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Jihadist Use of the Internet 2008-2011 Overview 3: Online Training Materials

Moving on with his overview of Jihadist activities on the Internet, Jeff Bardin outlines the variety of training resources available online.

Interpretations of Jihad online

Interpretations of Jihad online

There are many interpretations to Jihad available online. In particular, the Salafi created their own e-books that convert those looking to become radicalized or learn about Jihad and the views from the Salafi standpoint. They can download these e-books and go through them.

There is one such section in a chapter in this particular e-book on Jihad, and it regards Muslim prisoners of war. In the States if a Muslim POW is able to escape, then it’s mandatory for him to do so. And if he can escape and capture with him any enemies, take any of their property or kill them, he should do so. If the POW is released with the conditions that he agrees to, then he must fulfill those conditions in order not to end up harming other Muslim POWs or causing the enemy to think that Muslims are untrustworthy.

Interesting statement there: the Muslim POW is not allowed to marry a Christian or a Jew in the land of disbelief, because the children in this case might follow their mother’s religion. And he is not allowed to marry a Muslim because they could force their children to apostate or they could be enslaved. The Muslim POW should be patient until they return to Muslim lands.

Regarding enemy POWs, a stronger opinion is that the imam should do what is most beneficial for the Muslims: to execute them to free them without anything in return, or to free them in return for freeing Muslim POWs, to charge for their freedom or to enslave them. The ruling on women and children POWs is that they become slaves by default. If a Muslim kills a POW, the Amir has the right to punish him; the punishment less than the least punishment of a major sin, usually is less than 10 lashes, and so on. So you get your view of Jihad and different rulings within these different e-books out there. These, again, help educate and help in the radicalization process, all available online on the Internet.

Academic view of explosives

Academic view of explosives

Now getting to more of an academic view of explosives: there’s all kinds of documentation on how to actually create explosives using various chemicals (see left-hand image). All these books that you see here listed have been painstakingly scanned or in PDF format made fully available on different sites as linked from the Jihadist vBulletin forums.

In addition, they have instructions on where and how to place bombs in public places, giving instructions on how to hide the packages, how to bring them in, how to ensure that you are fully hidden with respect to your clothing, and you blend into the marketplace. It is a step-by-step methodology on how to place these bombs in public places, and it is definitely a highly trafficked article. In addition, you combine this with the academic side of explosives. Eventually you’re going to have to go to test these out from a physical perspective and ensure that you can actually build them adequately without harming yourself.

Jihadist seeking help online

Jihadist seeking help online

One such budding Jihadist was asking where he could actually find the Mujahideen Handbook, or any video demonstrating how to create the suicide belt (see right-hand image). Well, response came back very quickly from another junior member, who said: “This is where you can find it, my brother. You can find it at this location, archive.org,” which is still there today. And here’s a snippet as well of some of the images from that video that shows the glue, the actual board with ball bearings set in the glue, how to slide it inside your belt and put the belt on. It also shows how effective it is with putting it on a dummy and then blowing it up around metal devices, so you can see how it hits. They also get into pounds per square inch and how much explosive it actually takes to have a significant effect on the human body.

Specifications for explosives

Specifications for explosives

Once again, using US specifications: these are actual images of the Oklahoma City bombing (see left-hand image); they’ve translated it into Arabic, and also some of the specifications that were provided as a result of those actions by Timothy McVeigh. It also gets into best practices for pounds per square inch and how much explosive you need to have based on the size of the vehicle, whether it’s a compact sedan all the way up to a semi-trailer; the number of kilos of explosive and the feet that will be effective from the red, yellow or white perspective, and their effect on the human body based on certain distances. This has been published and made available out there as well, so they have an idea exactly what the impact would be based on how much explosive they pack into whatever particular device they’re going to use.

Discussions on Pillars of Khilafah site

Discussions on Pillars of Khilafah site

This particular site (see right-hand image), Pillars of Khilafah, as it existed then on Google Groups, is no longer available. But it was something that was referred to through a Muslim forum, and you could go in and participate in the Google Groups out there on the Pillars of Khilafah. Now, what is Khilafah? It’s basically the political system of Islam; under the Khilafah the entire breadth of the Islamic system: social, economic, educational, foreign policy, etc. are implemented.

Khilafah is also responsible for spreading the message of Islam to the world. And the Islamic state, which the Prophet, peace be upon him, sought to create and worked for in Mecca for a period of 13 years until he, peace be upon him, established it in Medina, served as the first model of the Khilafah. It’s ruling by Islamic laws, and it’s basically the way of life, and the representation of the one who has the right to adopt the divine rules. The representation here of Pillars of Khilafah, you could find it through multiple different links and sites at the time, and it is now gone. It also had a WordPress site that corresponded with it.

One of the Jihadist videos created in August of 2009 was pure propaganda. The whole point there was the alignment of the US with Pakistan. Trying to look very academic, one can see that the person speaking has got medical books down the bottom left, different Islamic books. He’s trying to show that he is very learned, and it was definitely quite a prop put up there to set that up. He’s actually a medical doctor. He is not an imam or related to religion in any way, such as Awlaki was.

The Path to Doom availability on the web

The Path to Doom availability on the web

Interesting observation here is that doing a search on the Path to Doom soon after it was posted, I found 1,63 million instances of the Path to Doom around the Internet (see left-hand image), whether it was archive.org or muslim.net/bb, vBulletin Bahraini forums, Flickr, all the different forums and sites, as well as news sites, were actually carrying links to or information about the Path to Doom. It spread very fast and became viral.

One of the well-known Jihadist videos is very interesting in how it starts out very idyllic and cherubic – green grass, very contrary to location; this was done in Iraq. But it was trying to tie very closely the idea that the West and Christianity is at war with Islam. So, constantly trying to make this tie as part of the indoctrination process, part of the alignment to something that doesn’t exist; the crusade type of mentality.

Obsession with aircraft and flying

Obsession with aircraft and flying

There continues to be an obsession with aircraft and flying. This particular site (see right-hand image), although relatively innocent, covers anything and everything you could think of relative to flying. It’s amazing what is out there. You name it – it is there, relative to flying.

A recent posting in translation about this particular site related some information on how to get involved in this activity: “We need to study and learn military industries, engineering and technology for the next stages of Jihad. Each one of us can become the owner of a specialized training through the systematic study at a university or institute for specialization, which is required for the Mujahideen. But a warning to those who enter a university to study dentistry and then say that this is for the sake of Allah. To study any discipline, the Mujahideen must choose something really useful to prepare for Jihad, and nothing less. Attend study and sessions held by the specialization centers in engineering, aviation, chemistry and computers. This is characterized by two things: short duration of the study, focus on practical applications of the topics, and enroll in institutions for working professionals in your current craft, if possible”.

The whole idea here is to use it always for the needs of the Mujahideen with Jihad in mind. Again, this site has anything you can think of, from remote control aircraft to simulators, training, location, online training, flight safety, simulators – it’s all there. One of the things they also warn on is not coming to the US to study; to do it in the Gulf States for the most part and to stay clear of the United States and any identification of this activity.

Detailed study of ambushes

Detailed study of ambushes

Other training includes more militaristic-type training, such as ambush techniques (see left-hand image). This particular document translated is a detailed study of various types of ambushes: kill members of the enemy and set up choke points in ambush areas. One here in particular is L-shaped ambush that they view as pretty successful in various locations, including Iraq and Afghanistan. This is from 2010 translation, and it’s pretty detailed and explains how to go about performing these ambushes; most likely taken from US field manual that was made available online. Regardless, it continues the education process prior to actual physical training and execution at a terrorist camp.

Innovation related to bombs

Innovation related to bombs

There’s been great innovation when it comes to bombs and bomb making relative to the Salafis (see right-hand image). In this case it’s actually a Yemeni and his brother. But the phone shown here down on the bottom left were the phones used in Madrid bombings that killed 200 people. The phones can be set up as self-timed triggers, devices that can be triggered by phone call or text. There’s a detailed instruction online on how to use these devices in videos and in text.

And it demonstrates proper methods to deploy explosives without harm. Such phones have been used as human anal inserts in one such instance in Saudi Arabia, where the brother one still sought the enemy bomb maker behind the underwear bombers and placing explosives in printer parts was used as a human explosive. The phone serving as a remote triggering device inserted in the rectum, while the bomb triggered the device inside his rectum remotely.

He passed through two sets of airport security, metal detectors and police security in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and it’s reported that the conversation was recorded by Al Qaeda. You hear a beep in the middle of two identical phrases that are repeated by the bomber and his handler, and a text message then activates the bomb. Luckily, the Saudi royal family member was not injured much beyond an arm and hand here. Others did die; this shows splatters from the lower half of the body of the gentleman here (image above). It was very innovative in using the human body. We hear things about planting explosives inside of people, but it actually already has happened, and it’s not that far-fetched.

The Tarek Mehanna case

The Tarek Mehanna case

One such individual who took his online training to actual execution was Tarek Mehanna (see left-hand image). There are lots of “Free Tarek” sites out there. This took place in Massachusetts, where Tarek was set up by a friend of his and recorded planning and plotting to possibly execute a Columbine-style hit on the mall in Massachusetts.

Regardless, here is some of his indictment and things that he did. Here one of the things actually was translate the 39 ways to serve and participate in Jihad, and he was trying to educate others on this. So, he was moving from a relatively online training to an execution and finding ways to get others involved in this and to align others in his effort. Regardless, he’s now serving prison term, but he was caught with a lot of this information in hand, and was participating in different activities at the local mosque.
 

Read previous: Jihadist Use of the Internet 2008-2011 Overview 2: Cyber Jihad Methods and Tools

Read next: Jihadist Use of the Internet 2008-2011 Overview 4: Forensics and the Hierarchy of Murder

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