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ISIS Forum Discusses Bizarre Plots For New Terror Attacks

A group on a pro-ISIS gathered to brainstorm "lone wolf" attack strategies to be carried out in the West
Jun 29, 2016 at 1:11 PM ET
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Illustration: Vocativ

ISIS supporters are discussing creative ways for so-called lone wolf agents to “attack infidels inside their countries.” They point to the recent massacre in Orlando, conducted by a man inspired by ISIS’ ideology but who’d never had formal contact with the group, as well as to other attacks. Users taking part in the online discussion have thrown forth some fairly realistic ideas—like sending fake Anthrax to scare politicians—along with terror plots that are downright zany.

The thread, on ISIS’ al-Minar forum, was created Tuesday by a user named Ilami Tunisi (which translates roughly to “Tunisian media man”). He writes, “Lone-wolf brothers in Western countries are carrying out suicide attacks against our enemies all the time… I’d like to suggest ways to attack the enemy inside their countries without exposing the wolves to death or certain arrest.”

Users in the forum responded by sharing their ideas, all varying degrees of bizarre. Ilami Tunisi, who created the thread, shared most of the ideas there and led the discussion. His first was to ignite wildfires. Do it “in a professional way,” he writes. “Coordinated wildfires… will be disastrous for their economy, will burn their houses, and will kill some of them.” Later in the thread, the self-described Tunisian suggests sending politicians, famous people, and soldiers envelopes full of powder that they’ll assume is Anthrax. “Of course, it isn’t easy to find real Anthrax or poison, but just the suspicion will give the enemy a nervous breakdown and disrupt their work,” he writes.

From there, the ideas move closer to the stuff of caper movies: One user suggests pouring motor oil onto highways early in the morning. Presumably, the idea is that the roads will be empty then (letting the would-be terrorist pour unseen), and that the motor oil will cause cars to slip and crash, like an old comic on a banana peel.

Another far-fetched ideas is to spread the Zika virus—”a nightmare for Americans today.” The user writes, “I’m suggesting lone wolves, who have the financial capability and an American or a European passport, travel to an infected country… take some infected mosquitos… and “smuggle them inside America or Europe, and establish a farm to multiply them.” The user provides a map of Zika-infected countries and writes darkly that once the mosquitos spread, the would-be terrorist will “see the results in nine months.”

ISIS forums, like the one discussed above, are part of an active corner of the internet where self-identified supporters of the terror group gather. Many may not be formally linked to the group itself or actually involved in terrorist activity, but rather just fans, chatting online. Several of the biggest social networks have actively targeted pro-ISIS accounts; Twitter removed a reported 125,000 accounts linked to the Islamic State earlier this year.