Posted in a militant Islamic chat room three days ago, a stunningly detailed 26-minute video on how to make a sophisticated suicide bomb vest, along with a demonstration of its kill range, using a mannequin.
Titled "The Explosive Belt for Martyrdom Operations," the video obtained by NBC News demonstrates how to make an explosive vest that would be tough to detect, mostly from common off-the-shelf materials.
"The most disturbing thing about this video is that it exists," says NBC analyst and retired military intelligence officer Lt. Col. Rick Francona.
He says the video would be extremely valuable to any terrorist.
"Every military commander in Iraq and Afghanistan should be aware of this," says Francona. "This video shows someone how to more effectively attack American troops."
Experts believe the video was made by a Palestinian group.
"The video was accompanied by a note that explained it was there for the purposes of aiding the brothers, the fighting brothers, in cities in central Iraq," says NBC terror analyst Evan Kohlmann.
Specifically, the note mentioned wanting to help fighters in Fallujah, Ramadi and Mosul, though there's nothing to tie this to Tuesday's attack. The person who posted the note and video on the Internet called himself "terrorist007."
NBC News will not reveal most details, but the video demonstrates each step of bomb making:
- select a fabric and sew the vest;
- mix explosives;
- arrange shrapnel to kill victims in a large radius;
- attach a detonator.
In one demonstration, a would-be bomber is told where to stand in a bus for maximum carnage. "Notice that the shrapnel has greatly penetrated all of the seats," says an Arabic voice on the video, translated by NBC News.
Another demo shows a vest that causes lethal wounds 30 yards away.
"I was startled by the amount of damage that such a small amount of explosives with the ball bearings could do," says Francona.
It's a chilling reminder of the sophistication and cold-blooded determination of terrorists.