CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 12, 2016 — When living in Saudi Arabia in 2003, I asked an associate if there was any way for a Westerner to be less conspicuous.
“Blend,” he replied.
I laughed at the absurdity of the suggestion, knowing that the only way to do that would be to grow a beard, wear a thawb (the traditional white ankle-length garment worn by Saudi men) and put on a ghutrah (the red and white national Saudi headdress).
As worldwide Islamic terrorism grows, the latest strategy by ISIS is a reversal of the “blending” concept. It is outlined in a new handbook for so-called “lone wolf” jihadis, instructing them to “avoid looking like a Muslim” by pretending to be Christian. The tactic is frighteningly easy to carry out: “cut beards, shun mosques & wear crosses.”
Combine that with continued Western insistence that ISIS is not Islam and ignorance of the concept of taqiyya (lying to protect Islam and to gain it an advantage) and, before long, attacks will seem to come out of nowhere; Islamic terrorists will be anyone.
The front cover of the 58-page manual features Western-style buildings surrounded by a sea of flames. Titled “Safety and Security Guidelines for Lone Wolf Mujahideen,” the booklet emphasizes the element of surprise by being less noticeable.
This ISIS manual is another example of how global terror organizations maintain a level of understanding of the West that stays well ahead of the curve, thanks to the naïve political correctness emanating from the White House and other places such as Philadelphia and Germany.
How sophisticated is the new ISIS primer? It goes so far as to advise potential terrorists about what type of jewelry to wear and on which wrist to wear a watch.
Using the strategy of taqiyya, the booklet justifies wearing a necklace with a Christian cross. Instructions even go so far as saying “don’t wear a cross necklace if you have a Muslim name on your passport, as that may look strange.”
Recognizing the Western proclivity for having a good time, the book recommends using nightclubs filled with loud music and drunk patrons as an ideal place to make preparations and discuss plans with minimal threat of being overheard or photographed.
Expanding its audience, the manuscript has been translated into flawless English for potential Western “lone wolves” who do not speak Arabic.
The introduction reads, “No doubt that today, at the era of lone wolves, brothers in the West need to know some important things about safety in order to ensure success in their operations. We thought a lot of non-Arabic speaking brothers would find it interesting and may apply it in their blessed operations. Readers are urged to wear a Christian cross, splash on the aftershave, cut off beards and even shun prayer meetings and avoid mosques to avoid detection.”
Your beard should be shaved off at least two weeks before your travel so the skin under your beard can be exposed to the sun. If you don’t do that the fact that you removed your beard would be too easy to notice. If you can get a haircut in a professional hairdresser, try to do so.
The manual even provides advice on how to stake out government buildings in order to plan the maximum number of casualties.
This is why we (prefer) people already from the West instead of sending someone from here. Because in the West, you already know the environment, how people talk and behave.
If you want to use perfume, don’t use the oily, non-alcoholic perfume that Muslims use, instead use generic alcoholic perfume as everyone does, and if you are a man, use perfume for men.
If you are wearing a watch, don’t wear it on your right hand, as this is a sign that you are religious. If you have an engagement ring or something like that, it’s better to wear one in gold or better yet, don’t wear any ring at all. A silver ring could tell you are religious, as Islam forbids wearing gold rings for men.
An in-your-face observation is also a comment on the way we telegraph our security efforts: “the fake terror attacks the police use as training exercises teach us things we have never thought of and we can see their weaknesses.”
If “blending” seems absurd, one need only look to the White House for an example of precisely how effective it can be.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award-winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of the Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News. Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod