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Sunday, March 3, 2024

ISIS Scolds Wannabe Jihadists Who Make ‘Easy Prey’ for Intel, Ruin Attack Plots

After a steady trickle of arrests in which federal prosecutors detail how ISIS adherents plotted with or confided in undercover assets, the terror group frustratingly lashed out at trusting or sloppy would-be jihadists in a new tutorial slamming “easy prey” in their ranks of wannabe jihadists.

The “take precautions” article, published in a recent issue of ISIS’ Arabic-language weekly al-Naba newsletter and also distributed in English, warned that an unsuspecting jihadist can be led to “what is opposite his purpose, thereby harming his brothers when, in fact, he wanted to help them.”

Those “longing to go to jihad must not push them to throw themselves into the hands of the Crusader and taghut [tyrant] intelligence and thus become an easy prey,” the ISIS directive said, beginning with the order to “do not trust those you do not know.”

“Hunting down the mujahidin on their way to the fields of jihad is still one of the easiest ways for them to be arrested. In their countries of origin, they are hidden from watching eyes and their intentions are often unknown… but on the road their intentions are exposed, often because of the evidence against them which they entrust to their supposed coordinators. They have no protection, because on their journey they have no weapons. That is why arresting them at this stage is more efficient and easier for the enemies of Allah,” continued the ISIS article.

ISIS warned that their adherents “may also fall prey to spies and intelligence agents who fill the internet and use covers that outwardly shows support for jihad and its people, in order to gradually lure those who are not careful enough and ensnare them in their nets.”

“Then the operation proceeds gradually step by step until they get them into the trap that was set for them, at a place where they can catch the muhajir or eliminate him. Then they present what they did on the media as a major intelligence victory,” the article noted, adding that their fear is other ISIS operatives being caught in a lone operation.

Jihadists are responsible to “find a safe way” and “not throw himself and his brothers at every door that opens before him,” and ISIS also declared it’s better for a would-be jihadist “to be a few months late” in a terror quest “than exposing himself and his brothers to ruin and fitna [strife], as he may hurt other brothers who were not known to the enemies of Allah.”

The second rule handed down in the article was to “work in silence and count on what you have,” as ISIS warned followers “it is even more dangerous for a mujahid” to ask strangers on the internet for financial support or weapons “or merely to connect him with those responsible for foreign operations” within the terror group in order to declare allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi or claim an attack in the name of ISIS.

ISIS again decried how jihadists were being reeled in by intelligence agencies, monitoring them and leaving them “surprised that what he said to those he thought were his brothers is in the file of his case with the investigators.” They accused “the FBI and other Crusader agencies” of engaging with and entrapping ISIS supporters on the internet before the adherents had formulated attack plans.

“What makes a brother who wants to carry out an attack meet one he does not know to help him in the execution in some way? Who puts himself in danger and risks the safety of his plan by telling others about it, even when he knows with certainty that his contact with those he does not know and putting his trust in them is a big risk he is not obligated to take?” ISIS continued.

Ultimately, they said, reaching out to ISIS “to coordinate activity” is “a good thing,” but “it never precedes the safety of the brother and the success of his activity.”

Jihadists were then instructed that “Allah tasks a person according to his means,” whether that means using “car, trucks, and matchsticks they turn into weapons.”

The article said that a claim of responsibility crediting ISIS doesn’t need to be any fancier “a piece of paper in his pocket” as “news of his operation will reach the media in one way or another.” ISIS has previously suggested rudimentary methods of claiming responsibility from spray paint at the attack scene to deposited notes.

If a would-be jihadist “meets with misfortune or falls into an error, he will have no one to blame [but] himself for what happened,” the terror group added.


Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a terrorism analyst and security consultant with a specialty in online open-source extremist propaganda, incitement, recruitment, and training. She hosts and presents in Homeland Security Today law enforcement training webinars studying a range of counterterrorism topics including conspiracy theory extremism, complex coordinated attacks, critical infrastructure attacks, arson terrorism, drone and venue threats, antisemitism and white supremacists, anti-government extremism, and WMD threats. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15 and a private investigator. Bridget is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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