By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
ISIL terrorists in Syria and Iraq have carried out research into the production of biological weapons, compiling a manual of how to make a device and sharing a religious edict that sanctions the use of weapons of mass destruction against civilians.
The computer seized from a Tunisian chemistry student contained a 19-page manual to learn how to turn the bubonic plague into a weapon of war. The text boasts that biological and chemical weapons are a highly effective means of targeting enemy populations, according to the Arab television channel al-Aan, which obtained the computer from a Syria rebel group.
“The advantages of biological weapons is the low cost and high rate of casualties,” an extract of the closely-typed document shown on the channel said. “There are many methods to spread the biological or chemical agents in a way to impact the biggest number of people. Air, main water supplies, food. The most dangerous is through the air.”
The manual explores a variety of means to spread “chemical or biological agent” over a wide area – including rockets and missiles, suicide missions in cars, and contamination of air-conditioning systems.
The laptop revelations came as Islamic State issued more recordings of massacres by it forces including the beheading of a captured Kurdish peshmerga soldier. An Islamic State video entitled “A message in blood to the leaders of the American-Kurdish alliance,” showed 15 peshmerga dressed orange jumpsuits that it warned would be killed in retaliation for Kurdish support for US intervention in Iraq.