ISIS Video Teaches Lone Wolves How To Attack

The new clip, subtitled in English, provides detailed instructions on how to behead people and make bombs

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Nov 26, 2016 at 2:24 PM ET

ISIS’s official media channel on Saturday released a video encouraging and instructing would-be lone wolves on how to carry out terror attacks in the United States and Europe. The 30-minute clip, entitled, “You Must Fight Them, O Muwahhid (Believer),” was published by the group’s media arm in Raqqa, Syria, and was circulated on social media channels and online forums associated with the terror group.

The video, subtitled in English, features a French-speaking jihadi who goes by Abu Sulayman al-Firansi. After boasting about previous terror attacks conducted by ISIS in Europe, al-Firansi urges supporters around the world to carry out attacks inside countries that take part in the international coalition against the group “led by America, Britain, and France.”

The first part of the video focuses on “blade weapons.” Al-Firansi encourages sympathizers in the West to “open the door of jihad” and adds that “there is no need to use firearms, like a rifle or a pistol,” since potential attackers could use knives and other blades, which are much easier to obtain. After offering advice on what type of knives to use, he then instructs viewers on how to stab victims efficiently and how to carry out a beheading — before demonstrating his method on an actual person (likely a random captive held by the group).

Afterward, an Arabic-speaking masked ISIS member named Abu Nur al-Shami, offers a lesson on “how to make simple explosive substances with common ingredients” that followers “can make in their homes using simple tools.” Standing in a kitchen, al-Shami hosts what is essentially a jihadist cooking show, one that teaches viewers how to make bombs rather than biscuits. The lesson is disturbingly detailed and easy to follow.

Charlie Winter, a senior researcher at the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR) who focuses on the Middle East, said that while clips like this one are nothing new, ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, has recently been churning out more hands-on videos. “Over the last few months we have a noticeable uptick in the amount of propaganda that is being released that actually gives detailed advice on how to carry out attacks in the Islamic State’s name,” he told Vocativ on Saturday.

Winter added that many ISIS sympathizers communicating on social media and messaging apps such as Telegram have aired enthusiasm about the video and are urging others to share it as much as possible. “I think this is one of the most dangerous videos the Islamic State has ever produced,” he said. “Bomb-making manuals on the internet are notoriously terrible. What this video does is show someone actually going through the process, and showing what they’re looking out for and what they’re trying to avoid.”