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August 19, 2014

New AQAP Magazine Calls For Lone-Wolf Attacks Against U.S. And U.K.

aqap-aqsa-we-are-coming-inspire

Back cover of the AQAP publication, “Palestine: Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience”

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) issued a new English-language magazine on Twitter August 16. Titled “Palestine: Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience,” the publication uses the recent conflict in Gaza as an excuse to renew the group’s call for lone-wolf attacks in the U.S. and the U.K.

AQAP has regularly issued such calls for lone-wolf attacks in the past, including just a few days ago when it urged followers to attack the U.S. in retaliation for military assistance in Iraq.

The magazine, which reuses content from AQAP’s Inspire magazine, includes directions for building pressure cooker bombs and car bombs and suggests a new list of potential targets including Israeli, British and American owned companies, tourist resorts frequented by American, British and Israeli citizens, Las Vegas casinos and night clubs, Georgia Military College, the US Air Force Academy, General Atomics headquarters in San Diego, and Marks and Spencer stores in Britain.

For more information about this publication, see the ADL analysis “AQAP Exploits Gaza Conflict to Call for Lone-Wolf Attacks Against U.S.”

ADL has also written extensively about the  influence posed by such online English-language propaganda on would-be domestic extremists and the ensuing threat it poses to domestic security.

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March 20, 2014

Arrest Demonstrates Influence of Online Terrorist Materials

Nicholas Teausant

A 20-year-old community college student from Acampo, California, was arrested on March 17th for attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), a terrorist group formerly affiliated with Al Qaeda. His alleged activities prior to his arrest demonstrate the dangerous influence of English-language online propaganda that is being distributed by terrorist organizations.

The student, Nicholas Teausant, reportedly accessed a variety of online terrorist propaganda including issues of Inspire magazine, an English-language publication produced by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and its companion “Mujahid Pocketbook,” which contains a compilation of articles designed as a “how-to guide for becoming a lone wolf terrorist.”

Teausant also broadcast his views over social media. In a Facebook post dated March 9, 2014, he asserted “the people you call terrorist aren’t really terrorist (sic) they are just doing what your to (sic) afraid to do, the government fears these people and that’s why they are called terrorist.” He also posted messages about carrying concealed weapons in public.

On the photo-sharing service Instagram, Teausant allegedly wrote, “Don’t get me wrong I despise America and want its down fall…I would love to join Allah’s army.”

According to the criminal complaint, Teausant discussed bombing the Los Angeles subway system and purchasing fireworks and explosives prior to his attempt to join ISIS.

Teausant had enlisted in the U.S. army reserves in 2007 – seemingly prior to his attraction to terrorism – but apparently never completed training because he did not meet the academic requirements.

His arrest came the same day as that of Mohammad Hassan Hamdan, a 22-year-old permanent U.S. resident residing in Dearborn, MI, who was arrested for attempting to travel to Syria to join Hezbollah.

Both arrests highlight the continued threat of Americans traveling to join terrorist groups in Syria as the civil war there continues.

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March 18, 2014

New Terror Magazines Highlight Al Qaeda Commitment To Recruitment In U.S.

Inspire 12 back imageAl Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)’s March 15 release of a new issue of its English-language propaganda magazine, Inspire, coupled with Al Qaeda’s March 9 announcement of its new English-language magazine, Resurgence, demonstrates terrorist groups’ persistent commitment to radicalizing a new generation of homegrown Islamic extremists through its online initiatives.

The Spring 2014 issue of Inspire provides detailed instructions on how to build a car bomb, with suggestions of locations to plant them in New York City, Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as in the UK and France. “Many Feisal Shahzads are residing inside America,” explains the editor referring to the man who attempted to detonate a bomb in Times Square in 2010, “and all they need is the knowledge of how to make car bombs….The American government was unable to protect its citizens from pressure cooker bombs in backpacks [a reference to the Boston marathon bombing], I wonder if they are ready to stop car bombs!”

As in the past, the new issue is replete with anti-Semitic statements and highlights the supposed existence of a “Jewish enemy” to recruit terrorists.

The latest issue of Inspire also refers to several homegrown Islamic extremists that the publication claims to have influenced, including the Tsarnaev brothers who were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing; Nidal Hasan of the Fort Hood shooting, and Feisal Shahzad, the attempted Times Square bomber.

Shortly before the release of this newest issue of Inspire, As-Sahab, the media arm of Al Qaeda’s central organization, released a slick video promoting a new terrorist magazine called Resurgence on March 9, 2014. The new magazine is likely modeled after Inspire, which has influenced numerous homegrown Islamic extremists since 2010, including the Boston bombers.

The promotional video for Resurgence, created in “kinetic typography” designed for English speaking audiences, includes a voiceover from a Malcolm X speech on violence. Over video footage of the Boston Marathon bombing, the voiceover says: “They only know one language,” alluding to violence. “You can’t ever reach a man,” the voiceover continues, “if you don’t speak his language.”

A new ADL report, Homegrown Islamic Extremism in 2013:The Perils of Online Recruitment & Self-Radicalization analyzes the rise of such online propaganda and its effects and impact on domestic security. In addition, the report looks back at 2013, when 14 American citizens or permanent residents were implicated in the U.S. on terror-related charges, ranging from domestic plots and conspiracies to providing material support to terrorists abroad. Many were directly influenced by propaganda easily accessible online, including the Boston bombers.

As Internet proficiency and the use of social media grow ever more universal, so too do the efforts of terrorist groups to exploit new technology in order to make materials that justify and sanction violence more accessible.

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