The Investigative Project on Terrorism examines trends in the Islamic State's propaganda since the Paris attacks in an upcoming article.
A pro-Islamic State (ISIS) hacking group calling itself "Cyber Kahilafah" released a step-by-step video in Arabic Sunday showing how to build a suicide vest.
It appears to be a mashup of earlier videos, borrowing its beginning from a January video that showed the ISIS Paris attackers engaging in beheadings and other brutal activities. That video was produced by the ISIS-controlled Al-Hayat Media. Cyber Kahilafah's video is grainier and cruder than typical Al-Hayat productions.
Arabic instructions are superimposed over earlier ones written in the Cyrillic alphabet, likely in Russian.
The video shows how to build the bomb vest using Semtex, a plastic explosive that has military and construction applications. It is a favorite of terrorists due to its light weight and ease of concealment. The Libyan operatives who destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 used Semtex, which is readily available for sale on the dark web.
A raid in the Czech Republic last year netted 220 lbs. of the explosive that was slated to be sold on the black market.
In the video, Arabic instructions give the user a step-by-step guide to assembling the suicide vest's components, including detonating cord, buckshot, switches, wires, a trigger button, cardboard, LEDs, a nine-volt battery and a detonator housing. At the same time an instructor assembles the components, while an Islamic nasheed (chant) is heard in the background singing about jihad against the unbelievers.
This isn't the first time jihadis have showed how to make a suicide vest online. Back in 2004, an unknown jihadist group produced a similar video for a bomb vest using a different design.
This is the latest example of ISIS supporters trying to show potential terrorists how to make improvised weapons. If terrorists are determined they can find just about everything they need on the Internet.