Laptop contents suggest ISIS is exploring the use of bio-weapons
A rebel group in Syria has obtained a laptop they claim belongs to ISIS.
Excerpts from Foreign Policy 8-28-2014
"The advantage of biological weapons is that they do not cost a lot of money, while the human casualties can be huge," the document states.
The laptop also includes a 26-page fatwa, or Islamic ruling, ,,, "If Muslims cannot defeat the kafir [unbelievers] in a different way, it is permissible to use weapons of mass destruction," states the fatwa by Saudi jihadi cleric Nasir al-Fahd, "Even if it kills all of them and wipes them and their descendants off the face of the Earth."
The documents also suggest that the laptop's owner was teaching himself about the use of biological weaponry, in preparation for a potential attack that would have shocked the world.
One 19-page document found on the laptop explains in detail how to obtain and experiment with bubonic plague
146 gigabytes of material, containing a total of 35,347 files
"The real difficulty in all of these weapons ... [is] to actually have a workable distribution system that will kill a lot of people," said Magnus Ranstorp, research director of the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College. "But to produce quite scary weapons is certainly within [the Islamic State's] capabilities."
The information on the laptop makes clear that its owner is a Tunisian national named Muhammed S. who joined ISIS in Syria and who studied chemistry and physics at two universities in Tunisia's northeast.
The fear now is that men like Muhammed could be quietly working behind the front lines -- for instance, in the Islamic State-controlled University of Mosul or in some laboratory in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the group's de facto capital -- to develop chemical or biological weapons.