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July 21, 2016

AQAP Releases Issue 2 of Inspire Guide After Nice Attack

Inspire Guide Nice Attack Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

Cover image of the Inspire Guide

Al Malahem media, Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP)’s pro­pa­ganda wing, released a new pamphlet examining the details of the July 14 attack in Nice, France, and encouraging copy-cat attacks.

The pamphlet is the second in a series called “Inspire Guides,” which state that they are designed to  “[pro­vide] guid­ance to the Lone Mujahid (fighter)” and to “follow-up, guide, put right and cor­rect Lone Jihad oper­a­tions in order to real­ize the best mil­i­tary and polit­i­cal results that serve the gen­eral policy of the Mujahidin (fight­ers) in our war with America.”

The first Inspire Guide was released in the aftermath of the June 12 shooting in Orlando, and provided tips for amplifying Al Qaeda’s message and increasing casualties in copycat attacks.

The new guide was released on Telegram on July 12. It proclaimed that Muhammad Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who conducted the attack, “executed the operation in its totality and perfection,” and suggested only that extremists seeking to replicate it refer to Inspire magazine, AQAP’s English-language propaganda magazine, for tips on increasing the lethality of truck attacks.

The speed with which the Inspire Guide was released after the Orlando and Nice attacks stands in contrast to the irregularity of Inspire magazine, which has produced a sporadic 15 issues since it was first published online in 2010. Unlike the magazine, however, both issues of Inspire Guide have consisted of only a few pages on one subject, without any graphics or attempts at sophisticated design.

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July 21, 2016

Arizona Arrest Reminder of Link between Terror and Anti-Semitism

Mahin Khan arizona terror plot

Mahin Khan

Court proceedings have indicated that Arizona resident Mahin Khan, arrested on July 1 for allegedly plotting to bomb a DMV on behalf of ISIS and the Pakistani Taliban, had considered directing his attack against a local Jewish Community Center (JCC) before choosing the DMV as his final target. His planning, as well as anti-Semitic statements he made, serve as a critical reminder of the nexus between anti-Semitism and Islamic extremism.

Khan had allegedly indicated his interest in attacking the JCC in an October 2015 conversation with an undercover FBI employee that was relayed in court on July 20, 2016. The criminal complaint filed against Khan also quoted him as requesting ammunition to target Jews, saying, “Need AK and pistols can u do that wanna take out marines and jews (sic).”

News reports suggest additional evidence of Khan’s anti-Semitism as well. A former classmate of his reportedly claimed that, “At one point he went as far as to say ‘what Hitler did was good.’ And he told me that he did not like the Jewish people.”

  • Khan is the 22nd U.S. residents motivated by Islamic extremist ideology to plot or consider an attack against Jewish or Israeli targets since 2002.
  • He is the 5th U.S. resident arrested in Arizona related to activity motivated by Islamic extremist ideology since 2002. Three additional Arizona residents have also been linked, but were killed or arrested outside the state.
  • Khan is the second U.S. resident to consider attacking a domestic Jewish target in 2016. The other was James Gonzalo Medina, a Florida resident arrested on April 29, 2016 accused of plotting to blow up a Florida synagogue during the Passover holiday on behalf of ISIS.

ADL has written a report about the connections between anti-Semitism and Islamic extremist ideology, which also includes a list of U.S. residents linked to terrorism since 2012 who expressed anti-Semitic motivation and a list of plots against Jews and Jewish institutions worldwide.

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July 15, 2016

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.

ISIS:

  • 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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