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Samir Khan: American Blogger and Al Qaeda Propagandist

Read the full report here: Samir Khan: American Blogger and Al Qaeda Propagandist (PDF).

Samir Khan, a 24-year-old American known for distributing terrorist propaganda material online, was killed by a U.S. drone strike on September 30, 2011, two years after he moved to Yemen to align himself with Al Qaeda.

Federal authorities have claimed that Khan was the principal author of Inspire, Al Qaeda's first-ever English-language magazine that provides detailed bomb-making instructions and calls on followers to "destroy" America. 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.

The inaugural issue of Inspire was released online in July 2010 by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al Qaeda's affiliate in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, where Khan has lived since October 2009. In the second issue, which was released in October 2010, Khan writes that he is "proud to be a traitor to America" and criticizes the U.S. government and its military incursions overseas. The U.S. and its allies, according to Khan, must be defeated in order to "implant Islam all over the world."  "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.

In the seventh issue of Inspire, published just days before his death, Khan underscored the importance of media for the global jihadist movement, noting that "ideas are bulletproof and have an outstanding lifespan," and that therefore "the credible ideas that we bring is what intimidates them [the West] the most." 

Prior to moving to Yemen, Khan was a significant distributor of Jihadist propaganda on the Internet. Known online as inshaAllhashaheed (Arabic for "God willing a martyr"), Khan used various blogs to distribute English translations of Al Qaeda materials, links to videos produced by terrorist groups, and original commentary in support of violence. He currently runs a blog called Inshallahshaheed, which is hosted on the server of the Ansar Al-Mujahideen Network, an English-language Web site on which users distribute jihad-related materials.      

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UPDATE

October 3, 2011

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