ISIS guide targets wannabe jihadists

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 22 Maret 2015 | 23.08

Professor Greg Barton from the Monash Terrorism Research Centre discusses the purported ISIS suicide attacks in Iraq believed to involve Australian Jihadi Jake Bilardi.

Terror guide ... a document produced by the Islamic State offers tips for wannabe Australian jihadists. Source: Supplied

THE Islamic State has launched a step-by-step dossier to help would-be Australian jihadists flee the country and fight alongside the terror group.

The online guide, posted to sympathisers' social media network on March 14, includes details

and advice on how to use a vast online support network on home soil and, ultimately, slip through security cracks.

The support network was the very one used by Melbourne suicide bomber Jake Bilardi, who boasted in a blog of the ease of getting to Syria and then Iraq, where he blew himself up.

The new dossier, provided by an IS sympathiser, stresses the importance of contacts for foreign fighters travelling to Turkey from their country of origin. It even provides a series of 'Useful Twitter contacts who are in IS to Private Direct message'.

How-to guide ... experts say the document goes to the heart of the Islamic State's target group. Source: Supplied

While not as professional as the propaganda synonymous with the terror organisation, counterterrorism experts are convinced of its authenticity.

"It looks legit. The Islamic State does some professional work, but this looks like an amateur contribution," said Greg Barton, from Monash University's Global Terrorism Research Centre.

"With the Islamic State, it's a comet with a long tail. At the nucleus it's the slick media. Then

you have this long tail of foreign fighters and their supporters and social media postings. Islamic State seems to encourage all types of this."

Clarke Jones, a terrorism and radicalisation expert from the Australian National University (ANU) notes the document goes to the heart of IS's target group.

"The suggested routes and techniques all match up to the traditional smuggling routes ... they are certainly appealing to a young religiously ignorant target audience but the language they use also lines up," he said.

Horrific ... Melbourne teenager Jake Bilardi is believed to have died while carrying out a suicide bomb attack. Source: Supplied

The dossier contains sections such as 'How Islamic State members get into and out of Syria', and a section labelled 'Indepth (sic) Hijrah Advice: Suggested Setup (sic) for Packing'.

Some of the suggestions, while practical, could be viewed as somewhat laughable.

One section, for example, tells budding jihadis to bring a hair clipper: "If you're a brother, this is the quickest way to trim your moustache here, and if you like the Talafi buzzcut or egghead-style, then bring a bigger hair clipper. The ones which are cordless and work with rechargeable batteries are better."

Us versus them ... an ISIS video shows the training of child soldiers, who are referred to as "cubs". Source: Supplied

A camping lamp is also recommended because "they're good for illuminating a room and for other uses such as eating and whatnot".

And gloves are deemed essential: "(bring) shooting gloves, gloves for protection against the cold. Whatever you can get your hands on (or into!)".

Silma Ihram, a member of the Australian Muslim Women's Association based in Sydney, says youths are drawn to IS because the Australian government "continues to create an us versus them," mentality.

"Documents like these are a part of IS propaganda and is a terribly attractive alternative to

young men who don't fit into the Australian community," she said.

"There have been a number of promises, but we have not seen anything happen."

Chilling ... around 150 Australians are believed to be fighting overseas. Source: Facebook

There are an estimated 150 Australians fighting overseas with groups like Jabhat al-Nusra,

the Islamic State, the Free Syrian Army and Kurdish forces.

Australia's peak security body, ASIO, said in a statement it "... is concerned about Australians who travel overseas to participate in, or support, foreign conflicts. ASIO and law enforcement agencies are aware of the various methods used to influence individuals or groups in Australia to engage in violent extremism, including for the facilitation of travel to international conflicts."

Shared through a Twitter account — News Corp Australia has verified, but chosen not to name for legal reasons — the user claims the dossier is "the best guide ever where you find everything you need to know how to make Hejra (hijrah)".

Hijrah is the Arabic word which refers to the journey of Mohammed and his followers from Mecca to Medina sometime in the year 622 Common Era.

The document instructs recruits to, first and foremost, 'keep plans a secret'.

Beyond belief ... Jake Bilardi is thought to have carried out a suicide mission in Ramadi. Source: No Source

"People who leave to get to Syria do not tell anyone, not even family ... buy a 2 way ticket [go and return type] to avoid further suspicion," it states.

"When a person reaches Turkey, they will rent a hotel and make contact with someone in Syria.

This is often done by a known Twitter contact. A contact is important because once a person is in Turkey, they will require protection in addition to not knowing where to go to, or who to trust."

The dossier says that between 2012 to 2014 the most common method of crossing the border from Turkey to Syria was to enter Turkey, make contact with IS in Syria, then cross from the Bab al-Hawa and Baab al-Salaam crossing between Turkey and Syria.

Now, due to heightened security in Turkey, IS fighters are directed to get a hotel room on arrival in Turkey and contact their Twitter correspondence 'and they will together go to Sanliurfa in Turkey'.

Barbaric ... a video released by the Islamic State shows the training of child soldiers. Source: Supplied

The new route for 2014 to 2015 now leads them to the Tal Abyad border crossing and is considered safer as it's closer to al-Raqqa, a stronghold of IS.

It also mentions the existence of a number of safe houses throughout Turkey — used as staging points for not only wounded fighters exiting the conflict, but also new ones going in.

In these safe houses, the dossier claims fake passports are sometimes made to facilitate an easier transition from the border crossing.

It then tells the traveller that before crossing the border, to dress casually and not look religious as to not raise any suspicion.

If security is too tight, the dossier suggests: "You both look around, and if the coast is clear — they run as fast as they can into Syria, and get into a car of a friend and go to Raqqah. (there is a story of someone reaching Raqqah simply with google maps and a wire cutter [if any barbed wires come in the way])."

Prof Barton says the approach recommend is consistent with the landscape. "I had a PhD student head out to Turkey and view the crossings into Syria in October 2014 and it's pretty easy," he said.

Power and influence ... Greg Barton, of Monash University, describes the Islamic State as "a comet with a long tail". Source: Supplied

The dossier also lays out details on who to contact on Twitter and how to contact them on certain applications like Sure Spot. Sure Spot is an encrypted messenger application in order to protect conversations from being monitored.

The dossier amplifies the importance IS places on the internet.

Prof Barton said personal connections made through online sources and contacts provided in dossiers like these, along with IS's vast network, that sees young jihadis like Bilardi become attached.

"Once somebody reads something like this and it gives them a handle to contact a personal network, that type of information is really critical and makes a big difference."

IS confirmed Melbourne teen Bilardi had completed a suicide mission in Ramadi days after he was unmasked, on March 12, as a militant fighting alongside IS.

Two brothers from Sydney, aged 16 and 17, were days earlier intercepted by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection before they were able to board a plane to Turkey to fight in Syria.

The boys were stopped after their luggage was deemed suspicions by customs officials searching their bags.

The Customs and Border Protection Department would not comment on which items in the boys' bags set off the alarm bells.

At the end of the dossier, there are links to a series of ebooks, one titled the Islamic State, which includes battle strategies, diary from Mujahid (inner struggle), IS fighting techniques, special forces and more.

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