New AQAP Inspire Magazine Encourages Lone Wolf Attacks

  • September 21, 2015

Issue 14 of AQAP

Issue 14 of AQAP's <em>Inspire</em> Magazine

The 14th issue of InspireAl Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP)’s Eng­lish lan­guage mag­a­zine, released on September 9 to coincide with the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, incites Americans and others living in the West to perpetrate lone-wolf attacks.“We at Inspire, and in the cause of the events of 9/11 encourage the Muslims in the West to join the Lone Jihad caravan,” reads the Editor’s Letter at the start of the magazine, “the caravan that has and always will continue to trouble and bring nightmares to the west (sic).”

As in previous issues of Inspire, the magazine uses anti-Semitism to mobilize the anger and support needed to encourage individuals to sustain AQAP and perpetrate attacks. ADL recently published a new report on anti-Semitism in Islamic extremist propaganda.

One article in the new issue states that the 9/11 attack “in context [was] a general defense on our Ummah [Muslim community], that has been assaulted by the Jews and supported by America.” Similarly, another article stated that terrorism “give[s] joy and happiness to…all those hurt by America, bearer of evil, oppression and the protector of the Jews.”

A third article, titled “The Corner,” focused on anti-Israel sentiments as a means to rile anger against the U.S. The article began by stating that, “Tracking AIPAC annual events, one gets a sense of a spiritual bond between America and Israel.” It went on to claim that “In all AIPAC meetings, America’s tone towards Israel has been of blind support. Reassuring the Jews that whatever it takes or whatever crime they commit, America will always back them.”

Rehashing claims made in an August AQAP video that called for attacks on the U.S., one article says that “There is no stronger evidence than the issue of the Holocaust in which there is no room for freedom of expression or ideas,” implying that if Western free speech allows for criticism of Islam, the West must also encourage delegitimization of the Holocaust to avoid hypocrisy.

This issue of Inspire also attempted to harness popular anger about injustices against African Americans in the U.S., equating “American oppression towards the Blacks today” to “oppression…exercised against the Muslims today.” The article calls on African Americans to “review your actions and to take a stand against these crimes” by condemning the actions of the U.S. and the State of Israel and then suggests that they, too, commit acts of terrorism as described in the magazine: “we at Inspire bring to you military consultation, one may refer back to the previous issues to find appropriate military ideas.”

During the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, terror supporters (and particularly supporters of ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) regularly shared statements online attempting to capitalize on the unrest and promote their version of Islam as better than and more equality than American democracy. There is no reason to believe that members of the African American community or others sympathetic to the injustices in the U.S. criminal system took those messages seriously, as there is no reason to believe they will take these messages from AQAP seriously.

Other articles and graphics in the magazine praise the 9/11 attacks, the Boston Marathon bombing and the Charlie Hebdo attack.

Inspire has been particularly notorious for its provision of bomb-making instructions. The 14th   issue provides directions for building homemade pipe-bombs to be used in assassination attempts. Specifically, the magazine advises targeting economically influential Americans including Ben Shalom Barnanek (sic), Robert James Shiller, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Joseph, Charlie and David Koch, Sam Walton, Sheldon Adelson, and Michael Bloomberg. As if issuing a ransom note, the article suggests that “whosoever wants to secure himself and wealth” should remove their money from U.S. banks, invest their wealth outside U.S. soil and “declare via media that they are far from American policies towards Muslim (sic) and America’s support for Israel.

Inspire is perhaps the most notorious Al Qaeda propaganda vehicle. It has played a role in the rad­i­cal­iza­tion of mul­ti­ple domes­tic extrem­ists, includ­ing the Tsar­naev broth­ers of the Boston Marathon bombing), Jose Pimentel, who attempted a bombing in New York, and Abdel Daoud, who attempted a bombing in Chicago.