but far from complete.”

Comey declined to discuss whether the FBI was also looking at Soofi, but other officials said agents in Phoenix were preparing to investigate him when the shooting took place.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Soofi’s mother, Sharon Soofi, said her son had discussed Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American preacher who took on a prominent role in al-Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate before he was killed in a 2011 drone strike.

Soofi’s mother said her other son, Ali Soofi, lived with his brother and Simpson. She said Ali Soofi was concerned about Simpson’s influence on his brother and recently moved out.

Comey said the FBI will review whether the bureau made any missteps and could have stopped Simpson and Soofi before the attack. But, he said, he hasn’t seen any indications that his agents missed a major warning sign.

The roommates apparently fell under the sway of the Islamic State, which has been using social media, including Twitter, to encourage attacks in the United States.

Comey said the Islamic State’s effort to recruit and motivate people in the United States to try to do harm was paying dividends.

“If you can’t travel, kill where you are,” Comey said, echoing the Islamic State’s message to followers. He described the Islamic State’s message as a siren’s song, one easily accessed on phones or computers.

“It’s almost if there is a devil sitting on the shoulder saying, ‘Kill,’ ‘Kill,’ ‘Kill,’ ‘Kill,’ all day long,” he said.

Comey also discussed whether the attack was actually directed by the Islamic State. He said al-Qaeda previously would train its operatives so they could be vetted before getting an assignment.

“But what we see [the Islamic State] doing is trying in a way to test people’s bona fides by urging them to kill,” he said. “Sometimes supplying with them hit lists, sometimes suggesting particular targets, but other times just ‘kill in our name.’ In a way, the old paradigm between inspired or directed breaks down here.

***

FBI Gave Police Three Hour Warning Before Garland Attack (truthrevolt.org)

Why There Are No ISIS ‘Lone Wolves’

Lone-Wolf-Terrorists1
PJ Media, By Bridget Johnson, On May 7, 2015:

An ISIS call-to-arms posted online nearly two weeks ago mocked the term that the West uses for the terror group’s members abroad — a big picture of a lone, grey wolf accompanied the text.

“Jihad is going through various stages to reach the state of empowerment and the rule of the land, as it does our brothers in the land of the caliphate,” said the call for jihadists in Egypt to activate.

“Wolves,” the message said, are “one of the first jihad work stages” and simply indicates “individual small cells” who have a greater chance of taking the enemy by surprise or taking down his compatriots. They don’t need “strength or muscle, huge experience in jihad work” and “each wolf chooses what suits him and what fits his goal and location of the implementation of the action.”

“Small firewood is what ignites huge and large flames… wolves will increase their expertise and will move with the time and expertise to the largest operations and to expand and diversify the weapon used.”

A “lone wolf” would be a jihadist taking it upon himself with no direct outside involvement — be it direction or support — to commit an attack. But recent attacks have shown government’s desire to rush to “lone wolf” judgment, be it to placate a nervous public, cover intelligence about wider plots or networks, or just save face for counter-terrorism efforts that let one slip through the cracks.

Government officials use the less alarming terminology that the U.S. suffered an attack from disaffected loners rather than the U.S. suffered an ISIS attack.

“There are a lot of challenges associated with trying to root out and prevent essentially lone wolf attacks,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday. “And again, based on what we know now, and there’s still a lot more that we have to learn, this is consistent with what has previously been described as a — a lone wolf attack, that essentially you have two individuals that don’t appear to be part of a broader conspiracy, and identifying those individuals and keeping tabs on them is difficult work.”

“Lone wolf” also disassociates the assailant from the broader ideological movement, painting the attacker as a disaffected, impressionable individual who is lured to a life of crime by a magazine, video or tweets.

“We continue to be keenly aware and vigilant about the threat that is posed by a so-called lone wolf, where you have an individual who is disaffected and is vulnerable to some of the kind of recruitment efforts that we see ISIL employ through social media,” Earnest said Tuesday.

Not only had Garland, Texas, shooter Elton Simpson been on the FBI’s radar for years after lying about plans to go join jihad in Somalia, but he distributed ISIS propaganda via social media. Simpson announced the Texas attack less than half an hour before shots were fired outside of the Muhammad cartoon contest, and jihadists who quickly tweeted about the attack expressed no surprise. The other shooter, Nadir Soofi, was Simpson’s roommate in Phoenix — so at what point do roommates who plan and conduct attacks graduate from “lone wolves” to a cell?

Both men were in their 30s and born in the United States. They had jobs and attended the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. Soofi left behind a young son.

ISIS included the attack in its daily report of operations distributed to its fighters. “Two soldiers of the Khilafah carried out an assault on a convention in Garland, Texas… We say to the America, the defender of the cross, what’s coming will be even worse.”

ISIS wants to populate the caliphate, no question about it. They’ve put out the call for Muslims to contribute in ways that don’t involve fighting but are necessary for civic infrastructure, from teachers to tech specialists. A recent video about the Islamic State Health Service featured an Australian doctor — a white man with a barely-there beard — treating babies and talking about his decision to come to the Islamic State.

A 50-page handbook released earlier this year detailed tips for jihadists wanting to come to the Islamic State, from what to pack to contacts who would try to smuggle them across the Turkish border. But it acknowledged that things are getting tougher for those who want to immigrate: “Lately things have got harder at the Turkish border, so Islamic State members often meet new people in Turkey hotels and smuggle them across the border,” though the safehouses are “usually males only” and can only be accessed with “a paper signed by an existing member to show he is trustworthy.”

A month ago, an ISIS cyber unit threatened Turkey with hacking attacks if it didn’t stop impeding the flow of foreign fighters into the Islamic State. Turkey has been under intense international pressure to crack down on the flow of goods and people across the 500-mile border.

So while ISIS encourages its followers to make hijrah to the caliphate, it also encourages its followers to be part of the caliphate wherever they may be. This isn’t just because of the physical difficulties of getting to the Islamic State — ISIS regularly distributes “if I did it, so can you” stories from other jihadists who made the trip — but because of ISIS’s overall strategy.

Consider it like crowd-funding for jihadists: encouraging followers to be part of the cause however they can, whatever they can contribute, wherever they can.

They plan on building their “army” not in one centralized location straddling Iraq and Syria, but in grass-roots pockets around the globe to grow and converge upon major targets. The ISIS e-book detailing how the terror group plans to sack Rome describes drawing not just from Muslim communities across Europe but from anti-Israel activists, anarchists and ethnic minority military defections.

These cells won’t need complicated support from an ISIS HQ to plan and coordinate attacks, the book stresses, because of the open-source support for terrorists out there today. “All the Islamic groups use Google Earth today to plan their attacks…. Usually only powerful countries had power to satellite technology, now everyone can use it for free.”

Another e-book this year, The Islamic State, claims self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi does not micromanage his commanders, which gives them “a lot of flexibility and makes the Islamic State harder to defeat” unlike “conventional national armies who have a long chain of command and a common pattern in style of war.”

Their media structure is so diffuse — from “professionally edited videos” and scores of social media accounts (including coordinated hashtags) to e-books and magazines — because “by not having a website, no one can hack it and claim an online victory.”

“Each province has its own responsibility in creating its own videos and social media accounts to share its successes. By decentralising everything from the core leadership, even if a province fails online or offline, the leadership and overall Khilafah (Caliphate) leadership project is still safe and can grow elsewhere.”

The book notes that social media is its own kind of jihad. “What the Islamic State has done for Islam online: Just do a quick search for the word: ‘Islam’ on youtube: What we see is that even though Muslims have been trying to tell people about Islam for the past 20yrs, there have been more searches for ‘Islamic State’ on youtube in the past 3yrs than there have been for ‘Islam’ since youtube has ever existed.”

ISIS has turned skirting around Twitter suspensions into an art form; one jihadist on the social media site announced this week his 32nd comeback under a different Twitter handle, and jihadists whose accounts are still active spread the word about the new account of a booted member.

And if lone wolves are branded so because they haven’t received formal training in terrorist camps, consider that ISIS encourages self-training even for members located in the Middle East. A recent e-book on how the terrorists plan to seize Israel gives Krav Maga tips and suggests using “open-source technology” such as 3-D printers and reverse engineering to mass produce replicas of captured Israeli weapons. Like other ISIS materials, the book stresses that cyber jihadists are valuable recruits who can operate anywhere.

A guide for jihadists in the West issued in late March gives instructions on using secure browsers, watching Bourne films, bomb-making, physical training at home, practicing with Nerf or paintball guns, and moving up to “primitive weapons” such as crossbows. “Playing games like Call of Duty gives you knowledge of techniques used in warfare on different terrains.”

And ISIS jihadists in the West shouldn’t call themselves lone wolves, but an ISIS “special services secret agent.”

They’re encouraged to take advantage of symbolic dates for attacks, to target places like synagogues and gas pipelines, and embrace one- or two-man operations like in France. If they need to flee the West, they’re told to escape to “the Islamic State in Libya, or Khorasan (Waziristan in Pakistan), or in Nigeria (under Boko Haram territory)” if they can’t get to Iraq and Syria.

The ISIS strategy is to have jihadis of varying skills nestled in every corner of the globe, some with no more contact with fellow ISIS fighters than tweets.

In the wake of the Garland attack, a message online claiming to be from a Western member of ISIS noted that their cells abroad conduct another type of training you can’t do in a camp: learning from the successes and mistakes of other cells, soaking in every bit of media coverage. “We have been watching closely who was present at this event and the shooter of our brothers,” the message said, and have “71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire.”

Islamic State Promises More Attacks Like Garland

isis flag
CSP, by Sean MacCormac, May 6, 2015:

In the wake of the foiled attack in Garland, Texas, Islamic State has released a statement promising further attacks in the United States, as well as the assassination of Pamela Geller, the lead planner in the Mohammed cartoon contest. The authenticity of the post remains in question, although Islamic State has frequently used JustPasteIt to publish propaganda and messages for the general public.

The document states that Geller was the focus of the attack, stating “Our goal was the khanzeer (pig) Pamela Geller and to show her that we don’t care what land she hides in or what sky shields her; we will send all our Lions to achieve her slaughter.”

If authentic, the terrorist group appears to be doing damage control for the failed attack, claiming that, “Our intention was to show how easy we give our lives for the sake of Allah,” and “they gave you their bodies in plain view because we were watching” thereby seeking to downplay the fact both terrorists at the event were killed without killing any of their targets.

Islamic State has a long history of claiming responsibility for terror attacks conducted by sympathizers not directly orchestrated by the organization’s leaders. Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi were both sympathizers of Islamic State and reportedly in contact on social media with individuals connected to the Islamic State, who had urged attacks against the Garland, Texas event. Simpson and Soofi swore allegiance to al-Baghdadi in a tweet posted by Simpson prior to the attack.

Despite the propaganda claim regarding IS’ ,”71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday…” the skilled pre-planned deployment of sleeper cells appears to be outside of the Islamic States’ standard operating method at the current time. Unlike terror groups such as Hezbollah, or Al Qaeda, which have conducted such pre-planned operations, the Garland attack is more typical of Islamic State’s methods,where self-declared Islamic State supporters take to heart encouragement and propaganda and attempt to strike from a broad list of suggested targets. A change in this capability to a more sophisticated model, would be highly worrisome.

That said, it is highly likely that Islamic State can find far more than just the “71” soldiers it claims to possess, among those who are ideologically committed enough to engage in terror attacks on it’s behalf.

Also see:

Senior female ISIS agent unmasked and traced to Seattle

Screen-Shot-2015-04-30-at-2.53.09-PM-800x406
Channel 4 News, April 28, 2015:

She’s one of the final people that would-be jihadis might speak to before crossing the border to join the Islamic State group in Syria. The woman that the world’s media claim is Dutch or British and in the group’s de facto capital of Raqqa, with considerable online and offline influence.

Flick through the group’s new online “travel guidebook” and her contact details are listed, alongside 17 other agents and middlemen. Recruits are told to get in touch with these people when they make it to Turkey and want a contact in ISIS to help them cross the border.

This is the mysterious but influential woman until now known only as@_UmmWaqqas. Her real life is seemingly obscured from view, with her face completely covered in pictures posted online. As one of the most influential ISIS-linked women online, she describes to her 8,000 followers the religious duty for Muslims to join the Caliphate. She has been in personal contact with Brits and Americans on the eve of their departures, and she is close to fighters and jihadi brides in Syria.

@_UmmWaqqas is today revealed by Channel 4 News to have been set up and operated by Rawdah Abdisalaam, a twenty-something female believed to be from Seattle. She advocates mass emigration to Islamic State while seemingly enjoying the creature comforts of the American lifestyle, watching the Denver Broncos on a super-widescreen HDTV and tweeting pictures of double cheeseburgers.

Her Twitter account was recently accessed from Seattle, though friends say she has moved away, and her exact location remains unclear.

“I’m actually lost for words”, one school friend who wished to stay anonymous told Channel 4 News. “The Rawdah you are referring to is a childhood friend.” She said that the @_UmmWaqqas tweets, “sound a little to extreme to be honest … this is so weird.” Friends confirmed it is her account.

ISIS cheerleaderThose doing the radicalising deliberately hide who they are. But they are altering lives one by one, in the US, in Europe and in the Middle East. They are generating support for the Islamic State group with such success, leaving intelligence agencies and families scrambling to cope.

The Brookings Institute says that social media is used “to spread and legitimise IS’s ideology, activities, and objectives, and to recruit and acquire international support”.

The intelligence community says that the way ISIS uses social media and online presentations has also been a game changer for recruitment. And the FBI last week declared that the US has a terror recruiting problem, with 25 people detained this year, a surge compared to last year.
The @_UmmWaqqas Twitter account has been one of the more popular pro-Islamic State accounts, particularly among women, with 8,000 followers. Her account defends ISIS brutality; she justifies the burning to death of the Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh as “an eye for an eye”.
While Twitter has moved aggressively in recent months to shut down ISIS-linked accounts, Umm Waqqas shared multiple ISIS documents on emigration months before her account was finally suspended earlier this month.

Bring two flashlights. Expect to be robbed. And don’t take taxis that will rip you off.

This is advice offered within the ISIS travel guide linked to by Umm Waqqas; a practical guide to making ‘Hijrah’ (emigrating) to join the Islamic State group. She is herself referenced within its pages as a key ISIS contact – someone who can help you join the Islamic State group.
So it’s no surprise that she is regularly sent requests for help on Twitter from people eager to sign up. Not only does she share guides written by others, she also posts her personal advice on how to emigrate successfully; she states the importance of having someone to vouch for you, for instance.
She also uploaded screenshots of four pages of the official ISIS magazine, which explain the importance of Muslims joining the Caliphate, accompanied by the word “enjoy”.
The pages give advice to those considering emigrating to the Islamic State, on how to accomplish it and the spiritual justification for doing so. She says there are “swarms of families flocking to [Islamic State].”
Also see:

Australian Doctor joins ISIS – in video encourages others

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By Cultural Jihad, April 28, 2015:

Dr Kamleh, who refers to himself as Abu Yusuf, urges other Muslim medical professionals to travel to IS-controlled territory and join in the Islamic State Health Service.

Australian Islamic State doctor Tareq Kamleh’s sudden change after mystery trip in 2013

From: Sydney Morning Herald
By:  Tammy Mills, Patrick Hatch and Rachel Olding, April 28, 2015

Australian jihadist doctor Tareq Kamleh morphed suddenly from a partying “playboy” doctor to a strict Muslim after a mysterious camping trip, former colleagues say.

Dr Kamleh, who up until recently was working in the health system in Perth, appeared in a propaganda video for Islamic State released this week where he spruiked its health services and asked other Muslim clinicians to join him.

But before this recent infamy, he was working as a pediatrician at a Mackay hospital in north-east Queensland and it is here that former colleagues say he underwent a seismic shift in his personality.

Known as a partying and drinking playboy who constantly cheated on his girlfriend, Dr Kamleh embraced a fundamental interpretation of the religion of his parents in a few short days in 2013, colleagues said.

FULL STORY: http://www.smh.com.au/national/australian-islamic-state-doctor-tareq-kamlehs-sudden-change-after-mystery-trip-in-2013-20150427-1mui3m.html

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

COMMENT/ANALYSIS:  This story is consistent with other reports that the Islamic State appears to be establishing a social infrastructure, something we reported in September 2014.   Earlier this week there were news reports of the first Islamic State birth certificate.

The media response to this has resulted in a variety of news stories.  One painted the doctor as a “sexual predator“.  Another interviewed a former classmate who stated the doctor was “attracted to violence”.

Dr Kamleh could be charged with a range of criminal offenses for joining/supporting a terrorist organization.  If convicted, he would face maximum sentences of between three and 25 years in prison.  He could also be imprisoned for up to 10 years for travelling to the Al-Raqqa province in Syria,   a proscribed area under the Crimes Act.   A criminal investigation has been initiated and the doctor’s home was searched.

Michael Gannon, president of the WA branch of the Australian Medical Association, told the West Australian on Monday that he was “appalled” and …

It’s mind-boggling that the death cult could hold appeal for an educated man.

He’s involved in an evil, evil cult and I think he should face much greater sanction than just being told you can’t be a doctor in Australia any more.

It was reported that Dr. Kamleh had mentioned in December that he was considering joining Doctors without Borders.

***

Also see:

ISIS Fighters, Supporters Hijack #BaltimoreRiots Twitter Hashtag, Discuss Race Issues, Urge Attacks On Policemen

MEMRI, April 28, 2015:

The following report is a complimentary offering from MEMRI’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

On April 28, 2015, Islamic State (ISIS) supporters and fighters took over the trending Twitter hashtags “#BaltimoreRiots” and “#BaltimorePurge,” in order to champion the merits of the Islamic State, criticize democracy, and shed light on the race-related riots currently making headlines in the U.S. It should be noted that ISIS frequently takes advantage of such calamitous events, including those involving race, in the West, in order to promote their beliefs.[1]

For more on this subject, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1153, The Issue Of Race In The Discourse Of The Islamic State (ISIS) And Its Supporters, April 16, 2015.

The following is a review of some of the tweets from these accounts.

British Islamist Anjem Choudary tweeted: “#BaltimoreRiots even where they absurdly celebrate a black skinned leader racism still rears its ugly head. Time for change, time for Islam!”[2]

A Jordanian ISIS fighter hijacked the trending Baltimore hashtags to show off his weapons, with a photo of rifles, bullets, grenades and an ISIS flag accompanied by the hashtags “#BlackLivesMatter, #BaltimoreRiots, and #Islamic State.” In Arabic he wrote: “Strife is dormant. May Allah bless whoever awakens it. #America_Burning.”[3]

Female ISIS supporter Muslimah1 shared a meme by the Birmingham, UK-based radical Islamist organization Invite to Islam[4] showing a black ISIS fighter sitting between two white comrades. The text reads, “Our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in his final sermon: ‘No Arab is greater than a non-Arab, and no non-Arab is greater than a Arab, except in whoever fears Allah most.”[5]

The American-Palestinian “Umm Jihad,” who is an outspoken female ISIS supporter and who currently resides in the West Bank,[6] tweeted a photo of three ISIS fighters of different races posing together with the caption, “Currently in love with this picture. Skin color means nothing in Islam or in Dawlah [ISIS].”

She also tweeted, “Americans are worried about Dawlah who are all the way overseas when they should be worried about their police forces.”

ISIS supporter Abu Al-Mundhir Al-Salafi tweeted a photo of German rapper-turned-ISIS fighter Denis Cuspert sparring playfully with a white fighter, with the comment: “Brotherhood in the Islamic State between blacks and whites #ISIS #BaltimoreRiots #FreddieGray #BaltimorePurge.”

ISIS supporter Rami Allah tweeted photos of orderly scenes from the Islamic State and contrasted them with images of chaos from the riots in Baltimore. His caption read: “Make no mistake: this looting & sabotaging is happening in #Baltimore #BaltimoreRiots #USA not in #Tikrit #Iraq #ISIS.”[7]

Twitter user Abu Tawbah called for attacks on policemen, writing: “Fighting the corrupt police is a good thing. They are guard dogs of tyrants. Hope the protesters kill as many as possible. #Baltimore Riots.”

He further suggested, “They should behead any cops caught & bomb the rest till they retreat. Simple insurgency tacits would defeat the pigs. #Baltimore Riots.”[8]

Female supporter “Umm Qisas Asomaliyah” tweeted, “Shariah implementation of the laws of God is the only answers to this oppression. #BaltimoreRiots.”[9]

User Abu ‘Abdallah tweeted a photo of Australian ISIS suicide bomber Jake Bilardi sitting between two ISIS fighters of different ethnicities, and wrote: “#BaltimoreRiots Different languages different colors different nationality But one god #BaltimorePurge.”

Twitter user Al-Jabali Uthman 15 tweeted: “The evolution of the black man in #America Nothing much changed, from slavery to … #BaltimoreRiots.” Included in the tweet are images of black slaves, blacks fighting with cops during the Civil Rights Era, and current clashes with police.

Twitter user Pray4Sham[Syria] shared a photo of two fighters of differing races, writing, ” This is two best friends from different race, Abu Sa’eed Al Britani & Shaheed Abu Abdulluh Uzbeki. #Noracism.”[10]

User Colonel Shaami advised: “Once a IS video release comes out everyone should use #BaltimoreRiots hash tag Baqiyah needs to take over that hash tag noooow.”[11]

Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, an American fighting with the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab in Somalia,[12] tweeted a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. participating in a civil rights march and commented: “Don’t buy into the Martin story. This man never gave u freedom. Just mental slavery. #BaltimoreRiots #YouNeedShariah.”[13]

Another user, Omar, tweeted a meme of Malcolm X with a quote by him: “America needs to understand Islam, this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. True brotherhood.”[14]

Why Adam Gadahn’s Killing Matters To Al-Qaeda

Adam Gadahn Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Adam Gadahn Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

MEMRI, by Steven Stalinsky, April 24, 2015:

On April 23, 2015 the White House announced that Adam Gadahn, the first American to be charged with treason since World War II and the man known as Al-Qaeda’s American spokesman, had been killed inadvertently in a U.S. drone attack in January in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. It seems inconceivable that 35 years ago in California, a little-known Jewish psychedelic musician, himself the son of a prominent Zionist doctor, and his wife brought into the world a son, Adam Pearlman, who would become one of America’s most notorious traitors in the war on terror.

In 2004, at age 26, Gadahn made it to the FBI’s most wanted list. He trained in Afghanistan terrorist camps, and was asked by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Muhammad to join a plot for a suicide attack outside Baltimore. A sealed indictment dated September 8, 2006 accused Gadahn, aka Al-Qaeda operative “Azzam the American,” of helping the terror organization with communications and propaganda, serving as its English translator, and providing it with information about American culture and vulnerabilities. The following month, the U.S. government formally announced treason charges against him.

Adam Pearlman’s parents converted to Christianity and took the last name Gadahn. Adam’s first contact with Islam came when his father sold meat he had slaughtered to Muslim halal markets. As a pimply, head-banging 17-year-old, Adam embraced Islam at an Orange County mosque. Until the summer of 2006, the University of Southern California’s (USC) Muslim Student Association’s online compendium of Muslim texts included an essay by “Adam Pearlman” titled “Becoming Muslim,” which stated: “Having been around Muslims in my formative years, I knew well that they were not the bloodthirsty, barbaric terrorists that the news media and the televangelists paint them to be.”

His first Al-Qaeda video appearance was in October 2004; a masked Gadahn declared, “Allah willing, the streets of America will run red with blood.” In his next video, which aired on Al-Jazeera on September 12, 2005, he explained, again masked, that Al-Qaeda’s numerous post-9/11 audio and video recordings communiqués had been “released to explain and propound the nature and goals of the worldwide jihad against America and the Crusaders and convey our legitimate demands.”

Both Gadahn’s knowledge of American culture and his media skills played a significant role in the development of As-Sahab, the Al-Qaeda media company; he was one of its key officials. He also laid the groundwork for other homegrown terrorists and for the use of the Internet for cyber jihad. High-ranking members of the Al-Qaeda leadership – even leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri – told Americans to listen to his words.

In his next video appearance, on July 8, 2006, Gadahn, unmasked for the first time, warned, alongside footage of 7/7 London suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer and of Al-Zawahiri: “When we bomb their cities and civilians… no sane Muslim should shed tears for them.” In a subsequent video, released January 6, 2008, Gadahn renounced his U.S. citizenship as he ripped up his passport.

From 2004 onward, Gadahn starred in nearly two dozen Al-Qaeda videos, producing, narrating, and providing graphics for many more. In most of his appearances, he was seated at a desk, usually with a computer and a rifle; in 12 years, he appeared outdoors only once. Most of his early videos were in English, but over time he began speaking in Arabic.

While some government and counterterrorism analysts have debated Gadahn’s importance, the fact is that he was a trailblazer in inspiring and helping to recruit American youth to join Al-Qaeda. No other Westerner, let alone American, was ever as close to the leadership of Al-Qaeda, including its late leader Osama bin Laden, current leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and even 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad.

Gadahn’s importance within Al-Qaeda was confirmed by the May 2012 release of the Abbottabad documents found in the May 2011 raid on bin Laden’s compound; the documents revealed that he had been one of the few people in contact with bin Laden and had actively advised him before his death. One, a 21-page letter, was filled with both media advice and general advice about the future of Al-Qaeda and the direction it should take with respect to its affiliates and their actions.

Not only did Gadahn help Al-Qaeda reach a wider audience, but his appeal to prospective recruits resonated with those seeking a direction and attracted to radical Islam. His personal story showed that anyone in the West, even the grandson of a Jewish Zionist doctor, could become a global jihad leader. In particular, he was influential among the American converts with little Arabic who comprise some of the increasing number of Westerners joining and pledging loyalty to Al-Qaeda and, now, to ISIS; Gadahn recordings have been found on the computers of many Westerners arrested on terrorism charges.

Beginning in 2010, Gadahn, now under the alias of Abu Suhail, regularly provided articles and interviews to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP’s) English-language magazine for jihadis in the West, Inspire, reaching an entire new generation of recruits.

Gadahn last surfaced in October 2014, in the inaugural issue of Resurgence magazine – the Al-Qaeda media company As-Sahab’s English-language mouthpiece for the recently formed Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). In the cover story, “Besiege Them!” he called for the establishment of the Caliphate and focused on economic tactics for combatting the West, concluding with a call to Muslims worldwide to wage jihad and warning the West that Al-Qaeda’s war on it has only begun.

The killing of Adam Gadahn is a significant blow to Al-Qaeda. This is because he was a big part of Al-Qaeda’s media outreach efforts, in particular outreach to potential Western recruits. Following the emergence of ISIS and its proficiency at producing English-language content, including online magazines and videos, and at distributing them via social networks – efforts which far surpassed Al-Qaeda’s – Gadahn’s death will increase the already significant gap in the rivalry between the two organizations. However, like Osama bin Laden and Yemeni-American sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki, his legacy will live on, on YouTube and other platforms and outlets where his videos are viewed every day by the increasing numbers of Westerners turning to jihad.

Steven Stalinsky is Executive Director of The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). He is the author of the upcoming book release: American Traitor – Inside the Mind of Adam Gadahn – Al-Qaeda’s U.S. Born Leader.

Also see:

Inside a Brit’s ISIS bomb-making factory

IED labDaily Mail, By JOHN HALL and TOM WYKE, April 22, 2015:

A British former car mechanic who joined the Islamic State as an explosives expert and sniper has shared chilling images of his new high-tech bomb-making factory in Syria.

Hamayun Tariq, a divorced 37-year-old who was born and raised in Dudley in the West Midlands, shared four images on Twitter of a room where he claims to make devices known as IEDs.

Components are seen organised on shelves and instruction manuals and bomb-making equipment neatly laid out on work surfaces in the room, which the father-of-two says he hopes will emerge as ‘the best Electronics LAB in the Islamic state’

IED lab 2Tariq’s social media presence rarely last longer than a few days before being suspended as he specialises in posting detailed instructions on how to build bombs.

Despite already doing the same on his latest account, the militant has been able to share images of his bomb-making factory, where he boastfully claims to spend time ‘producing sophisticated IEDs’.

Terror: Hamayun Tariq is a divorced, 37-year-old father-of-two who was born and raised in Dudley

Hamayun TariqTariq – who uses the nom de guerre Abu Muslim al-Britani – has methodically arranged the room into areas for building bombs and areas to check their function.

He clearly uses expensive equipment, including high-tech microscopes, laptops and radiation testers while building the IEDs and detailed bomb-making manuals are dotted around the factory.

After posting photographs of his ‘laboratory’, the jihadi wrote on Twitter: ‘IEDs is my favourite weapon after Sniping, u hit the enemy & disappear in thin air just like a Ghost. Its a Must’.

Tariq served a sentence for fraud in the UK before joining ISIS in Syria late last year.

Shortly after joining the terrorist group he began posting detailed explosive-making instructions and encouraging ‘lone wolves’ still living in the West to carry out deadly bomb attacks.

Tariq has previously posted under various Twitter handles but he is usually suspended rarely quickly thanks to bomb-making guides and sickening calls for terror attacks in the UK.

He regularly posted photographs of handwritten instructions explaining how to assemble crude explosive devices and listing the chemicals needed to create deadly poisons.

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