MULTIFACETED MEDIA GROUP
LINKSBlogs of War
Gunpowder & Lead
Long War Journal
Making Sense of Jihad
Views from the Occident
American Al Qaeda Members
News, analysis and primary source documents on terrorism, extremism and national security.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Inspire, Issue Six: Martyrs and Mixed Messages"We apologize for the delay in the publication of the magazine," writes Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula correspondent Yahya Ibrahim in the opening line of the new issue of Inspire magazine. "Things have been quite hectic over here."
Indeed. The new Inspire reads like a hasty afterthought, no doubt due to the ongoing revolution in Yemen as well as the drone strikes which very nearly took out AQAP's American propagandist Anwar Awlaki.
The new issue of Inspire seeks to depict Awlaki as a prototypical action hero, strapped heavy and cracking wise about the strikes ("It looks as if someone was a bit angry with us this evening") before the bodies of the two men who died in his place had cooled. Unfortunately, the pictures meant to illustrate the scholar's toughness call to mind a child dressed up for Halloween. The man does not look at ease.
The issue notably lacks any content directly attributed to Awlaki, although the question-and-answer section clearly means to suggest that Awlaki is writing the answers. The questions this month were rather interesting in their broad focus. One question asked about whether the mujahideen supported the Shia semi-uprising in Bahrain (they don't), another asked about whether the niqab headcovering for women is "fard" (obligatory). What I take away from this section is that Inspire and/or Awlaki seek to be defined as broadly Islamic in focus rather than narrowly jihadist (although the latter is the obvious priority). If the questions were legitimately sent by readers, that also suggests that Inspire's readers are looking to Awlaki as an Islamic authority figure beyond his simple exhortations to terrorism.
The death of Osama bin Laden received a mixed treatment. Inspire's American editor, Samir Khan, wrote a fairly long piece on the subject. Another short piece on bin Laden ended with a half-hearted non-endorsement to the effect of "So we guess Zawahiri is taking over now."
Beyond bin Laden, Inspire's issue was death-themed with a series of martyr biographies. Notably lacking was a clear acknowledgement of or appreciation for the two men who were killed in Awlaki's place. Until now, martyr biographies have been notably understated in Inspire. Such content has a much higher profile in most other jihadist propaganda including the many magazines that preceded Inspire (I will have more on this soon). It's not clear to me whether this is an overdue corrective, or just an effort to give the issue a theme spinning off bin Laden's death.
In the how-to-be-a-terrorist section, Inspire wrapped up its series of tips for carrying out shooting sprees, then encouraged homegrown terrorists to start working on a very dangerous new bomb ingredient. Fortunately, the article is probably more dangerous to people trying to follow its directions than anyone else, but on sum, we'd probably all be happier if this information wasn't circulating.
For more about Inspire, check out J.M. Berger's new book, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam.
Tweets referencing this post:
Book: Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam (Reviews)
E-Book: Beatings and Bureaucracy: The Founding Memos of Al Qaeda
E-Book: Interview online jihadist Abu Suleiman Al Nasser (Abridged)
Sourcebook: The 9/11 Investigation (coming soon)
Sourcebook: Al Qaeda in America
Sourcebook: Ali Mohamed
Sourcebook: Gitmo Detainees
Sourcebook: Siege at Mecca
Sourcebook: Islamic Extremism in Egypt
Sourcebook: The Sadat Assassination
JIHAD JOEJihad Joe: Americans Who Go To War In The Name Of Islam, the new book by INTELWIRE's J.M. Berger, is now available in both Kindle and hardcover editions. Order today!
Jihad Joe is the first comprehensive history of the American jihadist movement, from 1979 through the present. Click here to read more about the critical acclaim Jihad Joe has earned so far, including from the New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, Redstate.com and many more.
Al Shabab's Recruiting Pipeline From Minnesota To ...
What Is Al Qaeda, Part 2
Google's Process For Extremist Content
What Is Al Qaeda, Part 1
Jihad Joe Reading And Signing At Porter Square Boo...
Terrorist acts, terrorist thoughts
Happy Birthday Inspire!
Tommy Corrigan Passes Away
In Latest Filing, FBI Says It Can't Find OKC Bombi...
Sunday Reading: The New York Times Review of 'Jiha...
New York Pipe Bomb Suspect Linked to Revolution Muslim
The Utility of Lone Wolves
Interview with Online Jihadist Abu Suleiman Al Nasser
A Way Forward for CVE: The Five Ds
How Terrorists Use The Internet: Just Like You
PATCON: The FBI's Secret War on the Militia Movement
Interview About Jihad With Controversial Cleric Bilal Philips
Forgeries on the Jihadist Forums
U.S. Gave Millions To Charity Linked To Al Qaeda, Anwar Awlaki
State Department Secretly Met With Followers of Blind Sheikh
State Department Put 'Political Pressure' On FBI To Deport Brother-in-Law Of Osama Bin Laden In 1995
FBI Records Reveal Details Of Nixon-Era Racial Profiling Program Targeting Arabs
Gaza Flotilla Official Was Foreign Fighter in Bosnia War
U.S. Had 'High Confidence' Of UBL Attack In June 2001
Behind the Handshake: The Rumsfeld-Saddam Meeting