ISIS is encouraging jihadists to use websites like Craigslist and eBay to lure victims to their property to take them hostage and kill them.
A recent edition of the Islamic State magazine, Rumiyah, has published tutorials on vehicle, knife and arson attacks for lone jihadists, who it praised as having ‘set heroic examples with their operations’.
The magazine, which is published online in ten languages, encourages terrorists to buy guns at shows and to ‘create as much carnage and terror as one possible (sic) can’ when taking hostages.
Meanwhile, ISIS is also creating a social media site where fanatics will be able to recruit others and share extremist material, a top EU official has said.
The Islamic State magazine, Rumiyah, has published tutorials on vehicle, knife and arson attacks for lone jihadists, who it praised as having ‘set heroic examples with their operations’
The magazine article says that the objective of taking hostages is ‘not to hold large numbers of the kuffar hostage in order to negotiate one’s demands’.
Instead, it says to create terror with ‘the language of force, the language of killing, stabbing and slitting throats, chopping off heads, flattening them under trucks, and burning them alive, until they give the jizyah [tax] while they are in a state of humiliation’, according to PJ Media.
The magazine suggested that terrorists take people hostage at malls, movie theaters, night clubs, ice-skating rinks, restaurants and college campuses.
But they were also encouraged to lure hostages through online advertisements on Craigslist, Gumtree, eBay and Loot.
One suggested lure was to advertise a studio apartment for rent, small enough not to ‘attract large families’, and trap and kill interested renters.
‘It might even help to include in the ad that the apartment is ‘ideal for students’,’ ISIS writes.
The magazine also suggests listing things for sale online and ‘specify that collection and payment is only available in person and that only cash is accepted. Also, the item being advertised should be something that requires the victim to enter one’s property’.
‘It is likewise important to be realistic when advertising and not advertise something far below its valued price, as this can attract the attention of authorities searching for stolen goods or possibly attract other suspicions,’ the article states.
The article states that terrorists ‘should not initiate his attack until the target has fully entered the property and is comfortable, so as to avoid any struggle and prevent the chance of him fleeing’.
The magazine suggested that terrorists take people hostage at malls, movie theaters, night clubs, ice-skating rinks, restaurants and college campuses. But they were also encouraged to lure hostages through online advertisements on Craigslist, Gumtree, eBay and Loot
Operations with fewer jihadists are encouraged to pick targets with fewer exits and suggests terrorists to perform acts on ‘days on which police and other security forces might be preoccupied with national or local events’.
Meanwhile, Europol Director Rob Wainwright says a social media for fanatics that could rival Facebook is on its way.
Wainwright said the new online platform was uncovered during a 48-hour operation against Internet extremism last week.
‘Within that operation it was revealed IS was now developing its very own social media platform, its own part of the Internet to run its agenda,’ Wainwright told a security conference in London. ‘It does show that some members of Daesh (IS), at least, continue to innovate in this space.’
During a Europol-coordinated crackdown on IS and al Qaeda material, which involved officials from the United States, Belgium, Greece, Poland, and Portugal, more than 2,000 extremist items were identified, hosted on 52 social media platforms.
Jihadists have often relied on mainstream social media platforms for online communications and to spread propaganda, with private channels on messaging app Telegram being especially popular over the past year.
Technology firms, such as Facebook and Google, have come under increasing political pressure to do more to tackle extremist material online and to make it harder for groups such as Islamic State to communicate through encrypted services to avoid detection by security services.
However, Wainwright said that IS, by creating its own service, was responding to concerted pressure from intelligence agencies, police forces and the tech sector, and were trying to found a way around it.
‘We have certainly made it a lot harder for them to operate in this space but we’re still seeing the publication of these awful videos, communications operating large scale across the Internet,’ he said, adding he did not know if it would be technically harder to take down IS’s own platform.