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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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December 12, 2012 0

Shabaab Spokesman’s “Close Friend” Arrested

Two Amer­i­can cit­i­zens resid­ing in Alabama were arrested yes­ter­day in Geor­gia on sus­pi­cion of terrorism-related activity.

Randy “Rasheed” Wil­son was arrested in Atlanta attempt­ing to board a flight to Morocco. Wil­son allegedly claimed to be a close friend of Omar Ham­mami, the Alabama native who became the pub­lic face of Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda-affiliated Somali ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion. His co-conspirator, Moham­mad Abukhdair, was arrested at a bus sta­tion en route to Canada from where he report­edly planned to join Wil­son.  Both were charged with con­spir­ing to pro­vide mate­r­ial sup­port to ter­ror­ists in an Alabama fed­eral court on Monday.

Accord­ing to court doc­u­ments, Wil­son and Abukhdair expressed their admi­ra­tion for rad­i­cal American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and Osama bin Laden, as well as repeat­ing their com­mit­ment to carry out vio­lent jihad, to an under­cover FBI employee.  They even turned over a cache of jihadist pro­pa­ganda, includ­ing Awlaki lec­tures, to the under­cover employee for destruc­tion. Wil­son, who is 25, appar­ently believed that “one way or another everyone’s gonna have to fight… there’s no deed bet­ter than jihad,” accord­ing to the tran­scripts of recorded con­ver­sa­tions sub­mit­ted to the court.

Wil­son had pre­vi­ously report­edly con­spired with another mutual friend of Hammami’s (who later became a con­fi­den­tial infor­mant) to travel to Soma­lia to join Al Shabaab. Abukhdair had been detained by Egypt­ian author­i­ties on sus­pi­cion of involve­ment in ter­ror­ist activ­ity and was deported back to the United States.  He appar­ently admit­ted to the under­cover FBI employee that he had jihadist mate­r­ial on his lap­top at the time and believed that “Allah pro­tected him” because Egypt­ian intel­li­gence had not found it.

The two men, who met online in 2010, sup­pos­edly dis­cussed sev­eral pos­si­ble des­ti­na­tions, includ­ing trav­el­ing to Soma­lia via Sudan, where they report­edly expected spe­cial treat­ment because of Wilson’s rela­tion­ship with Ham­mami. Abukhdair alter­na­tively pro­posed that they carry out attacks in the United States because he feared he would not be allowed to travel inter­na­tion­ally after being turned away from a flight to Jor­dan ear­lier this year.  Accord­ing to the charges, Abukhdair allegedly sug­gested engag­ing in hostage-taking oper­a­tions in the U.S. and demand­ing the release of Mus­lim ter­ror­ists being held in Amer­i­can pris­ons in exchange.

The court doc­u­ments assert that Wil­son and Abukhdair made def­i­nite travel arrange­ments to go to Mau­ri­ta­nia via Morocco in Octo­ber. The two also report­edly dis­cussed trav­el­ing to Mali from Mau­ri­ta­nia where Islamic mil­i­tants are active in the north of the country.

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May 11, 2012 0

AQAP Bin Laden Tribute Focuses on Israel

Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Peninsula’s media arm released an English-language book­let in trib­ute to Osama Bin Laden today titled “In Remem­brance of Usama.” The mate­r­ial, which con­sists of a col­lec­tion of quotes from the for­mer Al Qaeda leader, largely focuses on Jews and Israel and how they, along with Amer­ica, are at war with Islam.

“The Cru­saders and the Jews joined together and invaded the home of Islam,” reads one of the Bin Laden quotes. “’Greater Israel’ which includes inside its bor­ders large parts of Iraq, Egypt, a pass through Syria, Lebanon, Jor­dan, the entire Pales­tine and large parts of the hara­main [Saudi Arabia].”

Some of the quotes are taken from poetry Bin Laden wrote about the Pales­tini­ans in which he promised the lib­er­a­tion of Jerusalem and praised the “purest of blood” of Pales­tin­ian “mar­tyrs.” He exhorts Mus­lims that “your broth­ers in Pales­tine are eagerly await­ing. They are await­ing that you anni­hi­late Amer­ica and Israel.”

Bin Laden is also quoted call­ing on young Mus­lims to join jihad and tar­get Amer­i­cans and Jews by say­ing that “killing them through­out the globe is one of the great­est duties and lead­ing right­eous acts to Allah.” A quote in which he describes Jews as “those who fab­ri­cated lies against the Cre­ator” is cited else­where in the booklet.

The pub­li­ca­tion was pre­pared ahead of the one year anniver­sary of the raid on Bin laden’s com­pound by Amer­i­can forces in Abbot­tabad. The edi­tors, appar­ently the same team cur­rently pro­duc­ing the English-language ter­ror­ist mag­a­zine Inspire, trans­lated sev­eral mes­sages from Bin Laden as “an eye-opener for those who aren’t yet famil­iar with the mujahideen’s cause.” They also praised him as a mar­tyr, writ­ing that it was “what he wish for… for the last three decade [sic].”

AQAP’s focus on Pales­tini­ans and Israel is also preva­lent in the two most recent issues of Inspire mag­a­zine, released ear­lier in the month. The mag­a­zine com­pares events in Syria to “the Jew­ish treat­ment of the Pales­tini­ans.” One of the ads attacks Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu, com­par­ing him to Satan, and claim­ing that “they (the Jews) have the audac­ity to dis­tort the word of Allah [paren­the­sis in the orig­i­nal].” Other mes­sages in Inspire say, “Israel Can’t Hide” and call for attacks against Israeli tar­gets as well as “Zion­ist and Zionist-friendly cru­sader media,” and “places where Jews are gath­ered, their lead­ing per­son­al­i­ties and insti­tu­tions in Europe.”

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