Lone terrorists should avoid killing American minorities, and instead should focus on whites in order to make clear the attackers' jihadi purpose, an al-Qaida group has advised followers.
The advice was included in an online pamphlet, "Inspire Guide: Orlando Operation," published June 17 and signed by "Lone Jihad Guide Team."
The pamphlet appears to be a supplement to the infrequently published internet magazine Inspire, the house organ of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Inspire magazine openly advocates both jihad and methods of murder, teaching readers how to construct explosives ("make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom"), or suggesting targets and methods of attack (via personal vehicle, "the ultimate mowing machine").
As suggested in its title, the "Orlando Operation" guide comes in the wake of self-proclaimed ISIS affiliate Omar Mateen's June 12 murder spree inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
In what could be seen as both a nod to, and at least superficial fealty with, its rival ISIS, the AQAP presents itself in the guide as part of a united jihadi front. The newly published guide addresses "all Muslims" regardless of sect, and offers both an analysis of Mateen's actions and advice for like-minded would-be jihadis.
Mateen is a hero who "subdued America and made it live in a day of terror," the guide reads. "The attack took place during the late hours of the night when the Lone Mujahid Umar opened fire his machinegun towards the unconscious drunk crowd who were under the sounds of loud Latino music."
Mateen acted properly for the setting, the guide says: "It was a closed area and thus making it very easy to chase and hunt the targets."
However, because Mateen targeted minorities — homosexuals and Latinos — American society mistook the attack for a hate crime, the guide's anonymous authors claim.
The Western media fed into the hate-crime scenario, the authors complain, in order to obscure the real motive of terrorism.
"We recommend — and Allah knows best — that it is better to avoid targeting places and crowds where minorities are generally found in America," the authors write, observing that in such cases, "the federal government will be the one taking full responsibility."
The comment likely shows that the authors are familiar with America's post-Orlando debate on whether the attack primarily could be pegged to hate or to terror, and whether gun laws played a role in the massacre.
In order to clarify the public discourse following future attacks, the guide advises "targeting areas where the Anglo-Saxon community is generally concentrated," explaining that Anglo-Saxons are better targets because "this class of the American community is the majority and it is the one that is in the American leadership."
Elsewhere, the guide laments that Mateen did not add bombs to his arsenal in order to kill even more people. The authors tell readers to consult specific issues of Inspire magazine in order to learn how to use explosives to greatest effect.
Overall, the guide states, the Orlando attack was a plus for terrorism.
"This operation is considered to be among the most successful Lone Jihad operations," the guide reads, adding that every new "Lone Mujahid" will try to match or outdo Mateen. "And this encourages those hesitant to wage and launch their own operations, especially when they see how easy it is to execute an operation."
The guide concludes with a call to increase operations against the American public, who should be viewed as combatants: "We no longer view them as civilians in America."
On Tuesday, meanwhile, Congress will explore global efforts to defeat ISIS in the latest in a series of similarly themed hearings. Tomorrow's hearing is before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.