"Isil's security advice to would-be jihadists: Shave your beard, encrypt phones-wear western clothes


Well-Known Member
May 29, 2001

Isil's security advice to would-be jihadists: Shave your beard, encrypt your phones and wear western clothes


A detail from the booklet
Picture: @ansarukhilafah/Twitter

By Richard Spencer
8:00PM GMT 12 Jan 2016

Isil issues "dos and don'ts" advice for lone wolf attackers who want to avoid security services detection

Islamic State has issued an advice booklet for followers who want to carry out “lone wolf” attacks of the sort that are plaguing European countries.

The booklet, “Safety and security guidelines for lone wolf mujahideen and small cells”, tells readers how to “surprise the enemy” by evading security agencies.

“Any operation that doesn’t have a strong security and precaution base is deemed to fail, just like a big building needs strong foundations,” it says. “Security precautions are the foundations of any operation.”

'Always look like any random tourist or normal traveller'
Isil advice for jihadists

The booklet was originally written in Arabic for al-Qaeda, and followed other advice documents for jihadists such as the famous "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom". But it has now been translated and re-released in English by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which split off from al-Qaeda in 2014.


No reason is given for its distribution now. But the security services and David Cameron, the Prime Minister, have claimed seven terrorist plots were foiled last year alone, suggesting Isil’s attempts to carry out attacks are being stymied by security breaches.

It gives lists of encryption software that can be used to disguise the contents of emails and mobile phone calls, and outlines the basic operation of a terrorist cell structure, that limits the number of supporters any other supporter knows.

It says that lone wolves in particular should try and meld in with the local population, including by “not looking like a Muslim”. That means shaving your beard, wearing western clothes and not attending mosque too frequently.

However, it also realises that this advice might itself cause difficulty, so it goes as far as giving fashion advice.

“Always look like any random tourist or normal traveller,” it says. “Make the colours go with each other. Wearing a red or yellow shirt with black pants (trousers) will get you noticed as someone who is not used to this kind of clothing.

“Also, no need to put on new clothes, as that can be suspicious. Some brothers like to buy entirely new cloths, from top to bottom including shoes, but that will get too much attention.”

It even gives instruction for what kind of “perfume” a man should wear. “If you want to use perfume during your travel, don’t use the oily, non-alcoholic perfume that Muslims use.

“Use generic alcoholic perfume as everyone does, and if you are a man, use perfume for men.”

'Try as much as you can to have all your documents bearing the same name: ID card, passport, driver’s licence'
Isil advice for jihadists

Some of the advice, though is more obvious, suggesting a certain lack of imagination among the booklet’s target market.

Leave behind the prayer mat, take some cash, and if you have fake documents, make sure they have the same name in them.

“A lot of brothers have been caught because of that,” it says. “So try as much as you can to have all your documents bearing the same name: ID card, passport, driver’s licence.”