As Jordan follows through on its vow of "earthshaking retaliation” by launching air strikes against Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Syria two days after the jihadist organization released a video showing captured Jordanian pilot, 27-year-old Lt. Moath Al Kasasbeh, being burned alive, the Islamic State’s General Security Bureau issued a communiqué on February 4 announcing ISIS is offering a reward to anyone killing or wounding a Jordanian pilot and thereby preventing him from taking part in airstrikes against the Islamic State.
“Appended to the communiqué is a list of Jordanian pilots allegedly supplied by the captured pilot Mu’adh Al Kasasbeh before he was burned alive,” said the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) which monitors jihadi social media sites. “Muslims in Jordan and Syria are urged to attack these pilots or alternatively provide information on their whereabouts,” ISIS declared.
Posted on the Twitter account of an ISIS media operative, MEMRI said, The communiqué begins with Koranic verses (Al Tawbah 14-15), “Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of the believers, and remove the anger of the believers’ hearts. Allah accepts the repentance of whom He wills. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.’”
“It then states, ‘The Islamic State’s Shura Council offers a reward to anyone killing or wounding a Jordanian pilot and preventing him from flying as part of the Crusader coalition that is attacking Muslims in the Islamic State,’” MEMRI reported. “The communiqué specifies that the reward is 100 gold dinars in Islamic State currency, or the equivalent in any currency the recipient prefers. It notes that the Islamic State is willing to dispatch the sum to any location selected by the recipient, provided he demonstrates he has met all the conditions for receiving the money.”
Attached to the communiqué is a list of 52 Jordanian pilots whose names were allegedly supplied by Al Kasasbeh.
The list identifies the pilots’ addresses, ranks and jobs. Among the named are Zaid ‘Ali Naqrash, commander of the Muwaffak Al Salti Airbase, and Jamal Jabour Al Mardini, “who is mentioned by Al Kasasbeh in the execution video as the fellow pilot who alerted him to the fact that his plane had been hit by a missile,” MEMRI said. “The communiqué urges all Muslims in Jordan and Syria to attack the pilots on the list or at least provide useful information that would help reach them.”
Both ISIS and Al Qaeda in recent months have urged jihadists throughout the West to target military members and high-level government officials.
The latest issue of Inspire magazine published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – released on Christmas Eve, the 5th anniversary of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s Christmas Day 2009 bombing attempt on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 — is devoted to inspiring lone wolf jihadists in the US and the West, and especially urges attacks on specific airline companies. Named targets include American, United, Continental and Delta airlines, as well as British Airways, EasyJet, Air France and Air France KI.
Other objectives include “direct economic targets” and high-profile “economic personalities” like former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (the current issue of Inspire says he’s the current chairman, raising questions about when the current issue was produced – Bernanke stepped down in February) and “wealthy entrepreneurs or company owners” like Bill Gates.
Titled Neurotmesis: Cutting the Nerves and Isolating the Head (Neurotmesis is a Greek word meaning "to sever the nerves”), the latest issue of Inspire is very similar to the previous issue, as it focuses on instigating Muslims to carry out lone wolf attacks against the US. The focus on attacking the US is signaled in a letter by Yahya Ibrahim, the magazine’s editor-in-chief.
"Hereby, Inspire magazine is committed to arm Muslim individuals — as well as Muslim groups as is in this issue — in their Jihâd on America.”
In June 2011, Homeland Security Today first reported that 11 of the nation’s top military leaders at the time were among 58 past and present military, corporate and civilian officials who were identified by members of the Al Qaeda-linked Ansar Al Mujahedeen jihadist forum as infidels who should be murdered, according to a jihadist “hit list” that accompanied a June 6 Florida fusion center bulletin.
The bulletin coincided with an unusual flurry of similar alerts that were issued at about the same time by the FBI, Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and came on the heels of then FBI Director Robert Mueller having told the Senate Committee on the Judiciary that one of the early assessments from intelligence seized at Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan is that Al Qaeda is committed to continuing attacks against the United States.
While some officials downplayed the “hit list” as wishful thinking by Al Qaeda-sympathetic jihadists, other counterterrorism authorities went on high alert in response to the jihadi forums’ members’ disturbing talk of assassinating top US military and corporate leaders, especially in light of testimony a few weeks earlier in a federal terrorism trial that revealed a senior Al Qaeda official had ordered Lockheed Martin chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Stevens assassinated because his company manufactures UAVs used by the US military in strikes against Al Qaeda and Taliban strongholds in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Al Qaeda leadership targets in Yemen and in special operations in Somalia.
In recent months, both Al Qaeda and its affiliates and the Islamic State have repeated their call for jihadists in the West to kill military personnel and law enforcement officers.