AQAP Exploits Gaza Conflict to Call for Lone-Wolf Attacks Against U.S.

  • August 19, 2014

A new English-language publication has been released by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Titled “Palestine: Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience,” the publication uses the recent conflict in Gaza as an excuse to renew the group’s call for lone-wolf attacks in the U.S. and the U.K.

AQAP has regularly issued such calls for lone-wolf attacks in the past, including just a few days ago when it urged followers to attack the U.S. in retaliation for military assistance in Iraq.

The current publication appears to be modeled after AQAP’s Inspire magazine and, in fact, reuses a number of articles and quotes that had appeared in previous issues of Inspire, including directions for building pressure cooker bombs and car bombs.

The updated versions of those pieces include additional praise of the Tsarnaev brothers and Faizel Shahzad for using and attempting to use those home-made weapons, and suggests a new list of potential targets including Israeli, British and American owned companies, tourist resorts frequented by American, British and Israeli citizens, Las Vegas casinos and night clubs, Georgia Military College, the US Air Force Academy, General Atomics headquarters in San Diego, and Marks and Spencer stores in Britain.

Like Inspire, the publication also features an article allegedly written by Samir Khan, an American known for distributing terrorist propaganda, including Inspire magazine, online and who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011.

Other articles in the publication include a letter addressed to “a Muslim who is wavering between the honor of going forth and the humiliation of staying behind” urging attacks; a time-line of terrorist attacks that claimed to be motivated at least in part by U.S. support for Israel or foreign intervention; and several articles and statements describing U.S. support for Israel.

One of the articles pays particular attention to the U.K., arguing that the U.K. “handed Palestine over to the Jews” through its “evil [Balfour] declaration” and therefore is also a target.

Interestingly, the publication does not advocate attacking Israel, claiming that it is easier and more effective to target the U.S. and the U.K., and that doing so will lessen their support for Israel. It includes a collection of quotes from various Al Qaeda leaders, supporting this argument, including one allegedly by Osama bin Laden, saying, “If you see that your enemy has protected his right ear and fortified it well, don’t waste your time hitting the right ear. Cut of the left ear and he will die. The result is the same. The Americans are spread all over the world, and they don’t have a doctrine like the Jews, who want to stay in Palestine.”

Like other AQAP publications, though, this release does not shy away from anti-Semitism. “The Jewish nation remains to be the nation of treachery, betrayal and aggression,” notes one article. Another article states, “There is no meaning to life when you see Jews do all sorts of things to your brothers and women and children.” And the timeline of attacks praises attacks that took place in which “all Jews present were killed.”

Unsurprisingly, the publication also makes clear the stance that the group will not tolerate anything less than the full destruction of the State of Israel, again quoting Osama bin Laden as saying that “we won’t recognize any state for the Jews, even if on one hand span of the land of Palestine.” Interestingly, it also quotes Mondoweiss, an anti-Israel blog run by Philip Weiss, describing U.S. support of Israel conspiratorially: “But hey, this is Israel. And, more important, this is AIPAC. And cash.”

“Palestine: Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience” was released on Twitter on August 16, 2014.