Your Source for Leaks Around the World!

Archive for August, 2017|Monthly archive page

Al-Qaeda Calls for Targeting U.S. Rail Network, Publishes Detailed Operational Guide for Derailing Trains

In Al-Qaeda, Archive, Terrorism on August 14, 2017 at 10:46 AM

LeakSource Note: This information is being published because we believe withholding this material from the public only endangers them more. Terrorists and government officials shouldn’t be the only ones aware of future attacks these groups plan to carry out. The public has a right to know so that they can take necessary precautions, instead of becoming unknowing victims because of secrecy and censorship.

08/14/2017

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is encouraging followers in the West to carry out new mass casualty attacks, providing an in-depth tutorial on how to derail trains and listing dozens of ‘vulnerable’ train routes in the U.S. as example targets.

Issue 17 of the terror group’s Inspire Magazine includes several articles detailing railways in the West and the dependency of economies such as the U.S. on the efficiency of the railroad for passenger travel and the transportation of goods.

One introductory article cites a GAO (Government Accountability Office) highlighting the vulnerabilities faced by U.S. railways that total over 100,000 miles in length and citing the transportation of hazardous materials to be of particular concern. Also noted in the report is the 5.6 million daily commuters on the NY subway.

An article entitled “Train Derail Operations,” urges jihadis to seize upon the vulnerabilities of the rail system, especially the lengthy unguarded tracks in the U.S., France and the U.K. and to place obstacles that will cause trains to derail, striking fear in the hearts of the West as well as weakening their economies.

“O Mujahideen, it is time that we instill fear and make them impose strict security measures to trains as they did with their Air transportation. Continue to bleed the American economy to more losses, increase the psychological warfare and make it worry, fear and weaken much more,” the article states.

An elaborate tutorial spanning 19 pages contains detailed instructions on how to assemble a “homemade derail tool,” as well as the best place to position it. Industrial uses for derail tools or “wedges” include unauthorized movement of trains of faulty breaks.

The tutorial instructs users on how to create a cardboard and Styrofoam scale model, which can then be used to build the contraption built with a mixture of steel and concrete, laid out in a six-part step-by-step tutorial.

The guide warns the ‘lone wolf’ to study train schedules carefully and place the obstacle close to the time a train passes by, as rail inspection cars are often deployed to inspect railways for wear and tear.

The simplicity of the device’s design (no explosives required) as well as the notion that such an attack is not a martyrdom operation, but rather one that can be repeated over and over again are listed by the writer as advantages over other forms of lone-wolf attacks.

A map of U.S. railroads also appears and some of the main passenger routes are highlighted.

Inspire Magazine has been published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula with issues going back to 2010. Much of the magazine’s attack focus has been labelled “open source jihad,” step-by-step guides advising would-be jihadis on how to carry out terror attacks, often with materials or equipment readily available. Past issues have included a summer 2010 edition with details on how to build a pressure cooker bomb and a fall 2010 edition encouraging “car ramming” attacks.

There has been some debate in the past over the authenticity of Inspire Magazine as an authentic Al Qaeda publication. The U.S. government deems the connection to Al Qaeda plausible and in 2013 launched a cyber attack to disrupt the magazine’s publication

PDF (26MB)

 

h/t Lisa Daftari/TheForeignDesk

 

AQIM Releases South African Hostage Stephen McGown After Almost 6 Years; $4.2 Million Ransom Paid

In Al-Qaeda, AQIM, Archive, Mali, South Africa, Terrorism on August 3, 2017 at 10:56 AM

08/03/2017

NYTimes:

A South African tourist who was abducted nearly six years ago from an inn in Timbuktu, Mali, by the North African branch of Al Qaeda has been freed, officials said on Thursday.

The tourist, Stephen Malcolm McGown, 42, was the last of the “Timbuktu Three,” who were abducted on Nov. 25, 2011, to be released: A Dutch citizen was rescued in a French commando raid in 2015, and a Swedish man was released in June.

 

Militants released a video showing six captives, including Mr. McGown, last month, before a visit to Mali by President Emmanuel Macron of France. Mr. McGown also holds a British passport.

Mr. McGown’s lengthy captivity had become a cause célèbre in South Africa, but his freedom came at a price: A retired European intelligence official said on Thursday that 3.5 million euros (about $4.2 million) had been paid.

The retired official, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive information, said that the payment was negotiated through an intermediary, Gift of the Givers Foundation, a South African charity that had campaigned for Mr. McGown’s release, and that it was paid by an undercover agent working for French security services in the Adrar des Iforas mountains, a massif in the deserts of northern Mali where Qaeda militants have held hostages.

“It was an operation managed by France and South African intelligence through an intermediary,” the former official said.

 

South Africa’s foreign minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who announced Mr. McGown’s release at a news conference in Pretoria on Thursday, responded vaguely when a reporter asked her whether a ransom had been paid.

“The South African government does not subscribe to payment of ransoms,” she said. “That’s why I focused on the work we have been doing in the past six years: campaigning, engaging with governments, and with the captors the way we know how. That’s what we have been doing. And that’s what we can confirm.”

Ms. Nkoana-Mashabane, the foreign minister, declined on Thursday to discuss the condition of Mr. McGown, now back in South Africa. “Is he receiving the necessary support — the requisite for any South African citizen who had gone through this very, very painful experience? The answer is yes,” she said.

A New York Times tally of ransoms collected by Al Qaeda’s affiliates conducted in 2014 found that the group had taken in at least $125 million, with $66 million paid just in 2013.

Unlike the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, Al Qaeda has tended to see hostages as a product that it can monetize. Only a minority of its hostages have died while in custody, unlike those of the Islamic State, which both ransoms and regularly kills captives.

%d bloggers like this: