A new video out of ISIS’ Al-Khayr province in Syria suggests jihadists emulate the on-hand weaponry of the Nice attack with at-home items such as a power screwdriver, baseball bat or hypodermic needle.
The death toll in the July 14 attack on the French coastal city, in which a Tunisian living in Nice drove a cargo truck into a Bastille Day crowd, rose to 86 a few days ago as another man died of his injuries. Eighty-three were killed at the scene.
French authorities initially declared that the truck driver, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, had no known links to terrorism. The attacker’s uncle said Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, claimed by ISIS as one of their own, was recruited by an Algerian shortly before the attack even though he “didn’t pray, didn’t go to the mosque and ate pork.”
His choice of a truck as a weapon has been fueling the ISIS call for lone jihadists to use whatever weapons are convenient and less likely to arouse suspicion.
As far as targets, the new video focuses largely on France and the United States. After giving weapons suggestions, the video shows a white man in a white T-shirt and jeans carrying a black bag and approaching a gate with a French flag flying overhead.
The video begins, though, with footage of Israel Defense Force soldiers clashing with Palestinians. It soon shows Catholics celebrating Mass and talks about kuffar (disbelievers) paying jizya tax to the Islamic State.
Among the multiple terror montages in the nearly 20-minute video are scenes from the World Trade Center on 9/11, specifically those trapped by the fire trying to summon help from windows or jumping.
They highlighted Hamas’ statement after the Nice attack, in which the Gaza terror group condemned the France attack “out of principle and moral and humanitarian rejection of all forms of extremism and terrorism.”
That July 15 Hamas statement added: “The movement emphasizes in this context that the Palestinian people are more than stung by the fire of Israeli terrorism, which our people are still suffering from for decades.” ISIS hopes to poach recruits from Hamas fighters in Gaza as they push toward Israel.
The ISIS video shows American polling places, including at Berryville Primary School in Berryville, Va., but does not show either candidate, just President Obama and his European counterparts. They also use footage of U.S. service members and drone operation, and a short clip that appears to be either news footage or a city video showing police officers receiving a briefing. The officers shown are from Medford, Ore. Another Medford officer lingers near the trunk of a patrol car.
The images of the West are broken up by people describing coalition strikes that hit their homes and photos of children allegedly killed in coalition airstrikes, telling jihadists that they have to get revenge.
After showing images of the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Rome, and the Statue of Liberty, the video encourages jihadists to diversify in their choice of weapons like the truck driver in Nice. They briefly show a do-it-yourself gun pattern, followed by a multi-bit ratcheting power screwdriver, a Louisville Slugger bat, a stock photo of a hand holding a test tube with an orange liquid, and a another stock photo of a hand holding a hypodermic needle with clear fluid inside.
Other suggestions include homemade explosives, a rock and a knife.
The video wraps up with footage of the Orlando shooting and praise of Mohamed Belkaid, an Algerian candy maker living in Belgium who was connected to the November Paris attacks and was killed by Belgian police in March, and Najim Laachraoui, one of the suicide bombers at the Brussels airport in March.
This story has been edited to reflect the location of the Berryville Primary School shown in the video