The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
On October 22, 2023, the pro-Al-Qaeda media outlet Jaysh Al-Malahem Al-Electroni (Electronic Army of Epic Battles) published a three-page Arabic-language statement claiming responsibility for a large "electronic warfare" attack against European and Jewish targets. The attack included the creation of chaos by means of false reports targeted at airports, tourist sites, and educational institutions.
The statement opens: "In light of our people in Gaza suffering killing, expulsion, and genocidal war, and in an effort to strike terror into the hearts of our enemies in the Zionist-Crusader alliance, spread chaos in their lands, and exhaust their money, a group of electronic warfare mujahideen and heroes, managed by the Wolves of Manhattan magazine and supported by Jaysh Al-Malahem Al-Electroni, managed to carry out a 'spider web attack' against Crusader countries." Describing the attack as the "first of its kind in its dimensions," the statement asserts that it created a "large impact, strengthened by the enemy's fear and cowardice, and the fragility of its social structure."
Attackers Send False Reports On Bombs In French Airports, Jewish Institutions In Europe
According to the statement, the attackers collected the communication details of more than 50 airports in European cities, mostly in France, in addition to accessing the "sites and accounts" of seven large airlines, and "sites and names" of a large number of Jewish institutions in Europe, including personal student information. They further collected telephone numbers of European police and fire departments and emergency forces, before launching an "organized campaign" of sending false reports about the presence of bombs inside airports. The statement claims that "the efforts" focused on the French airports of Lille, Lyon–Bron, Carcassonne, Nice Cote d'Azur, Rennes Bretagne, Biarritz Pays Basque, Toulouse Blagnac, and Lyon–Saint Exupéry, where the attackers contacted passengers, informing them about the "presence of bombs" and requesting that they leave for their protection. Jaysh Al-Malahem Al-Electroni notes that the attack against airports resulted in the evacuation of 34 airports and the suspension of more than 130 flights in France, as well as large financial losses estimated in the "tens of millions."
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The statement adds that the attackers managed to "close" several tourist sites, in addition to four Jewish institutions, including a Jewish school in Rome, which was evacuated following false reports about the presence of a bomb in it. In addition, the attackers sent over a hundred false reports to fire departments in Paris, Rome, Berlin and Madrid. The pro-Al-Qaeda media outlet asserts that this "blessed operation" has achieved more "results," to be revealed in the following days "for reasons related to the continuity of the operation." It states: "Praise be to Allah, who honored us by striking terror into the hearts of unbelievers in their lands, and making them feel a bit of what our people in the shocking, proud Gaza are experiencing."
After threatening the "Crusader west" and "hateful Jews," and mocking the French ministers of Transport and Interior who referred to the attack as "child's play," the statement asserts: "You are only strong against unarmed children and women in Muslim West Africa, while in the field the mujahideen make your soldiers taste all sorts and kinds of torment and humiliation."
The statement advises "the people of our Islamic ummah [nation]" to wage "electronic warfare" only after training and practicing, as the "enemy is technically advanced." It states: "You must acquire developed technical skills and tools to be able to eliminate the traces and blur them during and after the attack." The statement ends by asserting that the "complete details" of the operation will appear in issue 6 of the Wolves of Manhattan magazine.
Articles in the world press reported that at least seven airports in France were evacuated following security alerts.