Jihadists Discuss Strategies to Beat Thermal Cameras

By Matthew Harwood

It's an axiom of security: introduce stronger technology and watch how adversaries respond.

On Friday, two days before the 10th anniversary of 9-11, jihadists took to an online forum to discuss strategies for beating thermal imaging cameras.

The discussion on the Shumukh al-Islam forum was started by member “Abu Zar al-Daghistani,” who asked: “Who knows how to hide from heat camera, like, is there certain kind of clothes or something like that?”

“The question proved popular, gathering nearly thirty responses within a matter of hours,” wrote the SITE Intelligence Group in its 4-page summary report of the thread obtained by Security Management. “Many posters presented suggestions for camouflage, ranging from strategies to reduce one’s body heat to materials that purportedly interfere with the ability of cameras to sense a person.”

One respondent Abu Sulaiman al-Nasir suggested “pouring cold water on yourself and wear clothes that are wet with cold water, and you must keep the clothes wet and cold in order to hide the body heat.” Fajr al-Tauhid said jihadists should get down on all fours so they look like an animal rather than a human to beat thermal cameras.

One suggestion from Layth al-Mushahadah will be familiar to anyone who has seen Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1987 hit movie Predator: “I read in one of the books, and I forgot its title, that the way to hide from the heat cameras is by applying mud on your body...”

In the movie, Schwarzenegger’s character, Dutch, hides from a heat-seeking alien warrior by caking himself in mud to hide his body heat signature.


This new technology is

This new technology is great, but will only stay ahead of criminals for a limited amount of time. Criminals will always come up with ways of beating these types of security systems. This type of technology is now used to check for heat loss in homes and once a house has been well insulated the building will give off much less heat making it much less visible when using this type of technology.

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