Islamic State Advising Recruits to Pretend to be Christians to Avoid Detection

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TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: Iraqi Army recruits train with U.S. Army trainers at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. U.S. forces, currently operating in 5 large bases throught the country, are training thousands of Iraqi Army combat troops, trying to rebuild a force they had origninally trained before the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in 2010. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year. (Photo : John Moore/Getty Images)

In order to blend into the crowd, the Islamic State extremists are advising recruits in the West to look more like Christians instead of Muslims, by shaving their beards and wearing crucifixes, evading the detection by the intelligence services.

A list of dos and donts concerning the aspiring terrorists can be found online in a 58-page document adapted from a book that was said to once be issued by their extremist rivals in al-Qaeda.

Among their other recommendations include email encryption, using secure cellphone apps, and dressing to blend in a crowd. The Islamic State suggested that displaying a cross or crucifix some of the time, especially when it will help avoid suspicion.

The manual said that it is permissible to wear the Christian symbol, but said that recruits and supporters should avoid doing so if their passports have Muslim names, as it may “look strange.”

They are even advised not to use the oily non-alcoholic perfumes that Muslims usually use, saying to instead use generic alcoholic perfume as everyone does. And if you are a man, use perfume for men [men’s cologne or after-shave lotion],” reported VOA News.

The “Lone Wolf” guidelines may be amusing to some, however, the 12-chapter manual was adapted by a series of lectures by Abu Cabbalah al-Adam, who spoke about safety and security in jihad work.

Still, there are other guidelines that do make sense, including limiting information about upcoming attacks, and avoiding mosques and Islamic gatherings to minimize attracting attention or prompting security. This is because the intelligence agencies began monitoring mosques since the wake of the 9/11 attacks, especially focusing on those with radical reputations and active jihadist groups.

While the terrorist group is spreading their cause, an ex-terrorist last month shared how to fight the group online. Abu Huriya, a former chief propagandist for Al Qaeda in the US who once helped recruit Americans for their cause, said that telling people to turn away is ineffectual, describing the radicalization process as something similar to joining a gang.

He told CNN that the ISIS recruitment videos are effective because they show panoramic views and warm camaraderie that hits the spot for angry young men who want to think that they have greater things in store for them.

Compared to the videos that the State Department has been releasing, made up entirely of text and static photos, nobody would look twice.

Some of the advice that Hurriya gave in regards to ending the recruitment, included presenting an alternative world view, and stepping up the production values of their anti-IS videos.