Claire is a fourth year at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, studying International Relations and Arabic. She is the treasurer of the Coexistence Initiative, a group that promotes interfaith dialogue within the university, and served as the administrative and volunteer coordinator for the Charities Campaign’s annual ball. She spent the past year studying abroad at the University of Hong Kong for a semester and in Rabat, Morocco for a semester to attend an Arabic intensive course. At the ICT, Claire’s research focuses on Open Source Jihad and its influences in the execution of lone terror attacks in the West.
Al Qaeda and Daesh publish English language magazines to appeal to Western supporters and encourage them to join their cause as a fighter or as a lone wolf terrorist. A key feature of Al Qaeda’s magazine, Inspire, is a section titled Open Source Jihad, which provides aspiring jihadists with step-by-step instructions to carry out lone terror attacks in the West. By examining ten attack types that have been published over the past six years, this paper explains Open Source Jihad, presents cases where these types of attacks have been carried out, and assesses the threat presented by the easy access to Open Source Jihad.