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March 4, 2013 3

New Inspire Magazine Hits Digital Newsstands

The tenth issue of Inspire mag­a­zine, released by Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula last Thurs­day, offers its read­ers an array of ideas and advice for sup­port­ing the global jihadist movement.

In the issue, lone wolf attacks are specif­i­cally encour­aged: “Praises [to] the Knights of Lone Jihad…You are Lethal! You are Dev­as­tat­ing!” Would-be lone wolves are advised to engage in attacks on the road by caus­ing traf­fic acci­dents and torch­ing parked vehi­cles, as well as assas­si­nat­ing polit­i­cal lead­ers and for­mer polit­i­cal lead­ers who may be less pro­tected (Amer­i­can, British and French for­mer polit­i­cal oper­a­tives and diplo­mats are men­tioned by name).

Fol­low­ing Thursday’s release of Inspire, AQAP also released a com­pi­la­tion of the advice it has pub­lished for car­ry­ing out attacks as the “Lone Mujahid Pocketbook.”

Inspire also con­tains an inter­view with the Amer­i­can spokesman for Al Qaeda, Adam Gadahn. If the inter­view proves to be authen­tic, it is the first English-language mes­sage from Gadahn since a June 2011 video in which he called on Amer­i­can Mus­lims to launch lone wolf attacks on U.S. soil.  He has, how­ever, more recently appeared in Arabic-language videos dis­cussing the Arab Spring and Al Qaeda’s role in it.

Gadahn, who was a pio­neer in the field of so-called “jihadi media,” reit­er­ates its pur­ported impor­tance in the inter­view, call­ing on his fel­low pro­pa­gan­dists to “make every effort to reach out to Mus­lims both through new media like Face­book and Twit­ter as well as the tra­di­tional broad­cast and print media.” 

In an appar­ent call for vio­lence, Gadahn instructs “mujahideen around the world” to focus their efforts on “direct engage­ment at home and abroad with Amer­ica and its NATO part­ners, par­tic­u­larly France and Britain.” 

Another arti­cle from the mag­a­zine, called “We Are All Usama,” which focuses on the need for Mus­lim unity in the face of insults by the West, was used by jihadist hack­ers to replace sev­eral uni­ver­sity web­sites on Fri­day and over the weekend. 

The mag­a­zine con­tin­ues to focus on the Sep­tem­ber 2011 deaths of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born rad­i­cal cleric who became a lead­ing ide­o­logue and com­man­der of AQAP; and Samir Khan, who was believed to be respon­si­ble for pro­duc­ing the first issues of Inspire. Al-Awlaki and Khan, as well as a third indi­vid­ual named Abu Yazeed al-Qatari, are fea­tured in a “let­ter to the edi­tor” that praises the men for their com­mit­ment to jihad.

This issue is the first major media effort by AQAP in Eng­lish since May 2012, when it released the last two issues of Inspire, a recruit­ing pam­phlet, and a col­lec­tion of Osama bin Laden state­ments

Although Inspire con­tin­ues to solicit con­tri­bu­tions from its read­ers, dig­i­tal copies of the mag­a­zine appear to be secured which doesn’t allow for the mag­a­zine to be printed. This may be an effort to pre­vent its use as evi­dence in ter­ror­ism cases; the mag­a­zine has often been found in the pos­ses­sion of ter­ror­ism sus­pects as both a source of rad­i­cal­iz­ing mate­r­ial and for its easy-to-follow instruc­tions for car­ry­ing out attacks. 

In a fur­ther move to raise the level of secu­rity, AQAP also issued a state­ment on jihadist forums over the week­end indi­cat­ing that it would no longer com­mu­ni­cate with indi­vid­ual sup­port­ers plan­ning attacks via email and urged those already in con­tact to stop immediately.

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May 16, 2012 0

AQAP Releases Advice for Western Recruits

A recently released English-language book­let that both describes life in Yemen as an Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP) fighter and encour­ages west­ern­ers to carry out attacks inside their home coun­tries is the lat­est in a series of AQAP pub­li­ca­tions demon­strat­ing its com­mit­ment to reach­ing west­ern audi­ences with its vio­lent message.

The pub­li­ca­tion, “Expec­ta­tions Full,” was pur­port­edly writ­ten by Samir Khan, the Amer­i­can ter­ror pro­pa­gan­dist who was killed in a Sep­tem­ber 2011 drone strike in Yemen. The book­let encour­ages “broth­ers in the West to wage jihad inside their coun­tries” because the effect is “much greater, it always embar­rasses the enemy, and these type [sic] of indi­vid­ual decision-making attacks are nearly impos­si­ble for them to contain.”

The phrase “indi­vid­ual decision-making attacks” is an appar­ent ref­er­ence to the “Lone Wolf” phe­nom­e­non, where indi­vid­u­als self-radicalize, often online, with­out any face-to-face inter­ac­tions with estab­lished ter­ror­ist groups.

Despite advo­cat­ing for indi­vid­u­als to carry out attacks in the West, the book­let is mostly devoted to giv­ing “fel­low Mus­lims a sense of the live [sic] of a mujahid,” includ­ing issues such as clean­li­ness, liv­ing on base, secrecy, injuries, train­ing and fam­ily life.

“Now that you know what to expect [abroad],” the book­let con­cludes, “you can com­pare that with doing jihad in the west, weigh the pros and cons, and make your decision.”

Over the last sev­eral years, English-language ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda has given con­flict­ing mes­sages about where it is most prefer­able to carry out attacks. AQAP’s English-language ter­ror­ist mag­a­zine, Inspire, believed to be pro­duced by Khan until his death, repeat­edly encour­aged its read­ers to carry out attacks wher­ever they reside. Al Qaeda spokesper­son Adam Gadahn sim­i­larly encour­aged Amer­i­cans to attack within the U.S. in a June 2011 mes­sage. At the same time, Omar Ham­mami, an Amer­i­can spokesper­son for Al Shabaab, has called on his lis­ten­ers to come “to the lands of jihad as soon as possible.”

Although AQAP claims that Khan is the author of “Expec­ta­tions Full,” the doc­u­ment itself bears no indi­ca­tions or hall­marks of his writ­ing. In fact, in one of the sec­tions the author dis­cusses liv­ing on bases with­out access to any elec­tron­ics, which would be ironic for some­one who is best known for cre­at­ing online pro­pa­ganda. AQAP may be try­ing to lever­age Khan’s rep­u­ta­tion as an Amer­i­can who made “it to the front lines of jihad” in an effort to reach out to West­ern audi­ences and spread its call to fight, prefer­ably while stay­ing at home.

The release of the pub­li­ca­tion closely fol­lows the release of two new issues of the ter­ror­ist mag­a­zine Inspire and a trib­ute to Osama bin Laden, also in Eng­lish, ear­lier this month. The rapid suc­ces­sion of English-language pro­pa­ganda comes after a lull of sev­eral months and is an indi­ca­tion of renewed attempts by AQAP to reach and recruit a West­ern audience.

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