Without a doubt, ISIS has changed the terrorism game. They’ve leveraged technology to initiate attacks in places that they cannot physically reach. In the past, a terrorist organization in the Middle East would have to recruit, indoctrinate, and train members in the their locale, and then try to sneak them into whatever country they wished to target.
Now with social media and the internet, they can provide propaganda and training materials to millions of people who are already living in Western nations, and convince at least some of them to conduct attacks on their behalf. This way is much safer, easier, and more efficient for terrorist organizations.
And it’s opened the door to a wide variety of terrorist attacks that no one would have considered 20 years ago. Where once terrorist organizations were focused on grand gestures, like hijacking airplanes and blowing up buildings, now they can simply brainwash some dupe over the internet, and he’ll go out and shoot up a nightclub. But that’s just the beginning. The kinds of attacks that these people are pushing now look a lot less like 9/11, and more like the behaviour of a serial killer.
For instance, the latest issue of Rumiyah, an online magazine published by ISIS, is urging Muslims in Western nations to target civilians in a way that has never been discussed before. ISIS is telling them to lure and kill unsuspecting people through false advertisements for jobs and apartments. Several chilling quotes from Rumiyah were recently brought to light by the Middle East Media Research Institute:
As an example, one might advertise a job vacancy that Muslims would not seek, or that may only appeal to men. After garnering a significant amount of applicants, one can then arrange the ‘job interview’ location and times, spacing out the applicants’ appointment times so as to give oneself time to subdue classified sections, or by means of online sites for classified advertising, or by simply writing or printing out ‘For Rent’ advertisement posters which can be stuck on walls, lampposts, or in local store windows within the vicinity of the property in question, leaving a contact number that one can be reached on…
Whoever wrote this, put a frightening amount of forethought and planing into this new terror method.
…In order for the advertisement not to attract large families – thus making it difficult to initiate an attack, especially if one is alone in his operation – the advertisement should be for a small single room or studio apartment. This will help ensure that the viewer comes alone. It might even help to include in the ad that the apartment is ‘ideal for students…’
…Having a room specifically reserved for the disposal of the bodies of the targets is also important for the obvious reason of not alerting those intended victims entering the property after them. One must space out the arrival times of one’s victims, thus granting him the ability to initiate his attack while they are alone. One should not initiate his attack until the target has fully entered the property and is comfortable, so as to avoid any struggle and prevent the chance of him fleeing…
…One should ensure that if there are any screams from his victim, they do not result in the operation being compromised. This can be resolved by simply having a background noise that drowns out any other sounds, such as raising the volume of the television, radio, etc…
The article suggests that websites like Craigslist, Gumtree, Loot, and Ebay could also be used to post these ads. The author recommends that terrorists shouldn’t advertise items like cars, which wouldn’t “require the victim to enter one’s property,” and he suggests that the ads shouldn’t low-ball prices, “as this can attract the attention of authorities searching for stolen goods or possibly attract other suspicions.”
As the Islamic State crumbles, these lunatics are clearly doubling down on strategies that will allow their remnants to attack the West in ways that we really can’t defend against. In just goes to show that no matter what happens to ISIS, they’re leaving behind a world where terrorism is lurking behind every corner of society, and the battlefield is literally everywhere. Surely, that will make it even easier for the government to take away our freedoms down the road.