Al Qaeda's Inspire Magazine Publishes Calls for Attacks in the U.S.

  • January 18, 2011


The fourth issue of the English-language terrorist magazine Inspire, released online by the media wing of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on January 16, 2011, calls for terrorist attacks in the U.S. and provides instructions on how to destroy buildings.

Similar to the previous three issues, all released in 2010, the January 2011 edition of Inspire contains original pieces by Americans aligned with AQAP, as well as previously published materials by several Al Qaeda leaders including Osama bin Laden, Adam Gadahn and Abu Mus'ab al-Suri.

The magazine includes a to-do list telling readers to "buy handguns," "make bomb [sic] in mom's kitchen," "blow up Times Square," and "pull off [a] Mumbai [attack] near While House till martyrdom." It also provides practical instructions on how to make explosives and shoot guns. An article entitled "Open Source Jihad," which has appeared in different variations in past editions of Inspire, provides step-by-step instructions on how to destroy buildings with chemical and mechanical explosions and how to use an automatic weapon to carry out an attack.

In an effort to engage readers and encourage their participation, the article also asks readers to contribute useful articles, quotes and images relating to the mujahideen and to help with translations from Arabic to English.

One of the featured stories, entitled "The Central Issue," is written by Samir Khan, a former North Carolina resident and apparent principal author of Inspire, who currently resides in Yemen. In his article, Khan discusses why Muslims living in America seek to participate in jihad and how "jihad is individually obligatory (farð 'ayn) on all Muslims from East to West until all of our lands are freed."

Another article, entitled "The Ruling on Dispossessing the Disbelievers wealth in Dar al-Harb" is written by Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born Muslim cleric who has inspired several Americans charged on terror-related offenses. In the article, al-Awlaki discusses the importance of stealing money from non-Muslims for "jihad-related purposes." He argues that the Americans are a legitimate target for theft because they "vote for war mongering governments."

Also featured in Inspire is a question and answer section with Shaykh Adil al-Abbab, AQAP's head of religious affairs. In the article, he sanctions the killing of civilians, saying "it is legitimate to target the people of the West and we have no doubts about its legitimacy." He also lays out Al Qaeda's objectives, which include establishing the rule of Shariah (Islamic law) and "fighting the Jews and Christians."

Another article celebrates two recent attacks, one in the UK and the other in Sweden, explaining that the attackers demonstrated their "borderless loyalty" to Islam. The article praises Roshonara Choudhry, a British woman who stabbed a former MP, and says, "Shame on all the men for sitting on their hands while one of our women has taken up the individual jihad!" Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, an Iraqi man who carried out a suicide attack in Sweden in December 2010, is also referenced as a hero in the article.

More from this Section