In January, moderate Syrian rebels discovered an ISIS hideout in the province of Idlib, close to the border with Turkey.
“We found (a) laptop and the power cord in a room,” a rebel who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Ali tells Foreign Policy, which calls it the laptop of doom.
Buried in the hidden files section of the Dell computer, the FP writers and Abu Ali saw documents in French, English, and Arabic. It was the usual, as least what you’d expect to find on a terrorist’s computer: Osama bin Laden videos and stuff on disguises.
But, FP reports, the ISIS laptop also contains a 19-page document in Arabic on preparations for “a potential attack that would have shocked the world.”
The terrorist, a Tunisian who studied chemistry and physics, was figuring out how “to weaponize the bubonic plague from infected animals.”
Read more at Foreign Policy.
UPDATED: Nothing is reported about the current whereabouts of the laptop’s owner or whether he was just musing or really experimenting. But “nothing on the ISIS laptop,” FP says, “suggests that the jihadists already possess these dangerous weapons.” It’s not easy to make a plague weapon with “a workable distribution system that will kill a lot of people,” Magnus Ranstorp, research director of the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College, tells FP. “But to produce quite scary weapons is certainly within [the Islamic State’s] capabilities.”