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Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Issue of Al Qaeda English-Language Magazine Inspire Focuses On UPS Bomb

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula released a new issue of its English-language magazine "Inspire" devoted exclusively to the UPS bomb plot.

The magazine features a photograph of the device prior to its being mailed. According to the magazine, the book "Great Expectations" was included to reflect AQAP's high hopes for the plot.

Inspire claims the plot was an "operation of leverage" designed to cost the U.S. money through increased security precautions.

"Our objective is not maximum kill but to cause a hemorrhage in the aviation industry," wrote Yahya Ibrahim, who in the previous issue of Inspire proposed that would-be mujahideen weld lawnmower blades to trucks and drive into crowds of people.

In another article, an AQAP "explosives department" member named "Ikrimah Al Muhajir" says that the organization has developed five detonators which do not use any metal components, in order to evade security measures such as metal detectors.

"Inspire" No. 3 is notably lacking in any content from Anwar Awlaki, the Yemeni-American cleric who is believed to oversee the magazine. An Awlaki video was released earlier this month without the distinctive logo of AQAP's media division. While I would hesitate to draw a conclusion based on two pieces of data, these are both curious omissions and worth keeping an eye on.

In the "Contact Us" section of the magazine, a message states: "Due to technical difficulties, we have been unable to check our e-mails for some time."

The PDF of Inspire was rendered on Nov. 16, 2010, and released today, indicating a four-day lag time between the completion of the magazine and its availablity to the public.

The issue comes more than 20 days after the actual UPS bomb plot, in which explosives devices were shipped from Yemen and addressed to Chicago synagogues. The devices were detected, intercepted and disarmed before reaching U.S. soil.

Follow INTELWIRE on Twitter for instant analysis of breaking news related to the War on Terror. INTELWIRE coverage of this release began at 7:44 p.m. Eastern and included the first reported images and details of the magazine's content.

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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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