Saturday, January 1, 2011

ICSR Insight: New English-Language al-Qaeda Explosives Manual Released Online

Via ICSR (Dec 31, 2010) -

In the last few days, English-language jihadist forums have released a significant new book entitled The Explosives Course. Published in 2010 by al-Qaeda’s Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF) and apparently compiled by former students of the now deceased al-Qaeda explosives expert Abu Khabab al-Misri (also known as Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar), it is among the most comprehensive and sophisticated manuals of its kind. The introduction claims that “this is the first book from a series of books aimed on this subject”, noting that further editions and updates will be forthcoming.

Targeting English-speaking audiences, it capitalises on the rise of ‘homegrown’ extremism in the US and Britain. This manual is widely available within online extremist networks and seeks to arm potential self-starters and ‘lone-wolves’ with the knowledge they often lack on creating viable explosive devices, in particular those living in the West who are motivated to act but unable to join terrorist training camps abroad. Following a recent rise in incidents of attempted attacks by US nationals on American soil, the US Attorney General Eric Holder claimed earlier this month that the threat of ‘homegrown’ terror “keeps me up at night”. He also warned that “the threat is real, the threat is different, the threat is constant.”

For ICSR's full analysis and the front page of The Explosives Course, please click below.

The story is also covered in today's Daily Telegraph, please click here for full report

ICSR Insight - New AQ Explosives Manual

The Explosives Course Front Page


According to the Telegraph UK...
Al-Masri, who had a $5 million bounty on his head, was killed by a missile from an unmanned US drone in July 2008 but he had left behind a number of Arabic training manuals that have been widely used by al-Qaeda students.

However the latest version of the manual, as an English translation, marks a new departure for the terrorist group.

The books says that it is the first of a series and adds: “Though we have successfully performed these experiments and came up with new developments, the work of compiling these – more detailed editions of the book – are being delayed. Thus we decided to publish this work as a raw edition.”


The manual is the first detailed guidance produced in English by al-Qaeda “central” based in Pakistan (aka AQ Core) and follows some more basic instructions called “How to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom” produced by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular as part of an English-language online magazine.

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