ISIS: STATE OF TERROR
LINKSBlogs of War
Making Sense of Jihad
Views from the Occident
American Al Qaeda Members
News, documents and analysis on violent extremism
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Inspire 13: 100 Percent PerspirationAl Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula put out the 13th issue of its English-language magazine Inspire, with content and timing clearly meant to invoke the specter of its most-mocked attack, the 2009 Christmas Day bombing attempt in which a would-be terrorist wearing an underwear bomb did incredible damage to his own genitalia but failed to take down a plane.
Much of the issue is devoted to instructions for a "new" kind of "hidden" bomb that "America does not expect," a self-defeating announcement intended more to provoke an outburst of security theater than anything else. If this bomb design has any purpose at all, it is to sell full-body scanners to airports, as the instructions helpfully note that the bomb is vulnerable to such.
Beyond the extensive instructions on how to build this complicated and rather unwieldy device, Inspire 13 is in many ways more of the same -- much more, in this case, as the magazine clocks in at a whopping 112 page, almost all of which is devoted to singing the praises of "lone wolf" terrorist attacks. Unfortunately for AQAP, they don't have much to boast of in this category and the editors are forced to cite the successes of AQAP's hated rival, ISIS.
The list of lone wolf "successes" includes a number of highly marginal cases, which I wrote about in Foreign Policy this week. The entire issue reeks of desperation for relevance and headlines, including calls to assassinate Ben Bernanke, Bill Gates and Clark Ervin. It also includes lackluster responses from Anwar Awlaki to questions posed years ago by Inspire readers, reading lists and lengthy psuedo-intellectual justifications of jihadist action, of the sort ISIS has largely rendered obsolete in favor of a stripped down argument that can be summarized as "let's just kill a bunch of folks."
If genius is 99 percent perspiration and 1 percent inspiration, Inspire should consider a new name, because it is 100 percent perspiration, an extraordinary amount of effort spent on repackaging a lot of old ideas.
Buy J.M. Berger's book, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam
Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.
Tweets referencing this post:
"...smart, granular analysis..."ISIS: The State of Terror
"Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger's new book, "ISIS," should be required reading for every politician and policymaker... Their smart, granular analysis is a bracing antidote to both facile dismissals and wild exaggerations... a nuanced and readable account of the ideological and organizational origins of the group." -- Washington Post
More on ISIS: The State of Terror
"...a timely warning..."Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam:
"At a time when some politicians and pundits blur the line between Islam and terrorism, Berger, who knows this subject far better than the demagogues, sharply cautions against vilifying Muslim Americans. ... It is a timely warning from an expert who has not lost his perspective." -- New York Times
More on Jihad Joe
IS closes in on JN in hashtag battle, but attentio...
Document: CENTCOM Response to Awlaki, AQAP
Threat Versus Impact
Resistible Force Meets Movable Object
ISIS: The State of Terror
Jihadist Hostages and the Shape of Things to Come
10 Things You Need to Know About Reporting on Terr...
H.P. Lovecraft Evil-O-Matic, ISIS Edition
For Global Jihadist Supporters, Islamic State's Ma...
Zawahiri Falls Off The Map, Is Rebuked By Top Al N...
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