from the Caliphate-of-Chaos dept.
Foreign Policy Magazine reports that a moderate Syrian rebel group in northern Syria has captured a black Dell laptop in a village in the Syrian province of Idlib close to the border with Turkey that contained 35,347 files that turned out to be a treasure trove of documents that provide ideological justifications for jihadi organizations -- and practical training on how to carry out the Islamic State's deadly campaigns. They include videos of Osama bin Laden, manuals on how to make bombs, instructions for stealing cars, and lessons on how to use disguises in order to avoid getting arrested while traveling from one jihadi hot spot to another. Most disturbing however, is that the ISIS laptop contains a 19-page document in Arabic on how to develop biological weapons and how to weaponize bubonic plague from infected animals. "The advantage of biological weapons is that they do not cost a lot of money, while the human casualties can be huge," the document states. The document includes instructions for how to test the weaponized disease safely, before it is used in a terrorist attack. "When the microbe is injected in small mice, the symptoms of the disease should start to appear within 24 hours," the document says.
"Nothing on the ISIS laptop, of course, suggests that the jihadists already possess these dangerous weapons. And any jihadi organization contemplating a bioterrorist attack will face many difficulties," write Harald Doornbos and Jenan Moussa. Al Qaeda tried unsuccessfully for years to get its hands on such biological weapons, and the United States has devoted massive resources to preventing terrorists from making just this sort of breakthrough. "The real difficulty in all of these weapons ... [is] to actually have a workable distribution system that will kill a lot of people," said Magnus Ranstorp. "But to produce quite scary weapons is certainly within [the Islamic State's] capabilities." The documents found on the laptop of the jihadist, meanwhile, leave no room for doubt about the group's deadly ambitions.