May 27, 2008
Video Urges Nuclear Jihad Against US [UPDATE: "Code" Threatens September 2008 Attack?]
The most popular jihadi web forum has posted an "unofficial" video urging Muslims to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. and the West. The video is titled "Nuclear Terrorism". By unofficial they mean that it was produced by forum users, and not by al Qaeda's official video production arm.
The lengthy video uses reports popular in the Arab and European Leftist press that the U.S. used chemical weapons in Fallujah as justification for using WMD against the United States. The star witness is Jeff Englehart.
It also quotes a fatwa by Saudi imam Naser Bin Hamed al-Fahd which gave permission for Muslims to use nuclear and other WMD against Western targets. In addition to using nuclear weapons, he urges the use of chemical and biological weapons which al-Fahd says are much easier to attain.
The video is already available on a YouTube channel devoted to spreading al Qaeda propaganda.
AKI, which offers the most extensive coverage of jihadi propaganda of any news service, asks whether or not this is:
A simple jihadi propaganda video or a dangerous message to a sleeper cell in the west?I think it's alarmist to even ask the question as this obviously is a simple propaganda video. And not a very good one at that. But wait for the end of the post to see why it might have some worried.
The video also quotes Osama bin Laden's rantings against the Muhammad cartoons as justification for using nuclear weapons against the West.
About 30 minutes into the video the editors splice in an English language video claiming that if al Qaeda ever got enough fissile material, they could easily make a nuclear weapon out of it.
The video ends with this odd series of numbers. Any clue what they could mean?
Maybe a cryptic message with no meaning, but meant to scare since it seems like some kind of code?
As improbable as it is that this is some kind of coded message to a sleeper cell, risk assessment usually trades off probability for possible adverse effects. Which is just another way of saying that you assign priority to defending against improbable events when such an event would be catastrophic should it ever occur. Highly unlikely, but if we're wrong about how unlikely it is then we're screwed.
E-mail me and I'll send links to the full vid, not the YouTube version which is split up into 4.
UPDATE: I almost forgot to mention this name that will be immediately recognized by long-time Jawa readers: Adnan el-Shukrijumah
UPDATE II: Shibumi does a rough Google translation job of an Italian article discussing the ending "code" which appears in the video. Apparently, the code has reference to a specific date in which the threatened attack--a "plague"-- should take place. They seem to think it has reference to a bacteriological attack. When?
UPDATE 5/28/2008 10:27 AM: As noted above, the video is not an official al Qaeda release and as I said, "not a very good one at that". Evan Kohlmann agrees.