The manual also contains 174 illustrations and seven charts. Written in Turkish, it urges readers to conduct terrorist attacks against European and American cities. It contains detailed instructions for destroying cars and buildings, setting forest fires, setting highway traps and other subjects, and was released online via encrypted channels.
A video also released by Daesh called for "lone wolves all over the world to stand up and to initiate attacks of any kind." The speaker in the video, a young teenager, called on the viewers to read and implement the strategies detailed in the book.
While others such as American white supremacist William Luther Pierce, Brazilian Marxist Carlos Marighella and fellow Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda have put out manuals detailing the how-tos of counterculture and radical behavior, Daesh's most recent entry in the genre is particularly comprehensive and user-friendly, targeting an audience of novices.
The manual does lack some trademarks of Daesh propaganda: it lacks a cover page and was more roughly edited than previous entries. Daesh has gained a reputation for impeccable-quality propaganda, including their own online magazine published in four different languages.
Daesh's ability to control territory in Iraq and Syria has been crumbling since the group's 2015 peak. Their Iraqi capital of Mosul has been completely recaptured by US-backed Iraqi forces, while Daesh forces in their Syrian capital of Raqqa are completely surrounded by Syrian Democratic Forces. The territory they control continues to contract, and the organization's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was announced to have been killed in a Russian airstrike by Russian, Iranian and Daesh sources.
However, even if the organization's ambitions of fielding a military and creating a government that controls territory are doomed, they may still prove a thorn in the sides of their many enemies as a more traditional terrorist group.
Recent incidents like the November 2015 Paris attacks that killed 137, the March 2016 Brussels bombing that killed 35, the Berlin Christmas Market attack in December 2016 that killed 12, and a trio of terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom from March to June 2017 that killed 40 people between them have all demonstrated the effectiveness of lone or small groups of radical operators in wreaking havoc in European cities.
Daesh's online operations have been credited with inspiring terrorist attacks in the past. For instance, they put out a video recommending the driving of vehicles like trucks and SUVs into crowds as a terror strategy in 2016. A couple months later, a radical Islamist rammed a truck into a crowd of people in Nice, killing 87 and injuring 458.
Western leaders warn that Daesh may prove to be resilient. "The fact that ISIS [Daesh] has been able to absorb this much damage and yet still somehow continue to resist the coalition, albeit in weaker form, to this day — and even more impressively continue to direct, enable, or inspire terrorist attacks around the world — should be a sobering and instructive demonstration of organizational resilience," Lt. Gen. Michael K. Nagata, director of strategic operational planning at the American National Counterterrorism Center, said in a June interview.