After the Ohio State attack in which several staff and students were stabbed by a fellow student but no one suffered life-threatening wounds, the Islamic State has gone back to the drawing board in their instructions for lone jihadists on how to go on stabbing sprees — with a picture tutorial this time.
ISIS claimed the Ohio State attack through its news agency, Amaq, about a day after Abdul Razak Ali Artan rammed his car into a group of people who had left a building because of a fire alarm on Nov. 28. Eleven were wounded in the car attack or were stabbed by Artan after he got out of the car. An officer who was near the scene because of the fire alarm short Artan dead.
ISIS wrote about Artan, a Somali refugee who had graduated from a local community college and was in his first year at Ohio State, days later in their weekly newspaper, al-Naba, but notably betrayed some disappointment as within the article they emphasized Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was a good example for lone jihadists in terms of body count.
In today’s new issue of Rumiyah magazine — which was published in English in addition to Russian, German, Croatian, Pashto, Urdu and Indonesian — ISIS again refers to Artan as “our brother” and includes his attack in their roundup of global terror operations over the past month.
“The attack was carried out in response to the Islamic State’s call to target the citizens of the nations involved in the Crusader coalition,” the article states, before printing Artan’s full Facebook message.
“My brothers and sisters, I am sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured everywhere. Seeing my fellow Muslims being tortured, raped, and killed in Burma led to a boiling point. I can’t take it anymore,” the message said. “America, stop interfering with the Muslim Ummah. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that. If you want us Muslims to stop carrying out ‘lone wolf’ attacks, then make peace with the Islamic State. Make a pact or a treaty with them where you promise to leave them alone, you and your fellow apostate allies.”
“By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims. I am warning you, O America!” he added, encouraging fellow Muslims to ignore “celebrity scholars” and “listen instead to our hero Imam Anwar al-‘Awlaki,” the New Mexico-born al-Qaeda recruiter killed five year ago in a U.S. drone strike. “Let me ask you this question: If Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, and his Sahabah were here today, wouldn’t the western media call them ‘terrorists’?”
“To conclude: By Allah, I am willing to kill a billion infidels in retribution for a single Muslim or Muslimah.”
The Ohio State student waged his attack after the October issue of ISIS’ Rumiyah instructed to lone jihadists to launch random knife attacks, with a warning to pick a suitable blade for the job. The article included graphic detail, but no how-to images.
The November issue moved on to a different type of lone attack tutorial — or “just terror” attacks, as ISIS calls them — encouraging that jihadists use a heavy vehicle such as a U-Haul to plow into a crowd.
After Artan’s attack, though, ISIS apparently felt it needed to double back to the knife tutorial with simpler, illustrated instructions.
In a full-page graphic in the new Rumiyah issue, ISIS reminds lone jihadists to aim for the neck, chest or stomach and to pick a suitable blade. To illustrate which knives not to choose, ISIS shows a butcher block of kitchen knives and a folding blade. They show “the ideal knife” as having a fixed blade, hand guard, and strong handle, as well as being of “suitable length.”
They also readdress the issue of choosing targets, in a strong suggestion that Artan chose unwisely for his skill level. Small groups, the infographic says, are good “for shocking terror (if one is capable).”
A lone victim — showing a photo of a person walking along a street at night — was the first suggested target, “for prolonged terror campaigns.”
Large groups — showing a crowded, busy city sidewalk — are “not advised.”
The infographic, which borrows from the how-to instruction long favored in al-Qaeda publications, refers jihadists back to the October issue of Rumiyah and its original article on knife attacks “for more info.”
Al-Qaeda has been issuing special guides reviewing lone attacks, including ISIS-claimed operations, to teach would-be terrorists what the jihadist did right and where he dropped the ball.
“It was better to put the bomb in a place where people are gathering and standing around it, such as a shopping center,” al-Qaeda wrote of the 9/17 bomb left in a Chelsea Dumpster, a lone attack not claimed by any terror group. “This is because people pass by quickly besides garbage containers and they don’t normally stand beside them. This explain[s] the result of the injured in the operation.”
Al-Qaeda has not yet reviewed the Ohio State attack.