Islamic State Virtual Coaches for "Lone Wolf" Attacks
"They are virtual coaches who are providing guidance and encouragement throughout the process."
"If you look at the communications between the attackers and the virtual plotters, you will see that there is a direct line of communication to the point where they are egging them on minutes, even seconds, before the individual carries out an attack."
Nathaniel Barr, analyst, Valens Global, counterterrorism consultants
|ISIS terror manual showed lone-wolf jihadis how to use lorries as weapons to “crush many victims” in Berlin and Nice-style attacks SITE|
"Race a car into the gatherings and meetings of the unbelievers."Before Islamic State saw itself being challenged on the turf it had established for itself in Iraq and Syria for its caliphate, which it was steadily growing as it conquered one city, one town, one village after another until it had carved out an impressively wide swath of both countries for itself, its celebrated atrocities proudly featured on their various public relations sites were accomplished by themselves alone. Those accomplishments were what attracted new recruits, drawn to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as soldiers of Islam.
"Get out of your car and, God-willing, you will go to paradise. Run over the unbelievers, it's the simplest method to kill them as shown by the Nice effect."
"Brothers, surrender lots of the unbelievers and Allah will show you mercy for killing so many of them."
"A single brother with only one car rented from the unbelievers killed over 90 dirty unbelievers in Nice - when will the German Nice finally come?"Islamic State on-line "Lone Wolf" manual of jihad
Islamic State is now finding itself constrained in its ambitions. It is finally being challenged and facing opponents less likely to turn and scatter in fear of the terrorists' fearsome reputation for barbarity. Although theirs is a well-earned reputation, in actual fact it hardly represents a list of ghastly offences against humanity that the Baathist Alawite regime of Bashar al-Assad of Syria has not itself visited on its own Syrian Sunni subjects.
The Turkey-maligned Kurds in Syria and Iraq are proving their mettle as fighters, however. Trained in updated strategic warfare practices against such an enemy by NATO forces, and with the aerial bombing backup of U.S.-aligned-and-led groups, Islamic State is finding its territory shrinking as towns and cities are being freed of their jihadist grip, and in the process they are losing their jihadi fighters as combat casualties and deserters.
To compensate and continue their threats against the West, they have altered course, no longer sending conflict-trained recruits from training camps in Syria and Iraq to the West, but stepping up their social media contacts to stimulate, incite and encourage Islamists living in non-Muslim countries to adapt their jihadi skills to 'lone wolf' terrorist attacks. These loners who appeared to be operating on their own recognizance have puzzled government agencies.
But investigations have revealed that those terrorists initially labeled as loners are actually Islamists who have been recruited to specific attacks, designed and promoted by Islamic State, which also arranges in many instances, to provide the nascent attackers with the arms and explosives they would need to carry out their scheduled attacks. This new strategy on the part of ISIS has enabled it to stretch its presence by proxy into France and Malaysia, Germany, and Indonesia, Bangladesh and Australia, Canada and the United States.
Since travel to Syria has become more difficult to achieve, Intelligence services have learned to identify aspiring jihadists and as they are identified and their plots unveiled and followed, arresting dozens of aspirants in preparation for their Islamic State-designed attacks. One such recruiter and virtual plotter was known as Abu Issa al-Amriki whom recruits contacted through encrypted messaging app Telegram.
Amriki was one among a dozen cyberplanners in Syria or Iraq actively recruiting volunteer jihadis abroad, identified by investigative research in North America, Europe and Asia. In 2015 they were viewed as a looming threat and identified as such by the U.S. and Great Britain who were tracking their methods and concurrently attacking them with airstrikes with the intention of putting them out of business.
Amriki was hit and killed when a bomb flattened his Al Bab, Syria apartment, killing his wife as well. It had been determined by the United States Department of Defense that Amriki had been planning attacks on three continents; grooming attackers in Canada and Britain and across America. One of whom was a former member of the Army National Guard in Virginia, a warehouse worker from Columbus, Ohio, and a 24-year-old in Rochester, New York.