The computer, now in Antakya, Turkey, belonged to a Tunisian militant named Muhammad S., who studied university-level chemistry and physics. It was found at an abandoned IS base in Idlib, Syria, by moderate rebel forces, and contains detailed instructions on explosives construction, the use of disguises while travelling, and chemical weapons plans, according to the magazine Foreign Policy, whose reporters were shown the laptop.
It also contains a 19-page document, in Arabic, on developing biological weapons, and the weaponization of bacteria causing bubonic plague, taken from infected animals, as well as a 26-page fatwa, or Islamic ruling, by currently jailed cleric Nasir al-Fahd, on the philosophical use of the weapons.
"If Muslims cannot defeat the kafir (unbelievers) in a different way, it is permissible to use weapons of mass destruction. Even if it kills all of them and wipes them and their descendants off the face of the Earth," the document reads.
IS reportedly used chemical weapons against Kurdish fighters in July.
No information within the computer suggests IS possesses the weapons described, but the data itself suggests jihadists continue to seek the raw material used to make the weapons.
"The real difficulty in all of these weapons ... (is) to actually have a workable distribution system that will kill a lot of people," said Magnus Ranstorp, research director of the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College. "But to produce quite scary weapons is certainly within (IS) capabilities."