The 21st Century Phenomenon


On 08/14/2008 FOX TV news revealed that a newly discovered online Al Qaeda manual is giving intelligence officials new insight into how the group’s leaders are training recruits to further move the organization from a centralized operation toward smaller global cells.

The manual, called “Method for Building the Personality of a Terrorist Mujahid” and written by an Islamist forum contributor nicknamed “Shamil al-Baghdadi,” encourages militant followers to stop focusing on pulling off attacks on the scale of The 9/11 and to start executing numerous smaller attacks.

The new manual, which allegedly surfaced on an Islamic Web forum already in 03/2008, outlines a number of lessons, from how to form a terror cell to fundraising efforts. It advocates assassinations by shooting, poisoning and booby-trapping cell phones and computers. The manual prioritizes targets by ranking and lists categories such as “high profile,” which represent presidents and prime ministers.

Targeted organizations have a similar ranking, in which state sponsored groups are listed as “high-potential” organizations. Recruits are also told to organize credit card scams and to rob police stations in order to get weapons.

Most shocking are the lessons on kidnapping, with orders to slaughter hostages in a way that will terrify the public. “I propose you start with those that have blood on their hands torturing and suppressing Muslims like high-ranking intelligence officers, the governor or any foreign official,” writes al-Baghdadi.

As Al Qaeda cells become localized and more autonomous, terror experts say the techniques outlined in the manual illustrate of changing the face of the organization itself.

Summary ;

* Since the London 7/7 attack in 2005 Al Qaeda completely failed in executing yet another high profile attack. It is no wonder that a change in tactics is almost essential for Al Qaeda.

* Almost all the terror plots foiled in the Western Europe in the last three years where bearing the hallmarks of the “new” tactics.  

A. A spontaneous formation of terror cell based on friends, family, neighborhood, workplace and the local Mosque. (See – London 7/21,  the Doctors plot, Oslo Synagogue, Odense cell, etc.. )

B. Financing the new formed cell by credit cards frauds or other sorts of crimes.

 C. To obtain the necessary knowledge and knowhow through the web.

D. To select the targets according to the accessibility, opportunity and ability of each cell.

E. The Birmingham beheading plot, which was foiled already on 01/31/2007, was a spontaneous local group fully focused on the psychological impact of terrifying the public – just as the manual suggests a year and a half later.  

In UK the decentralization and evolution of Islamic terror vent even further to be an initiative of individuals such as the cases of Andrew Ibrahim and Nicky Reilly.

Indeed the nature of Islamic terror changed but long before the new manual was published – The reality of terror preceded the theory in at least three years (see – Terror changes).  

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