Al Qaeda English Magazine Calls for Terror Attacks in the U.S.
Posted: October 13, 2010
Updated: November 4, 2010
The second issue of Al Qaeda's English-language magazine encourages terror attacks on U.S. soil and features two Americans aligned with Al Qaeda in Yemen.
The media wing of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, released the second issue of Inspire via the internet on October 11, 2010. The October release of the publication – the second installment of Al Qaeda's first-ever English-language magazine – coincides with the anniversary of Al Qaeda's 2000 USS Cole bombing in Yemen that killed 17 American soldiers.
One of Inspire's featured stories, entitled "I Am Proud to be a Traitor to America," is written by Samir Khan, an American blogger who distributed terrorist propaganda material from the U.S. for several years before leaving for Yemen in October 2009. Federal authorities have claimed that Khan is the magazine's principal author, and the graphics, design and overall packaging of Inspire resemble those on Khan's various blogs and in Jihad Recollections, the self-described "first English Jihad magazine" in which Khan was a contributor.
"It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that I was Al Qaeda to the core," Khan writes about his years spent in the U.S. distributing terror propaganda. He proceeds to deride American federal authorities for allowing him to persist in spreading Al Qaeda's ideology and criticizes the U.S. government and its military incursions in the Middle East and South Asia.
Khan then explains that he traveled to Yemen to "implant Islam all over the world" without being confined within the American legal system. According to Khan, fomenting "Islam's claim to power in the modern world" entails fighting the U.S. and its allies. "I am acutely aware that body parts have to be torn apart, skulls have to be crushed and blood has to be spilled," Khan writes. "I would think that it's about time Muslims came together to tear down the obstacles. The most important of these obstacles today is obviously America."
The 74-page magazine also features several statements from another American who has ascended to the top of the ranks of AQAP. In one article, Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Muslim cleric living in Yemen who encourages American Muslims to attack non-Muslims and has been designated by the U.S. as a "key leader" of AQAP, criticizes a group of Muslim scholars who previously convened in Turkey to challenge a fatwa that justified jihad. "According to these scholars, we the Muslims are not allowed to terrorize the Israelis, or the Americans, or the British." Al-Awlaki writes. "No. We do not agree with that… We will terrorize them and we will do what we can to strip them of their safety and security as long as they do us the same."
In addition to original articles written for the magazine, Inspire also includes excerpts from sermons and statements previously released by various Al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri and American Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn. The issue also features excerpts from a previously released statement by Humam KHalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi (also known as Abu Dujanah al-Korasani), the Jordanian physician who carried out a December 30, 2009, suicide bombing at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan in which seven Americans were killed.
Also featured in Inspire is an interview with Sufyan al-Azdi al-Shahri, AQAP's second-in-command, in which al-Shahri advises Muslims in the West to "either immigrate or fight Jihad in the West by individual Jihad or by communicating with their brothers in the lands of Jihad." Images of AQAP battles against the Yemeni military are also displayed in the magazine.
The second issue of Inspire comes three months after Al Qaeda released its inaugural issue, marking the first time the international terrorist network published a magazine in English. Following its release, the Department of Homeland Security stated that "the sophisticated, colloquial English-language magazine could appeal to certain Western individuals and inspire them to conduct attacks in the United States in the future."