An ISIS-linked Telegram channel is urging supporters in the West to carry out attacks on Jewish communities, encouraging them to disguise themselves as Jews and strike Jewish targets, particularly in the U.K.
“IF YOU’RE STILL IN THE WEST! Dress up like a Jew! Go to your nearest Jewish area! Make sure you have plenty of weapons under you coat! Then unleash the pain of the Muslims upon these A.P.E.S!!!,” the post says.
Entitled “LM” or Lone Mujahid, the chat room aims to be a resource for terrorist-wanabees who are looking to carry out so-called ‘lone-wolf’ jihad.
The channel routinely posts large dumps of files including PDFs and video tutorials on carrying out successful ‘lone wolf’ operations. Resources include videos, guides and tutorials, ranging from knife attack infographics to bomb assembly and oddly enough, full-length tutorials on Krav Maga, an Israeli-themed martial arts and self-defense technique.
A subsequent entry contains a list of Jewish communities in the U.K. above a photo of Paris Kosher Supermarket terrorist Amedy Coulibaly with a caption, “Take the brother’s (rh) example and terrorize the Yahood” (Jew).
Coulibaly, also known as Abu Basir Abdullah al-Afrika, shot and killed a Paris policewoman in January 2015 before killing four hostages a day later at the Hyper Cacher Supermarket in Paris, a Kosher supermarket frequented by Jews. He was killed in a subsequent shootout with police later that day.
In December 2016 the channel posted a call to jihadists to prepare and launch attacks to coincide with Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year.
“Christmas, Hanukah and New Years Day is very soon InshaAllah. So let’s prepare a gift for the filthy pigs / apes,” reads one post, below a screenshot of a pressure cooker bomb-making tutorial.
ISIS has increasingly focused its ‘counter offensive’ on inspiring supporters in the West to launch attacks in their neighborhoods.
Previously, the Islamic State issued many rallying calls, urging followers to make Hijrah or a pilgrimage to join the Islamic State’s caliphate in Syria and Iraq.
But as the Islamic State has lost its edge and much of its territory with the added challenges for those traveling to the Middle East from the West, the flow of foreign fighters, once as high as 2,000 a month, has plummeted to as little as 50.
The late ISIS commander Abu Mohammad Al Adnani emphasized the importance of local jihad, famously instructing jihadis that “if the tyrants have shut the doors of hijra [immigration to ISIS territories] in your face, then open the gate of jihad in their faces and make them regret their action.”
Adnani, a chief propagandist for the Islamic State, died in a coalition airstrike in August 2016, but his message has become a cornerstone for jihadis to channel their militancy towards targets back home in the West.
In addition to the January 2015 attack on a Paris Kosher supermarket, there have been several other ISIS attacks on Jewish targets across the globe.
In May 2014, Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year-old French national of Algerian origin opened fire at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, killing three people. A fourth died later due to injuries sustained in the attack. Nemmouche was arrested later that month. Police recovered a recording with a claim by nemmouche in the name of the Islamic State.
Belgian officials investigating the suicide bomb attack at Brussels airport last year believe the attackers were intending to hit Jews and Americans.
“We know they wanted to target Americans. It’s clear they had quite specific targets… We know they were obsessed with the Israelis, too,” a source told the AFP.
In South Africa in July 2016, twin brothers Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie were arrested for an alleged ISIS-inspired plotto target the U.S. Embassy and Jewish targets in Pretoria.