After four years, possibly being encouraged at withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan, Al Qaeda has issued a statement encouraging lone wolf jihadist attacks. More than 10 years ago investigative reporters uncovered Al Qaeda’s plans for “Open Source” Jihad against the Chicago skyline. Now they’re back with a new high-gloss publication for radical followers and a new video, encouraging violent attacks on America by one-person jihadists and lone wolf terrorist.
According to information, during the past decade, hundreds of people were killed and seriously injured by truck-ramming attacks from jihadist groups and lone wolves. The one-man rampages were encouraged by Al Qaeda and Islamic State (ISIS) propaganda outlets with the call for continuing such attacks targeting ‘infidels’ and ‘Jews and Christians’.
In the new edition of Al Qaeda’s Inspire Magazine, this notorious jihadist outfit has called upon for continuing attacks on Americans in the United States. This propaganda content praised Ahmad Al-Issa, an American from Syria who is accused of killing 10 people in March this year in a Colorado grocery store.
In addition to their usual anti-American terrorist rhetoric, jihadists are urged to obtain so-called “ghost guns” to commit violence. The components for these do-it-yourself gun kits are readily available on the internet, require no authorization to buy or sell, and are nearly impossible for authorities to trace.
On April 14, 2021, both Al Qaeda and the pro-Al Qaeda propaganda outlet Jaysh Al-Malahim Al-Electroni (Electronic Battle Army) released magazines that include articles about the cultural strife in America and the West more broadly. The articles touched on the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection, the racial justice protests in summer 2020, and the deepening of American political divisions. Both articles portray the West as declining and divided.
The Jaysh Al-Malahim article, entitled “The Lone Wolf and the Protests,” encourages Islamist extremists to take advantage of the unrest to further destabilize Western society, while the Al Qaeda article, “America is Burning,” gleefully predicts the imminent collapse of America into civil war.
According to counterterrorism experts, as Al Qaeda’s capabilities have been severely degraded because of America’s continuous efforts in countering terrorism, the global terrorist outfit appears to believe its best hope of achieving a terrorist attacks against the West is to inspire domestic extremists and radical Muslims.
In April this year, the Jaysh Al-Malahim article, entitled “The Lone Wolf and the Protests,” encourages Islamist extremists to take advantage of the unrest to further destabilize Western society, while the Al Qaeda article, “America is Burning,” gleefully predicts the imminent collapse of America into civil war.
Both articles were released to coincide with the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Historically, Islamist extremist groups have marked the holiday with an increase in the pace and complexity of their attacks, along with a media campaign to highlight the religious significance of jihad. The fact that Al Qaeda has chosen to focus so heavily on turmoil in the West confirms that, even as it entrenches in local conflicts, the group still views its ultimate goal as engaging in a far-reaching, global jihad.
The Al Qaeda piece, “America is Burning,” was released in the One Ummah magazine. It posits that the US has been severely weakened by the COVID-19 pandemic, is on the brink of economic collapse due to stimulus spending and faces insurmountable divisions along racial and political lines. Most provocatively, the article predicts that the proliferation of weapons and the psychological distress of the pandemic is rapidly pushing America towards a second civil war.
The Jaysh al-Malahim’s Wolves of Manhattan magazine article “The Lone Wolf and the Protests,” meanwhile, suggests that the sweeping political protests across the West present an opportunity for Islamist extremists to further destabilize those countries. It offers lone wolves a variety of recommendations, suggesting that extremists infiltrate large, chaotic protests like the French Yellow Vest protests or the American unrest after the 2020 Presidential election.
Islamist extremists, the article continues, should target police officers with car ramming attacks or by inciting violence between police and protestors. It also offers a US$60,000 Bitcoin bounty to any extremist who kills a Jewish, Christian or atheist police officer in a Western country. While several counterterrorism experts said, Al Qaeda does not have the financial capacity of paying the bounty amount, according to my opinion, during the past several years, jihadist and terrorist outfits around the world, including Al Qaeda, Islamic State or Iranian proxy Hezbollah, Hamas and Houthis have started generating millions of dollars by involving into illegal drug trade. It is also anticipated that now these jihadist outfits will have extended opportunity of making money by dealing into opium and crystal meth from Afghanistan.
In my opinion, risks posed by jihadist threats will greatly increase in the coming days, especially once the Taliban establish absolute control in Afghanistan.
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