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ISIS

ISIS wants to turn the bubonic plague into a terrifying weapon

A laptop captured in an ISIS hiding place in Syria contained a wealth of information about bomb construction and WMDs.

Foreign Policy details the findings, explained by Abu Ali, who identifies as a "commander of a moderate Syrian rebel group in northern Syria." Ali told Foreign Policy that the ISIS members left the building before his group attacked, and the rebels found the laptop in one of the rooms. At first, it appeared to contain no information — but in a "hidden files" section, Ali discovered a whopping 35,347 files in 2,367 folders.

The files included documents written in French, English, and Arabic, and many of the files were videos of jihadist speeches:

The laptop's contents turn out to be a treasure trove of documents that provide ideological justifications for jihadi organizations — and practical training on how to carry out the Islamic State's deadly campaigns. They include videos of Osama bin Laden, manuals on how to make bombs, instructions for stealing cars, and lessons on how to use disguises in order to avoid getting arrested while traveling from one jihadi hot spot to another. [Foreign Policy]

That wasn't all Ali found, though — he suspects that the laptop's owner, whom Ali identifies as "a Tunisian national named Muhammed S.," was using the documents to prepare for an attack. Muhammed S. apparently became an ISIS member in Syria and wanted to use his chemistry background to "develop biological weapons" and to "weaponize the bubonic plague from infected animals." The laptop contained a 19-page document on weaponizing the disease as well as a 26-page document on WMD use.

Foreign Policy concludes that while the laptop's contents don't suggest the jihadists possess these weapons, ISIS may have the capacity to develop biological weapons in the future.