Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has released a new video praising recent terror attacks in Western countries and calling for additional attacks against the U.S. The video, which demonstrates Al Qaeda’s continued commitment to attacks against the West, comes as policymakers continue to debate whether the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Al Qaeda serves as a greater threat to domestic security.
In the video, AQAP official Abu al-Miqdad al Kindi, who is the speaker throughout the video, calls for attacks against America, stating, “Oh Mujahideen (fighters) in every corner of the world, I urge you on America…direct your spears towards them.” He also urges viewers to read Inspire magazine, AQAP’s English-language propaganda magazine, for instructions, stating:
“And to the warriors of Lone Jihad, may Allah bless and guide your efforts….Set your goals with precision and focus your strikes on the enemy’s joints. And after seeking help from Allah, seek guidance and instruction from Inspire Magazine. For indeed it presents practical and efficient guidance. It places important directions in assuring the success of lone Jihad in achieving planned goals.”
In the video, Al-Kindi specifically praises attacks in response to drawings depicting Muhammad, including the attack against the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris (whose perpetrators had allegedly trained with AQAP) and the attack against a Garland, TX ‘Draw Mohammad contest,’ (whose perpetrators had allegedly been inspired by ISIS).
He also describes the recent shooting at military institutions in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as “a blessed jihadi operation,” which he says demonstrates that, “lone jihad has proven to be and will always prove to be a strategic weapon successfully hitting and penetrating the enemy’s fort.”
Al-Kindi also argues that legislation aimed at preventing Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism in European countries legitimates violent attacks against Western targets perceived as defaming Islam and Muhammad; in so doing, it also appears to validate Holocaust revisionism:
“America, France, and other Kufr nations are the ones who assist and make legislations (sic) to protect those who abuse Islam and the Prophets, the same nations which legislate and punish whomever questions the Holocaust but rather anyone who questions the authenticity of the statistics. It does not matter if the criticism came from a researcher or a historian. These are the same nations led by America, implementing laws that will empower them to place the world under watch in order to identify who is ‘anti-Semitic’ (anti-Semitism laws) which are not bounded by their freedom of expression. And as you put limits to freedom of expression and punish whomever goes against them, it is upon us to punish whoever transgresses our boundaries and sanctities.”
The video was released this morning on the Twitter feed associated with Al Malehem Media, the media wing of AQAP. The Twitter account has been active since April and has over 6,000 followers.
Only three of the 58 U.S. residents linked to terrorism in 2015 appear to have been inspired to act by or on behalf of Al Qaeda; the remaining 55 allegedly acted in support of ISIS, although a number of them had allegedly read or watched both Al Qaeda and ISIS propaganda.
This video was released less than a week after a letter attributed to AQAP bomb-maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri that also called for attacks on the U.S. was posted to Twitter.