Homeland Security

ISIS Guide: Rent U-Haul as a Weapon, Target Thanksgiving Day Parade or Political Rallies

A policeman looks at the truck used for an attack on Bastille Day crowds in Nice on July 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Following up on their October instructions for lone jihadists to conduct knife attacks, the Islamic State’s latest magazine offers tactical instructions on how to use a vehicle as a weapon to inflict the greatest damage.

Their muse, of course, is Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, who plowed a cargo truck through a crowd of Bastille Day revelers in Nice, France, this summer.

“Vehicles are like knives, as they are extremely easy to acquire. But unlike knives, which if found in one’s possession can be a cause for suspicion, vehicles arouse absolutely no doubts due to their widespread use throughout the world,” states the article in the third issue of Rumiyah, ISIS’ recently launched monthly English-language magazine, adding that cars are one of the “safest and easiest” weapons as well as “most successful in harvesting large numbers of the kuffar [disbelievers].”

ISIS encourages shying away from budget sedans and “off-roaders, SUVs, and four-wheel drive vehicles” that “lack the necessary attributes required for causing a blood bath” as “smaller vehicles lack the weight and wheel span required for crushing many victims.” They recommended trucks with double wheels for “giving victims less of a chance to escape being crushed by the vehicle’s tires.” Long semi trucks are discouraged because of the possibility of jack-knifing.

The article encourages jihadists to find a vehicle with a “metal outer frame which are usually found in older cars, as the stronger outer frame allows for more damage to be caused when the vehicle is slammed into crowds, contrary to newer cars that are usually made of plastics and other weaker materials.”

A picture of a U-Haul truck is shown with the caption “an affordable weapon.”

On the next page of the article, a picture of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is shown with the words “an excellent target.”

ISIS also specifically names political rallies, congested Main Streets, outdoor markets, and “any outdoor attraction that draws large crowds” as targets, particularly “low security” gatherings that “are fair game and more devastating to Crusader nations.”

Jihadists are told to take their vehicle, whether bought or rented, for a test drive before the big event and make sure they have a full tank of gas, in addition to conducting surveillance “in an inconspicuous manner” on the target to check for things like speed bumps.

Ideally, the article says, ISIS claims of responsibility should be flying out of the windows during an attack.

(From ISIS' Rumiyah magazine)

(From ISIS’ Rumiyah magazine)

“An example of such would be simply writing on dozens of sheets of paper ‘The Islamic State will remain!’ or ‘I am a soldier of the Islamic Sate!’ [sic] prior, and launching them from the vehicle’s window during the execution of the attack,” would-be jihadists are told.

“In a bid to ensure utmost carnage upon the enemies of Allah, it is imperative that one does not exit his vehicle during the attack. Rather, he should remain inside, driving over the already harvested kuffar, and continue crushing their remains until it becomes physically impossible to continue by vehicle. At this stage, one may exit the vehicle and finish his operation on foot, if he was able to obtain a secondary weapon. He could also remain in the vehicle, targeting pedestrians, the emergency services, or security forces who arrive at the scenes of just terror, until he is martyred.”

That secondary weapon, the magazine said, can be a gun or knife. “Depending on what is obtained, the kill count can be maximized and the level of terror resulting from the attack can be raised.”

The issue does not mention Donald Trump or the presidential election; ISIS talked about the  “impulsive and unpredictable” president-elect before the election in a voting guide.

Rumiyah does feature the English-language translation of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s recent address and an advice article for Muslim men on how to keep their wives from venturing outside of the house.