Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has published a guide urging jihadis to carry out more ‘lone wolf’ operations in the U.S. following the deadly terror attack in Orlando earlier this month and to set their sights on the targeting of white Americans.
The publication, “Inspire guide: Orlando operation,” which seeks to capitalize on the terror attack carried out by gunman Omar Mateen who pledged allegiance to ISIS, plainly encourages extremists to attack Americans.
While Mateen chose to target what the guide refers to as a “homosexual nightclub,” noting that killing gay people is “the most binding duty and closer to human nature,” it suggests to “avoid targeting places and crowds where minorities are generally found in America,” because “the federal government will be the one taking full responsibility.”
This refers to the heated debates sparked in the U.S. in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting by media, law enforcement and legislators debating the roles that gun laws, hate crimes and terror each played in the incident.
Instead, the guide advises jihadis to target “areas where the Anglo-Saxon community is generally concentrated. This class of the American community is the majority and it is the one that is in the American leadership.”
The document, published specifically with a targeted message against Americans was released in addition to the group’s periodical “Inspire” magazine, which often exploits terror attacks in the West and makes threats against Europe and the United States.
Historically, Al Qaeda has relied on major plots such as the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and other U.S. targets, but now reminds its readers to move forward “in continuation” of the teachings of Al Qaeda mastermind Osama Bin Laden who advocated for ‘lone wolf’ style attacks.
As the Islamic State has gained global notoriety with its jihadis launching local attacks in the West in places such as Brussels, San Bernardino, Garland Texas and most recently in Orlando, Al Qaeda has long been attempting to play catch-up in staying relevant in competing against other jihadist groups for both recruits and funding.
“We standby and support all Muslims who attack America in their homeland regardless of their affiliation to any group or loyalty,” the guide states, justifying the targeting of American civilians with the suggestion that since they elect and pay taxes to a government with “oppressive polices against Muslims everywhere,” they are a population at “war with Islam,” and can no longer be deemed ‘civilians.’
In the guide, the Orlando attack is referred to as one of “the most successful Lone Jihad operations” and will undoubtedly “inspire others to wage similar operations.”
In conclusion the authors note that while Mateen killed and injured almost a third of attendees at the nightclub, an extremely high tally for a ‘lone wolf,’ he could have killed even more by making explosives if he followed the simple guides that appear in previous editions of the group’s “Inspire” magazine.