Emerging reports of a 15 year-old boy inspired by the Islamic State (IS) to plot an attack against Pope Francis in Philadelphia speaks to what a terror resource social media has become. There remains little information on the case, but an FBI-DHS bulletin claimed, "The minor obtained explosives instructions and further disseminated these instructions through social media.” As a daily witness to the relentless campaign by IS recruiters to coordinate lone wolf attacks in the West, this is less than surprising.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released the 14th issue of its English magazine, “Inspire,” with a thematic focus on “Assassination Operations.” The 88-page issue was released on September 9, 2015 in both English and Arabic.
After much questioning whether al-Qaeda (AQ) would pledge to the Afghan Taliban's new leader, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri swore allegiance to the new chief on August 13, promising to him, "We are your soldiers and your supporters and a brigade of your brigades." This pledge, produced by AQ's as-Sahab Media Foundation and titled, "A Biography of Faithfulness," will serve as test of AQ's leadership strength and the ties to its affiliates.
A week after Chattanooga shooter Mohammad Abdulazeez’s attack, very little is known about his motives, path to radicalization, and network of affiliations. Immediately after the attack, Islamic State (IS) fighters and supporters hailed Abdulazeez as a “soldier of the Islamic State,” but no official messages from IS claiming the attack have yet been made. This silence is noteworthy considering the case of the shooting in Garland, Texas: Not only did IS fighter Junaid Hussain bluntly indicate his connection to this attack, but in less than two days, IS officially announced the shooters to be “two soldiers from the soldiers of the Caliphate.”
Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, identified as the July 16, 2015 shooter of four Marines at a Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, maintained a blog containing two Islam-focused posts made just three days before the attack.