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July 15, 2016 1

Terrorist Propaganda Encourages Attacks With Common Items

The use of a vehi­cle to kill civil­ians in yesterday’s appar­ent ter­ror attack in Nice, France, serves as a reminder of how ter­ror­ist groups and their sup­port­ers encour­age their adher­ents to carry out attacks with com­mon resources.

In addi­tion to run-over style attacks, ter­ror­ists have encour­aged the use of com­mon items such as house­hold prod­ucts to make bombs, as well as var­i­ous other tac­tics in their online mag­a­zines, speeches and other propaganda.

Image encouraging car attacks from AQAP Inspire Mujahid Pocketbook propaganda

Image encour­ag­ing car attacks from AQAP Inspire Mujahid Pock­et­book propaganda

The fol­low­ing list pro­vides a sam­pling of some of the tac­tics pro­moted by for­eign ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions in the last sev­eral years. Notably, a num­ber of the sug­ges­tions are repeated by dif­fer­ent groups, and the use of vehi­cles in attacks is a com­mon theme.


  • The 14th issue of Dabiq, ISIS’s English-language pro­pa­ganda mag­a­zine, called on sup­port­ers to assas­si­nate promi­nent Mus­lim lead­ers in the U.S. and U.K. for not sup­port­ing ISIS, “with the resources available…(knives, guns, explo­sives, etc.).”
  • In a Jan­u­ary 2015 speech, al Adnani sim­i­larly called for attacks, “whether with an explo­sive device, a bul­let, a knife, a car, a rock or even a boot or a fist.”
  • An ISIS video released in Decem­ber 2014 stated, “There are weapons and cars avail­able and tar­gets ready to be hit. Even poi­son is avail­able, so poi­son the water and food of at least one of the ene­mies of Allah. Kill them and spit in their faces and run over them with your cars.”
  • In a Sep­tem­ber 2014 speech that was widely trans­lated and shared over social media, ISIS spokesman Abu Mohamed al Adnani called for ISIS sup­port­ers to com­mit lone wolf attacks against civil­ians, and pro­vided a num­ber of sug­ges­tions for doing so, includ­ing by run­ning them over. He stated: “If you are not able to find an IED or a bul­let, then sin­gle out the dis­be­liev­ing Amer­i­can, French­man, or any of his allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaugh­ter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poi­son him…. If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or busi­ness. Or destroy his crops.”

Al Qaeda:

  • Cover of the first issue of Inspire, AQAP's English-language magazine

    The first issue of Inspire pro­vided direc­tions to “make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom.”

    Fol­low­ing the ter­ror attack in Orlando, a June 2016 pub­li­ca­tion released by Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP) pro­vided advice for mak­ing copy­cat attacks more lethal and max­i­miz­ing their pro­pa­ganda value.

  • In May 2016, the 15th issue of Inspire mag­a­zine, AQAP’s English-language pro­pa­ganda magazine’s pro­vided sug­ges­tions for mak­ing bombs using read­ily avail­able items to con­duct the assas­si­na­tions, includ­ing pack­age bombs, small bombs under cars, and bombs that can be attached to a doorframe.
  • In March 2014, the 12th issue of Inspire mag­a­zine pro­vides instruc­tions for assem­bling car bombs out of “eas­ily avail­able” materials.
  • In 2013, Inspire mag­a­zine, AQAP’s English-language pro­pa­ganda mag­a­zine, issued a com­pan­ion pub­li­ca­tion titled the “Mujahid Pock­et­book,” which aggre­gated var­i­ous attack sug­ges­tions pro­moted in Inspire and pro­vided some addi­tional sug­ges­tions as well. Plot ideas included torch­ing parked vehi­cles, caus­ing road acci­dents, start­ing for­est fires, using vehi­cles to run over civil­ians, and build­ing bombs.
  • In Octo­ber 2010, sec­ond issue of Inspire mag­a­zine sug­gested using a mod­i­fied vehi­cle to run over civil­ians and pro­vided instruc­tions on build­ing an explo­sive device.
  • The first issue of Inspire mag­a­zine, released in July 2010, pro­vided instruc­tions for build­ing a pres­sure cooker bomb, which can be made out of com­mon house­hold items.

Other ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions and their sup­port­ers have been sim­i­larly active in pro­mot­ing var­i­ous spe­cific attack sug­ges­tions. This has been par­tic­u­larly clear among Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions and their sup­port­ers, who have pro­moted sug­ges­tions that par­al­lel those advo­cated by Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Ter­ror­ist sup­port­ers some­times pro­mote their own ideas for non­tra­di­tional attacks online as well. In a recent exam­ple, a dis­cus­sion on a pro-ISIS forum that ran between June and July 2016 included a num­ber of ter­ror attack sug­ges­tions from forum users, some of which had been sug­gested by offi­cial ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda as well. Among them were set­ting for­est fires and call­ing in false reports of bombs to dis­rupt the oper­a­tions of emer­gency services

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January 25, 2016 2

Terrorism in Israel in Perspective

By Jonathan Green­blatt
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League

This blog orig­i­nally appeared in The Jerusalem Post

Beit Horon Terror Attack

The news the past few days has been hor­ri­fy­ing. A mother of six chil­dren, a nurse, fatally stabbed in the door­way of her own home. Another woman, 18 weeks preg­nant, knifed.

And these ter­ror attacks fol­low scores of more shoot­ings, car ram­mings and stab­bings over the past four months at bus stops, in bars, and on street cor­ners in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Afula, and elsewhere.

I would not assert that the world peren­ni­ally ignores Israeli vic­tims and down­plays ter­ror­ism directed at Israelis. Just this week, react­ing to the heinous mur­der of Dafna Meir and the attack on Michal Fro­man, U.S. offi­cials called the attacks “bar­baric” and said they were “appalled’ by these acts of terror.

Yet, one can’t deny that this ongo­ing wave of ter­ror­ism tar­get­ing Israeli civil­ians has got­ten short shrift inter­na­tion­ally. Recent media overviews of ter­ror­ist attacks appro­pri­ately list inci­dents in Paris, Burk­ina Faso, San Bernardino, Bagh­dad, Istan­bul, and Nige­ria. But it’s impos­si­ble not to notice that almost all such lists omit men­tion of those in Israel. This tol­er­ance of ter­ror­ism against Israelis risks mak­ing it accept­able, and it must end.

Let’s put this vio­lence into per­spec­tive. Accord­ing to the IDF, since Sep­tem­ber 13, 2015, there have been 110 stab­bings, 38 shoot­ings and 22 car ram­mings, for a total of 167 ter­ror­ist attacks.  That’s an aver­age of 1.2 attacks every day for the last 19 weeks. Even more hor­ri­fy­ing, accord­ing to sta­tis­tics from Magen David Adom, 29 peo­ple have been killed in ter­ror attacks. With a per-capita adjust­ment, that’s the equiv­a­lent of 1,131 Amer­i­cans killed by ter­ror­ists in the last four months. While there have been some new sto­ries on the vio­lence, there have been numer­ous head­lines pro­claim­ing “Pales­tin­ian killed” while only not­ing below that the indi­vid­ual had been killed in an effort lit­er­ally to pre­vent them from stab­bing Israelis on a street corner.

Can you imag­ine the out­rage if that many Amer­i­cans were killed by ter­ror, or if Swedes were attacked by ter­ror­ists every sin­gle day for months?

To what can this muted response be attrib­uted?  Cer­tainly, there are some dif­fer­ences between the cur­rent ter­ror­ism afflict­ing Israel and the nature of the attacks in Paris or Nige­ria. The per­pe­tra­tors attack­ing Israeli civil­ians appear to be tar­get­ing Israelis alone, killing them sim­ply for the fact that they are Israeli. In con­trast, ter­ror­ists in Paris or San Bernardino appear to have been moti­vated to kill ran­dom indi­vid­u­als with the goal of expand­ing the threat and impact of the Islamic State.

But there’s more there. The real­ity is that, after decades of a pro­longed Israeli-Palestinian con­flict, the world has become accus­tomed to Israeli vic­tims of ter­ror­ist vio­lence in a way that sim­ply is not the case when it comes to inno­cents in Paris or Lon­don or New York. The world sees itself as uncon­nected and fun­da­men­tally un-threatened when the vic­tim is an Israeli and the per­pe­tra­tor a Palestinian.

More­over, while nearly all observers abhor such vio­lence, they don’t react with the same emo­tion induced by other acts of ter­ror­ism because of an under­ly­ing sense that the vio­lence is caused and even pro­voked by Israeli actions such as the ongo­ing occu­pa­tion of the West Bank. Observers seem to believe that this is not a black and white sit­u­a­tion that can be reduced to vic­tim and perpetrator.

But that is exactly what it is.

A benign tol­er­ance of vio­lence against Israelis is intol­er­a­ble. Ter­ror­ism is never jus­ti­fied, no mat­ter the rea­son. Sim­ply put, one can seek to right a wrong, but mur­der­ing peo­ple because of their nation­al­ity is always wrong. More­over, the fail­ure to con­demn such atroc­ity inevitably haunts those who stand idly by.

The secu­rity cri­sis in Israel has gone on too long with too lit­tle out­rage.  We owe it to all of them — Dafna and Michal, along with Naama and Eitam Henkin; Richard Lakin, Yaakov Lit­man and his son Netanel, and Ezra Schwartz, and many, many, more.

For them and for our­selves, it is our respon­si­bil­ity to ensure that there is vocal out­rage at ter­ror­ism of any sort and strong sup­port for the Israeli civil­ians who face this never-ending threat.

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January 25, 2013 1

American Sentenced For Planning Deadly 2008 Mumbai Attacks

David Cole­man Headley

A Chicago judge yes­ter­day sen­tenced David Cole­man Headley, a Chicago res­i­dent who helped orches­trate the 2008 ter­ror­ist attacks in Mum­bai, India, in which over 170 peo­ple were killed, includ­ing six Amer­i­cans, to 35 years in prison.

Headley pleaded guilty in March 2010 to con­duct­ing sur­veil­lance on a num­ber of tar­gets in Mum­bai between 2006 and 2008 on behalf of the Pakistan-based ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion, Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT). The tar­gets included the Chha­tra­p­ati Shiv­aji rail­way sta­tion, the Taj Mahal and Oberoi-Trident hotels, the Leopold Café, and the Nari­man House, the Mum­bai head­quar­ters of the Chabad Lubav­itch movement.

Indian news sources reported that Headley posed as a Jew dur­ing a July 2008 visit to the Nari­man House, where sus­pected mem­bers of LeT tor­tured and killed six peo­ple dur­ing the ter­ror­ist attacks four months later. LeT report­edly also tasked Headley with gath­er­ing details of Jew­ish cen­ters across India. In March 2009, four months after the Mum­bai attacks, Headley allegedly con­ducted addi­tional recon­nais­sance of Chabad Houses in sev­eral cities in India, which included other Jew­ish cen­ters in Delhi, Mum­bai, Goa, Pune and Pushkar.

Headley was also charged with plan­ning attacks with LeT tar­get­ing the Dan­ish news­pa­per that had printed car­toons depict­ing Muhammad.Since 2000 sev­eral other Amer­i­can cit­i­zens have been linked to LeT, which embraces an anti-Western ide­ol­ogy that demo­nizes the United States, Israel and India.

Although Headley faced life in prison, the judge lis­tened to pros­e­cu­tors’ rec­om­men­da­tions that he receive a lighter sen­tence due to his exten­sive coop­er­a­tion in other ter­ror­ism tri­als.  His coop­er­a­tion was most vis­i­bly demon­strated in the trial of his for­mer friend, Tahawwur Rana, who was con­victed in June 2011 of assist­ing Headley in plan­ning the attack in Den­mark and for pro­vid­ing mate­r­ial sup­port to LeT. Rana was sen­tenced to 14 years in prison on Jan­u­ary 17.

India has expressed dis­ap­point­ment in the lenient sen­tenc­ing, say­ing that “all those involved… should receive death,” and pledg­ing to con­tinue to seek Headley’s extradition.

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