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February 6, 2014 0

Anwar Al-Awlaki’s Messages Still Resonate On Facebook

Anwar al-Awlaki, who inspired a gen­er­a­tion of ter­ror­ists in the U.S and abroad through his online pro­pa­ganda, con­tin­ues to reach audi­ences well after his death.generation-awlaki-facebook

A Face­book page called “Gen­er­a­tion Awlaki,” which is made up of images of Awlaki and many of his most mil­i­tant say­ings, has attracted 2,676 “likes” from around the world and is attract­ing more fol­low­ers every day.

Among the quotes by Awlaki fea­tured on the page are, “Run­ning away from Jihad will not save you from death. You can die as a cow­ard or you can die as a Mar­tyr” and, “If you have the right to slan­der the Mes­sen­ger of Allah, we have the right to defend him. If it is part of your free­dom of speech to defame Muham­mad it is part of our reli­gion to fight you.”

The high­lighted quotes also touch on rel­e­vant polit­i­cal flash­points, such as fight­ing against Israel. “The Pales­tin­ian issue should be some­thing we think about day and night,” reads one recently posted quote.

Numer­ous com­ments have been left on the page, pri­mar­ily in Eng­lish. In fact, many of the fol­low­ers of the page seem to be from English-speaking coun­tries, includ­ing Aus­tralia, New Zealand, the United King­dom, Canada and the United States. This attests to Awlaki’s con­tin­ued appeal to West­ern audi­ences, which he worked hard to influ­ence and rad­i­cal­ize dur­ing his lifetime.

One com­ment in response to a quote prais­ing mar­tyr­dom reads, “I will die as a mar­tyr” and the page mod­er­a­tor responded “InshaaAl­lah (God will­ing).” Another says, “May Allah increase our chances to be mujahideen (mar­tyrs) in sha Allah (God willing).”

“Gen­er­a­tion Awlaki” is fol­lowed most heav­ily by 18 to 24 year olds, ages asso­ci­ated with increased recep­tiv­ity to extremism.generation-awlaki-22

Through his YouTube ser­mons, arti­cles in Inspire mag­a­zine, and other eas­ily avail­able books, Anwar al-Awlaki con­tin­ues to be an inspi­ra­tion for ter­ror­ists and would be ter­ror­ists. Of the 14 Amer­i­can cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents arrested on ter­ror charges in the United States in 2013, at least six report­edly lis­tened to or read Awlaki mate­ri­als, includ­ing Dzhokhar and Tamer­lan Tsar­naev of the Boston Marathon bomb­ing and, most recently, Terry Lee Loewen, who attempted to bomb the Wichita Inter­con­ti­nen­tal Air­port in Decem­ber, 2013

Awlaki, an American-born Mus­lim cleric, encour­aged attacks against Amer­ica and the West by dis­trib­ut­ing online lec­tures to English-speaking audi­ences for many years. He was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011. 

This sort of page is not unique. Other pages, includ­ing those ded­i­cated specif­i­cally to Awlaki, abound. The Face­book group Mar­tyr of Da’awa, for exam­ple, fea­tures quotes, videos and images of Awlaki and has attracted 1,372 ‘likes’ since it was founded in Jan­u­ary, 2014.

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December 13, 2013 1

Terry Lee Loewen Planned Airport Bombing For Al Qaeda

A 58-year-old man from Wichita, Kansas, has been arrested for allegedly try­ing to blow up Wichita Mid-Continent Air­port with a car bomb in sup­port of Al Qaeda.tourismairport2.jpg [tourismairport2.jpg]

Terry Lee Loewen is charged with attempt­ing to use a weapon of mass destruc­tion, attempt­ing to dam­age prop­erty and attempt­ing to pro­vide sup­port to Al Qaeda.

Accord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint, Loewen said he was try­ing to sup­port Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP), Al Qaeda’s affil­i­ate in Yemen, by com­mit­ting “an act of vio­lent jihad.”

Three Amer­i­can cit­i­zens have attempted to join AQAP in 2013, includ­ing Mar­cos Alonso Zea and Justin Kaliebe of Long Island, and Shel­ton Thomas Bell of Florida.

Loewen, an avion­ics tech­ni­cian who report­edly works at the air­port, allegedly made state­ments online to an under­cover FBI agent about down­load­ing ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda online and want­ing to com­mit “vio­lent jihad” against the U.S. Accord­ing to the com­plaint, he also said:

“As time goes on I care less and less about what other peo­ple think of me, or my views of Islam. I have been study­ing sub­jects like jihad, mar­tyr­dom oper­a­tions, and Sharia law. I don’t under­stand how you can read the Qur’an and the sun­nah of the Prophet and not under­stand that jihad and the imple­men­ta­tion of Sharia is absolutely demanded of all the Mus­lim Ummah.”

“One last thing I would like to make clear if I haven’t already — I believe the Mus­lim who is labeled ‘a rad­i­cal fun­da­men­tal­ist’ is closer to Allah than the ones labeled ‘mod­er­ates.’ Just my opin­ion; if I’m off base, please set me straight.”

He also indi­cated that he “con­sid­ered sup­port­ing some of our broth­ers and sis­ters in prison,” and has been send­ing money to the fam­ily of Youn­nus Abdul­lah Muham­mad. Muham­mad is the co-founder of Rev­o­lu­tion Mus­lim, the fringe anti-Semitic Mus­lim orga­ni­za­tion based in New York that jus­ti­fied ter­ror­ist attacks and other forms of vio­lence. The arrest of the Rev­o­lu­tion Mus­lim lead­ers in recent years has led to its demise.

Loewen described Rev­o­lu­tion Mus­lim as “the first web­site that really helped me under­stand what obe­di­ence to Allah was.”

Accord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint, he also expressed his admi­ra­tion of Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American-born Mus­lim cleric who encour­aged attacks against Amer­ica and the West to English-speaking online audi­ences for sev­eral years. Al‐Awlaki was among a grow­ing cho­rus of Amer­i­cans resid­ing abroad who used their online pul­pits to reach and influ­ence audi­ences in the U.S. by repack­ag­ing ide­olo­gies of extreme intol­er­ance and vio­lence into digestible sound bites.

Al-Awlaki’s mate­ri­als have inspired sev­eral Amer­i­can Mus­lim extrem­ists to carry out ter­ror­ist attacks in the U.S. and join ter­ror­ist groups over­seas. He was killed in a drone strike in Yemen on Sep­tem­ber 30, 2011.

Loewen, who also goes by Terry L. Lane, report­edly left a let­ter for his fam­ily dated Decem­ber 11 that said, “By the time you read this I will — if every­thing went as planned — have been mar­tyred in the path of Allah.”

Described by the U.S. gov­ern­ment as “the most active and dan­ger­ous” branch of Al Qaeda, AQAP has attempted to carry out mul­ti­ple attacks against the United States, includ­ing at least three failed attacks involv­ing U.S.-bound aviation.

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December 3, 2013 0

Afghani Azan Magazine Picks Up Where Inspire Left Off

Azan Mag­a­zine, pro­duced by the pro-Taliban Abtalul Media Group since March 2013, mir­rors the tone and con­tent of other English-language pro­pa­ganda that has influ­enced many domes­tic ter­ror­ists over the past few years. azan-magazine-afghanistan-inspire-terrorism-adl

Azan is not only mod­eled after Inspire Mag­a­zine, Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Peninsula’s English-language mag­a­zine, but may be attempt­ing to fill the gap left by Inspire, which has not pub­lished an issue since June.

The Fourth issue of Azan Mag­a­zine, 72-pages long and titled “To the Jihadis in the West,” was released this month. Like Inspire, this issue encour­ages vio­lence in the West, hatred of the United States and is filled with con­tent glo­ri­fy­ing a mil­i­tant Islamist ideology.

And like Inspire, Azan mag­a­zine also makes use of col­or­ful, infor­mal pages and arti­cles with dif­fer­ent approaches to encour­ag­ing extrem­ism, includ­ing quotes from reli­gious fig­ures and threats of pun­ish­ment to those who do not espouse rad­i­cal Islamist beliefs.

It includes “adver­tise­ments,” such as “A come-to-jihad ad” that depicts ter­ror­ists in front of a fiery back­drop with a quote from the Quran, and an image of the World Trade Cen­ter on 9/11 with an image of and quote by Osama bin Laden with text that reads: “A ‘9–11 We Remem­ber’ Ad.”

The mag­a­zine also has a sec­tion address­ing spe­cific con­cerns that might oth­er­wise stop would-be extrem­ists from com­mit­ting ter­ror­ist actions, sim­i­lar to Inspire’s question-and-answer sec­tions address­ing con­cerns about ter­ror­ism. It sim­i­larly includes an “Around the World” page about ter­ror­ism and anti-Western activ­ity world­wide, and pages ridi­cul­ing pres­i­dent Obama and crit­i­ciz­ing Amer­i­can policies.

Con­spic­u­ously absent is a sec­tion mir­ror­ing Inspire’s infa­mous “Open Source Jihad” with sug­gested attack meth­ods and weapons instruc­tions. Instead, Azan fea­tures a dia­gram of an extrem­ist on a motor­cy­cle, not­ing dif­fer­ent items that may be help­ful to him, includ­ing an Mp3 player “to lis­ten to the Qur’an” and “Rockets/Ammo” that can be “fit into the woolen blan­ket” that he sits on to pro­vide comfort.

This issue of Azan mag­a­zine closes with a solic­i­ta­tion for reader con­tri­bu­tions – again, fol­low­ing a trend of encour­ag­ing inter­ac­tion and par­tic­i­pa­tion through a vari­ety of medi­ums. “If you would like to con­tribute to the mag­a­zine or to the global Jihad against the crusader-zionist alliance – or if you would like to carry out Jihad on your home ter­ri­tory, con­tact us,” it says, fur­ther advis­ing read­ers to look back to their copies of Inspire for instruc­tions on send­ing encrypted emails.azan-ad-come-to-jihad

Also like Inspire, the pri­mary focus of Azan Mag­a­zine is domes­tic extrem­ism and attacks on West­ern soil. Such encour­age­ment has been down­played in recent months by for­eign ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions such as Jab­hat al-Nusra and al-Shabaab, which have been encour­ag­ing Amer­i­cans and other West­ern­ers to join them abroad. But Azan makes very clear that domes­tic plots should be pri­or­i­tized over join­ing ter­ror groups abroad.

Abtalul Islam like­wise released its first English-subtitled video last month urg­ing West­ern­ers to con­tribute to its cause through a vari­ety of means, includ­ing through writ­ing, com­puter use and actual fighting.

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