Al-Qa’ida publishes guide for aspiring jihadists
Paul Bignell is an Assistant News Editor at The Independent. He has previously been the acting News Editor of the i Paper, a home news reporter for The Independent for one year and a reporter for the Independent on Sunday for six years.
Friday 31 May 2013
MI5 is said to be “concerned” about the publication of a new al-Qa’ida “pocket-book” guide to carrying out lone-wolf terrorist attacks.
The 64-page online guidebook, aimed at aspiring British jihadists, urges people to conduct terror operations on home soil instead of travelling to fight overseas.
Published by Inspire Magazine, al-Qa’ida’s publishing arm based in the Arabian Peninsula, the how-to-guide offers detailed instructions describing how to commit atrocities, ranging from staging “lethal ambushes”, destroying buildings by creating gas leaks, using pressure cookers to blow things up and starting forest fires.
Calling on US, Canadian, French as well as British would-be jihadists to “cause terror and chaos”, it asks those who commit attacks to “leave a note” describing why they did so if they aspire to martyrdom.
A source at MI5 told The Independent they were “concerned by the sheer volume of material available online”, with particular concern levelled at the pocket-book because it was clearly targeted at younger groups by using street lingo and text-speak. One particular phrase reads: “R U Dreamin’ of wagin’ jihad against kuffar? There’s no need to travel abroad because the frontline has come to you.”
The book, which can be found online in seconds by performing a simple Google search, uses step-by-step points to illustrate its messages and specifically cites Britain as a viable place to achieve “maximum carnage”. “This could be implemented in countries like Israel, the US, Britain … where the Government and public sentiment is in support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” it says.
MI5 is concerned the handbook could fall into the hands of younger, impressionable people who are prone to becoming radicalised.
A Home Office spokesman said: “We are determined to stop the misuse of the internet by those who seek to poison the minds of the vulnerable. Since it was set up in 2010, the Internet Referral Unit has seen 5,700 posts removed from the web. We filter extremist sites to prevent access from schools and libraries and work closely with internet service providers to help remove offensive material. The Home Secretary has pledged to look again at the rules to see if they can be made tougher.”
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