Homeland Security

ISIS Notes Brit Target List: 'Big Ben, Soldiers, Shopping Centers, Banks and Stations'

French security and forensic officers are seen at the Super U supermarket in the town of Trebes, southern France, scene of a terrorist attack on March 23, 2018. (Pascal Rondeau/Abaca/Sipa via AP Images)

ISIS promoted last week’s France terror spree in this week’s issue of their newsletter by rubbing in the fact that the attacker was already on a terror watchlist, and also highlighted the work of a British man who tried to raise an army of child jihadists in the UK.

Since last Friday’s attacks in Carcassonne and Trèbes, ISIS supporters have been promoting the “just terror” lone jihadist strikes and have been encouraging others in the west to follow lead of attacker Redouane Lakdim. The 28-year-old French-Moroccan first carjacked a vehicle in Carcassonne, shooting the passenger to death. After driving to Trèbes, Lakdim stormed a Super U grocery store, killing two civilians and a police officer, Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame, who had swapped himself for a hostage. Lakdim, who was armed with a gun, hunting knife and three explosive devices, was killed by police when they eventually raided the market.

Lakdim, whose autopsy revealed he’d smoked a lot of marijuana that day, said he was acting on behalf of ISIS and demanded that 2015 Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam be freed. He was already on a terror watchlist before the attacks, and now his 18-year-old girlfriend is under investigation as she tweeted about infidels being hell-bound shortly before Lakdim launched his attack.

In their weekly al-Naba newsletter, which is distributed online and in ISIS-occupied areas, the terror group reported on the attack on the third page next to the editor’s note.

ISIS called Lakdim “an Islamic State soldier” who answered “calls to target the crusader alliance states, which fight the caliphate.”

“This operation comes despite the claim of the Crusaders that the brother… was monitored by her organs [and] despite all the strict security measures,” the article added.

ISIS called jihadist attacks in “countries of the cross” a “growing tide,” and predicted western nations “will suffer” in both “human and economic losses” due to attacks.

The terror group then cited the death toll in the 2015 attacks, notable as a pro-ISIS group that has been issuing a wave of graphic messages this year to instigate would-be jihadists in the West to commit attacks recently issued a new poster with the image of Bataclan killer Abu Qital al-Faransi and his exhortation to smash disbelievers’ heads with rocks.

Toward the back of al-Naba, in the news briefs section, ISIS promoted Umar Haque, who was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for grooming children as young as 11 to be jihadists at the Ripple Road mosque in Barking, East London, and the Lantern of Knowledge Islamic school in East London. The ISIS supporter was also planning gun and car bomb attacks and was working off a list of 30 targets.

At least 110 children were victimized by Haque as he showed them violent ISIS propaganda and “tried to prepare the children for martyrdom by making them role-play terrorist attacks in London,” according to Scotland Yard. Thirty-five of the kids are now in treatment.

Haque was arrested in April 2016 as he tried to fly to Turkey, with a potential ultimate destination of the Islamic State.

In al-Naba, ISIS noted his target list “such as Big Ben, as well as the killing of soldiers from the Royal Guard, attacks on shopping centers, banks and stations.”

The terror group similarly noted Tuesday’s arrest of Abdel Rahman in Foggia, Italy, on charges that he was using his Islamic cultural center to spread jihadist propaganda. Rahman allegedly tried to indoctrinate children as young as 4 years old in jihad, telling the kids to attack infidels with bombs and swords.

ISIS noted that Rahman “used his position” for “promoting jihad” and circulating Islamic State materials.