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Terrorism


Terrorist Training Videos Appear Online

Posted: August 22, 2005

Links to terrorist training videos featuring instructions on how to build explosive devices and prepare gunpowder have recently appeared on several Web sites regularly used by militant Islamic groups. 

One of the videos provides step-by-step instructions on how to build a Claymore-type mine, including information on combining its various elements and setting the ball bearings and explosives.  The video shows the mine detonating and its shrapnel piercing through four pieces of sheet metal that were set up for the demonstration.


Another video shows the ingredients needed to make gunpowder.  The video uses the same sophisticated graphics and style, but is less detailed than the mine video.  The videos are set to modern Western background music (most jihadist videos, in contrast, use music from the Middle East). 

 

Both videos, among several others, were posted in August to several Internet servers that act as "file dumps" (servers that allow files to be posted and uploaded from one place to another without any particular order).  Many of the servers used by militants as "file dumps" are located in Asia and Germany.

 

The videos are reportedly the same as those discovered on a fishing boat intercepted by Israeli naval commandos on May 21, 2003.  At that time, Israeli forces boarded the boat, named the Abu Hassan, and arrested a Hezbollah explosives expert. 

 

Increasingly, videos providing step-by-step instructions for making improvised explosive devices are being posted on the Internet.  The combination of audio, visual and written instructions enables would-be terrorists to get detailed explosives training at the click of a mouse.

 

Among the Web sites that feature links to the videos is Al Qalah, which has been used by militant Islamic groups to post propaganda messages in support of terrorism and to claim responsibility for terrorist attacks.  In addition, several e-mail lists used by militants, including one used mainly (but not exclusively) to post links to materials coming out of Iraq, have provided links to the videos as well.

 

It is not known who created these instructional videos; however, they are similar to another video posted on the Internet in December 2004 that provides instructions for making a suicide bomber vest.

 

That video, which included written instructions and a voiceover in Arabic, demonstrated the type of damage a suicide bomb vest can cause.  In one demonstration, a vest is detonated on a mannequin positioned among metal cutouts placed around it in the shape of a bus.  Another demonstration shows the effect of shrapnel when the bomb vest is set off in a crowd.  Like the two new videos, the older video never shows anyone's face—only their hands and bodies.

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